Sunday, December 23, 2012

Preparing for Ohio Steelhead Alley

Its that time of year again folks. I'm headed off to Ohio to see the in-laws and do some chrome fishing. As you remember, my in-laws and all their house guests speak Russian. As I do not speak I feel left out, and thus I have started to make a pilgrimage north from C'bus to the Lake Erie tribs for chrome.

You may remember my trip last year. I can't wait to go again. A few sandwiches from What About Bob's will have me drooling the whole drive up. And lets not neglect this drive. The wife and kid are flying there. That leaves me and dr jones to drive. Having the car to ourselves means several things:
  • I don't have to hold in my farts for 7 hours
  • I can listen to my music and podcasts (Mike O'meara Show)
  • I can utilize the front seat for snacks (jerky and soda)
  • I can smoke a cigar if she does not find out
  • Me and dr jones can take a break and stop in Cabelas. 
I've been tying up a storm. I wanted to get into some intruder style patterns after following Mike D. on Facebook and Instagram. His Redspot Fly patterns are beautiful. And from the pictures he posts, successful. As I didn't have the materials to get into those patterns, I went with some articulated popsicles.

 I clearly have tied over a hundred flies on scud hooks recently.
 Here is my new 'no thread egg' fly.
 A pile of fuscia buggers. Materials from Malinda's shop.
 Black buggers. Not something I typically fish.
 And here is the recent box of flies. I've been tying these up since August. I have hundreds of patterns and I still feel like I don't  have enough for a 2 day trip. Not bringing my vise either. Don't forget the other full box this size and a handful of smaller pocket sized boxes.
 Here is a purple articulated popsicle.
 This one has a magnum zonker tail.
 All three of them. I feel these will work as I only have 4-5 tied. Thanks to Martin from Flymen Fish company for the articulated shenks.

I'm pretty sure my  Patagonia waders are leaking. Thus I'm going to try out my new Orvis Pro-guides. I'm wearing them right now. Its rather cush wearing a pair of waders in a drafty house. I've got just a few more hours to find my Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor reel with Rio Outbound. I'm going to start recording a podcast tonight and lets see who we can get while there. Maybe some anglers in the lot, the Orvis store, Mad River Outfitters, and Chagrin River Outfitters.

I have yet to figure out where to stay on Wednesday night. I of course want to camp. But its going to be cold and dumping snow. Mike D. gave me a motel name to try. We'll see.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fly Fishing Mossy Creek, Virginia

I have included my notes from the podcast below.

The cows along the stream. Their weight really messes up the stream bank. It can be trampled and pock marked. Their feces and urine doesn't help either.
 Look for this sign to park
 This was on the way. That place sounds like fun!
 Note the lane of fishable water between the vegetation. That is where you need to be able to cast and get a drift.

 The angler path along the stream
 More views of the vegetation.  You can see the undercut bank on the otherside
 Parking lot signage
 The bridge at the parking lot. Note there are 3 silver cars in the lot.

 I've been told that there is no floor in this house and that the basement is full of cow bones.
 Note when casting, keep  your shadow off the water. Stand back from the bank.
 More vegetation pictures. Note the color of the water.

A freshly stocked brown trout.
 My kid taking a break.

 Cattle trampled shoreline.

 Watch out for holes, especially in winter when they are covered in snow.
 Its muddy around the springs. Bring boots not waders.

 This bluejay got eaten.
 My streamer for the trip.

I thought it was a cat:

From my old website: Years of fishing told us there would be a trout under this bank. So I walked up to the field and grabed a handful of Japanese beetles, shook them up in my hand to confuse them, and toss them in.
Sure enough, a trout came up and sipped each one down as they floated past. That was one of the coolest things I've ever seen.
So I did it again and Tom cast a foam beetle in with the live ones and hooked up.

From my old website: The flies were coming off so thick, it was like a snow flurry.There were so many trout rising, it looked as if someone had thrown a handful of gravel in the stream. There was a ring from a rise every foot or so.
I tied on a white wulff and started to it. I hooked several large and I mean large trout. Most fell off or broke the line. I got this one up the 6 foot bank and snapped a photo.

Mossy Creek
Walk softly and carry a long stick
·         Shout out to Gene
·         Brought to  you by Patagonia

