Each year we pick a location and gather for a weekend of fishing and camaraderie. This weekend we were located in Elkins - West Virginia trout central.
On Friday I finally met up with a fellow board member who has invited me multiple times to fish one of his "jewel" brookie streams. This isn't your typical dry fly fishing stream. This is a weighted woolybugger, dredging the bottom, monster-hunting stream. I've heard reports of native brookies pushing 16" caught out of this stream...but don't ask, because, out of respect of my "guide", I'm not telling!
I've caught my fair share of native brookies, but I may have caught my biggest to date out of this stream. From fingertip to watch band, my hand measure 8". This may have been my first 12"-class native brook trout.
My fishing partner (aptly, he goes by the handle of brookie on WVAngler) caught the fish of the day, a true two-hander.
I didn't land any of the monster brookies, but some of the fish I saw take a swipe at my woolybuggers would have been 14" easy. A truly amazing stream! Did I mention there is an old limestone quarry near the head of it?
That evening it was an incredible time with friends around a nice campfire.
The next day it was to one of my favorite West Virginia brookie streams to show a couple of good friends the canyon section. One had never fished this section and the other had never fished the stream at all.
The new guy to the stream was fellow native angler and my partner for my 2007 Native Salmonid Roadtrip. He is as passionate about the natives as me and this stream has been on his list for a couple of years, we simply couldn't coordinate it.
I did manage to pick up a few fish, but this wasn't about catching fish. This day was about spending time on an incredible stream with great friends.
I hung back, took photos, played hide-and-seek, and (on a dare) took a dive into one of the deeper pools.
Here is the pair splitting a section of small pocket water.
Everyone I take in here, I try to get a photo of him under this stream landmark.
I don't know that I have ever had a better time on the water!
Following a successful journey into on one of my favorite streams I took them to another stream that I fished for the first time in 2009. I actually fished a little harder on this stream - it was slow going and I had to prove to them there actually were fish in there. At one point I may have jokingly offered to provide lessons.
Finally, back at the trailhead at the end of a long day.