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    T. WilesT. Wiles

    Had a recent camping trip get cancelled due to family obligations and the necessity of unloading of boxes as our family moves back home. Over the last couple months, I’ve been untangling a web of chaos of work, travel, and home renovation stress with a newborn—Life is good, but it’s been a whirlwind lately, that only a good fishing trip can cure.
    5:00 was the leaving time as I drove to pick up J4 to chase some remote waters I have wanted to fish for years. I packed in a rush scavenging through my cluttered/rearranged garage trying not to wake the baby. With two hours of sleep and a late start, I was off to erase the stress .

    Gorgeous backcountry water was found:

    Here’s our luxurious boat ramp:

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    Dowstream and Upstream as I drag the boat:

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    J4 Chasing some smallies:

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    Aggressive little guy:

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    It came a thunderous monsoon on us just about the time the fishing was getting good, we had to rush out quick to keep from getting stuck in the mud. We loaded up the gear and slid back up the trail slinging mud off the Tacoma. It began to look like a Mike Anderson rain-out trip.
    Took some more exploring, had to avoid a really nice river access due to some scary meth-heads camping in cars. One dude had a three foot freaky scar from his thigh to his ankle hanging up on the dashboard.
    With a little more poking around, creative boat launching, and long stretches of bony boat dragging, J4 and I found ourselves in some very fishy waters with no one around.

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    Smallies were tightlipped, but we had some really nice shots:

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    At the top of a deep hole, we found what we came for: a gorgeous musky slashed the fly in the deepest spooky corner of the pool. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect spot for this fish to live.

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    A swimming release—she kicked off just fine.

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    Just what I needed. Still really stoked about this place.

    Steve K.Steve K.

    Nice report Travis!

    What type of boat/motor are you using? It looks like a Towee or something similar. I’m doing the same thing (chasing smallies in “smallish” water) here in Western NC.

    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    Ha ha! I’m reading along, oh nice smallies, those are some pretty little fish. Scroll scroll…


    That was not what I was expecting! Great post Travis! I’m with Steve on your boat – it doesn’t look wide enough to be the Hog Island Skiff. Did something change?



    Awesome post Travis. Congrats on a great fish. I still want to hear more about the new boat as well. Have you had it in the water yet?

    Tim Pommer

    I love it when the sit right where they are supposed to.

    Awesome Travis!


    Really frickin awesome Travis. I like the others want to know where the hog is?

    I picked mine up 2 weeks after you did an it has been out a few times. We tried to chase the linesides over in Zach’s neck of the woods to no avail (once again boned by mother nature) and instead went for trout. Good to see you sticking another solid wolf. Congrats.

    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    CB –

    Where were you fishing? Mother Nature has to be getting chafed from the reaming she’s been administering this year.



    We were looking to be below MF but the release cut off about 6 hours too late. Thus ending out striper ambitions. It was still 5k when we were able to get out there, and when we left to go back to Bham it had dropped to 2250 but it was still murky as well.

    We went Mcginnis to Abbots instead. Snits and tubers were the order of the day. It was still off color about half way down but we had a few miles of clear-ish water.

    T. WilesT. Wiles

    Just got the 40-30 Yamaha jet on the Hog with some required welding mods on the transom for the mount. I’ve sent the oars back to Sawyer for an upgrade from Polecats to their Squaretops, which Im gonna get reamed on some shipping….plus about 1 month backordered for those oars…any day now. My trolling motor bracket is functional, but not ideal. John is sending me a new one angled so the hull will brace and support the 52″ shaft of the riptide, and Im still debating on battery mount locations for a large deep cycle.

    I could have definitely taken the Hog on its maiden voyage, but all the bigger water is overflowing. This river was flowing just perfect, and well worth the drive to explore it when swimming was an option.

    We were floating in my Coleman Crawdad, “Ole Bessie” as my friend calls her. Not a single ramp for the skiff anyway. Just a whole lot of dragging and slipping down banks and rapids.

    Two of my buddies landed nice Muskies on flies a bit further East this week. Those waters are screaming for the HI Skiff. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I’ll have her fully rigged and functional.

    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    Great news Travis. It sounds like you’ve become a de facto member of the R&D team. 🙂


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