Established January 2009

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dry Flies & Blue Lines Pt. 3

Day 3 arrived with bright skies, and mild temperatures. Today Chris and I planned on fishing some new water on the top of Cheat Mountian. We were headed for the Shavers Fork of Cheat River and some of its tributaries. The Shavers Fork is a truly unique place due to its high elevation spruce forests and its very colored history. At one time this river which has been claimed to be the highest elevation river East of the Missisippi was once home to vast stands of laurel, virgin Red Spruce, Balsam Firs, Rhodadendron, Birch, Beech, and Maples. After the logging boom of the late 1800's and the early 1900's the virgin timber was gone along with much of the river structure, and consequently the Brook Trout that Shavers Fork was famed for went along with it. Timbering coupled with coal mining has taken its toll on this special place. Today the DNR along with other conservation minded people have begun to implement plans such as dumping limestone fines into the headwaters to improve water quality, and their is currently a mitigation plan in place to attempt to restore habitat quality to the river and hopefully alot of Brook Trout habitat will be restored along with the Brook Trout. Chris and I began our exploring on a stream that neither he nor I had ever fished, let alone seen. It is a major tributary of the Shaver Fork that receives limestone fines. It wasnt long after we had strung up the rods before we found our way upstream picking through pockets and in short order Chris caught the first brookie of the trip and out of this stream. Filled with tannin colored water, the Brookies were very colorful. The tannin water is attributed to the vast spruce and decaying vegetation that gives the water its color. Speaking of Spruce, Im not sure I have ever fished a stream with so much downed timber, mostly old spruce, laying across the stream. It made upstream travel for us difficult, and because of that, we decided to head to elsewhere. Further down river, we found ourselves at another smaller tributary. This stream is a stream that I had fished briefly the summer before, but it deserved another shot. We began fishing upstream and I hooked up on a smaller brookie, then I caught a nice little Brown Trout. Chris hooked and landed a few Brook Trout as well. We approached a nice pool from the tail out and I laid a nice gentle cast out on the pool near the head of the pool and out of nowhere a nice 14'' Brown Trout(monster for this stream) slammed my Stimulator. I fought the fish for a few seconds as it got closer to me, the fish threw the hook. Needless to say I was a little dissapointed. Several pools later we moved another fish that was in the 12'' to 14'' range, but he would have nothing to do with our flies. So, later that day we found ourselves at a trailhead that would take us to the mouth of another tributary and the main Shavers Fork. As we were hiking down the trail, we spooked a mother hen Turkey and her one and only polt. I honestly think she scared us as bad as we scared her. We finally made it to the mouth of the tributary we had been parellelling and decided since the evening time was approaching we decided we would take in the scenery and fish the main stem of Shavers Fork. Chris and I split up fishing picking the fast water and pockets. We missed several fish and spooked more, but I did manage to land a nice little Brown. It began to get dark and we had to hike a fur piece to get back to the truck.


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