Friday, May 29, 2009

Memorial Day Nebraska Fishing

Monday, I headed North for my first Nebraska fly fishing experience. I drove about 3 hours to a large reservoir formed by the Calamus dam. There is a small spring creek called Gracie Creek that feeds into the head of the reservoir which contains some nice rainbows.

The fish were very selective and it took me a while to figure out what they would hit on. I started with dries and had one rise, then they quit responding. Then I started fishing various nymphs, gradually getting smaller and smaller. Finally, I hooked and landed a beautiful 16" rainbow on this #24 midge pupa. I think this is a personal record for largest fish to hook size ratio.

I landed five fish for the day. Some were fooled with purple wooly buggers out in the lake area. I caught others using a bead head caddis nymph pattern.
Anyway, it was a great way to spend the day. I'll definitely try this spot again.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Virginia TU Rally (continued)

Sunday morning we had a short seminar after breakfast. We discussed ways to capitalize on Trout Unlimited's 50th anniversary. After the seminar, there was a raffle for a custom built fly rod made by Jon Hulcher. I was very lucky and won the rod! It is a 8' 5 weight with genuine cobra snake skin above the grip and carbon fiber reel seat. I think it is a very good looking rod with a medium to fast action.

I had heard that Virginia has excellent native brookie fishing and wanted to try it. We asked one of the local Virginians at the rally where the best brookie fishing was. He put us on a really good spot!

I caught a 7" brookie out of this large pool. This pool had 4 waterfalls about 30 feet tall. It was an idyllic setting.

This has to be the most colorful brook trout I have ever caught.

My friend Jimmy caught this healthy brookie in one of the lower pools.
The area surrounding the creek was really lush and green.

Virginia has some excellent brookie fisheries. I definitely want to fish here again.

Virginia TU Ralley

This past weekend I was invited to attend the Trout Unlimited South Eastern Rally at Hungry Mother State park in Virginia. I traveled with our new incoming chapter president who happens to be a fishing buddy. Friday night we checked-in and enjoyed some hot dogs and hamburgers. I enjoyed meeting people from TU chapters from all over the South East.

Saturday morning we attended seminars of varying subjects relating to TU. I especially enjoyed the TIC (Trout In the Classroom) seminar. It is a program where teachers can obtain all the materials and instructions necessary to raise live trout from eggs in the classroom. After the trout mature they have a field trip to a river and release them into the wild under the supervision of a state fisheries biologists. The program has been very successful and our chapter is trying to get it started in SC.

After the seminars, Jimmy and I went fishing on the White Top River. There were many simultaneous hatches. We saw large green drakes (pictured below), blue wing olives, march browns and light cahills.

We saw lots of fish rising, but the problem was trying to figure out which flies the fish were feeding on. After several attempts to match the hatch with no luck, we started catching fish on a royal coachman stimulator pattern.
I caught this beautiful wild rainbow near dusk. The picture does not do it justice. The colors were really vivid and bright.

We were late getting back to the cabin and missed the barbecue dinner. So we picked up a pizza on the way. We were both exhausted after a long day and looking forward to the next day of fishing on Sunday... see next blog entry