Long Rods And Lucid Dreams

Established January 2009

Monday, July 30, 2012

Into The Wilderness

For a long time a particular stream in the Monongahela National Forest has been on my list of places to fish.  Today I finally checked this one off the list.  I had made plans with a good friend Allen Marshall to go fish said stream.  I picked Allen up at 6:30am and we headed South for Elkins and then made our way to the trailhead into the Wilderness.  This particular Wilderness extends for over 20,000 acres and covers land in both Randolph and Tucker counties.  Today would be no walk in the park because at the end of the day we had put boot to earth for over 8 miles round trip not counting what had been covered while wading in the stream. 

When Allen and I arrived we walked down the trail that parrallels the stream and we finally decided to start fishing after walking for over 2 hours.  The flows for July 30th were astonishing in the respect that there was so much water one would have thought it could have been May not July.  In some areas it seemed as if there was almost too much water, but it sure was better to see it full and not in a drought. 

The fishing today was not stellar, it wasn't bad, but not the best either.  I landed 9 Brook Trout and Allen landed 10 using small spinners.  I caught fish on bead head nymphs, Stimulators, and a few more on assorted attractor patterns.  The largest fish landed or even spotted might have been 8'' but what the lacked in size they made up for it with color. 

The next time I fish this stream, I will be accessing the wilderness area from the southern trailhead. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

For Way Too Long

About a month ago, I got a phone call from a good friend Brandon "Bubba" Holt who I havent fished with or talked to in quite a while.  Its my fault not his.  Anyways, he wanted to know if I would go with him to his camp in Pocahontas County aptly named "The Mountain Camp".  Theres a story behind that, but I wont go into it.  Well the time finally came and I left Kingwood around 10am on a Tuesday morning and decided I would go hit a stream on the "LIST" while I was waiting for Bubba to get off work and meet me in Elkins.  I arrived at the stream around 11:30 or so and I took my time rigging up my new 1 wt that I just got this Spring.  I was in no hurry as I had all day.  After rigging up, I walked to the stream that another good friend Chris Shockey had told me about.  He told me to just jump in and start fishing but to understand that the fishing would get better after I fished my way up past a few camps that are near the mouth of this stream.  I started fishing with a rubber legged stimulator and immediately started catching fish.  This stream and Brook Trout in this stream are truly unique as the both the trout and the water have an odd looking tinge to them.  Also of note is the lack of canopy over this stream, and you would think the stream would suffer from not having any shade from the tree canopy over it.  I continued to fish upstream for maybe a good 3/4 mile when I approached a hole and began to fish it only to hook, fight, and loose a solid 10 to 11'' brookie.  I had other business to attend to so I decided to head downstream and back to the truck.

I had never been to this area before so I decided to take a late lunch break and do some sightseeing and experience other things in the area besides the fishing.  I wasn't dissapointed by my travels and the scenery in this area is impeccible.  I only scratched the surface at what is to offer, but with only 1 day and daylight burning, I could only see and do so much. 

I headed back to the same trailhead I was parked at before, only this time I was headed upstream on the larger stream that the first stream I fished emptied into.  I walked up the very worn trail for about 10 minutes for going over the bank and getting into the stream.  I was immediately impressed with the temperature of the water despite the absence of the tree canopy.  I was also thinking the whole time I fished both of the streams that they resembled so much of a western stream in Wyoming or Montana or somewhere like that.  All this led me to the conclusion that this is no doubt one of the top 10 places in WV or atleast in my book.  The fishing was slower than it had been earlier in the day, or atleast the catching was.  I had missed several fish but just failed to hook up with them.  I did manage to bring 3 to hand but it didnt matter at a place like this.  As I continued upstream 2 things stopped me from going as far as I really wanted to.  1.  A serious looking thunderstorm was brewing on the mountain this stream started on, and 2. Time was against me as I needed to start making my way back to the truck so I could drive back to Elkins to meet Bubba at our pre arranged meeting time.  I will be back to this stream and hopefully soon. 

After meeting Bubba, we headed over Cheat Mountain and headed south of Bartow for Green Bank to the camp.  Bubba and stayed up way too late as we were catching up, shootin' the bull and just plain BS'in.  Fast forward to 8am later that morning.  Going to bed at almost 3 AM ... not such a good
idea as it took a while to get motivated. After getting a quick breakfast and taking care of a few of the camp chores Bubba and I were off to a stream that I hadn't fished in 3 years.  This stream is a major tributary of a tributary of the Greenbrier River.  Its also a 2 minute drive from his camp.  We stopped off a the last bridge that crosses the stream before heading into the headwaters and we were amazed at seeing well over 100 trout under the bridge.  Some of the Brookies were HURGAN DURGANS over 12''.  Seeing those fish gave us all the inspiration we needed.  After parking the Jeep we hiked up the trail for 30 minutes before we started fishing.  Bubba was the first of us to hook up and it was a nice one too.  Taking turns fishing each hole, we consistently hooked and caught over 25 Brookies apiece.  We also fished further upstream than either he or I had ever been before.  We fished to within a mile of the start of this stream.  We'll save that other mile for the next trip.  Around 6pm, we made it back to the Jeep for a quick trip back to a section of stream that gets put and take rainbows but also has some wild trout as well.  Bubba and I fished here until almost dark catching a brown apiece and a stocker rainbow apiece for the grill.  Grilled T-Bones and Trout was on the menu for dinner that night at camp.

