Winter is just around the corner, so each and every moment has been spent on the water. The famous rivers are pretty much void of any human traffic due to the cold, and other activities. As winter moves in you will probably see more scenery and random pictures than fish pictures, so enjoy them while they last. Enjoy the pictures, as this lovely fall season comes to an end.
This past weekend I decided it was time for a 2 day trip to West Virginia to test out some new waters. After doing some research, I finally settled on the Elk River as my destination. The Elk is known for its resident rainbow and brown trout that can get quite large in the nutrient rich waters. I asked around campus to see if there was anyone that felt the need to get away from campus for the weekend and enjoy the outdoors. Finally, my friend Ryan said that he would love to get out and do some exploring, so we packed our bags. We arose early on Saturday morning and headed out-of-town. After getting lost in the many mountains of WV, we finally arrived and I started fishing.
I fished all day Saturday and landed a total of 3 fish. Now where the fish lacked in quantity, they made up in quality. Each one of those trout gave me at least a 5 minute fight. At about 6 o’clock, I met Ryan back at the car (he was off conquering a mountain) and we drove over to the local fly shop to make some plans for tomorrow. The guy at the fly shop told us about a second section of river that had not been touched for about 5 years due to a flood, and held fewer but LARGER trout. That was all that I had to hear, so Ryan and I headed upstream about 6 miles to make camp for the night.
After making a quality meal by the fire, we crawled into the car and watched some “How I Met Your Mother ” before tucking in for the night. After laying there for about an hour, I realized why normal people do not attempt sleeping in a car seat. Thankfully, I did end up falling asleep and before I knew it the cold light of the morning woke me. We made a hasty breakfast and I headed out to do some more fishing. Ryan thought he might like to come along this time, so we headed out. Unfortunately, Ryan and I got separated right away, due to the fact that I was wearing waders and he was not. I walked upstream for about a mile and then started throwing some line. The water was unyielding, so I continued to make my way upstream farther. Finally, in one pool I hooked up with a fat brown but he got off almost right away. Disgusted with myself for loosing what might have been my only fish for the day, I moved farther upriver.
I began to lose hope that I would catch a fish at all. Then I happened upon a fast-moving pool right below a small waterfall. I took a few casts but nothing happened. On my fifth cast, I saw my line stop and I set the hook. My line started zipping through my guides as a fat sassy trout took off through the rapids. I did not get a good look at my dance partner for about a minute, but when I did, I was quite happy. He was big and fat. After what seemed line an eternity, I landed my biggest brown trout of my life, a dazzling 18.5 inch beauty.
This was the only trout that I caught all day but if was worth all the brush busting and sweat that I put in; all that extra work just made it that much more special. It’s not everyday that I get to hook into a wild trout that tops the 18 inch mark, so I made my way back to the car with that same stupid grin still on my face.
I met Ryan back at the car and we made the journey home with the memories of the weekend still fresh in our minds. It was a great trip and we were both sad to see it end. I will end today’s post with a picture and one of my favorite fishing quotes.
“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” John Buchan
Exploring new streams is exciting as well as scary, because there is always the chance this new place could be a total bust. Knowing this, I am always a little hesitant to try new places when I know I can catch trout at any of my favorite spots, but I guess it just goes to show that it is not all about the fish. So, I arose Sunday morning and navigated myself to a McDonald’s to grab a cup of joe and two breakfast burritos with mild sauce, I then made my way to a new piece of water known as Buffalo Creek near Lexington VA. When I first caught a glimpse of the stream, I could tell that it defiantly looked “fishy” enough to hold some trout.
There is always something exciting about fishing on a cloudy day with rain hanging on the edges of the clouds waiting to let loose. A number of my best fishing days on record have been during some of the worst weather conditions (rain, snow, sleet, and wind). I parked my car and hooked up my rod, very excited to let some casts loose. In the very first pool that I tried out, I caught two small rainbows. I slowly moved upstream fishing all the water that looked like it could hold trout. There was consistently trout in almost every pool.
The trout were on the smaller side which was not a problem as long as they were as pretty as the little guy in the picture above. I fished for about 4 hours averaging over 10 trout per hour. Then I stopped for a quick bite to eat and to say hello to the curios cow that was watching me fish.
After my pleasant conversation with the cow, I continued fishing upstream. It finally started to rain at about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. As I said before, I love fishing in the rain so this did not bother me one bit, it does however put a damper on taking pictures as I do not want to ruin my camera. There were so many great pools and riffles that kept producing many nice fish all between 7 and 10 inches. I kept hoping for a nice one to get a picture of. Then the temperature started to drop and my wet hands got really cold, which complicated the whole casting and line work. I contemplated heading out since the day had already been a success, but I pushed on upstream still hoping for that larger fish. I let a cast loose into a great looking stretch and saw my line stop and jerk upstream. I set the hook and felt the tug of a big fish. I glimpsed a dark shadow make a run for the tree roots at the side of the pool, turning my rod and pulling him to the right I changed his direction upstream. After fighting him for 2 minutes, I landed my biggest fish of the day. It was a beautiful 15 inch wild rainbow trout!
After photographing this lovely creature, I returned him to his cold wet home. Just to make sure there were no more nice ones in the pool, I took a few more casts and to my surprise, I hooked into another nice trout. This time it was a brown and he was a strong fighter. Again after fighting him for 2 minutes, I landed my biggest brown trout for the day. It was really very exciting to catch two beauties out of one pool. A lovely duo to end the day on.
I ended the day with 86 trout landed and released. It was one of those days that was never suspected and is a nice pleasant surprise. Days like this keep me motivated to get out and discover new water. Thanks for the continued support and do not forget to tell people about the blog, thanks again!