Skip to content

Father/Son Duo

Dan River Kayak Fishing

We had a great time with a Father and Son on the Dan River. These guys enjoyed camping at Hanging Rock State Park and joined us on the Dan River to float for smallmouth bass. We met at the Dan River Company for shuttle to start the trip. Both were experienced fly fishermen, fishing rivers and paddling but never combining the two. The day started out slow with the bite. Redbreast Sunfish (native to the Dan River) were willing to play most of the day but the smallies didn’t come until later.

Stealth Approach

Stealth Approach










This allowed plenty of time to work on paddling techniques and the little tips and tricks that make it easier to ‘go with the flow’. Both guys took to kayak fishing like it was old news. The Native Slayers from Get Outdoors were comfy and handled the Dan easily for an extended day on the water. While trying to find the smallies, the 10 hour day flew by!

Kayak Fishing Tactics

Kayak Fishing Tactics










No large smallies came to play but we did see some smallies, a catfish on the fly and a couple of suckers. We also caught more sunfish than we could count.

Kayak Fishing Smallmouth Bass

Kayak Fishing Smallmouth Bass








Wooly buggers, articulated streamers, diving/wobbling topwater foam crawfish, and square billed crankbaits were the productive selections for the day. Classic river white and natural colors in the flies seemed to work well. Check out Shellrake Flies for our supply of Smallmouth Bass Flies that we use. Great fly patterns here that were developed just for Smallmouth Bass! You can also purchase them at NC River Nets.

Scenic Dan River

Scenic Dan River









It was a lot of fun to watch these guys fish together! There was real camaraderie with some fun bickering and comical family competition. In the end though, when I noted a great hole to try the Dad obviously passed it up for the Son.  Its great to have folks enjoying time on the water together!

Come join us to see what the fun is all about. We target smallies and hope for the big ones. We cannot control mother nature but as a friend of our says, ‘we go prepared and adapt to the conditions, which sometimes makes us lucky!’

Kayak Fishing

Kayak Fishing

Father’s Day-Stream Day

Is that gonna eat me?

We enjoyed time on Father’s Day with family, friends and on the water. NCRA attended the informal Open House at Sheppard Mill and conducted some cursory fish-finding to see what is in the Millpond at Snow Creek. We have suspicions of what species are there but want hard proof. Also want to see if there are numbers enough to hold kids fishing clinics or other educational fishing programs. I suspect there is, but we better conduct more fish sampling outings-the 2 year old cut us short on the fishing! Sheppard Mill is a wonderful piece of local history with many great plans for the future!

Sheppard Mill

Sheppard Mill Dog (Cubby) pilfered a Hot Dog!








We also spent time on the Dan River with the kids. Youngest caught a little smallie, they looked for bugs and critters and of course threw some rocks! The senses were alerted, nature crept into the bones and balance was created walking in the River (and in the soul)! It is always fun to see the reactions of kids when they first see something new in the environment. The River is a great place to spend time, with tons of wildlife, the water is cool on the toes and fishing is usually productive enough for kids to see and touch a few fish.

River rocks

Dan River-End of Fishing Time








Smallmouth Bass

Can you see the Dan River Smallie?








Throwing Rocks

Trying to throw rocks as big as I am!

New Water-Kayak River Fishing

It was refreshing to hit a new stretch of water this past weekend. Not a new body of water, but a new stretch of  River.  A new section was in order to replenish the senses and find a little sense of adventure. One can become complacent in fishing the same bodies and stretches of water. Those known holes that hold fish become mundane and this can be a bad thing for the kayak river angler.  You need to keep your senses and skillset sharp!

River Fishing Ledges






With the proper research and knowledge of a stretch of River, it can be fun in looking for new holes, ledges and pools that you know will hold fish if approached properly. That was the case this weekend.

Kayak FIshing Ledges






We began by lining up a shuttle at the take out and asking the appropriate questions about river levels, rapid locations and any other hazards. Online research, publications and most importantly local river buff knowledge are all good places to look and ask for information about new waters.

Smallie Release







Our evening started out slowly but we changed lures often and tried all of the likely spots for River Smallmouth Bass which included rocky outcrops, rock ledges, woody debris, shoots and pools. We quickly developed a pattern and found the fish to be in moving water between ledges in shallow water. They were also caught from some of the deeper pools along the banks.  Once the pattern was developed it was on. And as quickly as we found the fish, the River changed and we lost structure. The second half of the trip was slow, fairly shallow with much less rocky structure. The bite was fun while it lasted!

River Smallmouth Bass







We saw plenty of wildlife as usual on the River. A large snapping turtle, an osprey with a fish in talons, plenty of swarms of hatching bugs and lots of redbreast sunfish on the fly rod!

Contact us to book your Kayak River Fishing outing and look for the hard fighting Smallmouth Bass!

Kayak River Fishing







Check us out online and on Facebook for trips photos and reports and our nets page for handcrafted wooden fishing nets!

