Saturday, February 26, 2011

When the water's high...tie a fly!

With all the recent rain we've had, most of the local streams are running pretty high.  This is the perfect time to sit down at the vise and crank out a dozen flies.

I've been working on several ties recently that I think will be excellent flies to have in the box this Spring.  The first one is a classic Barr Emerger tied in standard Blue Winged Olive colors.  You can drop this behind a parachute Blue Winged Olive dry fly and catch fish all day long when the BWOs are hatching!

This next fly is one that I came up with on my own.  It can be used as either a BWO emerger or nymph. Black ultra wire is used to give the abdomen a segmented look.

The last fly is my own version of the ever popular black stone nymph.  I used my favorite attributes from the copper john, pheasant tail, and prince nymphs to come up with this pattern.  It's a heavy nymph, thanks to a tungsten bead and eight wraps of lead wire under the thorax.  I like to fish it as the top fly in a tandem nymph rig under a big indicator.

You can read more about these flies on the message boards at or

I'm looking forward to the arrival of Spring.  The aquatic insects will be hatching and the fish will start feeding.  It's only a couple weeks better make sure your fly boxes are stocked soon!

Appalachian Outdoors

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for areas of north eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio, and south western West Virginia.  Looks like some of our streams and rivers are going to be blown out for the next few days...

On the bright side, there are reports that fishing has improved on sections of the Elk, as well as the South Fork of the Cherry.  If you want to read more about that just go to (or click the link to WV Angler on the right side of the page under "Helpful Links").

We're currently planning a fishing trip for this weekend, but we'll just have to see if the weather cooperates...

Thankfully, March will be here before we know it, and we all know what that means...Spring is approaching rapidly!  Soon there will be hatching insects and rising trout...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ski Canaan

With Spring struggling to make an early appearance in the mountains of West Virginia, we decided to make one last ski trip before the snowpack is completely gone.  Thankfully, Canaan Valley--at an elevation of 3,200 ft--still has plenty of the white stuff.

We stayed at Canaan Resort inside Canaan Valley State Park.  They have some awesome winter packages, which makes skiing much more affordable for a couple of poor college students.  Plus, the deer are super friendly...

The recent warm spell made for icy conditions early.  But as the day wore on, the surface softened up a bit and the skiing improved drastically.

As first time quests to the area, we decided to do a little exploring around lunch time, which turned out to be an excellent decision.

Driving into Davis, we chose to briefly explore Blackwater Falls State Park before satisfying our growing appetites.

After taking in the beauty of the falls, we stumbled upon this little jewel...

Hellbender Burritos has to be one of the coolest places I've ever eaten.  The atmosphere is great and you won't find a more unique collection of decorations anywhere.  The food is top notch as well.  I recommend the's loaded with various peppers and cheeses, as well as black beans, guacamole, and grilled chicken that is marinated in a secret blend of spices.  It's a hefty burrito...sure to satisfy the grizzliest of appetites.

After lunch, it was back to the slopes in order to carve our way through the final runs of the season.

We had to stop in Elkins on the way home to take a picture of this huge statue of Minnehaha

One thing is for sure, we'll be visiting Canaan Valley again in the future...hopefully sooner than later!

-Appalachian Outdoors