Thursday, July 10, 2014

Merica Day

The 4th of July was fast approaching and my family had some rare time off together.  The brother-in-law was wanting to do some camping and fly fishing and I was wanting to take my baby girl to Kumbrabow State Forest for the first time.  With the holiday fast approacing we weren't sure if we'd get a site but we packed up the gear and headed off early in the morning for the mountains of Randolph County!  We arrived early in the morning and were surprised to find a site for the night so we hurried and claimed it and In no time camp was setup and we were enjoying some time in the beautiful state park.  
It didn't take long to come up with a fishing plan of attack.  We figured fishing an evening session we would split up and fish some different water I'd go high and the brother-in-law and father-in-law would go low.  It was great to see their enthusiasium for wild trout my brother-in-law has been bit with the bug bad and was excited to get into some wild fish and my father-in-law starting out was just happy to be out.  We talked fly selection with brookies at times you don't have to make it to complicated, a good attractor or this time of year a terrestrial fly will do great.  So the 3wt Vandalia Bamboo rod was strung up and a nicely visible beetle was tied on and we were in the water and fishing.  For an early July day a low 60 water temp felt great especially wet wading the Chota sandals came in handy.  It didn't take long just a couple casts and I was into my first fish a nice colored up native brook trout.  This stream thankfully is not stocked and is supported by a wild population.  Currently the WV Division of Natural Resources Park and Wildlife Section, in partnership with the WV Division of Forestry, West Virginia University, and the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, are improving trout habitat in the creek.  This project should improve trout habitat and the quality of fishing in the future.  
Running into a few fisherman ahead of me instead of leap frogging I yielded to them and headed to a section just below where I knew a few good pools were located.  I figured we'd switch things up with a nice cricket pattern and maybe it'd temp a few fish out for a nice evening snack.  To my pleasure the rod was bent in no time and another Brookie was at hand.  I knew it was  nap time for the kid so I had some quality time at hand to take my time and work this section of river good.  It seemed every nice pool had a willing fish that was happy to eat a cricket and before you knew it we were catching fish like crazy it's hard to complain when your on a beautiful mountain stream and even harder when your catching tons of fish.  The guys that fished the lower section didn't have as much luck we thought they may have fished behind someone which always makes small stream fishing that much more difficult!  Two big things for success on a stream like this to me is first make sure you use a stealthy approach so the fish do not see you and fish fresh water that has not been covered.  After a meeting back at camp and some tasty campfire cooked food the plan was to put the brother-in-law on some fish.  Sometimes watching someone else catch fish and see their excitement is just as good as fishing.  We figured we'd put him on a couple runs close to camp as we knew they hadn't been covered.  It took a few drifts but the 3wt was bending and another Brookie fell victim to a cricket pattern.  We managed several more fish but seeing him get into some wild fish and my daughter enjoy some time camping in one of my favorite places made the trip catching a few just added some icing to an already great trip!  It's always great to spend time on a nice mountain stream with the ones you love.