Late to Rise Smallmouth Bass with NC River Angler, LLC

In years where the Winter seems to linger a little longer than others, we become happy fishermen with the Smallmouth Bass! Why you may ask? The longer the fish wait to begin feeding prior to their spawning (breeding season), the more aggressive the bite will be! The fish seem to wake up like gangbusters!

Early Spring River Smallmouth

Late Spring cold weather means a big awakening for the River Smallmouth Bass! Kayak fishing provides great access to fish habitat…

All we have to do is be patient and of course be in the right place at the right time, which means getting on the River.  River Smallmouth Bass fishing is exciting to begin with-add in the elements that delay the already hungry, over-wintering smalmouth, and there stands to be a fantastic Smallmouth bass bite! Come join the fun and see what Smallmouth River fishing is all about with NC River Angler, LLC. Dust off the waders for a trip to Singletree Gun and Plough, or learn how to paddle that kayak or canoe so you optimize your chances at catching some river smallies! Come join the fun!

River Smallmouth Bass

Wade fishing allows thorough lure placement to find a big Spring Smallmouth Bass!

new WEBSITE! | NC River Nets

Check out our sister company NC River Nets and visit our new website. We are working hard to make it easier to find and order your own handcrafted fishing net. NC River Nets are functional, durable &  handcrafted to provide a lasting fly fishing net to help you land your fish and release them safely! Visit our website and let us know what you think and place an order!


new WEBSITE! | NC River Nets

Teach a man to fish…

NC River Angler, LLC  Smallmouth Bass

Adapting to changing conditions and finding a pattern is key to catching River Smallmouth Bass

In reviewing notes about this past season, one thing stands out about River kayak fishing and guiding for Smallmouth Bass. That is, if you are not able to adapt or change things up, you will be left saying ‘the fish were just not biting today’.

River Smallmouth

Finding the pattern to land some smallies

I had the privilege to fish with a number of anglers this season. Some who were already fishermen, and some who were not. Some had fished for smallies and some had not. Some had paddled a kayak, and some had not. But there was one constant that kept coming to the forefront with a productive day, or days that simply ended with a goal of not getting skunked! This constant was the act of adapting to the day and finding a pattern to the fish for that particular river given the; time of day, weather conditions, water clarity (or the lack thereof) and ability and mood of the angler.

Changing things up helped to land this River Smallmouth Bass

Sticking to one lure all day is sometimes the best thing you can do while smallmouth fishing, or it can be the worst. I have seen lures work all day, some of the day, and none of the day. But it is the angler that is capable of making the choice, or decision, to change things up a little to find the bite. Sometimes that means abandoning a lure that is seemingly working after a couple bites to find a bigger or more aggressive bite. Sometimes it means working a different column of water to see where the fish are holding as a pattern. If there is one advantage I think any angler has over another with River fishing for Smallies, it would be having the skillset to fish every column of water with various types of lures, whether that be fly fishing or spin fishing. If you can confidently fish many types of lures at the different depths of the water column, you will likely find success even on the most difficult of river conditions.

Kayak Fishing Spotted Bass

Sticking to one lure produced this citation Spotted Bass on this day

If you are interested in learning how to fish some of these different styles, try picking one technique and only fish that lure and style on your next outing. Find the many different ways you can rig that lure, use the current, alter retrieve speeds and presentation types to alter the way that specific lure fishes. This will ensure that you become much more confident in that specific style of fishing, within that specific water column depth. And we all know that confidence in a lure catches fish! Without confidence, your presentations and lure actions will not look realistic and you will be leaving the water with that skunked feeling-and that’s stinky!

Confidence in what works and using tried and true patterns produces River Smallmouth Bass

Gaining confidence by only using one lure type on a fishing outing will give you a feast or famine sense that will really have you jumping for joy when you catch fish. We have rivers and streams where different tactics work for different bodies of water. But you always have to be ready for the changing conditions that occur while on the water. So the next time you are ready to hit the water, try using a lure or rig that you are less than familiar with and see what happens.

River Smallmouth Lures

Fishing lures in different manners allows you to expand your range and depth of knowledge of River fishing

And of course, give us a try to see what some of the approaches and styles of fishing are that we employ. NC River Angler, LLC is not just a fishing guide, but also a teaching service. We do not guarantee you will catch fish, because we cannot control Mother Nature, but we do guarantee you will learn something new about fishing for Smallmouth Bass and River fishing techniques! And please do not be fooled by imitations of a no catch-no pay guarantee, you may be left feeling like there was a no lesson taught atmosphere! We teach techniques that DO catch fish, so you WILL be set up for success in the future. You know the motto, ‘teach a man to fish’…

River Kayak Fishing

River Kayak Fishing

Jackson Coosa for sale


With the season winding down, NCRA wanted to remind everyone that this Jackson Coosa is now for sale. If you are looking for a SOT river boat contact us or Dan River Company. The Coosa was used this season (April to October) will be sold for $900 and includes a bending branches paddle!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.