The Two Runs: Brokenback Run 05/09/2014 and Mountain Run Lake 05/10/2014

This proved to be quite a busy weekend.  I planned to partake in quite a few activities and knew that by the time I reached Monday I would need to rest.  However, I’m young and enjoy a full schedule. So, I happily jumped in and enjoyed every bit of it.  Tennis, waterholes, fly fishing, spin casting, canoe fishing, family time, and school work all made their way into my schedule (pronounced: shed-dual)

After the typical 7 to 3:30 shift on Friday, I made my way to Culpeper and played tennis with the girlfriend, brother, and cousin. We all enjoyed it and I started hitting the ball better.  Tennis generally comes and goes in phases. I play a lot for a month or so and then it dies off for the next several. So, playing well is nice, but we’ll see how long it lasts. After tennis, we made our way to one of the not so many watering holes in Culpeper to have a round in celebration of my cousin’s new job.  While there, we grabbed a bite to eat as well. then, we returned to the padres’ with a 12 pack of ciders and what my cousin and brother thought to be a fantastic buy of a video game, Lego The Lord of the Rings. It took less than two ciders before I fell asleep on the love seat. I eventually made my way up stairs and slept well for the rest of the night.

Saturday morning came and I woke to the excitement of fly fishing a mountain stream.  Since my last weekend lacked any sort of fishing, I carried extra excitement.  This time my journey included a partner.  My brother, the one closest in age, accompanied me.  He and I have more of a current love for fly fishing and the overall outdoor lifestyle than our old brother.  Well, that or my older brother enjoys making more money than either of us combined. While he dressed himself and I anxiously waited to leave, I read to him some of the streams listed in Harry Murray’s Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National ParkWe still needed to decide on a location.  Due to the nice description Mr. Murray gave, its proximity to our parent’s house, and the fact that we never fished it before, we picked Brokenback Run.  This stream runs beside the Old Rag Fire Road and, like river it flows into, receives little fishing pressure. It is small, but swift with nice deep holes. We had the entire day to fish this beauty of a stream and nothing but a little rain in the forecast to get in our way, or so I thought.

Although I thought this trip would take at least several hours, two things set us back.  After I noticed by brother taking an extra long time to get ready, both at home and at the parking area I asked, what’s the deal? He responded with sweat beading down his forehead, “my head is pounding”. I knew this wasn’t from the night before, because we only consumed  a couple ciders. The cause of this headache seemed to be allergies. Secondly, my brother has yet to purchase a smaller 3 weight rod, so even with a clear head he would have had a hard time keeping his line out of the trees. He seemed excited to try out his new Simms Guard Socks and attempted to push through the visible pain of his headache but alas, we called it a day about an hour into our adventure.  I hooked a couple nice little brookies,but lost them both in the process of their landing. They literally slipped through my fingers.  My bro, had no such luck and spent most of his time becoming quite familiar with the local Oak population. We sat on a log for a time while a quick shower past.  I felt happy. I hiked to a peaceful place in the middle of the forest, fished a nice stream with a couple yellow stimulator flies (buy ’em from a local fly shop), and sat on a log next to my brother.  He felt no happiness. So, we walked back. He threw up on the way to the parking area, I drove home, and he slept the rest of the day.

Due to my frustration with calling it an early day on the stream, I decided to head over to one of my other cousin’s property on the Thorton River.  This river is stocked with trout near his house for the Wounded Warriors. So, I have permission to fish as long as I catch and release. After the group comes in and fishes the river for one weekend in the spring, I can keep and eat those suckers. I possess no guilt with the consumption of these stocked trout because, they generally die off before the end of the summer. I needed to be back and cleaned up by 7 PM in order to make Mother’s Day dinner in town.  So, instead of putting my fly rod outfit back together, I used the spin rod for about thirty minutes. The beauty of this stretch of river always amazes me. It makes me relax and feel happiness. I hooked into a strong 14 inch rainbow which created a nice fight on my 4’6” ultra lite setup (it fits in just about any vehicle and works great for the canoe and river trips when fishing the banks under tree cover). I fished a while longer, witnessed a few nice jumps by rather large rainbows, and caught a 4 inch chub. This one scared me because of the horns on its head. I never saw this before. I immediately thought, mutant fish! The rainbows will soon disappear due to this carnivorous beast and the world’s doomed! I quickly and ignorantly kicked it back into the stream without the consideration of snapping a photo. This event unsettled me, for sure. I later researched and found out about the hornyhead chub. So, no mutant takeover, hopefully.

Dinner in Culpeper took place at the Hazel River Inn. Mom liked it, I thought less of it than expected. However, it turned out okay because of the time spent with family, and my oldest brother picking up the tab.  Ice cream followed and then back to the home place for some more conversation and sleep.  I enjoyed dinner because its rare my two brothers, my parents, and I all get to hang out together.  The sister lives and Florida and therefore, decided not to attend.

Sunday morning came with a list of activities for the day. While eating breakfast I tried to finalize this list to create maximum efficiency. Once finished with the meal I found the shovel and wheel barrel. My Mother’s Day present consisted of K-9 fecies. While I cleaned the yard of their wastes my brother gave them baths. I believe my mother enjoyed this present and it only took an hour or two.

My parents’ perros are large. Therefore, cleanup stinks.

Following the doggy duties we loaded up the canoes and made way to Mountain Run Lake for a little fun in the sun. My girlfriend, brother, and two cousins attended.  I caught zero fish, a feat no other member of our group accomplished.  Little large mouth bass proved to be the only thing biting. One more thing about the lake; everyone but myself neglected to wear sunblock on the first hot sunny day of the spring. Needless to say, we all fried. Although I covered my anterior side with lotion, I lacked the flexibility to cover my back and therefore, burned my posterior.

The lady friend’s monster large mouth bass.

We loaded up the canoes, dropped them off at the home place, quickly showered, the made our way to Warrenton for dinner at our Aunt’s. My girlfriend parted ways at the lake in order to spend time with her mother. The afternoon weather seemed perfect for relaxing on the back deck with a couple cold ones and family. We even played a little volleyball against the younger generation. It surprised me that we lost. However, like I said, we had a few cold ones.

After a nice bit of time relaxing with the family, my brother and I headed back to the home place. Once home, I began writing a paper and studying for my biology final set for the following morning. Needless to say, when my head hit the pillow, I fell asleep immediately.

This proved to be another action packed weekend.  I knew this going in, but it really took a lot out of me. After my biology final I slept for about five hours. Guess I needed it.

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