Largemouth Bass Lineup

Largemouth Bass Lineup

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Harman's North Fork Cottages Day 3-Evening Session....

Again, I sit here on a Sunday while watching football and my fantasy team trying to play catch-up.  Once again life has gotten in the way and once again I find myself apologizing for my lack of blogging.  I am hoping to get more on track soon.  For those that know what I do for a living, I am sure you will understand.  I did not intend to drag out our Harman's adventure for a month.  I had planned to post every day but that isn't working out well for me.  So, please bear with me and hopefully work will slow down soon.

Quick Recap:  Greg and I came and conquered the browns, rainbows and tigers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings.  I broke my 3wt on Thursday and Greg broke my 5wt on Friday.  Two rods down and two days still to go. My birthday was in full swing.

The morning session was finished so we headed back to the cabin for breakfast.  Honestly, at this point in time I can't even remember what I had but I don't think it really matters.  After breakfast Greg and I killed some time by tying.  The Road Kill Nymph in chartreuse had slayed the smallies and panfish on Friday.  Greg and I were thinking of going back to the same spot we hit on Friday for some warm water action.  He had burned through, or should I say the fish burned through, the flies I gave him on Friday.  So we sat down and commenced to tie up some killer flies.

On a side note, Greg never smiles in photos.  Here is a prime example:
Greg constantly mocks my goofy grin as well.  So in an effort to make him smile and have some fun, we reversed roles:
Photos courtesy of Melissa Price AKA The Wife.

Alright back to the story.  We tied for about an hour or so and planned the evening's session.  The girls were hanging outside on the deck.  I decided to venture out there.  Almost immediately I heard thunder.  What the hell?  As the time progressed, so did the thunder.  A talk with Greg and the girls revealed an unknown situation with the weather.  In an effort to still do something other than becoming a human lightening rod, we all decided to venture out of cabin and visit the trout hatchery.  Why not right?  Seemed like something fun to do.  So we all piled into our Honda Pilot and headed out.  We had to go up the side of a small mountain to get there.  As we were doing so, I noticed that the car shifted out of gear and into neutral or so I thought.  Greg quickly looked at me and asked if I did that to which I replied "NO!"  We were able to find a place to pull over which was great.  The bad news was that I couldn't get the car to shift back into drive.  I was only able to shift into reverse.  I think at this point it is also important to point out that this area is in the mountains of WV.  There is no cell phone service.  Not like I would know who to call anyways but I think you get the point.  I was finally able to get the vehicle to shift into drive and we turned around and headed home.  Guess what......we didn't make it.

As we came through the town of Petersburg and of course as we were going up a hill, the car quit working.  It would not move forward anymore.  Done.  End of story.  Shit!!!!  My wife got in the driver's seat and the rest of us piled out to push.  I would like to make a statement or more of an observation here.  Traffic had backed up behind us.  People were impatient.  Yet not one person helped us, though a couple did honk.  Amazing!  Oncoming traffic didn't even stop as we tried to turn left onto a side street.  Again...amazing!

We were able to get the car safely on a side street.  Now what?  It was four o'clock on a Saturday afternoon on a holiday weekend in a town with no mechanic and no cell phone service.  WTF?  The girls were able to walk to a store and ask for help.  Luckily for them, some people who were also staying at Harman's offered to give them a ride back.  After a quick discussion, we decided that Greg's woman and I would stay with the vehicle while Greg and my wife headed back to Harman's to get the other vehicle and find help.

The wife and Greg headed back.  The wife spoke with the front desk at Harman's.  Their Fred!  For those that know about Harman's or watch Fly Rod Chronicles, know that Fred is a fixture there.  After a while, Fred and a friend showed up straight from shopping.  As Fred exited the vehicle he stated "I am not a miracle worker.  That being said, I will help you anyway I can."  This they did.  After several phone calls, Fred had a diagnoses on the car.   Radiator was done.  Its fluid had mixed with the transmission fluid which killed the transmission.  Awesome!  I told Fred "Tell Curtis thanks!" in a joking manner.  I proceeded to explain about how well this wedding present/birthday/vacation was going so far.  We were able to arrange for a tow on Sunday which meant we would have to leave the car overnight.  As we were discussing our options, a young and rough looking gentleman from the house we were parked in front of came outside.  He walked up to me, looked my Honda up one side and down the other as he asked "You all leaving this here overnight?"  I replied yes and he informed me "I will watch it for ya."  We spent the rest of the evening teasing and taking bets on whether or not my vehicle would be on blocks when we came back for it on Sunday.  With everything worked out, we headed back to the cabins.  I would like to point out  how wonderful Fred and the people at Harman's were.  While our dilemma had nothing to do with them, and was not at all their problem to solve, everyone went out of their way to help us.  I can't say enough good things about Fred or the Harman's staff.

