No, I haven't been fishing with a dude named Chad (I don't even know any Chads). This, as you probably guessed, is just another dumb joke between myself and the guy that discovered the Grey Sulphur Mayfly. Who cares if we're the only ones who find it funny?
Chad is our name for the Shad, both the Hickory and American variety. Every spring the Chad run up the James River all the way to Richmond to make little Chad babies and, in the process, make themselves available to the fly rod angler. Now that the run is over, I figured I would go ahead and post up some pics that I took over several days earlier this month. I was hoping to get some cool video of these acrobatic fish in action, but that never materialized.
To fish for the Chad, you've got to get comfortable with urban angling. What this fishery lacks in natural beauty, it makes up for in convenience. This spot is roughly 5 minutes from my house:
The fishing itself isn't too difficult as long as you can manage to get a cast out 30 feet or so - something that's easier said than done with a high bank directly behind you. I got a lot of practice on my roll casting. If the fish are there, pretty much any bright colored fly will do the trick:
Some nice Hickory Chads. I didn't catch any Americans, which are bigger and apparently on the decline in the James :
This was the first year I've gone after the Chad, for what reasons I don't know. I've been in Richmond for almost 6 years now so it's basically inexplicable that I've overlooked this cool event year after year. Now that I know where to go, what equipment to use and what flies to tie, you can bet I'll be back after them next year.