Friday, November 25, 2016

Late Fall Backpacking Trip

About three weeks late posting this but better late than never.  First weekend in November, two friends and I decided to head back on a fabled brookie stream for a weekend and try our luck into tricking one of the big brookies that live in that stream.  Unfortunately, the fishing on the stream was really slow.  In two days, 5 fish were caught.  A cold front pushed in the day before we got there and really put the fish down.   It got down to 28 degrees the first night and 30 degrees the second night.  I personally do not believe temperatures affect the trout bite, but am a big believer in barometric pressure in those cold fronts affecting the bite.  Especially when you have a drastic pressure change like we had.  Water levels were also a little below average, but very fishable.  The camping was good with a good fire going each night, almost made you forget how cold it was going to get each night.  I really enjoy cold weather camping.

3 mile hike in.

Few of the fish from the first day.

First evening fire and drying some stuff out.

Hammock setup.  Stayed nice and warm with the lows getting under 30 degrees.

Campfire potatoes.

Steak, potatoes, asparagus, and warming up my feet.

Next morning everything was frozen.

Coffee and small fire.

Thawing out waders.

Good layer of frost on tarp.

Neat tree a beaver was working on downing.

Got a raging fire going on the second night.

Friends bolognese dish.  Hit the spot.

Did I say we had a good fire going?

Awoke to a cup of coffee and packing out.
While the fishing was really slow, a good time was had by all.  It was also worth it just to see two of the biggest brookies I have ever laid eyes on.  I will not make you all roll your eyes at me by throwing out a guesstimate that you will not believe, but lets just say we got some good long looks at these two fish with our jaws on the ground and they could of made a meal out of a 10 inch brookie.  

We decided to pack out the next morning and hit a stream that aways produces for us on the drive back home.  Ended up being a good call, and pictures to follow on another day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

After Funeral Brookie Trip

I'm a little late posting this report, but came down with a stomach bug shortly after this trip that delayed me posting this.  Had a fishing friend whose dad passed away, so another fishing friend and I attended the service up in the mountains.  Always sad to see someone pass away, especially in a small mountain community where everyone knows everybody there. 

After the service my friend and I took advantage of the perfect fall weather and hit a brookie stream real quick on the way out.  From the looks of the females we caught, the fish have been done spawning and did not see a single fish holding on a redd. Fishing was also surprisingly different from what I was expecting.  It was an 80 degree fall day and figured I'd whack them with a dry/dropper combo.  It was so slow of fishing that my friend and I swore we were fishing behind someone.  I cut off my rig and tied some tungsten on and immediately started picking up fish.  They wanted the fly glued to the bottom and moving slow.  Takes were very light too.

Fish above came from this little feeder stream culvert pool.  Isolated pool with no way to get upstream or downstream without some flood condition water.

Big ugly stocker rainbow that made its way far from where it was put.

Enjoyed a cup of stream brewed joe as I watched my friend work a pool.

Some chestnut making an appearance.  Will not have long until it succumbs to blight.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Quick Stream Water Level Scouting

Had a few hours to kill this past Sunday afternoon and decided to check out what the stream levels in the small streams were like.  It had been really dry up until a few weeks ago and we have received well over 6 inches of rain in some areas in that span.  I have a trip planned in a few weeks to come, and wanted to get an idea of how much water the mountains have been receiving and what the water levels were at.  VA is doing well on the water department right now.  Stream I fished was the highest I have fished it, and I managed to also dredge up one of the better brookies I have ever caught from this drainage.  Good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Garter Snake making an appearance.

Signs of fall.

Lots of water pumping.

Fattie from the stream.

All the rain that we have received was not from Hurricane Matthew, but a different front that was moving from the northwest.  We did though receive a lot of wind from Hurricane Matthew following the front that moved through and as a result there is a lot of new downed trees on roads, in stream, and on trails. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Jackson River Low Water Float

This past weekend I had a few Sunday but the lack of rain has really limited fishing options in Virginia.  It was either wade for some smallies or test out my  buddy's new to him Bi Yak on the tailwater.  The Jackson River was even low at 220 cfs, but we decided to give it a go anyways knowing there would be lots of dragging and bumping down the river.  Fishing was slow as we found out that the lake above was turning over, but fish were caught and a good time was had by all.  It started out as a 3 man float but we ditched one of the guys shortly after our voyage due to the skinny water and finding out the 3 man bi yak is really a 2 man bi yak when the 3 men are not the size of midgets. 

Running the shuttle.

Lunch break.

One of the nicer browns from the day.

Ditching the vagabond.

Coffee break.

It was great getting out and catching a few trout, but I think next time we fish this river, we'll pick a day when there is a little more water.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Rainy, Cool Summer Brookie Trip

It has been a very odd August.  We had a very dry, hot stretch from June thru Mid July, but the end of July and August has been extremely rainy and pretty mild temps.  A few days snuck down to the low 70's.  I had a small break last Sunday to hit a close by brookie stream and it treated me very well.  Probably the best it has fished in a long time.  All the trout came on a size 12 stimi and it was almost like I could not keep them off the hook.  That was a good problem to have.

Big Brookie of the trip was the second fish I caught for the day.

Odd red crawfish.  This was not the red crawfish stream either.

Eager little guy taking a size 12.

Couldn't of asked for better water levels.

Some coffee for the road.

Came around a corner and there was a family of deer standing in the road.  Lucky for them and me I wasn't in a hurry.

It was nice to take advantage of the cool weather.  Keep doing that rain dance whoever it is that is dancing.