Monday, May 25, 2015

Shenandoah - Rose River

My first look at the Rose River
After a good night's rest, day 2 was another bright clear day in the Park.  I had planned to hike and fish the Rose River down to where the Hogcamp Branch joins the Rose and then work my way up the Hogcamp Branch.  Shortly after heading down the trail into the gorge I spotted a bobcat on the trail.  It didn't appear to be to interested in me but I waited and watched.  After a few moments, I headed down the trail and saw it again.  This time my camera was ready but it moved away down the trail before I was able to frame a decent picture and that was the last I saw of it.

As I continued down the trail, I could hear the rush of water. The Rose River gorge was an amazingly rugged gorge with large boulders, rock walls, and lots of blow downs.  Since I was alone, I was very cautious and avoided some areas that I would typically explore.




I started out with the Royal Wulff dry but after a couple of promising looking pools did not produce any action, I switched to an adams parachute and had my first Rose River brook.  As I continued down the gorge I noticed that the plunge pools were quite deep and decided that adding a dropper to the Adams would be a good idea.  As it turned out, all the fish from that point on took the dropper, a nondescript green bead head caddis puppa.


The brook trout from the Rose River were just as beautiful and the surrounding gorge and forest. This was rugged country indeed.  The brook trout were quick to take and then spit the caddis puppa, so I needed to alert and quick.

A typical plunge pool on the Rose

Another gorgeous Rose River brook
As the River descended deeper into the gorge my interest turned to photography of some of the amazingly rugged country I was traveling through.  I eventually reached the Rose River falls, a massive series of cascades over 70 ft tall.



As the Rose and Hogcamp Branch came together I began to fish up the Hogcamp Branch, also a series of deep plunge pools and caught more brook trout than I could keep track of,

Hogcamp Branch Falls
A showy orchid along the trail
A Hogcamp Branch brook trout
A plunge pool on the Hogcamp Branch
I ended the wonderful day up on the Drive watching the deer in a large meadow as the sun set over the mountains





My third day in the park was a travel day so I only had a couple of hours to explore.  I fished the White Oak Canyon on the eastern border of the park before heading toward the Smokies.  I was able to connect with three brooks in the pocket water but all three decided they wanted to have nothing to do with my camera.  

16 comments:

  1. That is simply a stunning place! Glad you switched over to a beadhead nymph because that was obviously the key. I probably would've been stubborn and stuck with a dry and been forced to deal with the consequences. Good thing you were the one fishing not me! Also, congrats on seeing the bobcat...cool stuff!

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    1. RI brook trout - I'm a stubborn dry fly guy but sometimes you need to adapt. That little bead head caddis puppa caught a ton of fish in the Shenandoahs and the Smokies

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  2. Wow. What a gorgeous place with gorgeous fish! I have never been to Shenandoah.

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    1. thank RML - if you ever travel down that way, I would highly recommend spending some time in the park!

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  3. Really enjoyed this post. I've fished the Rose countless times and it's one of my favorite Park streams. I've fished the Park on and off since about 1970 and have so many great memories of days there. My theory of fly selection is if they don't want dries too bad. lol I almost always use an Adams in different sizes. Enjoy your blog very much. Thanks

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    1. Doug J - thanks for stopping by. The entire park is amazing country, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and would like to go back.

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  4. Awesome.
    I fished those same pools last October. That waterfall on Hogcamp was beautiful.

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    1. Alan - thanks for your recommendations, it was a great couple days in the Park!

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  5. Looks like it was a great trip with some beautiful brookies....nice post!

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    1. Kiwi - was a wonderful trip. If you are ever down that way I highly recommend visiting the park even if you don't fish!

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  6. Amazing looking adventure. I love it! It's astonishing to think that those trout can be both above and below those falls... Cant help but wonder how they make it to the upper reaches of some of these streams!

    Will

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    1. Will - thanks. I don't think they leap the falls!!! I wouldn't be suprised if some of the fish spend their entire lives in one plunge pool.

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  7. Mark
    I knew this place was beautiful, but never realized how rugged it was to get to some of the streams until I saw some of your images. The falls and pools are awesome, and the brook trout aren't bad either. Did your header images come from there? Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill - there is some access from the edges of the park as well, some quite easy to travel into so don't let that put you off. Yes the header image is from the Laurel Prong. BTW - Don't forget about the Smokies which are closer to you and also very beautiful ; which was my next stop one this southern Appalachia trip

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  8. Nice going there in the mountains, Mark. Glad you had a fine experience replete with colorful brookies, orchids, waterfalls, and other things. The park is a great place to visit. Thanks for sharing the results!

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  9. Walt - thanks for your suggestions and advice for places to visit. The Rose was a wonderful suggestion!

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