Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Trout Fishing Weekend in Staunton, VA - Pt 2

Part 1 can be read here.

After a busy morning of exploring a very small portion of George Washington National Forest My dad and I met our guide, Steve, at the local Tasty Freeze. You can read my review of his services here. He gave us a few options of places we could fish. Since he was the guide, we just told him to take us where he thought we would catch the most fish.

He knew of a stream that had been stocked three days ago and also contained native brook trout. We followed him about 30 min up into the national forest. Our stream was picture perfect. Exactly what I had hoped for!

We got geared up and our guide started out by giving us some casting lessons. I am a novice fly fisherman. In the space of 15 minutes he taught me more that I have learned in the last year. I didn't even know what a false cast was until he told me I was doing it wrong! Apparently I was bending my wrist when I cast, so Steve told me to put my rod but in the sleeve of my shirt. Instant improvement!

While I am a novice, my dad was a first time beginner. It was comical to watch him catch himself over and over again! Thankfully, he has a good spirit about those things and we just laughed together. My dad, the ever protector and provider, told Steve to concentrate on helping me. So, I got a disproportional amount of time with our guide.

I caught the first trout of the day within 30 minutes of fishing. It was a beautiful little native brook trout. My very first brook trout!

Trout were not the only fish we were catching. I caught a few large minnows that were actually very pretty. I did not take a picture of the minnows, but just by looking them up from memory I believe they were the Pearl Dace.

At one point my dad and I hooked into a double. A nice stocked brook trout for me and a native for my dad. That was an exciting 30 seconds!

While the stocked fish were two or three time the size of the natives, I preferred catching the natives. They were much prettier!

We caught all of our fish in deep pools with log snags or stump roots. Bead head nymphs were the fly of the day with a bead head Prince nymph being the most productive. The selection of flies in my box got a exclamation of approval from Steve. That made me feel good. I have spent a lot of time and money building up my fly collection.

Speaking of beauty, we turned one bend in the stream just as the sun peaked out from the clouds and shined down on the water. Before our eyes a beautiful mist rose over the water. The mist only formed where the sun's rays were. This alone was worth the price of the trip.

As the light began to fade I was glad our guide messed up our booking and we could not fish with him all day. I was beginning to get tired and Dad was talking about laying down next to the stream and taking a nap. (Yes, he would actually do this.) We had a great time, learned a lot about fly fishing, and even caught a few fish. I was pleased with our catches, considering how poorly we cast! It was a great weekend.

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