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Winter Camping Trip

Started by Big J, November 18, 2019, 10:34:03 AM

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JD and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Big J


Wasn't planning on doing a fall/winter camping trip this year with the conditions VA has been having and then the cold snap hitting quickly, but Doug text me asking if I wanted to do an easy camping trip.  Got the green light from the wife and I quickly got rid of Doug's easy plans and changed the trip into a remote rugged country exploratory trip in an area I knew had trout, but was difficult to access.  I've had this place on my radar for 5-6 years.  Tried working out the access back then, but couldn't figure out how to feasibly do it.  Doug begrudgingly went along at first, but when we made a few calls and confirmed a few things, changed the attack plan 3 times, he gave it the green light too.


Hike in wasn't long, and night getting below 30's means you pack a heavy pack.







Hiked in, set up camp, off downstream to begin the search of "does it hold trout".

There was a trail we hiked in on to camp, but it disappeared shortly downstream and it was bushwhacking along ridge to work the way downstream.  Gradient here was the steepest I've fished and still held trout.  Took forever to make it a little over a half mile below camp.  We were planning on hiking 2 miles down, but days are too short for this terrain.  Another 3 day trip will be needed.


On the hike down I was tempted to test the waters on a nice pool.  First fish of the trip.




Most colored up brookie I caught this trip.






Doug putting a nice bend on the glass with a brookie.




A lot of climbing.




Gives you an idea of Altitude and gradient


But good fish all the way up.






Back to camp, hot fire, and warming up chili.





Stayed warm at night with 0 degree bag, underquilt, blanket, and handwarmers at feet for good measure.  Also got to hear a little barred owl who cooks for you action.


Brought a toy for some plinking action.


Deuce #2


Coffee


The throne.

Packed up camp and hit the road to hit a feeder we drove over on other side of ridge.  Piss trickle at top but gains a lot of water short ways down.




Probably my favorite fish of the trip.  On the hike down, Doug stopped to adjust something and I spied this trout holding in 2 inch of water in the back of a tiny pool.  This was the piss trickle, I can't believe it holds trout section of this stream.  Tied on a dry dropper and snuck below the pool while Doug guided where to drop the fly.  Was expecting him to take the dropper, but he glided over and sipped the dry. 

Hiked down on an old logging grade, and saw that this stream probably has more elevation loss in a short section than last stream.






Pictures do not do it justice.


In we went.






Lots of hang ups on this stream.  Lots of flies lost and casts obstructed.






Bow and arrow casts were our friend.  This was also right after Doug slipped and fell back first into a pool just big enough to swallow him.  Soaked to the bone, we had to hike out pretty quickly as we don't want Doug passing away from pneumonia.  Who else can I find dumb enough to go back to these places with?



Good time was had.  Always nice to have a place that you have been wanting to explore for trout for years work out.  Another extended trip back there is on the calendar.

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Hemingway

Phil

My Goodness Gracious. Most excellent!!  bd;0  bd;0
Thank you for taking the time to post that here and give me a vicarious thrill. Haven't done that in a looong time! Knowing that Doug is SOMEWHAT approaching my age, I'll wager there was at least one sore back, legs and knees involved.  :o
Absolutely gorgeous brookies there.  'c;  'c;

Dougfish

November 18, 2019, 11:24:20 AM #2 Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 11:46:41 AM by Dougfish



The bottom of stream A is on private land. So a healthy 3+ mile hike is required. Or you sic your cohort on the Park Service to get intel on whether fire roads are passable or not.  -0- It was a long, slow bumpy ride, but it got us within 1/4 mile or so from the stream. Hunting season had started. Broke out my orange buff and the flagging tape. Awesome water volume was found in the upper reach. Good sign. As J said, we set up and headed downstream. It was rough going. We knew with our late start that we would not be able to get to the bottom. It looses 1250' in 1.5 miles. With little to no trails. What little bit we fished, it's easily the physically most exacting stream I've fished. Water temp was a chilly 40 degrees.







Goober.

























Plinking w/the silenced .22. Not to brag, but I hit that can 3 out of 4 shots.







