Early Autumn
October 8, 2012, 6:49 pm
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing | Tags: , , , , , ,

Got out this past weekend to do a little early autumn brook trout fishing. Nice weather however not yet cool enough that one doesn’t work up a sweat trekking around in waders. But that’s OK I just moved a little bit slower up through the stream and over the rocks. There wasn’t much of any hatch on the water or a whole lot of activity in general, most of the brookies were more concerned with getting their gravel beds ready for spawning. A few fish were willing to bite and entertain me, and I want to thank them for their kindness because otherwise I would have been standing in that stream waving a stick simply for the pleasing view.


Annual Retreat

In search of some much needed respite and escape I headed to the hills this past week to a favorite blue line of mine for some Spring brook trout. The redbuds, which came out early this year along with every other blossom, still occupied the understory with their fuchsia blossoms and the hyper-green of the leaves had just started poking out. Classic early springtime in the Shenandoah.

There hasn’t yet been enough rain but there was still plenty of water holding hungry trout. The day started off slow with  grey skies and a light rain essentially killing any dry fly action. I switch to a dry and dropper rig. By afternoon the grey  gave way to pockets of sun, the temperature rose enough, and the parachute blue winged olive was back at the end of my number 7 tippet.

Not sure what it was about the day, but not long after the sun shined through the clouds I hooked into several of the largest brook trout I have caught on this stream. They don’t get very big in the small waters of Virginia, anything at or over 12″ is considered large for a native…these we monsters…the tip of my 4wt. full flex rod bent like a willow’s branch under the fight of these beautiful fish. I can only hope to have another day like this one again this Spring.  After a few hours of great fishing I quit while I was ahead, I smoked my cheap cigar, drank a little bourbon, and headed for home.

Opening Day Trout

Opening day, 1957

The tradition of an “opening day” for trout season has long been a tradition in this country, however here in the Old Dominion the last opening day was April 1st 1995. After that date the state went to a year round season on trout which was obviously popular with many sportsmen.

Early spring on the Rapidan

On opening day trout streams were packed with anglers standing shoulder to shoulder to catch their creel limit for the day. This weekend I had my own ceremonious “opening day” for Spring trout. My experience however was very much the opposite of the old opening days, in fact I only saw two other anglers out there that day.

A brook trout munching on a light cahill

For a first day of spring book trout fishing I couldn’t have asked for better conditions. Water levels were perfect following the rain we have received over the past few weeks and the trout themselves didn’t disappoint. They were striking and jumping  through the air at dry flies all day long. Looking forward to more days like this one and I hope your opening day was as good as mine.

Necessary tools of the trade

Fall Brookies
October 4, 2010, 4:05 pm
Filed under: Angling | Tags: ,

Following last week’s heavy rains I finally had the chance to get out to the Rapidan River this weekend to do some fall fly fishing. Together with the rain, the temperature has dropped off enough to allow for a trip into the mountains.

The water was high, it was great to see the river full after a dry summer. Made for some tough dry fly fishing, caught all trout that day on nymphs.

Many more days of fall fishing to come.

Spring Fishing
April 12, 2010, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Angling | Tags: , ,

I was finally able to get out and do a bit of fishing this weekend up in Madison County on the Rapidan River. There were a lot of folks on the stream, by a lot I mean three others. However usually when I am out there I don’t see anyone else.

When I first arrived at one of the plunge pools there was a gent already fishing the stream, we spoke in a silent and universal angler sign language. He pointed one direction indicating he would be fishing downstream so I headed up. I started out casting a  blue winged olive and with good luck got several strikes before landing a small brookie.

So I had a bunch of good luck early on, caught about 4 trout, but as the temperature rose the brook trout seemed less and less interested in dry flies and since I was feeling too lazy to tie on a nymph and indicator I just stuck with the dry flies. And that is why I have no photo evidence of any of the beautiful spring brookies, maybe next time.

Hoover's Rapidan
November 17, 2009, 9:34 pm
Filed under: Angling | Tags: ,

I went fishing a few weeks ago on the Rapidan River in the Shenendoah. Not exactly a river more of a brooke or run but it did hold some beautiful native trout. This river is consider one of the best places in Virginia to catch native trout, which constantly face habitat pressure from acid rain and other human endeavors .

President Herbert Hoover, the 31st president also loved these streams and in 1929 he built a camp there. The camp consisting of 13 cabins served as retreat for the president especially during the Great Depression.  He used the cabin to entertain important figures have meetings, and of course to go fly fishing for trout. Images courtesy of the National Park Service.

Here is one of mine from the day, I apologize for the bad resolution cell phone pic. What the wild brooke trout lacks in size it makes up for in its colors and beauty.