Sunday, July 28, 2019

Hello again

White Campion
The brook trout you see below, was caught a year ago almost to the day in the exact spot I found it last year.  It's characteristic slow rise is etched in my memory.  After another year of life it was slightly bigger and stronger.

I visited this stream about a week later and saw a spin fisherman with a plastic garbage bag with a couple of nice brook trout in it that he had taken for breakfast (which is perfectly legal).  I'm 95% certain one of those tails in his bag belonged to this fish.  I left pretty sad to know I wouldn't find it again next year.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

One last day in SNP

After fishing down to Hoover's camp, I hustled back to camp to set up my tent as the weather began to change.  A light mist was being driven by increasing winds which made setting up the tent alone a bit challenging. The winds were strong all night long and but the forecast for the next day was clear.

When I woke the next morning the wind was still blowing hard but it looked like it would be clear day.  My thought was to fish a western facing hollow where I would be shielded from the strong winds.  That turned out to be an excellent decision and I enjoyed another fantastic day of fishing in the park.

After fishing hard all day, I spent the evening watching another gorgeous Shenandoah sunset.


Friday, July 19, 2019

An Afternoon in one of my favorite places, Shenandoah National Park

Anticipation - the road to SNP
So after three fantastic days in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park it was time to turn towards home.

The next morning's drive brought me into Virginia's Blue Ridge mountains .

With the Shenandoah National park ahead of me, the afternoon plans were taking shape in my mind. A quite check in at the campsite followed by a hike down to Camp Rapidan.

Enjoying the late afternoon sun on Hoover's porch
Camp Rapidan was built by President Hoover as a presidential getaway before there was a Camp David.  Hoover was an avid fly fisherman so it is no surprise that he choose to locate the camp where the Mill Prong and the Laurel Prong join to form the Rapidan.

I spent a bright afternoon fishing down the Mill Prong, up the Laurel Prong a little ways, and down the Rapidan.  I really wanted to catch a brook trout in all three branches, which I did.

It took a few fly changes at first to dial things in; the brook trout had a preference for a large black foam ant, so that's what I fished for the entire afternoon along three beautiful streams.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

GSMNP - Day Three

Day 3 was my final day in Smokies.  We fished a stream near the camp in the morning and early afternoon hours and found the nicest brown of the trip which was willing to take a dry fly. 

By early afternoon, I had caught a brown, brook trout and rainbow.  The fish in this particular stream were exceptionally fast and even when you were alert and ready, they picked up the fly and spit it out before you could even react!

David sneaking up a small tributary and finding a small wild brown

My plans originally were to camp the last night and then leave for Shennandoah the next morning but a quick trip to the local laundromat and a check of the weather suggested leaving early was a better option.  I hustled back to camp, packed up, and drove to Johnson city TN to spend the night.  The next morning it was raining pretty good so I guess I made a good call.   The drive north from Asheville NC was one of the prettiest drives of the trip and one I won't soon forget.

Saturday, July 6, 2019


Day 2 looked like  it was going to be a clear, and perfect for a long day of wading upstream a small mountain stream.

David thought I would like the second creek we explored since it had a decent gradient.  We heartily enjoyed a full day fishing and climbing up a mountain stream that tumbled down among thick laurel and rhododendron under a canopy of tall hardwoods and hemlock.  Several times we needed to climb over some pretty impressive hemlock log jams.

We fished dry/droppers the whole way up and caught wild rainbows and brook trout on both flies.  The higher up we got the bigger the fish got.  Near the end of the day, David hooked the best brook trout of the trip, an impressive specimen for a small mountain stream.

David with a fine GSMNP brook trout!

Lunch break