Saturday, March 31, 2007

Awesome Trout Fishing at Rose River Farm

I had the opportunity to spend a couple days with some great people at Rose River Farm in Madison County, Virginia. The farm maintains a stretch of the Rose River for private, fly only, catch and release trout fishing, and the fishing is amazing.

The weather was perfect. Considering the last couple times I fished at all I was in upstate New York in water that was near freezing and air that was well below, I had forgotten how nice it is to fish in a t-shirt. Not to mention thoughts on the water of did I bring sunscreen vs. do I have enough pairs of socks to get me through the day.

It wasn't long before I hooked my first trout on Thursday evening (pictured above with the odd perspective of someone else taking a picture of me using a camera I'm strapped to), and I was flat out stunned at the strength of this fish. It was a bit windy so I was using my 5 weight, and this fish simply could not be forced in, it was fun to have to play a trout to land him. As it turns out, seemingly every fish in that stretch of water is equally muscular. I found out that they have no problem breaking off 5X tippet when I wasn't patient enough and got a little heavy handed on the reel.

Here are some photos from Friday, a day that by the time the sun set had unfolded as the best day of trout fishing I've ever had. Numbers? I don't know, maybe 15 trout to hand. But every single one of them was healthy, meaty and strong, strong, strong! Man, this was fun fishing.

Fish on, Friday morning, and you can see the adverse conditions under which I am fishing. Note the long sleeves.

Clear water gave me the opportunity to finally get some decent underwater shots with my Olympus waterproof camera. Still need to get better at these, but I am encouraged by these shots and think I'll be able to get some better ones in the future.

Douglas, a most gracious host, handed me his rod after releasing this fish, already rigged up with the Rose River secret weapon fly, and before long I had a big fish on. I panicked when I realized for the first time that the reel was a right hand retrieve! I'm used to left hand so I just kind of locked up for a minute until my brain could figure out how to reverse everything. Very awkward, but I had about a half dozen fish in the next half hour to get used to it! (I never did.)

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