How many days would I like to fish?

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November 20.
My daughter saw a picture of her brother holding a brook trout and stated "I need". I asked if she wanted to go fishing, she headed for the door. When we arrived at the delayed harvest stream, she grabbed her rod and headed for the water. While she played her imaginary fish I strung up my rod. Soon she was having a big time tossing rocks. The trout were sipping something small off the surface and I failed to get them to take my artificials. I moved upstream a little and hooked a nice rainbow. I gave the rod to my daughter, she held on bravely with both hands. The rod bent and it was all she could do to keep the rod tip up. The fish tired and was netted. As we released the fish she waved bye-bye. Between more rock tossing we caught several brook trout before heading home.


November 18 .
Jim called and asked what was up, a clear invitation to go fishing! Say no more, but I do have to be home by six. So we headed north for some urban delayed harvest fishing. Now I wasn't totally prepared, yes there are three pair of wading boots, two rods and reels, five fly boxes, vest, net and even a wading staff in my van, but my fishing Hat was hanging up at home. I always wear the same hat when I catch fish. Even with this disadvantage I decided to go fishing. We both started out with my son's green woolly buggers and right off the bat I saw the silver side of a good sized trout. I missed several fish before finally landing a small rainbow. Jim reported four trout, the first he had ever caught on a woolly bugger, with one fat rainbow 14" long. I had a few more hits and landed another fish, Jim caught four more. I'll blame my lack of great success on not having my hat and having not had much sleep as I had stayed up most of the night waiting for the much heralded Leonid Meteor Shower, which was a bust. You should have seen them last year. Anyway 2 trout better than 0 trout..


November 17 .
After a rainy Monday the weather turned beautiful and with a forecast of 70 degrees I took my five year old up to the delayed harvest water. He started casting into a pool filled with brook trout, but as the green woolly bugger that we tied last night flew through the air, I decided that I better take control of the rod before we became the catch of the day. I hooked the fish then gave the rod to my son to reel them in. We landed five brook, two rainbow and two brown trout. As we were having lunch a couple of fishermen came by. "Are you enjoying this delayed harvest season?", I asked. "Yeah, its great I wish they had it all year long" was the reply. Later I found out that these grown men were father and son and I hoped that I will be still fishing with my kids thirty years from now.


November 12 .
Today I took my 2 year old daughter on a catching trip to the same delayed harvest water that I fished yesterday. We started out by tossing rocks and skipping stones. While she was entertaining herself I hooked several trout, each time letting her hold the rod and attempt to reel them in. Next I put her in a backpack and we waded up the stream catching dozens of brightly colored brook trout. We caught all of them on a green woolly bugger. She jumped up and down each time we hooked one and said good bye as we released them. Then we had lunch by the stone tossing pool. After lunch I tied on a parachute adams and hooked three fish while my daughter tossed rocks. When I yelled "fish on" she replied "I need" as she reached for the rod. She helped reel them in. We finished our day a the park by hiking up to a waterfall.


November 11 .
I went on a catching trip to a delayed harvest stream. The front pushed through and as the sky cleared the temperature climbed. I rode with the top down on the Miata. The water was cold and there weren't too many bugs coming off it so I started fishing downstream with a large green Mr. Ugly. It wasn't long before I had a 14 inch brookie on the line. After catching around a dozen brook trout and a brown or two and several rainbow I turned around and fished back upstream with a dry fly. I took a few on a Secret Weapon, and several on a Parachute Adams. The weren't hitting the dries too well so I went back to a green Woolly Bugger and landed a couple of dozen brookies along with several brown and rainbow. All were in the 12-16 inch size range. Not a bad day catching!

