Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring Brookie Backpacking Trip

It has been a while since I've been out fishing.  Between tax season with the new job, moving into a new house, and family priorities, I have not been able to get out fishing.  I decided after the tax season, I needed to get out and enjoy some spring fishing.  Mother nature decided to throw a curve ball on us though with the driest spring I can remember.  the old saying, April's showers brings May's flowers was a bunch of garbage this year.  Less then an 1 inch of rain in a month after coming off a very wet winter is bizarre.  The stream we were planning on backpacking to is surely too low to fish, so we picked out a big drainage in the SNP to hit.  It was low, but it held fishable water. On top of the low water, a fire going on in the SNP and a missing girl search narrowed our choices of drainages to fish.

I have a 90L pack and I enabled my bad habit of packing heavy.  When it was all said and done, my pack easily weighed over 65lbs.



Friday I got to the stream after a half day of work and managed to bring a couple fish to hand before dinner.

 
 
This pool was fun to watch a bunch of risers snatch bugs off the surface.
 
 
I got back to camp to the smell of one of the guys cooking up some beef stew he packed in.  5lbs of stew and some sourdough bread for the 4 of us.
 

Sleep good in the hammock with a stomach full of stew and was greeted by camp coffee, sriracha egg and bacon sandwiches.



The fishing was good the first day.  Lots of fish were caught and a few between 9 and 11 inches were caught by me.  One of the guys landed one close to a foot long.  Bug activity was not as good as the evening before due to some overcast skies and a cold front that moved in, but there were a few yellow sallies and mayflies of different kinds flying around.
















Wrapped up the evening with cooking some steak fajitas that I packed in. 



That night got a whole lot colder then they were forecasting.  Was supposed to be a low of around 45, but it got down into the mid 30's.  I slept like a bear in hibernation in my thick sleeping bag, but a few of the guys that brought lighter bags froze.  The next morning we packed up camp and hit the trail.  The pack was a whole lot lighter after all the food was gone that we ate.


One of the other guys and me hit a stream on the drive back home in the SNP.  This stream was smaller then the last drainage we fished and had lower water.  Also had lower average sized fish, but my biggest fish of the weekend came from this stream.  A fish around the 11 inch mark.








The big fish of the trip.


It was a great relaxing/tiring weekend all at once.  Physically I was tired from all the hiking and fishing, but personally I was relaxed and ready to put up with a few more weeks of the daily grind. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Quick Half Day Outing

Sunday I managed to sneak out in the afternoon to entice a few brookies and have some coffee on a rare 65 degree February Day.  The water was high, sun was warming the water on every pool, and the air temp was t shirt approved.  There was even a strong mayfly hatch.  It would be a perfect combination for active brookies looking up.....wrong.  Most bizarre conditions and behavior I have ever experienced.  Trout were not in their obvious, suspected holding positions for a day like today.  My friend started out throwing dries due to the hatches on the water, but not even a sniff of his dry nor did I see a trout rise to any insects all day.  The mayflies picked a good day to come off the water.  Fishing was slow and every fish I caught came from multiple slow drifts at the head of pools.  That fly had to basically sit on the bottom of the pool for a good while before a fish would pick it up.  Even though the fish were few and far in between, it was a great day to be out on the water and enjoying a good cup of joe.










Wrapped up the day with some breakfast for dinner.  Not a bad way to round out a Sunday.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Pre Tax Season Shenandoah National Park

Decided to make the most of the nice weather this past weekend to fish in the Shenandoah National Park.  Needed a little bit of SNP before new job tax season duties keep me indoors for the rest of winter/early spring.  SNP is a place where I have always said I do not fish enough, but have already hit it twice in the past couple months.  The water levels were perfection and the trout were very active from the get go.  A few big girls made their appearance with one going for close to the foot mark and several in the 9 to 11 inch range as well.  Couldn't ask for a better day.

About the average size fish for the day.



Big girl of the trip.  Will be a tough brookie to top this year.

Stream side lunch.

With a side of coffee and watching my friend work a pool.





Some big mayfly nymphs were under every rock, explains the nice average size trout.

Homeward bound.