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Fly Fishing in the Southeastern US
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 Post subject: Erasing a bad one from the books
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:00 am 
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Warpaint Shiner
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:56 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Richmond, VA
Dan and I hit a close-in tributary to one of SNP's more popular destinations this past Sunday. While access is easy enough, the cold front and the snow it brought - while a welcome sight on an otherwise cold, bleak day - made for unusually difficult fishin. The rapid drop in temperature from just a day earlier made the brookies lethargic and downright cranky.

So after checking the week's weather forecast, Dan asked if I could play hookie on Tuesday as it fell right at the end of a nice little warm-up. We set our brains on fishing a southern district drainage that was kind to Dan the week prior, but this time with the added bonus of bushwhacking downstream to the Park boundary. This, without the benefit of the trail, which stopped about 2.5 miles down the mountain.

When we hit the trail from Skyline Drive in the early morning, the sun was just coming up over an eastern ridge. The walk down starts out gently enough but acknowledges a substantial drop in elevation. That descent down into the canyon lands starts right around here:

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The trail stops where the stream making that waterfall (and several more) meets the mainstem. Fortunately this is at the floor of the valley so bushwhacking farther down doesn't require a simultaneous navigation of steep slopes. And thus began the adventure of scoping out and then fishing new water.

Along the way at one of the many stream crossings, this muscular fish obliged at a pool that was too tempting to pass up.

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Eventually we found our way to the Park boundary as judged by this bit of signage:

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So we turned around, headed upstream and began picking up exceptional examples of natives at just about every likely-looking spot.

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Eventually the sun stirred the bugs and soon enough we encountered several brookies looking for meals of the winged kind.

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Sometimes the stubborn little bastards required a switch to dredging. No probelm.

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After repeating this sequence of changing flies and catching fish for a few hours, we arrived at a much steeper gradient that is typically home to the finest specimens in the Park. This area here...

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...proved no different, giving up this enormous native:

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We found little evidence of willing fish above that point, so we rejoined the trail around here:

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And proceeded to sneak in a few more casts while the sun dropped behind the Blue Ridge.

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The tough drag back up to the top took some time but the heavy legs and stiff back that ensued were but reminders of one heck of a day with sickeningly good numbers of 10+" natives bending the old boo. I'd take a day like that any time of year...even better when it's in early February.


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 Post subject: Re: Erasing a bad one from the books
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:12 am 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:30 pm
Posts: 1464
Nice fish, beautiful scenery! Looks like the drought thinned them out a bit, allowing for better growth of the survivors.


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 Post subject: Re: Erasing a bad one from the books
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:19 pm 
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Warpaint Shiner
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:56 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Richmond, VA
Good call. I figured these guys must all be descended from the fish that survived that nasty one back in '07.


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 Post subject: Re: Erasing a bad one from the books
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:44 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:26 am
Posts: 558
Excellent report! Very jealous of the VA brookies


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 Post subject: Re: Erasing a bad one from the books
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:17 pm 
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Brook Trout
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:08 pm
Posts: 224
Location: Richmond, VA
That was just a silly good time brother. I had the jelly legs all day yesterday but I'm ready to go back ASAP. That one is going into the regular rotation for sure. The one from Sunday - not so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Erasing a bad one from the books
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:35 pm 
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Warpaint Shiner
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:56 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Richmond, VA
dshort wrote:
That was just a silly good time brother. I had the jelly legs all day yesterday but I'm ready to go back ASAP. That one is going into the regular rotation for sure. The one from Sunday - not so much.


+1. My back reminded me this morning that I'm not a kid anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Erasing a bad one from the books
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:47 pm 
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Brook Trout

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:23 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Lexington, SC
Nice pics, and a great report.


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 Post subject: Re: Erasing a bad one from the books
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:53 am 
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Smallmouth Bass
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:31 pm
Posts: 266
Location: The Hollar
Dayamn! :D :D :D That's how it's done!

_________________
"Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over." -Mark Twain

"Say I won't!"


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 Post subject: Re: Erasing a bad one from the books
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:57 pm 
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Brown Trout

Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:32 am
Posts: 758
Wow, those are great brookies. Looks like fun. Good job.


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 Post subject: Re: Erasing a bad one from the books
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:20 pm 
Awesome report and great pics to boot. One hell of a day if you ask me.


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