West Virginia Weekend

This past weekend four of my college friends and I journeyed into the forests of West Virginia. We were fortunate enough to be able to stay at the Reed Cabin, located in Canaan Valley near Davis, West Virginia. After arriving late Friday night, we awoke to a pancake breakfast and a wonderful sunny day which we spent exploring several local areas. Lindy Point in Blackwater Fall State Park offered an amazing view into the gorge. The mountainsides had a faint reddish glow as the trees showed their first signs of budding.

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“Summer”, my good ‘ole Honda made it to the Cabin and back, despite some minor difficulties on the way home
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Guest Starring: Allison Reed, Tyler Copeland, Savannah Parson, Jack Bogle
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Pancakes were on point thanks to master chef Savannah
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Hiking trails in Blackwater Falls State Park
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The valley view from Lindy Point.
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It’s not a blog post by Gordon without a sandal shot…
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And some macro…

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Pit-stop in Davis for some thrift shopping

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In the afternoon we chilled back at the cabin and cooked up some burgers and home-made fries. With renewed energy we went up to the Dolly Sods Wilderness to watch the sunset and enjoy s’mores. It was a perfect end to a perfect day! We enjoyed the hot tub at night and explored more on Sunday. To sum it up, it was a fantastic weekend in West Virginia!! A big THANK YOU goes out to Allison and the Reed family for allowing us to stay at their cabin!!!

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The Cabin
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A nice change from college cafeteria food

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The Ghosts of Dolly Sods
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Click for a larger view of this killer view
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Fun with fire painting

 

Weekend in West Virginia

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.

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The first trout to find my line, a lovely 17 inch wild brown

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.

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We built a fire to cook a healthy supper of Ramen noodles

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.

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One of the two rainbows that I caught on the first day.
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The gorgeous water of the Elk River

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.

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If you could only see the stupid grin that was probably plastered on my face

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.

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The old forgotten train tracks that ran parallel with the river

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.

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One of the many little feeder stream of the Elk

“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