I have fished numerous times with Richie Hughes of New River Trips on several sections of the New River. We went again yesterday on the the Double Shoals section (by far, my favorite) and caught both quantity and quality fish. It seems like very few fish were under 15" and most of them were caught on the fly rod.
This section seems to produce the largest fish and has the prettiest scenery. The rapids are beautiful yet can be a challenge for most guides and anglers so it receives less pressure than the other sections of the river. Richie handles the raft with such ease that he is able to put you on the best spots while others would be unable to do so. The only negative is that there is a significantly long paddle across a 2 mile lake at the end to reach the landing.
Richie knows the river well from the NC line all the way to below Claytor Lake further north in Virginia. He is equally adept (and accomodating) at both spin fishing and fly fishing and will adjust his trips to accomodate your skills and desires.
Yesterday I spent the first 30 minutes in futility, trying what I thought would be the ticket to catching fish. He patiently redirected me to what he thought would be effective that day and things changed immediately. He is on the water constantly and is able to decipher very quickly what works and what does not each day.
He is also very knowledgable about the wildlife and the environment, providing interesting insights and observations along the way. Even when we don't catch lots of fish he makes it a comfortable and enjoyable trip every time. Yesterday was one of those rare occasions where you get great weather and great fishing at the same time.
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