Filed under: Listen | Tags: Appalachia, Daniel Bachman, drone, fingerpicking, guitar, Jack Rose, John Fahey, Thompson Square, virginia
In the spirit of John Fahey and carrying the recently dimmed torch of Jack Rose comes Daniel Bachman, an acoustic guitar player from the from our home state (the great commonwealth of Virginia). Bachman plays a style of fingerpicking – drone that weaves together deep mountain melodies and complex rhythms that can honestly be called “Pyschedelic Appalachia.” Perfect for a fall afternoon, his most recent album “Seven Pines” just came out on Thompson Square Label.
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing | Tags: autumn, brook trout, brookies, fall, fly fishing, Rapidan River, virginia
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.
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing | Tags: brook trout, fly fishing, Rapidan River, red bud, Shenandoah National Park, Spring, virginia
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.
Filed under: Architecture, Eats | Tags: greenhouse, Lynchburg Grows, virginia
I had the opportunity the other day to visit a pretty amazing non profit operation in Lynchburg Virginia. Several years ago Lynchburg Grows took over 9 historic green houses from the city of Lynchburg. The green houses which were once used to grow roses for almost a century were transformed into organic vegetable beds. The urban farm now provides food to the city schools along with education opportunities for youth.
Its a pretty impressive operation already but with plans to establish a fruit orchard and an aquaponics system with tilapia it should be an even more amazing place. For the whole story check them out.
Filed under: Angling | Tags: brook trout, fly fishing, Moormans river, virginia
While most anglers in the area still have their attention turned to wide rivers and smallmouth action, this weekend I had brook trout on the mind, and so I headed to a small stream in the mountains to stalk them. However this time of year catching brook trout can prove difficult. With water levels at their lowest, mountain streams are reduced to trickles, and brook trout become easily spooked and pretty skeptical of the fly no matter how well presented to them.
With water this low at times these fish find themselves stuck in small pools of water waiting for the next heavy rain to fill the steam beds and allow them to be freed. Approaching these pools as quietly as possible, slightly hunched over, one barely casts their line rather you gently place your fly in the current hoping you are lucky enough to convince one or two of them to get out of their cool holes for a meal.
Yeah, the fish might be small, but its always a good excuse to get out into the mountains for a bit.
Filed under: Angling | Tags: Herbert Hoover, Rose River Fly Fishing, Stonewall Jackson, virginia
This past weekend I visited the Rose River for some fall time brook trout fishing. The river, mountain stream really, which pours out of the hills which make up the Shenandoah national park is a favorite brook trout stream of many.
To access the stream one drives and then hikes the old Blue Ridge turnpike. A road which was cut through the mountains over 300 years ago and which Stonewall Jackson traveled along with his troops to meet up with General Lee in Big Meadows back in 1862.
Anyways enough history talk… however one last reminder from Herbert Hoover whom also fished these streams, “To go fishing is the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men – for all men are equal before fish.”
This morning I woke to snow, not sure the last time it snowed this early down here in Virginia. Maybe it will end like this.
Probably won’t get to use the canoe anytime soon.