1.       Background on Mossy
2.       The fish in Mossy
3.       Fishing Mossy
4.       Fly shops

I do the research so you don’t have to

Mossy Creek is Virginia's most famous fly fishing destination. Flowing through rolling farmland, it is a classic limestone creek that features tough-to-catch brown trout, undulating masses of aquatic vegetation, swift runs, and steep drop-offs. It is especially challenging to beginning fly anglers, and can even frustrate experienced fishermen. Since no wading is allowed, fish must be approached cautiously from steep banks. Those with patience and technique have often been rewarded with 25 inch brownie hook-ups.
Mossy Creek was first opened to public fishing in 1978. DGIF, Trout Unlimited, and landowners along the stream partnered to create this world-class fishery. It was sealed with a simple agreement that all anglers must carry a signed permit card along with a valid Virginia fishing license. Since that time, fishermen have honed their fly fishing skills and hundreds of browns have been caught and released from its spring-fed waters. Thousands of young brown trout have been stocked into its waters since the 1970's, allowing the food-rich waters and stable flow of Mossy Creek to grow out the fingerlings. The result is a popular destination that is sure to resonate with fly casters of all ages
Mossy Creek runs through private property, so courtesy to landowners and their property is expected. Parking is allowed at two parking lots, one next to Mossy Creek Presbyterian Church and the other at the junction of Route 42 and Route 747. No restrooms or port-a-john's are available. No handicap access is available. New fence crossings were installed by DGIF, Trout Unlimited, Boy Scouts, and Dominion Resources personnel in 2006.
A 4-mile portion of stream upstream from the Augusta/Rockingham county line to a sign posted at the confluence of Joseph's Spring. The stream is located just off Route 42 south of Bridgewater. (See map)
Fishing is restricted to fly-fishing only and * a written landowner permit must be obtained. This no cost permit can be obtained:
  • online (the fastest & easiest option!),
  • by mail, or
    • If requesting a permit by mail, anglers must send the name and address for each angler requesting a permit and must enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. Mail requests to Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, P.O. Box 996, Verona, VA 24482, phone: (540) 248-9360.
  • in person at the Verona Regional Office.

·         Augusta County – google kyles mill rd X Mossy Creek Rd or Mossy Creek Presbyterian Church
·         About 2 hours from DC – straight shot or 1 tank of gas
·         Spring fed creek
o   Same temp year round
o   Same water clarity year round
o   Meanders through pasture
o   Constant depth
o   Aquatic macro invertebrate live year round
o   Aquatic vegetation lives year round
o   Trout can grow and feed year round
o   Water is milky colored

  • ·From Jason Hallacher (thus its in blue): We shock a variety of fish when we sample Mossy. It is loaded with sculpins, so bring your sculpin patterns. We also catch Fall Fish, Rock bass, White Suckers, American Eels, Pearl Dace, Fantail Darter, Blacknose Dace and the occasional Rainbow Trout
  • When asked about Macroinvertebrates: bluewing olive, sulphur, dun variant, march brown, spotted sedge, black gnat, sculpin, crayfish, scud, green drake, (summer = ants, beetles, hoppers).
  • No visible change in elevation
  • Private section vs. public (some kid caught a 8lb or so trout on a private section on a worm)
  • Not as crowded as you’d think. Parking lot holds about 4-5 cars
  • Fish on weekends and holidays
  • It’s a lot of walking, be a minimalist
  • Surrounded by pasture
  • Very thick vegetation that is not maintained
  • Cow pies and cow hoof holes
  • Muskrat holes
  • Electric fence
  • No wading – well beaten paths
  • Lots of mint
  • No shade
  • Creepy buildings with dead cow parts/bones
  • Angler access with step stair bridges over wire
  • Cows shite and piss in the water
  • Walk all the way up till the stream turns into a marshy spring
The fish
  • Brown trout
  • Stocked as fingerlings –said to be food for the adults
  • VDGIF stocks 10,000 advanced fingerling Brown Trout every year within the 3 mile public stretch of water. They are approximately 6-8” in length. The upper end of the life expectancy of these stocked fish is about 5 years. At this age fish can reach 20+ inches. Our current estimates show approximately 500 fish per mile, so it is definitely a target rich environment.
  • Currently we don’t have any mark recaptures studies planned for Mossy Creek. Feel free to mention our website for more information.
  • Be sneaky- no shadows, no noise, blend in, sand back, stand in shade, crouch. Be a hunter
  • Probably won’t see them unless they come out to chase fly
  • Can get up to several pounds
  • Buttery to sliver in color
·         Four seasons
o   Winter – streamers
o   Spring – terrestrials & streamers
o   Summer – terrestrials . fish closer to the springs and shade
o   Fall – hoppers and streamers
·         Flies
o   (bugs that live along open fields, bugs that live in spring creeks)
o   big streamers (kreelex)
o    Japanese beetles
o   Ants
o   Hoppers, dave’s chopper, shenks cricket,  club sandwiches, katydids
o   Tricos
o    White wulffs during summer nights
o   clouser minnow
o   wool head sculpin
o   shrimp, big streame
o     jassid
o   Mouse
o   crayfish
  • Fish eat other fish
  • Don’t fish near shore
  • Keep shadow off water – fish the side with sun across from y ou
  • Fish the bank that doesn’t cast a shadow
  • Cast your line over the vegetation so only your leader is on the water
  • High stick
  • Fish from several feet back
  • Don’t make noise
  • Clothes to blend in with the sky
  • Long rod
  • Strong leader
  • Very little room to drift
  • Precise casting into small slots b/w mossy
  • No need for waders, willies are fine
  • Polarized glasses
  • Big shade providing hat
  • Always hotter in summer as it’s a field, no shade. Bring lots of water
  • Watch out for skunks
  • Allow fly to sit on bottom or hang in current
  • Cast terrestrials onto other bank and slowly pull in
  • Fish both sides of the bank
  • Fish the shade
  • Fish the structure – logs, trees, willows, rocks
  • Don’t waste all  your time at the bridge by the church
  • Watch your line on the weeds around  your feet

Fly shops
·         Mossy Creek Fly Shop