By the time we got back, I was pissed, to say the least.  What a terrible birthday I was having!  Now we were in WV with one car between four of us and enough luggage/fishing stuff to last a dozen people a week- how are we going to get home??!!  I decided to go out and chase the trout for a while.  I only managed to land two rainbows.  The crappy birthday continued its wonderful streak.
Sorry about the photo.  Blogger rotated it and I can't figure out how to fix it back.

So with the evening session done and only two trout landed my birthday ended on a rather sour note. It actually might have been the worst birthday ever for me and it was most certainly shaping up to be the worst vacation ever!   

Please Vote

If you could, please take a moment and vote in the current poll located on the right side of the screen.  I am just looking to see what other people use regarding the size of their poppers.  Thanks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Harman's North Fork Cottages Day 3-Morning Session

Previously at Harman's: We had arrived on Thursday and caught some trout.  I broke my 3wt rod which I have had for the past 18 years.  The very first rod I ever got.  The next day Greg and I got up and fished out behind the cabin.  We caught more trout.  After lunch, we hooked up with Kevin over at and chased smallies and panfish in the early afternoon/evening.  When we got home, Greg broke my favorite 5wt rod by closing the door to the cabin on the tip of it.  So a day and a half into this wedding present/vacation/birthday trip I am two rods down and to think my wife mocked me for bringing four rods!

So September 3rd dawned a new day and we got up again in order to pursue those browns, rainbows and tigers out behind the cabin.  As the trip progressed, I noticed that our catch rate dropped.  By the morning of day 3 we were struggling to land something.  The fish had gotten wise to our tactics.  Dries weren't raising them and the woolly buggers would only cause them to move out of the way of it as it came down their feeding lane.  I was able to land four rainbows throughout the morning on the Batman and Colorado Special.  Basically I irritated the fish enough into biting.  With a small stripping action, I was able to make the rainbows chase the nymphs.  It was a blast to watch them circle it, swipe at it, race by it, and turn on it with arched backs.  It would drive them wild and they had to keep following it.  God forbid another rainbow was also following it or paid even the slightest attention to it because someone would surely eat the nymph out of spite.  I am convinced they would eat it just to make sure the other fish didn't get it.  As I stated, in the end I managed to bring four rainbows to hand before the morning session ended due to the sun peaking over the hill.  All in all it was a good morning, nothing broken and a fine start to my birthday.  Things were looking up or so I thought.

Monday, September 19, 2011

We Made the Harman's Newsletter

Just a quick update to say that we made the newsletter for Harman's North Fork Cottages.  Kind of excited and something different for me.  They didn't say anything earth shattering but merely being mentioned is an honor.  Hopefully it will generate some more traffic for the blog as well.  Here it is:

Harman's North Fork Cottages
(6) Customer's Comments from early September Visit
Here is a blog from a customer about his stay after Labor Day weekend.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Thoughts and Ramblings

As I sit here and watch the Redskins struggle against the Cardinals, I realize that I have a ton of blogging to do and many blogs to catch up on. Sorry about that, people. I usually work from 2 in the afternoon to midnight which means I tend to be in bed between 2 and 3 in the morning. Last week I had to work from 5 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. This meant that I had to be up by 330 at the latest. Needless to say, I struggled and didn't get a damn thing done either before or after work.

The vacation/wedding present/birthday from hell continues. We just found out that the tow bill for the car is probably going to double in cost. That would mean around 800 bucks. I know I am jumping the gun a little with this post but I felt it would be OK. I still need to explain what happened for the remaining two and a half days we were at Harman's. I hope to get back to that either later today or tomorrow. To make matters worse, I got sick on Saturday morning and spent much of the day feeling like I was going to throw up as well as sleeping. This is something I was trying to avoid. When we picked our son up from my wife's sister, she was kind enough to advise us that our son would be getting sick as both of her boys had been sick. She and her husband got it as well. My son got it on Thursday and my wife on Sunday. Must have been like a three day incubation period. So like I said, the vacation/wedding present/birthday from hell continues.

