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PeteCz
04-23-2008, 11:33 AM
At the last minute I had a couple of afternoon meetings canceled, so I decided to try out one of my favorite areas in the park that I had not visited since last Fall. I started at a large pool below my entry point to the Gorge (the parking lot below the Nature Area) and caught a very nice 10" Rainbow on a #14 Yellow Stimi. I entered the stream at about 3pm but managed to only catch three rainbows over the next two hours (all on the Stimulator) while climbing over boulders. I had forgotten how challenging the climbing is in the section between my entry point and the Nature Area. Above the Nature Area it gets a bit easier.

At about 5p I had worked my way up to a very nice pool that I had never caught a fish in before. The water is crystal clear and fairly flat with a strong current on the road side of the stream that circles around the side of a massive boulder. Its a tough spot to fish without any drag and the fish are very picky. I looked in my flybox for a new offering and quickly selected the Mr Rapidan Cripple that TroutDude tied as part of the Spring Fly Swap II. I have never fished a cripple before, so I was not sure exactly what to expect. I tied it on, got into the best position I could find and cast....

Within 5 feet of landing in the pool, a nice rainbow came up and hammered it! I jumped down from the position I was in and brought the fish in so I wouldn't disturb the other fish. He had inhaled the fly and I used my hemostat to extract the fly. With the fish happily revived and swimming back out into the stream, I got back into position again and cast into about the same window...2nd cast, 2nd fish...an 8" brookie hammered the fly as well. I had to use the hemostats again for the same reason.

I wound up catching 9 fish in 30 minutes with the Mr. Rapidan Cripple all in fairly flat water. It was catnip for trout. In all I caught about a dozen fish, all but one was a rainbow. All looked to be in great shape and were a little fatter than I had expected. The water was just below 52 degrees at 4pm (more than 6 degrees cooler than the Wye on LR). As the temps keep coming up the fishing will only keep improving...

Next I'm going to try the stretch of water below the Picnic Area...If only I could cancel a few more meetings...

ijsouth
04-23-2008, 02:07 PM
Great report...a Mr Rapidan cripple, eh? I've tossed Mr Rapidans and Mr Rapidan parachutes at them the last 2 trips up, and have done fairly well...but nothing like your success - do you have a picture of one?

Also, is WPLPR still pushing a lot of water? When we went over the mountains to Straight Fork Saturday, I noticed that Walker Camp prong had more water in it than I had ever seen.

Rog 1
04-23-2008, 02:36 PM
Sometimes it just takes that something different...one of the largest rainbows I caught on the WP was using a hornberg as a dry fly....another time on some of the bigger pools above the Huskey Gap trail parking space I began tossing a larger hopper pattern and the trout were hitting it like bass on a popping bug....the unusal will sometimes bring about the unexpected...part of the fun of this sport....gotta love it.

Milton
04-23-2008, 02:51 PM
Here's a picture:

http://www.murraysflyshop.com/images/Products/flies/mrrapcrpl9.jpg



-Milton

PeteCz
04-23-2008, 03:03 PM
Here is the Mr. Rapidan Cripple (thanks to TroutDude for the Fly and Buckeyetrouter for the picture):
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l303/buckeyetrouter/DSC_0022_edited-1.jpg

IJ, the waterflow was great but the temp was a bit cold, especially for wet wading. I wound up wearing a fleece jacket, even though the air temp was in the low 70s at the road.

Rog, I agree, the unusual and the unexpected are two of the reasons that flyfishing is so appealing.

ijsouth
04-23-2008, 03:36 PM
Danke...and thanks y'all for the pictures...now I remember seeing this fly before. As for temps, we took Cosby's temp on Sunday, and it was 49.2F, and the air temp didn't top 60 where we were fishing. The fishing was still good, but not as good if both those temps were about 5 degrees warmer. We had to work for them a bit.

pineman19
04-23-2008, 04:57 PM
PeteCz,

I have done pretty well that last 2 weeks later in the day on the WPLP just above Sugarlands. The bows have been active, and hitting dries with enthusiasm. Reading your report, I guess it's time to head upstream on the WPLP or Greenbriar to get into the first Brookies of the season. Myself, I have been sticking with my waist-high waders so far this year, if the temps stay like this and waters continue to warm I'll be glad to give them up and do some wet wading.


Neal

Westslope
04-24-2008, 02:58 PM
PeteCz,
Sounds like you had a great time on the WPLP, I haven't tried that river yet, it is beautiful, I'll have to make a few casts there when I come to visit at the start of June...I was wondering, has anyone ever seen/caught browns from the WPLP inside the Park? It seems like some might be in the lower stretches, but I haven't noticed folks mention catching brown trout from this river...just curious!

Rog 1
04-24-2008, 03:46 PM
I have fished this river quite a bit over the years and have not seen a brown trout in there....I know that on many occasions I have left this water to run over to Elkmont when I was on the verge of a slam and needed to find Mr. Brown....I am dating myself but can remember when there were not any browns in the Park.....I have caught them high on Elkmont on Fish Camp Prong and on Tremont on Thunderhead above Sam's Creek....the other side of the mountain is crazy with those browns....

Speckleman5
04-24-2008, 05:12 PM
It seems like there are getting to be more and more browns over here on the NC side every year.....but the brook are also getting bigger and moving down......hard to figure out...maybe I am just getting a little better.....I dunno

PeteCz
04-24-2008, 05:20 PM
I've fished from the Sugarlands up to the headwater streams of the WPLP, and I have never seen or caught a brown either. I think the LR is the best place on the TN side of the park for them, and like Rog and Speckleman said, the NC side is silly with them.

If you can stand the hike, Campsite #53 on Deep Creek is a great place to catch a slam all in one area. There's lots of browns, rainbows and brookies all within pretty close proximity to each other.

Westslope
04-24-2008, 10:00 PM
Hey, thanks for the info on WPLP, not to mention the other advice. Deep Creek site #53 sounds like a great spot, both for a slam and to get away from the crowds...

ccmmcc
04-25-2008, 09:02 AM
Pete,

Could you email me? ccmmcc at gmail dot com I wanted to talk with you about the trails around WPLP.

PeteCz
04-25-2008, 11:37 AM
Chris, I just sent you an e-mail with an overview of the area. Let me know what additional questions you have...

Mac
04-25-2008, 11:59 AM
PeteCZ,

Thanks for the update on the WPLP. I enjoyed your story and the Pictures. In years past this was one of my favorite places to fish. During the heat of the summer this area always had a pleasent temp.

The areas that I always fished was above and below the Picnic Area. I just downloaded the Free GRSM Trails Map and was trying to find the Gorge and Nature Area you are talking about. Is this area above or below the Picnic Area?

P.S
Caught my very first Brook trout ever here.

PeteCz
04-25-2008, 02:12 PM
Mac, the Gorge is the area starting above the Chimney Tops Picnic Area then up to the confluence of Walker Camp Prong and Road Prong (The Chimney Tops Trail).

The "nature area" I was referring to is just before the tunnel on US441 toward Newfound Gap (on the right hand side). There is a pulloff/parking area and a few pathways down to the river from there.

The farther up you go, the more brookies you will find...