The next day we got a late start partly due to staying up too late again, but never the less, we found our way to a stream in a completely different drainage that I had fished previously but Bubba had never fished before.  When we got to the parking area, Bubba and I rigged up and started upstream.  After bushwhacking our way around a huge Rhodadendron patch I told Bubba to fish the first hole and he was shortly rewarded with a very nice Brookie.  This Brookie was very bleached out so to speak, simliar to a stocked Brook Trout, but all of its fins were in perfect shape and I think that this fish and others yet to come were swimming upstream into the colder feeder streams of this drainage.  We continued upstream and fished sever good looking pools and landed many brook trout and even caught a small Brown Trout.  Bubba caught another quality Brookie that we taped at 12'' even.  I got in on the action a little bit and landed a nice 10'' and a really pretty 9'' Brookie also.  One of the brookies landed had a wound on its belly that had healed over but indeed left a scar.  Im not sure what caused the injury. Time got away from us and reality set in that both him and I had to go back to Kingwood and Parkersburg respectively.  We packed it up and in and headed north to Elkins to retrieve my truck and part ways. 

Its very rare that I get to fish for 3 consecutive days and these 3 days were hands down the best trout fishing I have done this year.  I had an excellent time both fishing and and I enjoyed some great company and got to see Bubba's camp. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WV Trippin

Today I decided to make a day trip to explore some other waters on the "LIST".  I started in Elkins and headed south on 219 and started stopping to explore water south of Beverly.  The game plan was to explore tributaries of the Tygart River watershed then closer to evening I would make my way over in the Elk River watershed. 

Tygart Stream 1.  Fished for about 30 minutes, landed 3, lost a couple more.

Tygart Stream 2. Fished a 100 Yard stretch never moved a trout only chubs.
Tygart Stream 3. Fished for 300 yards and only saw more chubs.
Tygart Stream 4. Fished for about 250 yards and saw chubs, dace, and a large water snake.

After many chubs, and a little dissapointment, I headed over the mountain into Pocahontas County and into the Elk River Drainage.  I looked for a way to access a couple of streams, but due to not much water and some private property, I decided to wait for another day.  The rest of the day went pretty much as follows.

Elk Stream 1. Fished about a 1/2 mile and landed 5 fish both Rainbows and Brookies.

Elk Stream 2. Fished upstream about 300 yards and landed 2 fish, Rainbow and a chunk Brown

All total today I fished 9 different streams today including the mainstems of the 2 afforementioned watersheds and tributaries. Not all of them were productive, but I did manage to cross more off the "LIST"

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bluelines and Thunderstorms

A few days ago,  I drove to Williams River area to meet my Dad, Uncle Ron, and Cousin Jacob for our annual camping extravaganza that always happens somewhere in the Mon National Forest.  This year we had settled on Williams River drainage as I think it has a lot to offer in the way of scenery and a variety of fishing for both wild and stocked trout.  Some of our party isnt as gungho about fly fishing as I am, and I have no hard feelings about it, its just the way it is.  I arrived late on a Monday evening and no fishing took place.  The next morning found the sun starting to filter through the tree tops and I talked my Dad, and Jacob into hiking up a remote bolder strewn canyon of a stream that most people only hike through and thankfull not as many people fish.  My Dad has always asked me about this stream, but he has never fished it.  After a solid 30 minute hike upstream, we jumped in and started leap frogging one another while picking up brookie after brookie, hole after hole.  I also managed to hook up with 2 really nice resident wild Browns that are the descendents of fingerling stocked browns from the 60's.  The 3 of us fished until about 4pm and hiked back to camp for alittle dinner.  After waiting out a thunderstorm that evening, Jacob and I went downstream to the Catch and Release section on the main Williams and caught a nice Sulphur Spinner fall (nice for the Williams).  All total on this day of fishing, I caught over 25 fish and lost more than I can count. 

The next day I woke up and noticed that an overnight storm had brought some cloudiness to the water so Dad and I headed upstream on the mainstem of the Williams. We found ourselves fishing pockets of water in and around submerged logs, logjams, undercut banks, and other trouty water. Not many brookies were caught today, but the browns were out and about and had feedbags strapped on with the higher flows. We fished until a major thunderstorm rolled over Black Mountain and firmly put an end to the days fishing. I decided I would head back to Kingwood as I had lots of things to do before going back to work.