33- October 25.
The high pressure sitting on the east provided us with a magnificent day to explore South Mountains State Park. Plenty of others had the same idea and the parking lot was getting full. The kids ran down to the river and tossed rocks, we spotted a number of hatchery browns and rainbows in the pools. I made a few cast, not expecting much, into the low clear water. We got ready for our hike to the falls and as we departed my wife called out "Oh, there is a snake... and he's not moving away". It was only a garter snake and he was just trying to cross the path to get into the woods. We hiked up to the High Shoal Falls, stopping along the way to fish, climb boulders and toss rocks. With my entourage following close behind I did manage to hook a couple of small fish. We hiked the 2.5 mile loop trail and ended back where we started, throwing rocks and scaring fish.
32- October 16 .
Having warped up my meeting by 11:00 I headed to the Bushkill in Easton PA. I was looking for the Catch & Release section, but before I found it I stopped to look at the water by an old mill. I inquired of a young man about the fishing and he said, "No need to go anywhere else, there are plenty of fish in the pools above and below the bridge. That's way I chose to live here." We exchanged some fly patterns and then he showed me a picture of a 24" 4.5 lbs trout that he had caught this past spring. It was "just a stocker", he declared. I didn't have time for more banter, my sights were on the fish, so I headed a little ways downstream. There was a decent hatch, and an #16 Adams looked like a good match. Several trout were sipping some unseen insect, but they didn't refuse my Adams. In the hour and a half I had to fish I caught four 10 to 13 inch healthy streambred butternut browns and several more that were smaller. As I approached the pools that the resident fisherman had pointed out to me, he came down to the creek to ask how I was doing, I told him I had a 14 incher on the line in front of the bridge, he replied, "There's a 15 incher in that pool." He watched me work the water to see if I could get a fish to rise. Without any success I turned to him and asked if he had names for the trout. His reply was muffled by the tumbling water,but I got the impression that he did. If I'm ever back in the area I'll be sure to explore more of this productive stream.
Forgot to take the camera while I was fishing, so no fish pictures.
31- October 15 .
Prior to my business trip to Atlantic City I surfed the web for fly fishing info in PA/NJ. I contacted a number of people and based on a dozen or so emails the consensus was to fish Valley Creek in Valley Forge. This stream, through the efforts of the Valley Creek TU Chapter has made a tremendous comeback and now host a good population of wild brown trout. The stream meanders through the Historic site and is shadowed by route 252. I pulled off on the side of the road and scouted out the water. Unfortunately PA streams have suffered from a drought this summer and the water was very low and extremely clear. I noticed a deep run and fished this section with a green woolly bugger. Now the folks at the fly shop didn't think that would be a good idea given the existing conditions, but in short order I had caught two 12 inch brown trout. That was the highlight of the afternoon, as things slowed down and I only landed two more fish in the next hour and a half. BWO's were coming off the water, but I didn't notice any rises. It's in a picturesque stetting meandering though pasture and woods. I wish I could tell you about the large brown that I took from under this bridge, I did catch one but it was only 7 inches long. I'll have to come back again when there is more water flowing.
Got to remember to take a picture of the first fish, it might be the best one!
30- October 4 .
Delayed harvest fishing has started and I went up to Stone Mountain to see where my trout fees are going. The Roaring River was just too crowded for me so I headed up Stone Mountain Creek and was amazed to see dozens of trout in virtually all of the pools. Those boys at the hatchery did a real good job, these rainbows and browns were healthy full-bodied fish with a lot of fight in them. One 14 inch rainbow jumped three times clearing the water by several feet in his finally successful attempts at throwing the hook. They were just too many and too easy to catch, it sort of takes the sport out of it. I was able to pull several fish out of each pool. As I was going after the big 'uns I was chucking weighted woolly buggers and a big green Mr. Ugly. I really prefer the solitude and challenge that accompany wild trout. These easy to catch fish will be caught over and over during the fall and winter, those who survive the handling will be caught again in the spring before finally becoming someone's meal in June at the end of the delayed harvest. If PETA has a case against fishing this would be a good place for them to start. So, I'm only going to fish delayed harvest with the kids! The best part of the trip was hiking up past two guys who were working a large pool without much success and catching two fish out of the pool above them. If you going to have an audience its nice to catch something.
29- September 23.
Let me tell you about the last fish I caught, I was going up a steep cascade, hitting all of the tiny pools, and then saw a run maybe 10 inches wide and three feet long, I cast a CDC mayfly and as soon as the fly lighted on the water I saw the rainbow move off the bottom and take the fly! It was at least nine inches long and the largest fish I caught all day. I was fishing a tiny headwater creek and was almost up to the Blue Ridge Parkway when I reached my time limit and started my hour and a half hike back out. Even though the creek was so narrow that it could be easily stepped across in many places as it tumbled down the escarpment it created plunge pools ten feet wide and three to five feet deep. They contained trout in the six to ten inch range. I saw far more than I caught as they often ran for cover at my approach. The slightest movement spooked them. However when I caught a six incher who tailwalked on a pool about a dozen trout five to eight inches long came over to see what wash causing all this splashing about. I almost looked like a feeding frenzy! Len and I caught about a dozen trout apiece during a delightful morning on the first day of Autumn!

September 15.
There is a little creek up in the Blue Ridge that is a branch of a more recognized trout stream that I had not fished before. Well I had fished a short stretch years ago and hadn't caught anything. I was real close to a campground and probably had a lot of pressure. Being another warm, ok it was a hot day, I went wet wading and that sure felt good after the thirty minute hike in. I started just above the campground where the stream is narrow, shallow, and tightly covered. I was using my 6.5 ft 2 wt. Orvis One Ounce rod and casting a secret weapon into the shallow runs. I launched several rainbow fingerlings. The back light on the stream made it hard to see my tiny fly so I switched to a larger Renegade and after casting to a likely pocket caught the first of several dozen rainbows that ran six to eight inches. These brightly colored natives fought hard, jumping and running as best they could. Most of my cast were very short with maybe a foot or two of line past the guide. I finally reached a long, deep pool and dropped a thirty foot cast into it. No strike with this perfect cast left me a bit puzzled, another perfect cast, still no strike, and one more long cast with no hit before moving up closer. I notices a little pocket just off to the right and dropped the fly into it and wham, another lively rainbow on the line. The farther I went up this tiny creek the steeper it became changing from shallow runs and small pools to pocket water mixed with larger pools and cascades. I had to turn around all too soon, there was plenty more water to cover, I guess I'll save it for another trip.

