Easter on the Rose River

Greg Safford and I spent a few hours on a lovely Easter Sunday fishing the Rose River.  With all the recent rain, we weren’t sure in what condition we would find the stream, but could not have been happier.  The large rains have cut new channels and made new holes, and the water flow throughout was as strong and gin-clear as we can remember.  With every major rainfall, every stream will change a little, but the Rose had changed considerably since the last time Greg and I fish it, and it is in a good a condition as we have ever seen it.

Between us, we caught about 15 fish in the course of three hours.  Nothing smaller than seven inches, and most a plump and colorful nine inches.  Interestingly, we didn’t see a rise until about 1 PM, but every fish caught rose to dry flies.  I started with a size 14 Parachute Coachman (my go-to fly) and caught 4 fish, but switched to a size 14 Brown Body Elk Hair Caddis for the rest of the day.  The Rose has always been a favorite of ours, but recently has not been as productive for us as it had in years past.  With the steady rains to date, we are hoping the flows stay steady and strong as we move into the warmer times of the year.

If you need a great stream that’s within an hour’s drive of Warrenton, throw your gear into the car and go straight to the Rose.  Stay on the road going past Grave’s Mountain Lodge until you can go no further.  Park at the entrance to the fire road and walk in about 10 minutes.  Find a gentle grade sloping down to the stream and fish dry flies upstream for as far as you would like to go.  There is also a metal bridge, about a 20 minute walk in on the fire road, where a small tributary flows into the Rose. Many find the fishing even better from this point upstream on the Rose.  The distance tends to keep all but the serious off the river, so much less pressure.

May 4th, 2011 (Wed) Monthly Chapter Mtg

Come join us at the Sun Trust Bank – 7:30

April 16, 2011-Camp SPECIAL LOVE-4H Center

Lets meet Bill Hobson at the Front Royal 4H Center at 9am Saturday to support the cancer kids.


Hi All–Lets support Beau Beasley at Virginia Fly Fishing Festival in Waynesboro from 9am-5pm Saturday & Sunday.

April 16-17, 2011-VA Fly Fishing Festival

Fly anglers from across the country will celebrate the 11th Annual Virginia Fly Fishing Festival on April 16-17, 2011. Held on the banks of the South River in Waynesboro, the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival is the largest outdoor fly fishing event in the country that offers on-stream instruction. Only here can you learn all the latest techniques from the experts and then walk right over to the river and try them for yourself.

The 2011 festival will feature noted fly anglers from across the Mid-Atlantic, including fly fishing icon Lefty Kreh, Ed Jaworowski, Bob Clouser, Wanda Taylor, King Montgomery, Dusty Wissmath, Capt. Brian Shumaker, Mike Smith, Eric Stroup, Gordon English, Colby Trow, Tom Brtalik, Bryan Kelly, Paul Rouse, and festival artist Maurice Mahler. Several expert fly tyers will also be on hand, including Captain Tommy Mattioli and Walt Cary. Kayak expert Captain Cory Routh will autograph copies of his book, Kayak Fishing: The Complete Guide, and provide riverside kayak demonstrations. Festival director and author Beau Beasley will also be autographing copies of his new book Fly Fishing the MidAtlantic: A No Nonsense Guide to Top Waters. Read more »

April 6, 2011 Rapidan Chapter Meeting Minutes

On Wednesday, April 6, 2011 Rapidan TU meeting was called to order by Rob Paul/President at 7:30pm at Sun Trust bank in Warrenton. There were 23 people present.

After introductions around the room, Marcia Woolman gave presentation on: “Yellowstone–Conservation & Fishing”. The stocked brown & rainbow trout of the late 1800’s in/near Yellowstone National Park are interbreeding with the native cutthroat trout and creating big challenges. Lake trout were also detected in Yellowstone lake and are not compatible with the cutthroats. In addition, whirling disease has been detected in several tributaries of Yellowstone lake, further reducing cutthroat populations. Marcia’s photography was outstanding! Marcia is also looking for 3 Rapidan members for Montana fishing trip about the first week of September to pair up with 2 NSV TU members. Read more »

Rapidan River

Fished each afternoon after Trout Heritage Day activities at Graves Mt. Lodge, April 2 & 3.  Sat. evening on the Rose (SNP section), caught one brookie on my third or fourth cast, then nothing!  Gave up after another hour, cold and breezy evening.

Sunday a nice day, upper 50’s.  Rob, Kevin, and I all decided to head to the Rapidan after our shifts at Heritage Day.  I got a big head-start and went above the 2nd bridge – what Steve Moore calls the “upper canyon” in his book.  Flow sufficient but low for this time of year.  Caught and released 30 in just under 4 hrs., all on dry flies of 3 different patterns – it didn’t seem to make much difference.  Also about a dozen interesting hook-ups.  Fish rising occasionally and sluggishly to naturals, looked like March Brown mayflies.

PS – VDGIF did a nice stocking for Heritage Day(s), saw some kids w/ very large Rainbows and maybe Browns.  Also, VA Conservation Police really stepped-up enforcement this year, saw several young men receiving citations.