SW Virginia Report

My son and I trecked to the SW corner of Virginia on Friday morning to camp and flail at the trout for a few days. We found the water to be low,warm and very clear…spooky trout!

Saturday AM we fished the Whitetop Laurel at Creek Junction and caught numerous trout in the 6" range and a few that went 12", Most successful flies were the EHC #12 and in the quiet water I had luck with an Adams parachute #14 with a pheasant tail nymph on a 14" dropper.

Saturday PM we fished the Whitetop Laurel at the Virginia Creeper parking area on Highway 58. Caught a few but the sun was bright and the leader left a shadow like an anchor line.

Sunday morning we fished Big Tumbling near Saltville. Beautiful stream but the power-baiters were in virtually every hole. We might try that stream again after October when the power-baiters leave. This is a fee fishing stream that is stocked regularly until October 1. I don’t even know why the stock the stream as we caught numerous 3" rainbows…evidence that the fish are reproducing.

Sunday PM we fished the headwaters of the South Fork - Holston River at and above the Buller Hatchery near St. Clair’s Bottom. In the catch and release portion behind the hatchery we found the water low and clear and the trout spooky. We caught a few small trout and saw numerous monsters (24" or better) but there were no takers no matter what I floated by them. After a few hours we proceeded up into the gorge…beautiful limestone spring-fed stream. Water still a bit low but much cooler than the other streams that we fished. Success on yellow salley (little yellow stonefly) #12, EHC #14, and Light Cahill parachute # 16. We did not have time to reach the cabin at the top of the mountain as darkness caught us. Climbing out of the gorge I was using a tree for a pull-up…the tree snapped and I took a 15’ header…tumbling over roots and rocks…down to the streambed. Scared the hell out of my son as he said my head was bouncing on rocks and such. Bruised hip, swollen knee, bruised face,