Pretentious Snobby Bastard Fly Fishing!

Fly Fishing Reports => Local Trout Streams / Tailwaters => Topic started by: Big J on November 18, 2019, 09:34:03 AM

Title: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Big J on November 18, 2019, 09:34:03 AM

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/gmPvUJr.jpg)
Hike in wasn't long, and night getting below 30's means you pack a heavy pack.

(https://i.imgur.com/NhJzbe5.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/DmRzyfZ.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Cjabmot.jpg)

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/Ku5HJBo.jpg)
On the hike down I was tempted to test the waters on a nice pool.  First fish of the trip.

(https://i.imgur.com/rCIlwQV.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/qcLezFQ.jpg)
Most colored up brookie I caught this trip.

(https://i.imgur.com/cyGiqyX.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/YjBulCn.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/44OktGa.jpg)
Doug putting a nice bend on the glass with a brookie.

(https://i.imgur.com/e2NX9Pd.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/U6MEpUq.jpg)
A lot of climbing.

(https://i.imgur.com/uVJL0Gy.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/MUIMpQl.jpg)
Gives you an idea of Altitude and gradient

(https://i.imgur.com/04aSNJe.jpg)
But good fish all the way up.

(https://i.imgur.com/j1rp9Z7.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/4ejYEaG.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/RhfcVQE.jpg)
Back to camp, hot fire, and warming up chili.

(https://i.imgur.com/NPWJDDt.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/ctnjDFq.jpg)

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/Iiz91mh.jpg)
Brought a toy for some plinking action.

(https://i.imgur.com/FUuNLxn.jpg)
Deuce #2

(https://i.imgur.com/omM0oP9.jpg)
Coffee

(https://i.imgur.com/XxI1PtH.jpg)
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.

(https://i.imgur.com/w6PfPif.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/aC1ubAM.jpg)
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.

(https://i.imgur.com/4hALHYu.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/v91dziS.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/eOYRroZ.jpg)
Pictures do not do it justice.

(https://i.imgur.com/kE8ENHl.jpg)
In we went.

(https://i.imgur.com/l1Co646.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/jamDXxj.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/ig9G0L4.jpg)
Lots of hang ups on this stream.  Lots of flies lost and casts obstructed.

(https://i.imgur.com/aCNCTmS.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/p4NXnv8.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/pHmanJa.jpg)
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?

(https://i.imgur.com/m3uSxC3.jpg)

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.

Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Phil on November 18, 2019, 10:20:21 AM
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;
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Dougfish on November 18, 2019, 10:24:20 AM

https://youtu.be/E-sqgHKxaoc

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/9vYB9GMl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/DRlPhnVl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/nMwCwV2l.jpg)

Goober.

(https://i.imgur.com/eYShUU4l.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/zlZKFYol.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/DND5Yx7l.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/lqyWhdll.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/5eXrwoNl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/ICZqKxLl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/dK8G25ql.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/FwLqVpOl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/LJ5Cavml.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/uhEzfAGl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/zBEgd0Cl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/SAdH9jll.jpg)

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

(https://i.imgur.com/zIK69m3l.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/2xSQ4Ful.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/g8Qazg7l.jpg)

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.

(https://i.imgur.com/l889QTwl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/SWvlgJYl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/sSFROTXl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/whkIbvFl.jpg)

Lots of birch burl.

(https://i.imgur.com/Os6oBRLl.jpg)

The stalk.

(https://i.imgur.com/DVtTtgjl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/7oXl1wsl.jpg)

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

Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Phil on November 18, 2019, 10:36:02 AM
Dayum. Just Dayum guys.
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: greg on November 18, 2019, 12:51:40 PM
That w@s outstanding. I haven't done a backpacker fish trip in a while. Well done. Thanks for the pics.
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Woolly Bugger on November 18, 2019, 13:03:09 PM
Dayum, a crappy but SPECtrcular report!  0:0
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Stone-Man on November 18, 2019, 13:27:58 PM
Bodacious trip guys  !!!  Damn pretty fish and good photo shots. Hell, those boulders made my knees hurt.
  Thanks for letting us go along .

  JT 
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: The Dude on November 18, 2019, 14:35:26 PM
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?
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Big J on November 18, 2019, 14:52:44 PM
Quote from: The Dude on November 18, 2019, 14:35:26 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. 
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Onslow on November 18, 2019, 18:10:56 PM
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?
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: streamereater_101691 on November 18, 2019, 18:23:55 PM
Good going young gentlemen. Some nice fish. My throne massacre scene was better.
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Dougfish on November 18, 2019, 19:02:44 PM
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.
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Dougfish on November 18, 2019, 19:32:16 PM
Quote from: Onslow on November 18, 2019, 18:10:56 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.
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Onslow on November 18, 2019, 20:44:39 PM
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.

Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Onslow on November 18, 2019, 20:50:19 PM
I'm assuming the pack is a Trekker 65, no?
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Dougfish on November 18, 2019, 20:57:40 PM
Quote from: Onslow on November 18, 2019, 20:50:19 PMI'm assuming the pack is a Trekker 65, no?

Yes sir. Proven beast. Shockingly adjustable. And a bargain. 

Wide open camping in the east does not appeal to me. Got to have a tarp, at the least.
Too much dew and/or frost.
We were covered up in frost and moisture in general Sunday morning. Humidity was above 90%.
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: hcrum87hc on November 19, 2019, 09:09:41 AM
Phenomenal trip gentlemen!  I'm still hankering to do a fishing/backpacking trip.  It's on my to do list in the next couple of years. 
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: benben reincarnated on November 19, 2019, 10:30:38 AM
Cool shit guise.

Really disappointed in the lack of rhodo in this post though.
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Big J on November 19, 2019, 11:26:03 AM
Quote from: benben reincarnated on November 19, 2019, 10:30:38 AMCool shit guise.

Really disappointed in the lack of rhodo in this post though.

No Rhodo but lots of Laurel. Lots of witch hazel for Doug to snag on too. Sat in one spot eating can of cheese balls watching Doug get snagged on back cast, get it untangled. Walk back to spot to cast and it got hung up on walk, then makes a cast and gets hung up on a branch over pool.
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Dougfish on November 19, 2019, 11:31:52 AM
I'm talented.  :laugh:  :;!
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: itieuglyflies on November 19, 2019, 11:45:01 AM
Great reports.....young man's terrain. Keep doing it every chance you get.
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: hcrum87hc on November 20, 2019, 08:01:51 AM
Quote from: Big J on November 19, 2019, 11:26:03 AM
Quote from: benben reincarnated on November 19, 2019, 10:30:38 AMCool shit guise.

Really disappointed in the lack of rhodo in this post though.

No Rhodo but lots of Laurel. Lots of witch hazel for Doug to snag on too. Sat in one spot eating can of cheese balls watching Doug get snagged on back cast, get it untangled. Walk back to spot to cast and it got hung up on walk, then makes a cast and gets hung up on a branch over pool.

Does one truly fly fish if this doesn't happen occasionally?
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Fin on November 20, 2019, 09:09:56 AM
Quotewatching Doug get snagged on back cast

Just be glad it wasn't you he snagged!  Trust me when I say, it is in one's best interest to keep a wide berth when Doug is waving a stick.
Title: Re: Winter Camping Trip
Post by: Dougfish on November 20, 2019, 09:52:30 AM
What's a tailing loop between friends?
At least the hook was barbless. :-*