Raven’s Fork Trophy Section, Cherokee NC

Raven's ForkRecently, I had the opportunity to fish the Trophy Section of the Raven’s Fork in Cherokee NC.  This is a 2.2-mile managed section of the river on the Cherokee Indian Reservation that requires reasonably priced licenses and permits, but worth every penny.  I fished two 1/2 days and a full guided day on the river and found many fish in the 16-18″ range, caught a 20″ rainbow and the 23″ rainbow in the picture.  And I lost several that were bigger yet.  Nymphs, streamers and small dries all produced fish. Read more »

2016 “Fish With a Friend” Schedule Now Available

The latest schedule for the 2016 Rapidan TU Fish With a Friend program has been posted and and can be found on our Fish With a Friend Page.  Whether a seasoned fly fisher, or new to the sport or area, join us for a great day fishing and camaraderie on one of the many streams in the area.

Trout in the Classroom (TIC) Bigger Than Ever

The Rapidan Chapter is currently supporting TIC in 18 schools for the 2014-15 school year. They are located in six counties. Most of the schools are in Fauquier, but we also have schools in Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison, Prince William, and Stafford. Six of the schools are elementary schools, four are middle schools, and eight are high schools. There are 13 Trout Unlimited Chapters throughout Virginia working with over 220 schools this year. Read more »

2015 Fish With a Friend Schedule is available

The latest schedule for the 2015 Rapidan TU Fish With a Friend program has been posted and and can be found on our Fish With a Friend Page.  Whether a seasoned fly fisher, or new to the sport or area, join us for a great day fishing and camaraderie on one of the many streams in the area.

Visit www.netknots.com for all your “Knot Needs”

I found this site recently and discovered it to be the most comprehensive collection of knots I’ve seen, fishing or otherwise.  Each knot has a brief history/background, step-by-step drawings, and an animation to show you how it’s done.  This site is a “must have” bookmark in your browser.  Go to www.netknots.com to see this fine collection of knots.

What’s in Your Fly Box? See a Top 10 List

elk_hair_caddis Those new to fly fishing face a dizzying number of decisions—long or short, fast or slow, glass or grass, line color, click and pawl or disc drag, expensive or cheap…….  Even after staggering through the all the equipment decisions, you then have even more choices about what to put on the end of the line. What flies you carry will depend on a number of factors—climate and conditions, hatches, water levels and clarity, etc.  But, there are some basic trout flies that you should never leave home without.

After scouring the internet for “Top 10 (or more) Fly” recommendations, I listed each in a spreadsheet and tallied the number of time a fly was common across the various lists. Read more »

Casting Heavy Flies

Casting Heavy Flies can be a difficult and dangerous activity with the risk of embedding a hook in the back of your head ever looming.

The key to casting big flies, then is to slow everything down, widen your loops, and avoid sudden changes in direction. To accomplish all these, you need to learn the Belgian cast (also called the oval cast). Rather than moving the fly back and forth along a two-dimensional plane, the Belgian cast keeps the fly moving at all times through a three-dimensional pattern. This means that there are no shocking stops, extra slack, or dropping fly.

To perform the Belgian cast, you make a sidearm backcast and then a forward cast over the top, with a nice, wide loop. The name oval cast comes from the fact that, if viewed from above, your rod tip describes an oval, rather than a straight line. When you are making the Belgian cast, line speed is not important, but you must keep the line moving at all times to keep the fly from dropping.

For a complete lesson on the Belgian cast, check out Macauley Lord’s excellent article on Midcurrent.

Copied from Midcurrents Techniques.  See more at http://midcurrent.com/experts/casting-heavy-flies/.

TU National Leadership Council (NLC) Seeks Increased Women Membership

Old  TU National has started a new membership drive for women from March 1 through May 31.  Free memberships is being offered to women during this time frame.  The NLC Women’s Initiative Workgroup is asking for Chapter help with their goal of increasing and retaining women’s membership within TU.
The goal for the Women’s Initiative Workgroup is to increase and retain new women members in TU.  A free membership program for women was started last year and was successful in increasing our membership with 2600+ women!  What is even more exciting is that our retention rate for these new members is now at 13% and has far surpassed the workgroups original goal!  To keep this momentum continuing, TU has started a new membership drive for women starting March 1 through May 31.  This information was included in the recent Lines To Leaders.  Free memberships will be offered to women once again during this time frame and I encourage you to promote this event within your Chapters.  To continue improving retention rates, TU is also offering reduced memberships to women who had signed up for the free membership when their membership is due.  The renew rate is $17.50 of which $15.00 will go to your chapters.  This membership drive starts March 15 through June 15.  I have attached an excel spread sheet of women in Virginia who took advantage of the free membership but have not yet renewed. I encourage you to contact the women in your Chapter and invite them to take advantage of the renewal rate of $17.50.
Here is the link to the free women’s membership for you to give to any women that are interested in joining TU.  And remember your chapter will receive $15.00 of their first renewal.  https://gifts.tumembership.org/women.  lease visit https://gifts.tumembership.org/women to take advantage of this offer.

TU National Seeks Increase Women Membership

Tu National has started a new membership drive for women from March 1 though May 31.  Free membership aere being offered to women during thes time frame.  The National Leadership Council (NLC) Women’s Initiative Workgroup is asking for Chapter help with their goal of increasing and retaining women’s membership with TU.

The goal for the Women’s Initiative Workgroup is to increase and retain new women members in TU.  A free membership program for women was started last year and was successful in increasing our membership with 2600+ women!  What is even more exciting is that our retention rate for these new members is now at 13% and has far surpassed the workgroup’s original goal!  To keep this momentum continuing, TU has started a new membership drive for women starting March 1 through May 31.  This information was included in the recent Lines To Leaders.  Free membership will be offered to women once again during this time frame, and I encourage you to promote this event within your Chapters.  To continue improving retention rates, TU is also offering reduced membership to women who sign up for the free membership when their membership is due.  The renew rate is $17.50 of which $15.00 will go to your chapters.  This membership drive starts March 15 and goes through June 15.  I encourage you to contact the women in your Chapter and invite them to take advantage of the renewal rate of $17.50.

Here is the link to the free women’s membership for any women interested in joining TU https://gifts.tumembership.org/women.  And remember, your chapter will receive $15.00 of their first renewal.

Learn to “Read the Rise”

Knowing how trout feed can help you catch more fish.  Fast current and flies that emerge quickly — like caddisflies — or skitter along the surface cause trout to make loud, splashy rises. Classic rises make dimples in the water and leave behind a few bubbles, indicating feeding on mayfly duns and other flies riding above the surface film. Small dimples that leave no bubbles but sometimes include the dorsal and tail appearing usually indicate emergers or small flies dangling in the surface film. Bulges or swirls are the hardest to see and often indicate a fish feeding just beneath the surface.

As always, watch the fish before casting to the fish.  Understanding what they are feeding on, by reading the rise, may help you catch that trout of a lifetime.

Copied from Midcurrents Techniques.  See more at http://midcurrent.com/techniques/fly-fishing-strategy-tips/

Leaders and Building Furled Leaders

Judson Walls, one of the Rapidan Chapter members, spoke at the March 5 meeting on leaders and building furled leaders.  Rather than buying leaders from your favorite fly shop, Judd explained how easy it was to build your own knotted leaders and demonstrated how to create a furled leader at home.  His presentation can be viewed and downloaded by CLICKING HERE.

Another great Fishing Show

Thanks to the vendors, attendees, and volunteers for again making the Rapidan TU Chapter’s Annual Fishing Show a great success.  It is our only fundraising event each year, and allows us to continue the important conservation, preservation, and restoration goals of our organization.   We will look forward to seeing you at next year’s show.

The winners of the raffle drawings are:

Montana Trip – Dean Willis – Manassas

Premium Rod Raffle Winners

Bogart Cane Rod donated by Chris Bogart – E.D. Yost – Charlottesville
Sage Outfit donated by Urban Angler  – John Romberg – Delaplane
Gortex Jacket donated by L.L. Bean – Joe Sampsell – Warrenton
Holmaas Flies donated by Andy Holmaas  – J.S. Bryan – Richmond
Fire Hole Reel donated by Fly Fishing Benefactors – Tom Rakawski – Arlington

Bucket Raffle Winners

Chesapeake Rods and Reels – Pflueger reel and spools – Mike Sharon
Grauer’s Fine Tackle – Fly Reel – Mary Louise Kurchock
Urban Angler – Fish Pond Chest Pack – Pete Milnes
Hand Crafted Fishing Rods – Trout Flies – Fred Fox
Kovac Fishing Services – Bass Flies – Jim Bigus
Walt’s Poppers – Poppers – Charlotte Rodgers
Nikko Fishing – Soft Baits – Brian Murphy
R.J. Hosack – Reel Seat – Susan Keel
Michael Simon Angling Art – Print – Jon Mikolin
Fly Fishing Benefactors – Fly Box and Flies – Clarence Clark
Conrad’s Flies – Bass Flies – J. Martin
Shenandoah Rods – Chest Pack – Bill Renick
Addicted Angler – Trout Flies – Mary Louse Kurdoch
Tackle Experience – Trout Flies – Nicole Bayert
Shenandoah Angler – Flies, Box, and Book – Piccolo
Shenandoah TU – Michael Simon Print – Teresa Myers
Virginia Highlands – Books – Mike Swauger
John Ross – America’s 100 Best Trout Streams – Anthony Maloney