Music in the Mountains Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
The next time you hike into a mountain trout stream from a ridge high up on the mountain, pause before descending far down the trail. Listen to see if you can hear the stream far below. Possibly you will discern a subtle low rumble that may remind you of the low notes of a tuba. Descend further and you may detect more of the flowing of the stream resembling a French Horn picking up the tune. Another thousand feet down the trail, as you approach the stream, the gurgling melody of the stream resembles a clarinet picking up the lead.
This music of the trout stream accompanied by the beautiful melodies of the songbirds is a wonderful reward nature provides in the mountains.
Many beginning anglers make much longer casts on mountain trout streams than is required. This robs them of accuracy and delicacy. Most of all it robs them of their chance of getting a drag-free fly drift.
I recently showed a group of beginning anglers how to preform my “Flip Cast”. In a few minutes they were all making perfect presentation casts.
Holding the fly in my line-hand I have ten feet of slack line hanging between the rod tip and the fly. I bend over and move in low and slowly to the spot I plan to make my presentation cast. The fly rod is help perpendicular while still holding the fly tightly in my line hand and retaining the ten feet of slack. I snap the fly rod forward and release the fly as the fly line rolls forward and presents the fly accurately to the target. You will be well pleased with the accuracy and delicacy you can achieve with my Flip Cast. Do not confuse this with a bow and arrow cast which lacks this accuracy.
Rewarding Outdoor-Experiences Blog Murray’s Fly Shop
One of the most rewarding outdoor-experiences is to hike into the remote sections of the mountain trout streams in order to camp and fish for several days. I like to set up my tent where two of the main feeder streams enter the streams. This enables me to fish the main stream one day and each of the feeders the next two days. By choosing the location carefully and heading into the mountains in the middle of the week, you will often heave the whole stream to yourself and find outstanding trout fishing.
I use Chest High Waders when I am fishing large trout streams and smallmouth bass rivers. I wear hippers when I am fishing mountain trout streams. If I walk into a mountain trout streams for two miles or less I wear my hippers to walk in. If I plan to walk in more than two miles, I hang my hippers over my shoulder and wear hiking shoes to walk in, then stick my shoes up on the bank and put my hippers on to fish. After I finish fishing, I put my hiking shoes back on and carry my hippers to walk back out of the mountain.
Last summer a friend took two of his fishing buddies into a small remote mountain trout stream. He had fished the stream before and felt confident in taking them to the best part of the stream. Unfortunately, he forgot to take his map with him. There were many small trails leading off the main trail that he had forgotten. They hiked for three hours and never did find the stream and finally climbed back up to the top of the mountain and came home.
I have been lost twice in the mountains when I was trying to take shortcuts to the streams. Once you are on the stream you should be okay in finding your way. However, some find mountain trout streams have no trails in or out and there may be private land at the lower end of the stream where trespassing is not allowed.
I always have the map in my vest for the stream I am fishing in the back country.
Maps – When hiking into remote mountain trout streams it is wise to have the topographic map for that area in your vest, pack or pouch. There are many trails throughout the mountains and it is easy to get lost. A friend tried to fine one recently without the map. It should have taken him forty five minutes to get to the trout stream, however he hiked three hours and never did find the trout stream.
Late last summer I drove a long distance to fish a mountain trout stream. When I arrived at the lower end of the stream, I was surprised to find it was very discolored as a result of recent rains. Checking my topographic maps I noticed that two substantial feeder streams entered my stream just a mile upstream. By hiking up the trail beside the main stream until I got upstream of the two feeder streams, I found clear water and had outstanding fishing.
On a different trip to a different stream the high stream level forced me to hike several miles upstream to where a nice little feeder brook entered the main stream. I had never fished this little feeder brook before, but that day I had one of the finest days of dry fly fishing I have ever experienced. Often you are rewarded with outstanding fishing after a short hike.
In the first part of this fly fishing report podcast Harry Murray discusses the effective flies and tactics for fishing streamers below the riffles on our stocked trout streams. (Hot Fly–Murray’s Marauder in Black or Pearl size 10)
When the mountain trout streams are carrying a high water level I always catch more fish by using short casts to precise feeding stations. Under these conditions long casts which place extra line and leader on the water can easily produce drag on the fly even when using your best effort to bridge the fast currents with your fly rod. These fast dragging drifts will almost always be refused by the trout.
Another good reason to use short casts in high streams is because the feeding stations are much more compressed than they are in a normal stream level. Dinner-plate accuracy in fly placement is often a must in high streams. The positive side of this is that the trout has less time to evaluate our flies so an accurate cast to a precise feeding station usually brings a strike.
Being able to see trout on their feeding stations in the stream and fishing to each one individully is one of the most exciting forms of angling. In order to scan the whole pool thoroughly I use my fly rod as a pointer as I sight out over its tip as I sweep it slowly from side to side and up and across the pool.