About a year ago a very close friend of mine left Virginia for pastures anew in Dallas, Texas. His girlfriend took a position with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and he felt inclined to join her in moving out there. Ever since then I figured I stumbled upon a nice excuse to head out West. Having never travelled to this part of the great U.S. of A. I thought why not, and began planning for the vacation with another close friend. In fact the three of us roomed together freshman year of college. Therefore, we know each other well and get along better than most.
With my sister and her family visiting from Florida, I took some time off work to fish with my two nieces – ages 13 and 12 – and then again with my brother-in-law and nephew – age 8. With my nieces we spin cast for smallies, red eye, chubs, and bluegill. We fished a section of the Thorton River, East of Sperryville, Virginia. My Cousin lives right on the river which allows for easy access as well as parking, which, are two things ones finds quite difficult on most small stream and rivers outside of Shenandoah National Park. In addition my brother, girlfriend, and nieces friends from Florida fished as well. I wouldn’t call my nieces excellent fisherwomen as of this time, so I left my rod by the streamside and as we waded up the river I helped with the tangled lines, unhooking the fishies, and showing the girls how to make a friendly release.
My oldest brother emailed me a month or so before this trip about getting out to the Shenandoah. I am lucky enough to have a close high school friend whose family owns 7 acres right on the water about 20 miles north of Luray. We decide to head to the river after work Friday and invited a rather large group. However, other than my oldest brother, Patrick and myself, only two friends made the trip with us. I met up with Wes at my parent’s house near Culpeper. We loaded up my canoe on top of my parent’s Subaru Forest, packed the car with all the necessary supplies for glamorous riverfront camping, and headed for Luray. Of course, once we reached Luray we instinctively made a stop at Wal-Mart and purchased food and a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on how you look at it) about of beer. Other than the obligatory, case of light beer, we added a few tasty numbers from the 21st Amendment Brewery. Hell or High Watermelon might be one of my favorites.