The deluge that hit the mountains this summer washed out this bridge that spanned a tiny creek. Water marks show that the water rose four to five feet!
Typical ---- creek rainbow!
27- September 2.
I headed up to a catch and release stream for some home stream fishing. I like going back to familiar streams, where you know every pool, run and bend of the water. A river that you can fish anytime in your mind. Sometimes when I'm walking down the street I'll catch myself casting to rising trout on the stream in my mind. Recent heavy rains had flooded my stream and everything looked different, rocks had been swept downstream, new sandbars created and the river flowed through new channels. The once familiar stream had been transformed into a new stretch of water. The trout had found new holding spots and my casting, often a tad short, spooked fish after fish. I managed to catch a few small brown trout and was about to give up when all of a sudden a large fish smashed my Mr. Ugly (my version of a Woolly Bugger) and cleared the water with the fly in his jaw. He headed back under his rock and I had to cross the stream to apply pressure to move him into open water, he ran upstream trying to flee his home pool. I turned him back and reeled madly as he ran to the other end of the pool and hid under another rock. After a few more runs I brought this 20+ inch brown to net. After carefully reviving him he swam away and hid in his den under a rock.
26- August 25.
I took the family up to the Sheepscot for an afternoon picnic. Christopher and I headed downstream for a lot of rock tossing and a little fly fishing. With all the splashing I did manage to catch one 10 inch brown trout, before we had to head back for Zoe's turn. She was tossing rocks with mom and had no interest in getting into the backpack. The trout under the bridge were sipping some tiny emerger
but my 6x tippet looked like a rope on the glassy surface. I went up stream and got several refusals from these picky trout. Finally I hooked a 15 inch brown with a cdc emerger. The kids were quite excited to see dad catch this beauty. Zoe grabed the rod and waving it over her head she headed toward the stream pointing and saying "I need".
25- August 21.
I don't know exactly why I bothered to take my fly fishing gear on our family vacation to Maine, I have dreams of spending days fly fishing for Kennebec browns, stripers, and smallmouth. Well, the Stripers were not to be found on our coast. I managed to get up to Shawmut Dam, however I didn't find access to any easy wading. The water was very warm and all I caught were smallmouth in the eight to ten inch range. en, so not

Shawmut Dam

Fly Fishing Only the local shop doesn't open till twanting to waste time waiting for them to open I headed to the Sheepscot River for some catch and release fishing. I caught a dozen small brown trout and one brook trout. They came readily to an elk hair caddis.

Where to cast?

24- July 26.
My wife was planning to take the kids to church, my church is on the stream, so I headed out early with plans to be home after lunch. The day was breaking as I drove out of town and I reached the water by 7:30. In the deep shadows of the gorge I hoped to catch a large brown. It dismays me that one cast of a 3 weight line can send trout scurrying for cover. I never thought that this stream held a lot of trout, somedays I catch more than others. This was a day of few trout. Stonefly husk littered the rocks along the banks, but I didn't see any flies in the air, I hoped that as the day wore on something large enough to see would start hatching. I didn't see any fish rise or insect life, so I started fishing with my old standby an elk hair caddis. A trout rose to it in a deep fast run, I tagged him and sent him down for cover. Later, much later, I caught a couple of eight inch brown trout and one which was twelve. The sun was now overhead and I headed back downstream, no paths here, and ran into a couple of college age fly fishermen whose first time luck was as bleak as mine. I gave them words of encouragement and pointed out that at least we were fishing very beautiful water. I headed home to trouble as I noticed Zoe's car seat still in the back of the van from yesterday's hike in Hanging Rock.
23- July 18.
The last cast drifted through the dark pool, the elk hair caddis barely visible in the fading light. I didn't see the fly disappear, I felt it as the rod bent and the CFO screamed. The fish made several strong runs as I jumped boulders to fight and land what would surly be the biggest trout of the day. My vision could not penetrate the dark waters and the fish did not show itself, I had no idea how big this trout was or how long into the night the battle would rage. I finally netted this beautiful 16 inch full bodied brown, the largest I have ever taken from this pool. My heart was still pounding as I walked back to my car wearing a satisfied smile. It always amazes me that it takes just one cast to catch a fish. Most of the time its that first cast into a run, pool or riffle that entices the trout to strike.

