Fly Fishing the Shenandoah Valley

*Catching up on a bunch of late posts after a busy summer (and before a busy winter).  These trips occurred in July throughout Shenandoah Valley.

With the water too hot for fishing in the Chesapeake, and my boat in the shop, I, my dog, and girlfriend headed into the Jefferson National Forest to camp.  Pleasant weather and hungry trout were welcomed, along with the distractions offered by nature.

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Virginia brook trout.
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Low water in the valley.

The following weekend, my family and I headed to Harrisonburg, Virginia.  We had booked a day of fishing on Mossy Creek through the Mossy Creek Fly Shop (probably the nicest fly shop I have ever seen – go if you haven’t been).  Our guide Eric Gibson fished my dad, sister, and myself.  The weather was hot, and the fish were fussy.  By the end of the day, I had caught a personal best rainbow, and a couple smaller fish on dry flies.

We ate and drank at the Local Chophouse and Grill in Harrisonburg, and walked around the town, catching live music at a local brewery.  My sister would be moving to Alaska within the next month, and there with my family, I felt the weight of life and time:  The transience of experience, and the preciousness of those you value.  Being with family in the pastures and woods of Virginia (and maybe a few good beers) helped reconnect to those truths.

The following day, my dad and I hiked into the backwoods of the national forest.  We found colorful brook trout in all sizes, hidden far from roads and people.  I was filled with joy as my dad caught his first few brook trout, admiring their fluorescent bellies and emerald sides.

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Supersized brook trout, at least for Virginia.
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Dad wrestling with a mid-sized trout.

Good fun.  Good memories.

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