Wild brown trout are not super abundant here in Virginia. There are a few places you can find them, though. In Shenandoah National Park, there are some streams with viable populations (for better or worse, more on that below): the Hughes River, Rose River, Brokenback Run, and the Conway River. It is possible a few other streams in the park contain remnant brown trout populations as well. Elsewhere in the state, healthy brown trout populations exist in places such as Mossy Creek, but compared to, say, Pennsylvania, opportunities to find brown trout in Virginia are fairly limited.
Going from 70-degree days in February to the 50’s, 40’s, 30’s, and even a few days in the 20’s in March is pretty tough. Before the temps tanked, dry fly fishing in the mountains was on fire, and the hills were coming alive with the first wildflowers.
I had one afternoon of catching over fifty fish, all on two copies of a simple deer hair caddis I cobbled together, with a couple turns of rust-colored hackle behind the head. Shenandoah National Park is a great place to be on a warm day in late winter…
I recently headed out to Shenandoah National Park to a very small stream that I’d never heard a thing about. These overlooked bits of water in the park are hit-or-miss, and you never know if they have fish until you hike up or down to one and cast a fly.
Got out last week for the first time this year, to the Rapidan River, on the edge of and into Shenandoah National Park. That stream never disappoints. Temps were in the mid-50’s, mostly overcast, with the occasional shaft of sunshine. What worked: various Elk Hair Caddis patterns, most with a green body. Also, a green bead head nymph with rubber legs.
The first fish of 2017, in the first pool, third cast, on the nattiest looking dry fly I’ve ever tied:
In August 2016, my wife and I took a two-week road trip to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. I’m just now getting around to writing about it…
It was the end of our first week in Nova Scotia and we were about to depart from Big Intervale Fishing Lodge, a lovely place on the banks of the Margaree River on Cape Breton Island. After several days of driving hundreds of miles in multi-hour chunks and not having cast a fly yet, the thought of getting in the car yet again was making us a little cranky. “That’s Nova Scotia,” said Ruth, who owns the lodge with her husband, Hermann. Damn right it was. The driving seemed endless, but the scenery and the fishing made it more than bearable.