I went up the stream in the early evening hoping to catch a few large brown trout. The stream and woods were tranquil in the early shadows of night. First I caught a nine incher in a shallow run. Then I approached an undercut bank with tangled roots reaching into the water. I small eddy promised a large trout, if only I could cast six inches farther. Yes, the fly landed in the tea cup of still water and the trout jumped into the air, the fly pulled tight into the corner of his jaw, a beautiful 14 inch brown! Later, I cast into the head of a run and a large brown ran down stream, screaming the reel, bending the rod, taking the line under and around a down tree and tangle of branches. I just knew I was going to loose this fish. I worked my way over to the tree and tried to free my line, as the trout continued to run, then the line went slack and I reeled madly as the fish ran back up the stream. He made several shorter runs as I freed the line and finally brought the 15 inch brown to net. As the sun set the woods became alive with the song of the birds ending their day. The running water grew louder in the approaching darkness. It was time to return home.
22- July 8.
Jim and I headed north for a little wild trout fishing on a catch and release stream in Virginia. As we set up to fish the first pool we noticed a stringer leaving no doubt that poachers had raided the stream. I guess they'll never learn, once something is gone its gone forever. I moved on upstream, nothing was coming off the water so I started fishing with an Adams. The sky was overcast and the light made it difficult to spot the Adams so I switched to and Elk Hair Caddis and soon caught my first brown trout. It was about nine inches and richly colored. I didn't catch anything for over an hour, the Elk Hair wasn't doing the trick so I switched to a Stimulator with a prince nymph dropper, then all of a sudden WHAM, the stimulator was pulled under and as I raised the rod a 12 inch brown began to jump and run downstream over rapids, I chased him as he continued to pull line off the reel, finally I brought him to net in a quiet pool. I released this fighter and went up to the next run where an even larger brown took the Stimulator, he came quickly to net after a brief struggle. On the next cast after releasing the 13 inch full bodied brown I tagged another good sized trout, then moved up to a deep run which ran under a downed tree. There was a large limb under water and when the Stimulator stopped I first thought that I had snagged the branch but as I raised the rod I felt the tension of yet another large brown trout on the prince. I struggled to keep him out of the branches, finally he tired and I netted then released him. Three nice fish in less than twenty minutes! Rain began to fall as I hiked out to meet Jim for our ride back.
21- July 2.
A couple of my favorite fishing spots are the Orvis Catalog Outlet stores in Roanoke and Salem, Virginia. I needed some new leaders and a few other items so I took the 2 hr drive up Highway 220. With free parking on the street till 4, I carefully approached the downtown store and searched the bins for specials, I picked out a few dozen flies, but didn't find any 6x 7.5 foot leaders so I took a walk down the block to the real Orvis store and picked up the what I couldn't find in the discount location. As the hour was approaching ticket time I headed out to the Salem location (about 20 minutes), this is a much larger store and carries a lot of fly fishing equipment from rods and reels, hackle and flies, to waders and boots. Its inventory also includes men and women's clothing. Everything in the store is marked down at least 50% with some items like men's pants at 70%. I picked out a few dozen more flies (from Adams to Zonkers), some accessories and fly tying materials. A fourth of July special increased my discount an additional 15%. I had inquired about the Roanoke River and was happy to hear that it was stocked with trout. I decided to wet a line on a stretch just outside of Salem. The shaded and undercut far bank looked like prime holding water for large browns. No insects were coming off the water so I worked my way across the stream casting a Royal Wulff into likely pockets. It wasn't long before I got a strike, it was a small red eye perch, and this was soon followed by an even more discouraging sucker. I worked the shaded bank, the slow eddies, the undercuts, the root wads, and the only thing I caught besides discouragement was suckers and red eyes. Finally a hatch of large Hendricksons came off the water and I studied the water for signs of rising trout to no avail. I gave up fishing and just watched the birds swooping down off their perches chasing the mayflies, stalling in flight to grab a fly, then swooping down to regain control. The sun was setting behind the Blue Ridge as I stepped from the stream and headed home.
20- June 22.
I spent the morning trying to catch a few trout on a mountain stream. A small hatch of Red Quills were coming off the water, but the fish would have nothing to do with my imitation. A closer look revealed that they were taking a #22 midge. Matching the hatch soon proved successful. I caught eight brown and rainbow trout. While fishing a pool I tagged an overhanging branch, while retrieving my fly I checked the branch and found a sulfur, a stimulator, an ant, and an adams. Not bad for a morning fishing. When I first started fly fishing I use to count the number of flies lost per fish caught. It was 10:1. Things slowly improved and after the first year the ratio was better than 1:1. Now its not uncommon to catch fish after fish with the came fly, maybe a dozen, till it is chewed up and begins to unravel. I then retire the fly on my hat. Careful inspection of streamside bushes has filled my fly box with freebies. I now almost always leave the water with more than I started out with. Also found a nice pair of designer sunglasses.
19- June 19.
I took Christopers up to the mountains to to a little fishing. As soon as we got on the water a drizzle began to fall. We caught a brown and and a rainbow before the thunder started echoing through the mountains. It might have been sunny in Winston-Salem, but it was raining on our stream. We went back to the car for lunch and a break from the weather. The rain slacked off a bit and we managed to catch a few more before Christopher complained about getting soaked.
18- June 6.
I headed back up to Stone Mountain forgetting that it was "Opening Day" on the Roaring River. As I entered the Park at 9 AM I passed the Wildlife Officers at a roadblock, there were checking licenses and searching vehicles for excess fish. The road along the river was a parking lot and the stream was wall to wall fishermen. They were almost stepping on each other as they greedily filled up their stringers with trout. As I drove along I must have seen several hundred fish being taken home for dinner. I wondered if there would be any trout in the Roaring River by sunset.

9:30 AM. "Got my limit."

Opening Day Crowd!

Bullhead was full; there was no parking available near ------ Creek, so I just drove out of the park leaving the carnage behind. Driving along ---- ------road I thought of my choices, ------ Creek, ----- Creek, or ----- Creek. I decided to hike up ------ Creek into God's country and fish for the wild rainbow that inhabit this stream and while I saw eight or ten hikers I was the only fisherman on the stream. A light drizzle started falling on this cool cloudy day. This was a ninety minute hike and I gained 600 ft. in elevation Up in God's Country where stream life begins I caught over 100 rainbows.


Looking back down.


Typical ------- Creek Rainbow.

Most of the fish were small, but you couldn't tell by the way the fought! Some actually pulled line from the reel as they struggled to get away. I'd say that about half were "keepers" while the others fell just short of the NC 7" minimum. It rained on and off all day and it was really too dark to take pictures. These shots were mostly taken with the camera resting on rocks or downed trees. The hand-held shots were taken at f/3.5 (wide-open on my macro) second with iso 100 film. Sometimes after pausing to take a picture I almost forgot to fish the pool or run before moving on. Finally around four thirty the sky lightened and the sun came out briefly before setting behind the ridge. This added warmth sparked a BWO hatch and mayflies filled the air. I diverted up a tributary for five fish before returning to the main creek which at this point can easily be jumped in many locations. If you enjoy catching a lot of small feisty fish and don't mind crawling around on your knees this is a great stream..

Nice 30 foot falls


Got a couple outta here!

17- June 5.
I decided to take a hike up ----- Creek to fish for the speckled jewels that live in the headwaters where life on the stream begins. I was hoping that the level would be up and the water stained with all of the recent rain, but it was clear as glass and down low. With weather threatening I didn't want to get caught in the gorge above the falls in a downpour. Water levels in this narrow streambed can rise in an instant. I hiked up three or so miles and started fishing just below the falls. This water is mixed with brows and rainbows, above the falls it's exclusively specks. Along the way I pass many good looking pools and watch for "black lightning" darting for cover as I move along the trail. Even though the path is 60 or more feet above and to the side of the stream these wary trout catch my movement and streak ahead to the deeper pools that offer shelter. Mountain Laurel blooms litter the forest floor like a blanket of snow. I must have left my cloaking device at home, for as I cast my four weight with 9ft 6x leader the trout scramble out the way as the fly lights on the water. A mix of mayflies are hatching and I change flies to "match" them. As I sneak along the creek I catch and release a couple of dozen of the beautiful brook trout with iridescent markings and gaudy fins, an unexpected splash of color from a fish that is almost "invisible" from above. This is thin water up here, the trout live in the margins of life. Dusk comes early in the mountains, and I turn around to hike out reaching the car just before the park closes. The stocked trout in the "Church Pool" are rising to a prolific mayfly hatch. I'm tempted, but do not spoil my wild trout day by taking these inferior fish.

Snake along the trail.

Heavy Brookie!

White Church
16- May 26. .
There was a light hatch of sulfurs coming off the water as I climbed down the bank to the ----- River. A few fish were rising in a slashing manner trying to grab the emergers before they took flight. The hatch was so slow that I thought that the deep pools of the ----- might be a good opportunity to try some streamers. Nothing was happening down under, so after seeing a few more rises I switched to a #18 Sulfur and wham a nice sized trout slashed at it just as it lighted on the water, but I missed it. The wind was picking up, blowing straight down the river, collapsing my leader and putting down the fish. I missed another strike before the hatch slacked off. I tried some emergers and beadhead with no takers, then switched again to streamers along the shaded bank where I had a strike from a small trout. I finally reeled in and headed back to work. Skunked for the first time in a long long time! Was the bright sky and clear water to blame?

