Trout among the rhododendrons [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Trout among the rhododendrons

Nooksack Mac
05-21-2003, 02:24 PM
I just spent a few days revisiting the town and city where I grew up in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains during the Eisenhauer era. Guided by Harry Slone's "Trout Streams of Virginia" and an article by Harry Murry in last summer's "Fly Fisherman," I spent a fishless hour on the little Madison Run north of Waynesboro, Whitetop Laurel near the Tennessee border and the troutcentric town of Damascus, and the Bullpasture River in Highland County (the highest-elevation county east of the Rockies) next to West Virginia. All three are medium-small to small streams, beautiful beyond my powers of description. All were clear, even after recent heavy rains. The Bullpasture surprised me with smallmouth bass instead of trout. Whitetop Laurel was generous, with ten lively rainbows on dry flies in about two hours.
The Pacific Northwest, here on the damp side of the Cascade Range, is rightly known as an angler's paradise; but we're oddly lacking in the kind of smaller trout streams that are the wellsprings of our sport.

05-21-2003, 08:31 PM
An interesting observation. Many of the Atlantic Salmon rivers of the UK and Ireland hold very poor populations of wild trout. There are exceptions of course - the Tweed and Tay systems offer some of the best wild trout fishing anywhere on planet Earth (IMHO) for next to no price on waters that to fish for Atlantics would cost a small fortune. But so many of the famed Atlantic waters somehow eke just out enough forage to support the immature salmon parr before they migrate to the oceans and not much else. In actual fact, the great trout waters traditionally produced great salmon fishing. The Test once had a run of unbelieveably large Atlantics when it was in its prime - plenty of forage for Parr, Brownies, Barbel, Chubs, Dace, Carp in those rich alkaline chalk stream waters.

Sometimes nature seems to succeed in spite of itself. :smokin: