Why Use A
anglers will shy away from using a Guide since they feel it is an insult
to have someone show them how to fish. After all, can't everyone fish at
some level? The truthful answer is, yes.
For anglers who
are well experienced the idea isn't to tell you how to fish or make you
feel less of an angler. It is to help enhance your fishing with
information that is "to the minute updated", accurate, timely
and strictly relevant to the water you are presently casting a line on. We
scout the water we intend to take you on just one to three days prior to
you arriving. This assures us that the water is clear, a proper
level, right temperature and fishing well.
A great example
is the story of the Pathologist from Tennessee who came to Virginia to fly
fish for trout. He was a very Advanced Level fly-fisherman, much older and had many more years of angling
experience than any of us, but simply did not know "exactly"
where to go fishing. Yes, he found us on the Internet and could have used
post at message boards, but felt that information by strangers of
questionable angling experience would be sketchy and half-accurate at
best. He also felt that books were not the best since they are already
dated by the time they make it to the store shelves. After all,
floods can change many stream channels and Posted signs go up by the time
the book is published. Additionally he did not put real faith in the
DeLorme Topo Map books since the forest service road numbers and other
dirt roads typically are not marked and many are incorrect, not to
mention, locked gate, no longer passable or recently posted.
The angler from
Tennessee and I went to a special regulation trout water to
start. Of course his gear was expensive, his fishing knowledge
wonderful, his hand-tied flies fabulous and his cast great. But no trout!
Why? After twenty minutes and no strikes, he took a break. I had
been watching to troubleshoot what was going on. His wading was
quite, distance from cast to pool or run fine, his cast perfect, plenty of
leader and tippet and the proper fly. But no trout. What I noticed was
that the location of where he was casting for trout was what he called
"normal for the mountains in Tennessee" but was not where we
needed to fish in a Virginia stream. I cast my line to show him where I
wanted him to start working. Immediately I caught a nice Rainbow. We
then moved up a few feet and I cast again to give him another example.
Again, a big hit and another Rainbow trout. He said "'I see
what you're doing and where you're casting. We don't do it like that in
Tennessee, but I see why it works here"'. So, from that point
forward, he caught trout. During the next hour he caught a dozen
12-13" Rainbow trout and simply had a great time. As you can see, it
was simply an adjustment in method from Tennessee to Virginia, not a
lesson on how to fish.
Of course, there
was one more important aspect. Since I and my partner have fished this
stretch many times, we knew the structure quite well and where fish tend
to hide. We scout this water numerous times a year during both drought and
after flooding to see any structural changes.
Next we went to
another special regulation water since he wanted to catch some of our
Native Brook trout. Again, he could have used message boards on the
Internet but felt they would not be the most accurate at providing
The water we
went to is famous for anglers reporting "'we fished from the parking
lot back 15 minutes and never caught anything. There's just nothing
in there."' Others report "'the water is too low to fish, don't
bother"'. Well, this water, because of flooding, changes stream
channel from the left to the right side of the hollow about every 8 years.
So, scouting this water numerous times a year is a must. The big
factor though, is that the lower section of this stream is "sub-terrainium",
meaning, the water goes underground. From the parking lot back
fifteen minutes, the stream is dry during the warmer months.
Starting after twenty minutes in, there is structure and water
year-around. But if we're in a drought, more water can be found
30-50 minutes in and plenty of fishing. As you can see, this is
something we do and know more about than a book, a message board or map.
Recently we met
two guys fishing on the Conway. They started their outing by arguing
with a landowner over no parking. Next, they flew up the water and went up
a trail that leads permanently away from the water. Then they realized
their mistake and waded through the water just a few feet below us to get
to the road. They then went 100 yards ahead of us. They then proceeded to
cover 250 yards in ten minutes catching nothing, repeating this high-speed
fish-through up the mountain. Hopefully you can see why they caught
nothing. Of course, they posted their trip on the Internet at various
forums stating "no parking and horrible fishing. But if you go, here
are directions". We think you can see the point.
Of course, if
you are a beginner or novice at fly fishing, then that's another subject.
We gladly help you in a different manner.
most cases, you will be enjoying your outdoor activity with a "Master
We hope this page "that is 100%
truthful" has been of very good
informational service to you.
IMAGE: Two adult Native Brook Trout
holding under a rock ledge.