Sunday.

We hiked down and fished a bit over a half mile. We started just before the stream tumbled 500 feet in the next half mile.  :o

At the precipice.









Lots of birch burl.



The stalk.





Still drying all the wet gear out, nursing some sore muscles, and scheming the return trip.
 0:0

"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " <br />-Oddball, 1970

Phil


greg

That w@s outstanding. I haven't done a backpacker fish trip in a while. Well done. Thanks for the pics.

Woolly Bugger

Dayum, a crappy but SPECtrcular report!  0:0
ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

Stone-Man

Bodacious trip guys  !!!  Damn pretty fish and good photo shots. Hell, those boulders made my knees hurt.
  Thanks for letting us go along .

  JT 

The Dude

November 18, 2019, 15:35:26 PM #7 Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 15:36:59 PM by The Dude
Doug's old man powers humbled me. 

J is still young, dumb and full of cum enough to try a caper like this.

I can only shake my head ruefully while at a loss for words.

Salud, gentlemen.

Edit: I am surprised at the quality of fish y'all caught.  I would have guessed the brookies up there had already spawned out, but they didn't look at all raggedy in those photos.  Did you see redds?
I was born by the river in a little tent,<br />And just like the river I've been running ever since,<br />It's been a long, long time coming,<br />But I know change is gonna come.

Big J

Quote from: The Dude on November 18, 2019, 15:35:26 PMDoug's old man powers humbled me. 

J is still young, dumb and full of cum enough to try a caper like this.

I can only shake my head ruefully while at a loss for words.

Salud, gentlemen.

Edit: I am surprised at the quality of fish y'all caught.  I would have guessed the brookies up there had already spawned out, but they didn't look at all raggedy in those photos.  Did you see redds?

Doug and I talked about this.  We are a little confused ourselves.  On stream 2 we saw a pair of brookies paired up in the back of a pool and there was a redd.  The water temp was 40 degrees though.  We thought all the fish looked too clean to be post spawn fish, but surely they aren't just starting to spawn this late and in water already down to 40 degrees.  They have had at least 12 nights there below 32 degrees and there was ice all over that stream. 
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Hemingway

Onslow

Many awesome elements in this report for sure.

Winter backpacking, badassery

External frame backpack, old skool badassery

Hammock camping, meh

1000 fpm gradient fishing, badassery

Two consecutive days of masochism, more badassery.  Bonus points for living to tell about it.

I presume trailess creek, ultimate badassery

Nice fish too!

Was this NP, NF, or private?

streamereater_101691

Good going young gentlemen. Some nice fish. My throne massacre scene was better.

Dougfish

NF. I'm not sure this gets fished through all the way through. Hardly ever.
It will in the spring. I guarantee it. Gonna be loaded with wildflowers, too. 
The only thing that's badass is the stream. I'm just a survivor.
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " <br />-Oddball, 1970

Dougfish

Quote from: Onslow on November 18, 2019, 19:10:56 PMExternal frame backpack, old skool badassery

Hammock camping, meh


Gave the internal frame pack a couple of years of trial.
Needed more boxy room and coolness to the back. Can stack it high, too.
New, old skool Kelty. Going to Cali next summer. Bear canister and all.

I prefer the hammock. First trip with the under quilt. Pretty toasty.
Bag will be replaced by a down quilt by spring. Need more freedom to sleep on my side.
Three man tent will go to Cali. Trees will be scarce in places.

My little $30 faux solo stove was a hit/miss.
Dryer wood, awesome. damp wood in the am, painful.
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " <br />-Oddball, 1970

Onslow

A good dousing of lighter fluid will neutralize the damp cold wood woes.

When weather is reasonable, open camping on the ground has served me well.  This is obviously not a good plan in the mountains in the Spring or Summer, but it sure heck works fine in the Fall, or in the flat country.  Have yet to have a squirrel proceed to gnaw on my face, or a copperhead to joint me in the sleeping bag.

Good luck in Cali.


Onslow

I'm assuming the pack is a Trekker 65, no?


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