The ides of March

North Fork Mountain, WV

I am thankful that regardless of the turmoil we encounter in life, there is always solace to be found on a trout stream. Church being cancelled today made fishing on Sunday morning guilt-free. Driving back country roads listening to all music and no news, with the sun shining through the March trees, and the fields coming to life in green and Dogwoods starting to bloom – everything in the world seemed normal again.

I tried fishing a larger C&R stream, but the current was a little too fast and too cold still to hold trout, and the big holes were full of people, some with fly rods and some with spinners. I gave some good looking seams a little over an hour with no luck, so I packed up and drove an hour to get to some high mountain water.

This stream too was hopping with people since it had just been stocked, but I have long had my eye on a little canyon that drops away from the road where people are just not going to make the effort to walk. Today was the day to give it a try.

I had rigged a 5wt 8.5’ Orvis Recon on the South Branch with an egg sack, a hot-spot bugger, and a Holy Grail soft hackle. It was too much work to take this down and rig up my 2wt, so I left this on,which was way too much. First pocket of water I hit on the little mountain stream I had a tangled-up mess. Served me right. I have calculate I lose approximately 30 minutes of fishing every time I have to rig-up. I really need to get a rod carrier fo my truck so I can leave them ready to go.

I decided to simplify things: a Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear with a Hare’s Ear nymph. No split shot, smaller strike indicator. First pocket I caught the largest Native Brookie of my life.

I noticed that the little stream had split into two smaller streams, one of which was home to multiple beavers.

Big Brookie calls this plunge pool home.
One of several Beaver plunges

These beaver plunges were the brook trout Mecca. Every plunge held multiple trout, and they were eager to try out my hare’s ears.

In about 90 minutes time I caught four very nice Brook Trout. What a splendid afternoon to take my mind off all the worries of the world. At one point I had two beavers swim past me, I saw something else coming behind them and it was a trout – I guess eating up anything the beavers churned up on the bottom.

There is solace in the outdoors, especially in finding those areas where other people will not go, places unspoiled and wild. And sometimes everything comes together and there is a trout everywhere there should naturally be a trout, and he is willing to take your fly, and God lets you get her to your net, and for just a moment you get to hold God’s perfection in your hand. Hold on to those moments, seek them as often as you can, and look back in your mind and relive them in the quiet of your days.

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