Four hours later, I had camp set up and had just enough light left to add another new brookie stream to my personal list. First drift...
The next morning I was up at daylight, made myself a nice cup of coffee, and picked up on the stream I had fished briefly the evening before.
While at Myrtle Beach I picked up a new wading shoe, the Vibram FiveFingers. It was really nice to feel like you were wading barefoot, but the jury is still out on the traction they provide.
Following a brief, successful outing on this new stream it was off to the Cranberry Visitor's Center. I will not go into the details of how the bucket brigade works, you can find them in the 2009 Bucket Brigade entry.
The details I will provide:
- In 2008 there were 32 volunteers who moved about 4.5 tons of limestone fines.
- In 2009 there were over 50 volunteers (seven different TU chapters) who moved 7 tons.
- In 2010 we had over 110 volunteers who moved 9 tons.
Among the volunteers were representatives of six different TU chapters, over 60 Walmart volunteers (12-15 different stores across WV and VA), WVDNR volunteers, American Electric Power volunteers, Morris Creek watershed association volunteers, and volunteers from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
We also received $5,000 in grant money from American Electric Power and another $1,000 from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The shirts worn by the Walmart volunteers:
Following a fine lunch, for which the rain stopped, it was off to the water again. This would be a special outing, as I would be partnered with the driving force behind the bucket brigade and head of the WV DNR limestone fines program. Our destination would be the Middle Fork itself!
As we strung up our rods at the trailhead the skies opened up again. We tried to wait it out but it wasn't going to let up. As we entered the trail we passed what appeared to be three generations of spin fisherman - not a good sign when the locals know the brookies are back.
I'm not one to stereotype and they didn't appear to have a creel of fish but they did say all of the holes had boot prints around them. I assumed they were fishing close to the trailhead, but that's not where we were headed. We were going in at least a mile before we started fishing.
The driving rain made fishing my typical dry/dropper difficult, but I did manage one on top.
My first Middle Fork of the Williams brookie. I can't describe the feeling I had knowing I did my part to restore this stream that was "dead" for many years!
With fishing on top a little slow, I turned to my "go to" pattern - a size 12 olive woolybugger.
I started picking up brookies more frequently going subsurface, including this brookie, the largest of the day.
These guys make you wonder what the future holds for this stream.
There are a couple of TU events I look forward to every year and this one has to be at the top of the list!