Long hot walk down the tracks

There is often more than fish in the water.
15- May 22.
I was reading Jack Dennis' Western Trout Fly Tying Manual about an effective streamer for big brown trout called the Silver Hilton. So I tied up a couple and they looked pretty good, the only thing left to do was find some trout to try it on. I almost went to S. Mountains for another try at that big brown, but the thought of a four-hour drive persuaded me to head for closer waters. I left so early that I had to wait a half an hour for the ranger to unlock the gate at State Park. I was headed up to ---------, the only thing left to do was decided which section to fish. I chose number seven, my favorite because it passes through a steep walled gorge and has several pools that hold large trout. But first a stop at the casting pool. On my first cast of the Silver Hilton several trout turned their heads and chased the fly as I stripped it in. After trying several different retrieves a large brook smashed the fly and put up a valiant fight first running over the lip of the pool and running downstream. When I turned him he headed back up into the pool and after a couple of strong runs I brought him to net. I now was ready to head up to section number seven.
Along the way I noticed some on the wild flowers that were in bloom, I took some pictures for later identification. Having just finished reading Trout Flies and Flowers I was interested to see if I could start matching wildflower blooms to mayfly hatches. Not that fishing streamers has a lot to do with mayflies. The low clear waters made my approach a little difficult, but the Silver Hilton proved successful time after time and although I didn't land any of the biggest fish in the stream I did manage to catch trout in several pools that previously had seemed void of life. There were hatches of that little (14-16) quad wing yellow fly (how's my latin?), millions of extremely tiny (too small for me) mayflies and I saw a couple of Stoneflies resting on stream side vegetation. I saw a few fish taking emergers but my main mission was to test the effectiveness of my new found fly. The day had started out with a little rain and was cloudy for the morning, when the sun came out in the afternoon the streamer lost its appeal to Bullheads trout and I switched to dries. All in all it was a great day and although I don't enjoy fishing streamers, I'll be sure to always have a Silver Hilton or two in my fly box.
Wildflowers Blooming
14- May 13.
I pulled an "Early Morning Sneak" and headed back to ------ ---- in ----- ----------- State Park for some more of that delayed harvest fishing. Yeah, I know stocked fish just aren't the same but the fish were calling me. I had spotted some big fish and wanted another try at them. The day started cool and overcast, I put in just below the hole where I spotted a 24+ inch brown trout. Working my way upstream I caught six or seven 10 - 12 inch brook, rainbow and brown trout. I carefully approached "the pool" tied on my best woolly bugger and cast. Plunk, strip, strip, strip, Oh, my God! She came out from behind a rock and chased my fly. Come on...come on....she turned back to her lair. I tried again and again she chased it a couple of more times then grew tired of the game. I tried another fly, I tried a streamer, a stonefly, a hopper, a beetle, another woolly bugger, a flash-a-bugger. I got the fish to show itself a couple more times. Anybody out there think they can catch this one? Send me a message, I'll show you where she is. Finally I gave up and moved on upstream, catching dozens of brook, rainbows and a few browns. Around 11 o'clock the sun came out and the fishing slacked off. I brought a few more brook trout to net before leaving around 1.

The Stream

Typical 12 inch Rainbow

The Pool!
13- May 9.
The whole family headed up to Stone Mountain State Park for an afternoon of fishing. On the way we stopped for lunch at the Stone Mountain Cafe for lunch. The barbecue chicken was wonderful, we'll be back again! Anyway on to the park. Bullhead Creek had only two fishermen on it, so we had a wide variety of sections to choose from. Christopher and I headed up to section number 6 to try out luck. The recent rain was still evident in the stained flow, which was up six to eight inches. After missing a few strikes and a couple of LDRs, I hooked a large brown who tried desperately to get away. First he went up stream to the head of the pool, I turned him, and he was coming to net when he zipped out into the current and headed down stream. I scrambled to keep up with him as the line zinged out. Finally he came to net! Christopher helped release him.
Nymphing on the Roaring River

