Friday, October 7, 2016

Shenandoah National Park October 2016

Jeanette and I just finished a few very memorable days in Shenandoah National Park. This was our third time visiting the park and it was probably our best. We left home very early, 3am to be exact and drove to Virginia stopping only for gas, breakfast and a comfort break that included coffee refills. We arrived in Front Royal around 11. A visit to Walmart to purchase a license and then it was off to Skyline Drive and our first fishing destination. The mountains of Shenandoah are breathtaking, and the roads that wind and twist through them a are a pleasure to drive.

The first stream we were to fish is about 40 miles into the park. Along the drive we encountered several black bears which were a treat considering we were in the car. We finally arrived at the parking lot and found a few cars there, were they fishing or hiking that was never determined for we saw no one while we were there.


Rainfall must have been ample for even the tiny feeder streams were flowing. We observed brook trout in these creeks so they must hold water year round.


This is how you find your way about the park, a map though is highly recommended.


This is the first stream I fished. The access to the stream was not the best. A close eye on almost everything was necessary. The stream itself was a delight to fish. Look for a smooth pool or pocket and drop the fly. It was incredible that almost each time the fly was in the stream a brook trout hit. Now that doesn't mean every one came to hand but it was very nice to be kept busy.




My first SNP brook trout. A true wild jewel. These natives have a very distinct coloration that seems to be only theirs.


Shenandoah's fall colors were just starting to appear, and what was there was a nice highlight.


Have I ever told you how much I love these fish?




Well the afternoon was closing, and the evening was nearing. We still had a hike to get back to the car and chose not to do so in the dark. We knew we had a full day ahead to explore another stream and the thought of a hot dinner and a good nights sleep was in our sights.


The sun setting on the Blue Ridge.












30 comments:

  1. Alan - What a fantastic sunset! That's one of my favorite things about the park, so many places to watch the sun set. Glad to hear you had some wonderful days in that beautiful park

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    1. Mark Wittman
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      Mark it's a good thing I got that photo, because the next day we had rain and dense fog on the mountains.
      The place is incredible.

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  2. A beautiful area. Thanks for taking us along.

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    1. Bill/Tully
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      Bill it's my pleasure sharing what is a true brook trout forest.

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  3. Replies
    1. Hibernation
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      Will that it was. You should experience it one day.

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  4. Such a beautiful area at this time of year. All the photos are just gorgeous but the sunset is just spectacular !!!

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    1. TROUTI
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      Pete it's awesome. To be able to fish for wild trout in a setting like that is almost unreal. The sky seemed to be on fire.

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  5. Replies
    1. RM Lytle
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      Rowan you have to put SNP on your must visit list.

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  6. Alan, this has to rank as one of your best posts. Since I'll not likely ever get there I couldn't be happier that you did and documented it so well. Our National parks have to be preserved for the future. No one should miss the chance of visiting any of them. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Howard Levett
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      Howard the National Parks are truly one of America's greatest assets. The folks who are responsible for their upkeep and and management don't get the credit they deserve.

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  7. Replies
    1. TexWisGirl
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      Theresa it's hard to single one area out, spectacular indeed.

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  8. Alan, my son and I hike and camp in Shenandoah every spring break. At least until he discovered rock climbing and friends who rock climb, but that is a different story.

    I did get a chance to fish it a few years ago, and I could die a happy man if all I got to do was fish Shenandoah

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    1. srtillis
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      Spring in Shenandoah, must be awesome. Saw a few rock climbers there and held my breath, it's not for me.

      I agree with your last few words.

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  9. I love those gems same as you do, Alan. So glad to hear you are you are seeking them in other areas. To my mind they are a miracle to be honest with you. I caught two beauties tonight, one of which had the brightest underbelly I have ever seen. It reflected all the fall colors in its brilliance.

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    1. Parachute Adams
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      Sam I wish that SNP was closer. I would love to spend some serious time there.
      It's good to hear of your success. Brookies are beautiful this time of year.

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  10. Absolutely Stunning. Thank you Alan for adding another trip to my list!

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    1. Brookie61
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      Kurt you would regard that trip as one of your finest ever.

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  11. Alan and Jeanette,
    Jaw dropping beautiful this natural wonderland called Shenandoah....Daughter of the Stars! The water there is very much like your home turf, beautiful beyond description! Thank you both for sharing your time away (a vacation?) with all of us! How about that Hurricane Matthew dumping rain all along the east coast states! Virginia seems to be getting the lions share of rain! You got out of Dodge just in time!
    Dougsden

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    1. Dougsden
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      Doug Shenandoah is a diamond. The stream access can be difficult, but some research before can put you in a better position.
      That storm is a nasty devil, but it did not give us here in the northeast the rain we so desperately need.

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    2. How I was hoping, Alan, we would get a piece of that storm to give us rain. Unbelievable that storm did not head up the east coast, but circles back south instead.

      Sam

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    3. Sam, that's just crazy. Like there's a curtain blocking moisture from entering the northeast.

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  12. Great report and photos. Those fish are beautiful!

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    1. Matthew Grobert
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      Matt the brookies in that area are so unique. Tiny red spots so pronounced, almost like they were painted on their sides.

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  13. Replies
    1. Mark Kautz-Shoreman
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      Mark the best is yet to come....stay tuned buddy.

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  14. Beautiful pictures! Glad to see you had a good time.

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    Replies
    1. Bill Thomas
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      Bill it was a great trip. I wish I lived closer.

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