View Full Version : Post Christmas Fishing Report, Virginia

12-31-2007, 01:47 PM
Well after a nice christmas, we headed up to the mountains of virginia to spend a few days. We got a cabin right on the a fairly nice sized wild stream which made things even better. Wednesday morning, i woke up to it snowing and figured i had to get out there and try it. I made my way to the water and took the temp, the water was an icy cold 37 degrees, not exactly conducive to quality fishing but oh well. I rigged up with some flies that i had gotten from mr. hartsell: a large bead head rubber legged prince nymph (about a size 8) and dropped a black stonefly behind it. I figured i would dredge with two big flies. To my surprise, i quickly hooked into a nice wild rainbow with the brightest pink stripe i have ever seen. I fished on well into the day and, to my surprise, the fishing was very good considering the conditions. The water managed to warm up to 39 degrees, but i still managed to bring to hand about 15 fish, although i managed to catch quite a few rock fish in the process, too.

I was pretty pleased with the results so after a day off, i hit the water again on friday. The temperature had warmed up a bit, but somehow the water managed to get colder and was 35 when i got in the water about 8 a.m. Once again, a fish was brought to hand almost immediately. Of course, when it's freezing cold like that it seems that i always catch a fish first thing that way i get to stick my hands in the icy cold water so they'll get numb, oh well. Fishing, however, was once again very solid. A front was moving in and i quickly noticed a warm wind picking up. About 11, the rain started and the water started to warm fairly quickly. It was at this time that i recorded the highest temperature that the stream was all week long, a balmy 41.8 degrees.

As the rain started to fall a little harder, i noticed a few fish rising to the top to presumably take some very small bwo's, but i kept dredging away with my new favorite winter rig and kept catching fish, including a couple of nice sized browns. Made one very large fish move towards my fly but only got saw him that one time, appeared to be about 20". About 11:30 the rain picked up dramatically and the wind was blowing so hard that it was nearly impossible to cast so i headed back out. The rain didn't bother me but trying to cast into a 30 mph wind is frustrating as heck. By the time i headed out, i had once again managed a good number of fish, 11 in about 3 1/2 hours. It was a good trip and i was reminded that winter fishing can be productive and the cold temps are not a reason to stay off the mountain streams. I found a new favorite rig for winter fishing, it's amazing how those fish would attack those large flies.

On a side note, the new helios rod coupled with the sharkskin line casted like an absolute dream. I had to back off from my normal effort of casting because it was casting too far. Before i finally got used to it, i was casting on the bank and into trees because it casted too good. The line does have a different sound to it when it goes through the guides, but i quickly got used to it and i didn't even notice it after an hour or so. Was it worth the money? That's hard to say, it was alot, but it sure is (by far) the best toy, i mean fly rod that i have. Hope everyone had a merry christmas!







12-31-2007, 02:04 PM
great report.

Hugh Hartsell
12-31-2007, 05:21 PM
Great report Craig,
I'm glad that you got to hit a stream and it looks like those flies are being kind to you.

01-01-2008, 01:48 PM
They are being very kind to me hugh, those flies just proved to be absolutely deadly. I wasn't really expecting much at all considering the harsh weather conditions and extremely cold water, but i was pleasantly surprised. Days like those make me itch to get back out into some of those streams during the wintertime.


David Knapp
01-01-2008, 06:48 PM
Nice report...like those browns especially...

01-01-2008, 10:06 PM

Thats an awesome report. Sorry I haven't been in touch in a while. I haven't been in a river since August. I've got a daughter scheduled to arrive around the beginning of April, which I know will reduce my fishing opportunities this year. However, it doesn't mean my fishing career is over. I'm gonna try to keep in touch with you so we can do some more brookie fishing sometime. Good to see your reports. I hope things are going well for you. By the way, I like the new toy you were fishing with. Very nice. Have a good one. Looking forward to our next trip.


01-02-2008, 12:39 AM
dude thats awesome. where were you at I would like to go take a shot at that place....looks alot like the smoky's...glad you had so much success....Happy New Year..

01-02-2008, 05:37 AM

Good to hear from you. Maybe we can hit up a stream sometime before april. Shoot me an email and maybe we can set something up. The rod is nice, extremely nice as a matter of fact. The last thing i needed was another rod but oh well.....


01-15-2008, 02:36 PM

Beautiful fish. Even more beautiful location. Can the cabin be rented by the public? If so, any contact info? Looks like a great place to spend the weekend.