As a side note I have a question for all you loyal followers. I have noticed that my cold water or trout fishing adventures do not get a lot of traffic and comments. Are you all interested more in the tying or warm water/bass adventures? Just wondering as I thought it was a little curious to see. I have always loved chasing brookies and cut my teeth fly fishing for them in the mountain streams. I moved to smallies and river fish because the bite was a bit more explosive and the fish greater both in size as well as numbers caught. I have not gotten out as much as I would have liked this year to really chase anything. With that being said though, I am thinking I might start doing some more trout fishing. As much as I dearly love fishing for smallies and panfish, there is something magical about trout fishing. I am not talking about brookies. Yes brookies are beautiful fish. However, I am talking about the rainbows and browns who cause you to throw fly after fly at them in order to get them to rise. I speaking about watching those trout as they move up to nudge, examine or even what appears to be sniffing your fly. Wishing for them to take it. Some of us at times may even be pleading with a higher power in order to get them to take it. I know I have done that a few times. Then the refusal and they vanish back into the deep. All of this can occur in seconds and really makes your heart skip a beat. This really isn't something new for me. Last year when we came back from Harman's, I was on the trout kick. The season it would seem is quickly winding down so we shall see what the next few months hold. I know that we are all busy with work and family stuff, but I sincerely hope to get out and chase fish with a fly rod regardless of what species they are.

Monday, September 12, 2011

20 Inch Wild Rainbow

Here is a photo I got from Kevin over at  Kevin and I fished on 09/02/11 in Moorefield, WV together.  My chartreuse Road Kill Nymphw as slaying them.  I gave Kevin a few.  He lost one and kept one.  He was heading to Barnum, WV the next day and told me he would try it out.  I guess it was a success.  Here is what he caught:

What a beautiful fish!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Harman's North Fork Cottages Day 2 Evening Session

Well as I stated in the Day 2 post, Greg and I hooked up with Kevin from to do a little fishing. Kevin had asked me where we wanted to go. Greg and I talked and decided to give the trout a break from our flies and chase some smallies. Kevin met us around 1300 hours or so at the cabin. This was the first time any of us had ever met. I had been PM'ing Kevin about the North branch and other areas to fish while we were going to be at Harman's. I asked Kevin if he wanted to fish with us and he jumped at the chance.

So Kevin arrived at our cabin and had some coffee while we finished getting ready. Kevin asked where we wanted to go and we said we would like to chase smallies for the afternoon. Kevin said he knew of a couple of good places and the packing of the vehicle began. We, of course, had to take a photo of all of us:

We headed out from Harman's and ended up here:

The scenery was stunning here:

Kevin definitely put us on the fish. I was using a chartreuse Road Kill Nymph and just crushing them. It was their crack for the day. They loved it. I believe I ended the day with around 40 long eared sunfish, 20 smallies and 7 red eyed rocks. I did hook into something that took me for a run down stream before it broke my line. I never was able to turn it or get it to come to the surface. Everyone overall did well. Kevin even tried one of my poppers and was catching fish on it. This was a first for him. Here is Kevin with his first smallie on a popper which was my Luscious Lemon:

Here is the fish porn:

I was having such a great time catching fish that I didn't want to leave. Greg was worn out and told me that his wrist was hurting from the casting all day. Kevin needed to get back to the cabin since he still had an hours drive to his house. I kept saying one more cast, one more cast. Well that and I couldn't possibly go anywhere until I finished my cigar. Everyone headed back up to the car while I was still catching fish. In the end I finally had to wrap it up and we headed back to the cabin. We really had a great time with Kevin. I am looking forward to meeting up with him again in the future for some fishing.

By the time we got back to the cabin, dinner was almost ready. We all had dinner and cleaned the area up. I was busy but heard the girls yelling "rod, rod, rod." I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was going on. I came out to find Greg holding about six inches of the tip of a rod that had apparently broken off. Greg told me "well now I owe you a 5wt as you aren't the only one who broke a rod on this vacation." Greg had moved my rod to beside the back door of the cabin. When he went out for something, it slide down the wall. The girls realized what was happening but Greg didn't stop in time. He closed the door on the end of my favorite 5wt thus breaking the tip off.

Two rods down in 24 hours and still two and a half days at the cabin left. It wasn't looking real good for us at that particular moment.

