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.


CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

35 comments:

  1. Wow! Beautiful place to hike and fish. The fish are stunning.

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    Replies
    1. RKM,
      Thanks.
      Kirk, the streams are endless and so are the trails.

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  2. Replies
    1. Kevin Frank,
      Thanks.
      Indeed my friend.

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  3. Alan - gorgeous! My daughter and I stopped in the peaks of Otter area last spring. We only had time for some early morning photographs but it was amazing country as the sun rose above the peaks. Nice to see you were able to enjoy it!

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    Replies
    1. Mark,
      Thanks.
      We also paid a visit in June, but did not fish....not this time.
      Autumn and brook trout.

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  4. Replies
    1. Apache Trout,
      Thanks.
      John after this trip I can see why.

      Delete
  5. What a wonderful place to be, I want to say this is making being at work easier but I cant, all I can think of is where I am going to hike into on Sunday!

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    Replies
    1. Luke Bothell,
      Thanks.
      I'm sorry I clouded up your mind. Are you close to SNP, or do you plan to hike somewhere else?

      Delete
  6. Another nice tour. Thanks for taking us along.

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    Replies
    1. Mark Kautz,
      Thanks.
      It was a pleasure bringing you all along.

      Delete
  7. that is a gorgeous fish. fitting for the area. :)

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    Replies
    1. TexWisGirl,
      Thanks.
      Teresa they seem to go very well together.

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  8. Replies
    1. RI brook trout,
      Thanks.
      They sure are. I have a few more photos that will impress.

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  9. Alan, I guess we all have our favorites, but truth be told, Mother Nature does a pretty decent job no matter where we look. These are some of the most striking pictures I've seen this year and the fish are excellent and so beautiful. p.s. save a book for me and I'll be getting back with you.

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    Replies
    1. Howard,
      Thanks.
      That she does. All of the credit belongs to the good will of mother nature.
      There are only a few books left. I have you penciled in.

      Delete
  10. What colors on that ant eating brooky! The fish in that area are known for being particularly red in the fins and belly, that sure is a fine example. Glad you had a good trip.

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    Replies
    1. RM Lytle,
      Thanks.
      They did indeed like the ant, elk hair caddis, little yellow fly, and an olive soft hackle.
      These fish were nicely colored up.

      Delete
  11. Alan, what a beautiful subject piece to blog about. Absolutely gorgeous there in the fall, it appears. That Brook Trout is as pretty a colored up Brookie as I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing it your blogging friends. Hope to read more of your great trip in the next post!

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    Replies
    1. Mel Moore,
      Thanks.
      Hey buddy this is my first time fishing this wonderful place. It's to bad it's so far for me.
      I'll be back though.

      Delete
  12. Glad that you enjoyed visiting the Blue Ridge and got into some good hiking and fishing. I love to fish those streams in spring and fall. Hoping to return there later this fall.

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    Replies
    1. rivertoprambles,
      Thanks.
      Walt when you do I'll be waiting for that report.

      Delete
  13. If there's a better way to spend a day, I'm not sure what it would be.

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    Replies
    1. tenkara ambassador,
      Thanks.
      Perfect friend....a spot made for Tenkara.

      Delete
  14. Beautiful! The fish & the surroundings.

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  15. Good Stuff Brk Trt!!! I have been to the Shenandoah in October, such gorgeous colors on the brookies and the trees!

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    Replies
    1. TROUT1,
      Thanks.
      Pete it's a brook trout warehouse.

      Delete
  16. Alan
    My wife and I have experienced the beauty of this place years ago, when would make a visit to my wife's grandmothers in Virginia; but I never experienced fishing the small streams for brook trout, which would have been the highlight of the trip for me. If I had another life to live over it would be in the Shenandoah mountain area. Thanks for sharing an awesome post!!!

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    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell,
      Thanks.
      Those mountains are a gem. So many streams and trails. It would probably take a lifetime to explore them.

      Delete
  17. Impressive, wonderful streams and the most gorgeous species of trout I have ever seen! Cheers from Bulgaria

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  18. PS: the above comment is mine, actually

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    Replies
    1. Georgi Blaskoff
      Thanks
      Georgi that area of the US is pretty. The brook trout were in their autumn colors.

      Delete