The Saluda River
The Saluda river has been one of the best kept secrets in the southeast but is gaining in popularity and notoriety and for very good reason. I booked a trip with Ben Moore of East Anglers for myself and a customer of ours that is somewhat new to fly fishing. This would be Noah’s first trout fishing experience. The weather had been beautiful with bright blue skies and temps in the low eighties for over a week leading up to our trip. But as it goes in the fishing world, the forecast began to call for thunderstorms all day and into the night for the day we had scheduled. It was a last-minute decision but the rain looked like it was going to hold off until the evening so we decided to go for it. The morning was gorgeous and Noah managed to land a few rainbows while I missed fish after fish. Ben suggested that the fiberglass rod I was using didn’t have the backbone needed for nymphing rigs but I tend to think he just didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Either way, I switched rods and noticed a wall of black bearing down on us from up river. We made it to the safety of a bridge while managing to only get somewhat soaked, and relaxed while the storm passed over us. After the rain, the temperature dropped and the sky was covered with thick gray clouds. The fish seemed to turn off after the rain, as if they knew it was just the opening act to a front coming through bringing rain and colder temps. We saw a few fish rising but nothing consistent enough to justify tying on a dry fly. Ben anchored us up in nice looking run and said that he knew that fish were in there and we weren’t leaving until we got one. We began to throw everything we had at this run with a tenacity that only comes with having complete faith in our guide’s vast experience and knowledge. Sure enough, after about thirty minutes in this run, I hooked what I thought was the bottom until it began to move down river from me. I knew right away we had found one of the big browns that the Saluda is known for. I tried to block out the thoughts of all the fish I had missed leading up to this and just focus on the moment, but I must admit it was hard to do. We got the fish to the net and Ben taped it out at 22”. It was my personal best brown trout and the biggest one Ben has caught so far this year too. We fished a few more runs but if I’m honest, I was still shaking from the adrenaline and not even attempting to land anything else. The water temps are continuing to rise and this time of year can be your best opportunity to get into some of the big trout that the Saluda holds. Check out our guides page or call the shop to get more information on Ben Moore and East Anglers.