WPLP 4-22 (Evening)
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...
"Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut."