Too Much Fly Fishing? 05/23/2014 – 05/26/2014

The title says it all: I fished a lot this past weekend.  While I enjoyed every minute, – the hiking, the views, the art of casting, losing flies in the brush, catching fish – I thought maybe I fished more than my utility allocated for the activity.  Looking back, I feel a substitution for a hike or some worthwhile reading – on fishing, of course – may have created more happiness.  However, I desire not to change the past for fear of the butterfly effect. Therefore, I look back on the weekend with no regrets. Although, I fished a lot, I enjoyed it; all of it, I think.

After the ever-typical 7 to 3:30 Friday shift, I made my way back to the apartment where a large gray Great Dane waited. My brother’s dog, Gigi decided to come spend the weekend with me.  Although, Gigi is a nice dog, she never visited my apartment before.  Therefore, her eight hour stay in a strange place without human contact probably lacked calm tranquility.  Once I arrive, she happily wagged her tail, whined out of joy to see a face, and then plopped down on my bed.  She look so comfortable that I decided to join her.  We napped for an hour or so. Then, we went for a run. She handles very well on the leash. For the most part, I jogged beside her brisk walk and let the leash lay at her side.  I like dogs. Their companionship to humans appears to be second to none. However, I need not a dog.  My siblings and parents have them.  Therefore, I get my fill of canine comradery.  After showering and leaving Gigi at my place, I made my way to an event my girlfriend organized for her boss.  I helped set up, ate, and spoke with a few people I don’t know.  I then picked up Gigi and heading for the parent’s.  As stated earlier, she never stayed at my apartment before and she knows my parent’s well. I thought she would be more comfortable there.

Once I dropped Gigi off at the parent’s, I headed back into the metropolis of Culpeper to listen to The Dry Run Band. One of my girlfriend’s cousins plays in the band.  They play a blend of country, southern rock, rock, and blues.  Although, I hate country, I mind not their other numbers. We drank more than we should, then returned to my parent’s for the night. Although Gigi stays at my parent’s from time to time, she lacked peaceful sleep and woke me multiple times.  If I remember correct, my first words when I woke that morning resembled something along the lines of, I hate dogs.

I dropped Gigi off at my girlfriend’s because she lives on several acres. Gigi would have plenty of room to roam.  My girlfriend’s cat, Bougie, also seemed to be quite entertained with Gigi. Bougie bossed Gigi around.  It was cute. One of my friends, Johann, who I recently convinced to purchase the essentials for fly fishing joined me.  He purchased his outfit about a month ago and due to the high river level of the Rappahannock had yet to give it a try.

I took him to a couple locations: the first was my cousin, Brian’s place on the Thorton River.  I showed him how to set up his rod, tie a fly on, and the basic approach to cast.  Although we saw a few nice trout, we only caught  a few chubs and a sunfish. We lost a few flies as well, which proved quite frustrating.  With the recent rains, the lush green colors of nature overwhelmed me.  The beautiful and ever-changing display of the earth rarely disappoints me.  We used Murray’s Marauders size 12 in black as well as in white. They worked well. However, at $3.50 a pop, they’re not cheap, especially when you lose several.

DSC_0926

Murray’s Marauders in black and white as well as a Besty Streamer. Photo courtesy of Murray’s Fly Shop’s Website 

After a few hours here we headed to the Robinson River. Again, the clear river water, thick green tree cover, and the sun shining on both humbled me.  I showed Johann how to roll cast and we fished.  He caught nothing here and I managed only a small rock bass. When we left I felt a little upset because I wanted my friend to catch a nice trout or two.  However, he shared no similar feeling.  He enjoyed getting out in nature and learning some new fly fishing techniques.  Therefore, I quickly discarded my trout-less thoughts.

Rock Bass on the Robinson River. He took a Murray’s Marauder in black size 12.

I spent the afternoon playing FIFA 2014 of Xbox 360.  Even though QPR sacked me in my sophomore season at the club, I enjoyed playing the game.  With school, work, and outdoor activities, my recent FIFA binges have been few and far between.  Hopefully they stay that way.  However, like I said, I enjoyed playing for a couple hours. I spent Saturday night at my girlfriend’s. We watched an episode, or two of Once Upon a Time. Gigi stayed with the parent’s that night, which I liked. It allowed me to get a little more rest. I will add however, that Bougie likes to waken humans from their slumber as well. So, I slept better, but far from perfect.

Sunday morning, I woke and headed to the Rose River for a couple hours.  At 2 PM I needed to report to AT&T in Fredericksburg to switch phone carriers.  Sadly, I woke late so my time on the Rose lacked longevity.  I left my rod outfit intact from the day before. So, I quickly dressed and started hiking up the Rose River Fire Trail.  I walked briskly for about 15 minutes.  I found what I thought looked like a nice area to start.  I climbed down some boulders, as the river ran about 50 yards off to my right.  Once I arrived, I noticed a fellow fly fisherman coming up the stream towards me.  I arrived too late.  He started on the river first and therefore, I felt obliged to move on. We exchanged a few words.  He fished nymphs with a strike indicator, I fished drys. Specifically, I used the normal Mr. Rapidan Dry Fly. I believe I used a size 16. I hiked up another 10 minutes.  Time being tight combined with my tardiness allowed for the introduction of fear.  Maybe I just showed up too late? Maybe all the locations on this popular stream were spoken for?   While walking, I came upon a section of the river which runs right beside the fire road. I thought, why not? I’m limited on time and need to get in the water.  I started fishing and within a few minutes had my first bite.