Harman's North Fork Cottages Day 2 Morning Session Continued

Previously at Harman's: Greg and I got up early and fished on day 2 for trout out behind our cabin.  I landed 7 rainbows and Greg caught some rainbows and a tiger trout.  I had forgotten to mention that after the sun came up over the hill we moved to the big hole right at the entrance to Harman's North Fork Cottages.  Here are some photos of it.  This area is so beautiful.  We decided to take our farewell photos here as well.  As stated here are the photos of the big hole as it looked the morning of day 2:

I added a ton of photos of this area because I always find it to be both beautiful and special.  As you pull into Harman's this is the sight that greets you on the left of the road going back to the cabins.  For me it holds a promise of wonderful things to come such as wildlife to be seen, fish to be caught and good times to be enjoyed with my wife.  It really is magical in a sense and very hard to describe in words. 
What I did learn from this though is that you can't cross it.  Well maybe you could but I couldn't seem to find a way across.  Back to the story.  Greg and I hit this hole and at some point I decided to attempt to cross it in order to get to the other bank and work my way down the hole towards the bend by the road.  I distinctly remember Greg saying that there was no way to cross.  This hole is surprisingly deep... I was to learn that shortly.  I told Greg no worries that we could cross as long as we picked our way across carefully.  I managed to get about half way across when the water came up to my waist.  The next few steps I took proved just how deep the hole really is:
The water was actually higher on me than it appears in the first photo.  Greg was laughing so hard he was literally biting his hand in order to stifle his laugh from disturbing the other fishermen and the residents in the cabins behind us.  It took Greg a few seconds to realize he had a great photo opportunity.  When he finally managed to get his camera out and control his laughter these are the photos he got. 

So the morning session on day 2 at Harman's ended with me taking a swim and having to empty out my vest and all my fly boxes.  Most of them were full with water.  I had to dry everything out back at the cabin.  I am still drying stuff out at my house (on the dining room table, much to the wife's dismay) even as I write this!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Harman's North Fork Cottages Day 2

Previously at Harman's: Greg and I had caught a number of trout the first afternoon we were there and I broke my 3wt rod.  It literally snapped in half.  It is 18 years old and the first rod I ever got when I started to fly fish so I cant say I am surprised.  But damn! 

So Greg and I decided to wake up early and head out on Friday in search of more glorious trout.  We woke at 0700 and got ready.  I know, I know some of you out there are shaking your head and saying to yourself "That's early?"  Well kind readers for me it is.  I work evenings and don't get off until midnight.  Most nights I am not home until around 0100.  So I tend to be a night owl.  Back to the story.  We got up around 0700 and headed out to gear up.  The girls decided to sleep in.  Can't say as I blame them.  This is the site from the porch of our cabin that greeted us that morning.
Here is Greg gearing up.  He is the only one I have ever met who refuses to wet wade.  He wears waders even in the dead of Summer when we are chasing smallies.

We headed down to the stream right behind our cabin.  We did pretty well.  The rainbows loved the Batman and the Colorado Special.  It was a blast to watch them chase those nymphs.  They got mighty irritated at those nymphs.  Here are some photos of what we caught that morning.  All in all it was a good morning.  Greg landed a tiger but we couldn't get a photo of it.  Other than that, they were all rainbows.  Greg did mange to land two more monsters.

Like I said, all in all it was a great morning.  I ended the morning with 7 rainbows and I believe Greg landed 4 plus a tiger.  As soon as the sun peaked over the hill we called it a day and headed back to the cabin for breakfast.  We had to get ready to meet Kevin from anyway.  We were planning on heading out to chase some smallies in the afternoon/evening with him.

While waiting for Kevin after breakfast, Greg decided to go back and try for more trout.  I believe he actually enjoyed fishing for them.  So off we headed again around noon back to the stream.  We decided to hit the hole right outside our cabin for the second time that day.  Greg managed to land a brown.  He also lost another fish.  I have videos of each but they won't load for some reason.

Alright well the morning at Harman's came to an end without any issues.  Stay tuned for the second half of the day when we fished with Kevin from and Greg ended up breaking the second rod of the trip.

New Nymphs

These are two nymphs that I tied up before going to Harman's last week.   The first one is one I call the Batman.  As some might remember, Batman and friends are a big deal in our house.  I was trying to come up with something new to take with us.  The second nymph is something called a Colorado Special.  I found it on Youtube.  Taking a look at it, I decided to play around a little with the UV Ice Dub I have.  I pulled out my old Batman nymph and tried to copy it a little.  Both nymphs did really well last week and landed quite a few fish.  I actually had only tied up one Batman.  I never got around to photographing it before hand so sorry for its appearance but it did fool quite a few rainbows.  Let me know what you all think.

Sorry about the photo of the Colorado Special.  For what ever reason, I could not get it to come into focus so I did the best I could.