Come Hell or High Water

Living in Elkins, WV on the eastern front of the Allegheny Mountains, we expect rain. In fact, we average 49 inches per year; We hit 25” two weeks ago. It also snowed four inches last Saturday and the temperature plummeted to 27 degrees, leaving Scarlet Tanagers dead all over the roads and apple blossoms frozen. These are indeed strange times, and while I will not argue with anyone over the causes of climate change, I am an emphatic believer that the climate is changing at a rate that is noticeable to anyone who spends time outdoors.

Turkey decoys in the snow.

All of this rain put the kibosh on any hopes of fishing for those of us who work M-F. The chances of having low water on a weekend have turned out to be not so good. The only guys I know who have been able to fish the rare windows of good conditions are those who are retired or off work on furlough, and even they are struggling with crashing water temps, high flow, and overall crappy weather.

Then this weekend the stars magically aligned, the water was clear with normal flow, and the sky. – for the most part – was void of rain. My old friend Steve and I have been trying to get together on the water for a couple of years, and this weekend finally worked out for that as well.

Now Steve is the kind of guy you want to spend time on the water with. He enjoys being out there, is willing to go the extra effort to find wild trout, knows miscellanies things about miscellanies things, and bitches about everything for a hobby. He keeps the day entertaining.

To continue the trend of a day when everything goes well, the trout were cooperative. Between the two of us we landed over a dozen wild or native trout, hooked up many more, and had countless rises – and all on dry flies.

Caught the first four on the Caddis tied by my good buddy and excellent fly tier JB.

This well-worn royal wulff in bright green brought the most action. Caught four on it plus many hookups. The black bear tail gave it a unique touch.

In one week we went from snow to 82 degrees. This little run yielded a 7” rainbow.

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