What to do when you haven’t been fishing in awhile.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  It being the end of the semester, all the committees I’m on or chair, that and having an only child that is 6, I wonder how anyone finds time to write a blog.  Well now I’m sick in bed, (you try being around all those petri dishes called kids and students and not get sick once and awhile) and I have free time to type away.

Babcock cabin.

Since I haven’t had any time to fish lately I thought I’d write a bit about a past trip.  This trip took place two summers past, and took place at Babcock State Park in West Virginia.  I planned to meet my buddy John Heitt, who was driving over from Kentucky.  I arrived first and drove down to the cabin we’d reserved.  The cabins were built as part of Roosevelt’s work program administration (WPA) and are the old style log cabins.  Inside you walk directly into the main living space, which has a large river stone fireplace, two old falling apart rocking chairs, a dining table, and a queen size bed.  Off to one side there’s a small kitchen, a small bedroom, and a bath with shower.  Upon opening the door all the mice scampered for cover.  When I say all, I’m talking possibly 3 digits worth. “Make note to self, hang everything from ceiling.”

It ain’t even big enough to eat!

All in Bloom

John was still about an hour out so I decided to hike down to the stream below the cabin.  No easy feat since it’s a deep gorge.  I scouted around and came across a few paths.  Headed down through the rhododendron, which were still in bloom in July, and careful not to slip and slid, I made it to the bottom in one piece after about 15 minutes.  I visually marked the spot at the river with an arrow shaped from a bunch of stones.  When you grow up hiking in the Appalachian Mountains you know how easy it is to get turned around and lost in all the thick growth.

Whooper of a fish.

Stream with boulders.

The stream was perfect, although tight.  I started fishing hole-to-hole and headed down stream.  The trick to this type of stream fishing is to cast to the spots under the large boulders.  After about 30 minutes I hooked a whopper of a minnow.  My task completed I started back for the spot I had marked.  Once I found the marked spot I moved to the so-called path and began the trek uphill, using the rhododendron to pull myself up.  About half way up I ran into the first ‘was it the left or the right path?’  At the toss of a mental coin I went for the left path.  After 15 minutes I figured I took the wrong turn, but not to worry, I was still headed up hill.  This had to run into the access road sooner or later.  Finally after 30 minutes of climbing I made it back to the cabin and found John unpacking.  John drives a van, which is always fully equipped to camp out for about a month.  No kidding, the man has everything in there.

Once we were both settled in we drove over to the small lake connected to the park, rented a boat and stated catching fish.

Like Glass!

Me fishing the hole.

As the day wore on we figured it was time to hit the stream and fish for trout.  There’s a pool that is directly below the main administration building, which originally was designed to be a swimming hole.  It was now silted up but perfect for fly-fishing.  On the first cast to the far side of the pool I caught a beauty of a brown.  After about a total of four keepers between us we drove back to the cabin and had a great trout dinner, and then off to bed.  That night it rained cats and dogs and the next morning we discovered the streams completely blown out.  For the rest of the trip was looking at beautiful scenery, since neither one of us caught a thing.