Monday, April 29, 2013



Finally, spring has arrived.

Finally, I felt the rod load despite a not so perfect loop.

Finally, I felt the line tighten.

Finally, I have something to write about.


Spring showed up to my house for a day or two in January of this year.  When Spring told me it would be back…I figured sometime in March, that’s when it usually comes to stay here…but as March turned to April…Spring was nowhere to be found.  March is usually when my local water’s wake up, but not this year.  Family commitments and of course a few gigs kept me from trekking out to the mountains where the fish like it a little colder.

Finally, Spring showed up just in time for an early April jaunt to the Virginia Creeper trail and one of my favorite trout streams, Whitetop Laurel Creek.

But let me back up just a bit…I don’t want anyone to think 2013 had me sitting around.  This year I set some goals…not resolutions but goals.  I set goals for beer drinking (they’ve already been met), fishing (way behind on these) and I set a goal of 1300 miles of biking, hiking and paddling for the year.  I mentioned gigs…had a great one for St. Patrick’s Day at the coast, but you guessed it…it was a little chilly.

My Fly Fishing Bike on Whitetop Laurel

While it’s been cold this “spring” I’ve managed to hit 462 miles as of today.  Sixty-two miles have been on foot, 160 miles single-tracking and 240 cyclo-crossing, with 60 of those being “cyclo-fishing” miles.  That’s why I was on the Virginia Creeper trail…a rails-trail that flows along some great trout water. The primary reason we were there was to help boys in our local scout troop do 50-miles to finish up their cycling merit badge.  Since I was the “sweeper” on this trip…I headed out ahead of the scouts and adults so that I could stop and fish my way along the trail.

My Homemade Rod Holder
That morning started crisp and cold and the trout took their time waking up.  The bugs never did seem to get out of bed.  Since I’m not one that likes to drift nymphs all day I opted for a small streamer. The first few spots yielded nothing, but once the sunshine hit the water, the trout hit my fly.  I connected with a nice wild brown trout.  It felt good.  I paid him my respects and gently released him to the water.


I managed a few wild rainbows too, none really photo worthy, but after such a long dry spell it was great to see a fish slash at my fly.  At one point a fellow fly fisher was walking up the trail while some cyclists stop to watch me fish.  I must have looked funny…waders and a bike helmet…but no one laughed…except me when on the first cast to a likely lie, I connected with another nice brown trout.  After releasing the fish, I exchanged pleasantries and fly patterns with the other fly fisherman.  Satisfied, I mounted my bike and headed down the trail.  I caught up with my scouts and other adults and we finished the 50-miles.

A Fine Whiteop Laurel Brown Trout

I am so enamored with my cyclo-cross bike and fishing that I’ve started riding it to my local waters.  This past Saturday I rode about 7 miles and fished the Eno River. Nothing like combining passions…there are a lot of greenways and trails out there that run along fishable waters.

Now that its spring I can finally get out there to fish them.