For those who love small streams, wild trout, and life...in their simplest form
Friday, October 3, 2014
Shenandoah's Treasures and Gifts
If there is a place that has more to offer than Shenandoah don't believe it. We spent days exploring it's beauty, and barely scratched the surface. I will try to tell you of my happenings there in some chosen words and hopefully you will be able to get a feeling of the joy we experienced there.
We selected this week to visit for we both love the Autumn and the art show nature puts on. We were not alone. Skyline Drive had lots of motor vehicles with folks liking the show. We had selected several hikes to take that would lead us to some small streams. Theses hikes were started high on the Drive, and were well marked. Getting geared up in the parking area we were joined by several other hikers. Brief stories were told to us by these hikers, who have done this trail before and this helped us very much.
As we started walking, I was so taken with the beauty of the mountain in its color of the day. Gold seemed to dominate at first but son the reds and orange appeared. While stopping to take photos a couple of seasoned hikers approached us on there way up. They stopped and introduced themselves. This couple were locals who were in there 70's. They noticed my fly rod and instantly gave me an enormous amount of info on fly fishing the stream we were going to. The both of them have fished Shenandoah for years, and shared their knowledge freely. As we departed their last words were enjoy the hike down.
The trail was easy walking in areas and pretty rugged in others. One must be careful of the rocks which were wet and very slippery. About a half mile down the trail we started to see the stream. The water levels this high up on the mountain, 3000 feet or so were scant. But as we descended they became fishable with more water and some very nice pools. The first pool I cast a fly into it was greeted with a solid strike. The fish was on and in moments a beautiful brookie was at hand.
I continued to fish the pools and in most every one I was able to draw a strike.
A Shenandoah wild brook trout in beautiful Autumn dress. I was truly amazed at the amount of fish this stream held and their condition was top notch.
This is one of the larger pools on the stream. As you can see the pool is full of brook trout. They are super sensitive to movement, and if your not careful they are gone, only to where? I could usually land the fly and take one fish, then I'd have to move on. Returning after awhile and they would be receptive again.
In this pool I observed several fish rising at the tail. I could see no insect activity, so I tied on an ant pattern. As the fly drifted to about mid pool I saw the fish rise and take. He was on and what a battle he put forth. A few moments later I was rewarded with a remarkable specimen of natural beauty.
A wild jewel. Male brook trout from a Shenandoah mountain stream in his Autumn attire. I was fortunate to take many brook trout this day. Most of which were able to give me my fly back with them not attached.
This is one of many water falls we observed. This place is beyond words, so I'll let the photo speak for me. I'll have some more to tell in my next post.