Dad releases a rainbow
Our deal with mom was to fish for an hour and a half, then it was Zoe'e turn. But when we got to the car she was fast asleep, so we went back up for another turn. Christopher calls hours on the stream "short hours" as compared to "long hours" driving in the car. We managed to hook one other fish before returning to find his sister wet wading in the Roaring River. I caught an eight inch stocker and Zoe was amazed at seeing her first trout come to net. Zoe got chilled from wading so we dried off and headed home. A great day on the river with the family.
12- May 7.
Gerry and I had intended to fish ------ Creek but the all night long rainstorm made us change our plans to a less volatile stream. ------- ----- a delayed harvest stream in ----- ---------- State Park was our choice. We left Winston while it was still raining. When we arrived at ----- ------ the weather had cleared a little, it was foggy and cloudy. I started fishing a deep pool and quickly hooked a 10 inch brook trout on a beadhead caddis emerger. While landing him, I noticed a rather large trout holding in the bottom of the pool. I tried in vain to catch him for the next hour or so. Although the big one eluded me I did catch a 14 inch rainbow and another 10 inch brook trout from the same pool. Now it was time to head upstream and I caught about eight brook trout over the next hour. Thunder boomed and sounded an early end to our fishing day. Later that evening tornadoes ripped through Clemmons crossing the interstate which was our route home.
Rainbow takes a secret weapon!
11- April 24 .
Christopher (4.5 year old son) and I headed up to ---------- Creek for an afternoon of fishing. After stopping at the - for lunch we headed up to the park. There was only one car parked in the "Fish for Fun" lot and I thought that we would get a good stream section. However a quick glance showed that all eight sections had been signed out. Just then a park ranger pulled up and asked if I had any questions. Christopher selected a beadhead tellico that we had tied the night before. I managed to hook two of the smaller trout that hang out in the pool. After hooking each fish I handed the rod to my son and let him reel them in. We moved on up the stream to our section where I carried Christopher across the stream and deposited him on a sandy "beach" on the stream. While he played in the sand I fished and each time I hooked a fish I brought the rod back to him to reel them in. We spent about four hours "working" the stream and managed to catch a good number of fish. "A pretty good day fishing", Christopher reported.
10- April 20 .
A break in the weather and I headed up to continue my journey along ------ Creek. The recent rain was still evident in the high waters of the creek. Fire rings of riverside campgrounds had been scoured clean and the creek is still six to eight inches above normal flow. The wading was tough as many steam crossing are necessary . The fishing was rewarding, I started using a Caddis Pupa and caught many rainbows. All sorts of flies were hatching, from tiny tiny sulfurs, to small Hendricksons. I tried the dry fly thing, although it wasn't easy with the increased flow, and again caught many rainbow and one good sized brown. That brown came out of a small eddy beside a huge run, as the fly danced around in the little pocket the brown rocketed off the bottom and smashed the fly then tore off line as he hit the current and headed down stream.
I jumped bounders and finally brought him to net, a nice 14 incher. I was working my way upstream to a point where I could gain easy access to the trail leading back to the car, but finally high water blocked my ability to cross the stream and the prospect of bushwhacking though a Rhododendron Hell caused me to turn about and retrace my steps downstream. It wasn't easy and without a wading staff it would have been nearly impossible. Although the fishing was fantastic the strong current and cold waters were a real workout. I hope the next time I visit this stream it is down to a moderate level. Most of the rainbows were in the six to eight inches with a few about ten.
The National Forest belongs to all of us, when camping it is necessary to pack out YOUR trash! Take care of our land so that others may enjoy it. Several campsites along the lower part of the creek have been littered with trash. It might have been left in one pile but animals have scattered it all over. PACK IT IN - PACK IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9- April 13.
Easter Monday, a high holy day and a great day to do a little fly fishing. Len and I headed out around 11 o'clock for some afternoon fishing on ------- Creek, I wanted to fish some more of this exciting stream. I walked to the point where I had stopped the other day and then jumped into the stream. Wild Iris were in bloom. There was a little hatch of mayflies going on but I didn't detect any risers, so I started with a beadhead caddis pattern and was soon into a feisty eight inch rainbow. Many more came to net as the afternoon wore on I switched to a stimulator and took ten more six to ten inch rainbow. Most of the fish were just at or under the seven inch minimum. I also caught one brown trout, what was he doing here with all the rainbow? We fished till dusk and hit the road for the two hour drive to Winston. Clear fast water on a steep gradient make this pocket water, plunge pool laden stream a blast to fish, not to mention a work out as one has to scramble over boulders to get to the next pool. I will return to this stream again and again as I have many more miles to explore.
8- April 8.
With the threat of foul weather later in the week, I headed up to the State Park for a morning of fishing on -------- Creek. --------, a small tributary of the ----- which is designated Wild Trout Water, and requires accurate and delicate casting to catch the wild browns. The fish are small, like the creek, but put up a good fight. Lightweight rods make this enjoyable water. The day started out cloudy but soon the clouds moved on and bright sun bathed the stream, making my quarry even more nervous. Stealth is key to success on this pretty little creek.
7- April 3.
That little bit of fishing on hatchery water wetted my appetite for some wild trout. Even with rain and thunder showers in the forecast I headed into the Pisgah Forest. ------ Creek is a wild steep gradient freestone stream. It was bigger than expected and Buck's words came to mind as I scrambled around drops and falls, "Be careful", he warned and with good reason as this stream is in rugged terrain. I started fishing with a dry fly and after hooking several small rainbows I switched to a beadhead nymph and pulled larger fish from the deep runs and pools. For the dry fly fisherman good line control is a must as braided currents make getting a long drift difficult. I nine foot rod for short line nymphing would be a good choice in this stream. I was flinging a lot of lead (actually I use a non toxic sink putty from Orvis) to get to the bottom of swift runs and was usually rewarded with a strong tug from a beautifully marked rainbow. Hard rain around noon shortened by day of fishing this fantastic Wild Trout Stream. Oh, as I turned to walk out I was greeted by two Wildlife Officers, not only did they check my license (fishing and drivers, you are now required to carry both while fishing) but searched my vest to see if I had kept any undersize fish. When asked about the nature of the search he explained, "I have to give the same treatment to everybody, there have been a lot of people keeping undersized fish up here".