Photo: Good morning Mr. Brook Trout #snp #brooktrout

Brook Trout from the Rose River. Seems like the smaller ones have less coloration. 

A soon found out the reason for this river’s popularity.  I fished for roughly an hour in some really nice long runs.  I landed three or four trout and many more escaped either when taking the fly or while I pulled them in.  I even pulled multiple fish out of the same hole.  This excited me. I never landed multiple trout from the same stretch before. Although I wished to stay longer, I needed to head back.  However, I will be back on this stream sooner rather than later, for sure.

Corey and I met my oldest brother, Patrick, and sister-in-law, Avelyn, in Fredericksburg. We switched phone service providers (lower monthly rates) and gave Gigi back. Then, we headed back to the parent’s in Culpeper.  Although I felt a little tired from the driving, I still possessed the itch. I tried to convince Corey to come fish a mountain stream with me. However, he declined. I think the power of FIFA overcame him.

Since I fished it last weekend and knew a nice hole where a large trout held, I decided to head back to Brokenback Run. I knew people said to fish dry flies in the afternoon/evening due to the high amount of hatches, but I found it hard to believe the number of insects.  They surrounded everything, including my face. I honestly found it more difficult to fish with the dry in the afternoon due to three things.  The high number of insects hatching provided fierce competition. Why should that trout take my imitator over the real one? Secondly, I found it difficult to focus with all the bugs flying around my face.  I put on insect repellent but it hardly kept anything away.  The aspect I found most difficult was the eastward flow of the stream.  With the sun setting in the west, this created a strong glare. I could hardly read the water, let alone spot a trout or my fly. I caught a couple little guys (four inchers). However, the larger trout who I specifically came to catch evaded me.  I saw him jump for my fly but I reacted too slow. Hopefully next time I’ll land him.

I will say I enjoyed this trip. Even though it proved challenging, I experienced evening fly fishing in the mountains.  Just watching the hatch, with the sun glazing through the tree provided a very relaxing experience.  Little yellow and white flies flew about with a fairy-like presence. I hiked back and spent the night at my girlfriend’s.

With Monday being Memorial Day and my girlfriend working for a politician, she naturally attended an event to celebrate and remember the many people who serve(d) this country.  I however, looked at her work commitment as just another reason to go fly fishing. Corey, my cousin Stevie, Stevie’s girlfriend, and I made our way back over to the Thorton River where I took my friend, Johann on Saturday.  With losing so many flies here the other day I caste with more care.  Instead of just fishing the hole near the parking area, we decided to wade up the stream for a while.  We made our way about 200 yards upstream catching rock bass, sunfish, and some rather large chubs along the way.  When we reached the bridge Corey caste under it first.  A nice deep run flows under the bridge which provides great artificial cover for the fishies. Corey laid into a nice size rainbow trout.  His 5 weight rod tip bent over almost to the water.  This rainbow had fight in it. I happily watched him reel in the beauty and netted the fish in my rubber lined net (it does not remove the slime layer or scratch the fish).  Since Corey’s recent fishing endeavors were less than ideal – i.e. he’s been on a dry spell -he showed great excitement for the catch. He used a black and brown bead head wooly bugger with some crystal pattern throughout (although, not enough to be considered a crystal bugger) in size 10, I believe.

After our nice little fish landing adventure, we waded up a little farther.  We certainly gained excitement and desire to catch another rainbow.  We fished upstream for another hour or so, walked back, and decided to fish the original hole near the parking area before we called it a day.  Yet again, Corey hooked a nice rainbow. Yet again, I happily netted the Oncorhynchus mykissWhile other trout showed interest in our flies, Stevie and I landed none. The brother received top fly fisherman award for the day. When he posted the picture I took on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter he used a hashtag I liked. He created the hashtag #rainbros. 

Photo: Nice troutski. #rainbros #flyfishing #trout

The brother’s second hard fought rainbow of the day.  Netted by yours truly.

After this we headed back to the parents, cleaned up, ate food – Corey ate one of the rainbows; it’s okay they’re stocked and die off in the heat of the summer, so I think a quick death is better. However I am certainly not God – and played a little FIFA.  I went to my girlfriend’s for some burgers and brats, watched another episode of Once Upon a Time and called it a night.  This episode of Once Upon a Time caught us up with current broadcasting. So, we will take a break from watching the program for a while.

All in all, the weekend proved quite busy. I enjoyed it and certainly enjoyed the fishing, time spent with my girlfriend, Gigi, FIFA, and the delicious food. When Tuesday morning came around, I felt a little worn out. Probably a combination of sun exposure and the multitude of activities. Corey’s rainbows were definitely the highlight.

-Bram

 

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