After this trip I thought that I needed a wading staff. While fishing the Pit River last year we used old ski poles and they were great. So after visiting Blue Ridge Ice Creams I went to the Ski and Tennis Station and asked if they know anyone who had an old, don't want anymore ski pole and to my delight they said yes and headed to the back room and returned with my new free of charge wading staff. Thanks.
6- April 2.
After spending two hours in the dentist chair (a new crown) I decided that since I couldn't open my mouth to talk my afternoon would be best spent catching fish. I headed up to Stone Mountain State Park for some delayed harvest fishing. Thinking that the Roaring River would be too crowded I decided to fish Stone Mountain Creek just up from Bull Head. Right off the bat I was catching hatchery brook trout on a Secret Weapon. The fourth fish on the same fly broke off, shame on me for not checking my knots! Anyway, I tied on an Adams and proceeded to hook the same fish and managed to recover my Secret Weapon which was still hooked in this feisty 10 inch brook trout. As I passed under the bridge things started to slow down as this is small water. I managed to spook a few good sized fish before catching a few rainbows. After climbing up the falls bad casting spooked a couple of nice sized browns.
5- March 26.
My first all day fishing trip of the year.  I headed up into the ------ Creek watershed and hiked into ------ ------ Creek. I picked this creek because of its interesting name. This is small water, can you say Rhododendron, and a spawning stream for ------- Creek rainbows.  A virtual rainbow fish factory! I quickly lost count of the rainbows most of which were in the five to six inch range, a few were launchers and I also caught one nine inch brown.

Raider Camp Creek Sneak
Sneaking along the Creek 

The Stopper on Raider Camp Creek
Stopped by steep falls.
Most of the water in the lower part is shallow not providing much cover for trout of size, as the gradient increases the creek is punctuated with plunge pool some of which were four of five feet deep. However if there were any fish in them remains unknown as scrambling up the rocks to get into a possible casting position must have alerted these very wary fish.  If you like small streams and plenty of small fish this is a great little creek. I fished up over a half mile before stopped by the steep terrain. An accomplished "Curtis Creek Sneak" is necessary to catch fish in this tight environment. After hiking back down to the confluence I fished up ----- to the Falls, which were brilliantly painted with the late afternoon sun. ------- was flowing hard and I wished I had a wading staff to help fight the strong current. I caught and released over a dozen "keepers".
  Nine Inch Brown on Harper
Nice Brown
Upper Cascade on Harper Falls
Upper Cascade Falls
4- March 15.
Dry Fly Box What strange weather we are having this winter. With the mild temperatures the grass is growing already. Mowing the lawn in March.  After finishing the lawn and tilling the garden I head to Stone Mountain for some delayed harvest fishing.  Easy, fish in the bowl, hit on just about anything, fight like a dead dog, hatchery fish. But, it was nice to wet a line a bring a few fish to net.  Most were brook trout in the 8 to 10 inch range.  I fished till 7:00 when the park closed.  That will change to eight when the time changes. I hope to find the time to take a day off and head for some wild trout stream in the Pisgah Forest.
3- February 20. 
I downloaded Trophy Rivers Demo (Sierra On-Line, Inc.) the other night, fished a little, then went out and bought the real thing.  I played, er.. fished for a while caught many trout, steelhead and salmon.  I was itching to go out and catch a real one.  So, I headed back up to the ---. Once again I was greeted by a cold breeze and cold water.  It was almost four when I wet my line.  I quickly caught an 11 inch rainbow on a bead head. I worked the pools and runs with the bead head, but didn't get another bite for quite a while.  Then I hooked a beautifully marked brook trout, almost eight inches long.  As evening approached a small caddis hatch appeared, I switched to a dark elk hair and enjoyed casting a dry fly in the twilight.  When I could no longer see the caddis imitation I switched to an Adams Parachute with a florescent green stem.  I fished till it was dark.  As I walked out the white foam captured the remaining light and phosphoresced brightly, guiding me along the path. A great day fishing, the only thing missing was the fish.  Tonight I might try to catch that 41 pound steelhead that broke off on the Sol Duc river. 

February 19 .
I took my son, Christopher, up to the Roaring River in Stone Mountain State Park to go fishing.  We started off with a few casting lessons followed by some stone tossing.  With all the rocks flying I manager to hook a small rainbow, Christopher reeled him in.  I put him in the backpack and tried my luck on some very good looking water, but didn't catch anything.  Then it was snack time, followed by rock throwing and hike up to Widows Fall.  Then we looked for nymph under rocks and crayfish in the pools.

1- February 12.

The warm weather predicted for Winston got my hopes up and I set off for the ---River.  While the sun basked the city, the --- flowed through the shaded valley of the pinnacles.  A cold breeze was blowing off the water and I was glad that I had brought my fingerless fleece gloves along.  After a few cast I hooked a 10 inch rainbow.  With high hopes I continued up the river.  Nothing, nothing, nothing.  After about 90 minutes I hooked an eight inch brown.  I continued to fish a bead head nymph and continued not to catch anything else. Water temperature, very cold.


Catch and Release Fly Fishing Only

Dan River

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Curtis Creek Sneak: crawling along and sneaking up to a pool for one cast. From the Curtis Creek Manifesto.
Early Morning Sneak: getting up and out of the house before the wife wakes up.
Launcher: a fish that flies into the air as you set the hook.
LDR: Long Distance Release.

    Keith's Fly Fishing Pages
    Blue Ridge Trout

    Update November 23, 1998