If the stock truck inserted any trout in the upper section, they probably just throw them into the fast water and hope they are swept downstream into a random deeper spot where they can survive until harvested. As I continued downstream, I saw one other guy fishing off to the left - he did not look very happy. I pulled into a turnoff about a quarter-mile down from him to take a closer look at the water.
There were two other trucks parked here but, given the hunting focus of most of the people here, that did not bother me as I parked and walked to the creek to check it out. I noticed an old guy sitting in one of the trucks and wandered over to get his take on the situation.
Like me, he was amazed that they continue to stock this part of the creek and assured me that the fish get cleaned out rapidly. That was notreally the news I wanted to hear as I was on the ground only a few days after the stocking event. So, I continued to drive downstream looking for any place that had potential.
Eventually, I turned into the Lion's Tale Recreation parking area which is located where the stream flattens out a bit. I hoped that the flatter terrain would result in deeper pools where the fish could survive. When I looked at the map of the area see picture , I noticed that it showed a "wading area". I hoped that that indicated a wider section and deeper water.
I walked the quick quarter-mile down the well improved trail to reach the wading area. As you can see from the pictures below, it is deeper looking upstream while downstream the creek picks up velocity as it tumbles over another stretch of moderate gradient. While I was considering what to do, another fly fisherman emerged from the upstream brush. He indicated that he had had no luck fishing his way upstream.
In addition, he told me that he stomped his way back downstream in an effort to scare any fish just to confirm their existence by being able to see them scatter. Given that real time intelligence, I was not interested in fishing here. We walked back to the truck chatting about what would be a good next option.
I told him that I would head over to either the Rose or the Hughes as both of those rivers had been stocked after Upper Passage Creek. I hopped back in the truck and began to drive out of the area. On my way out, I took one last look down the steep hill that supports the road for the last half mile of the stocked section.
Down deep in the woods, I saw a wide stretch that was marked with several deep looking holes.
Now there was a dilemma! Clearly, these were out of range of the stock truck, but they did represent good trout water. Do I schlep down to check it out or do I give up? Given my experience so far, I realized that there was no way I would ever return here, so I decided to give it a shot and hope for the "fish dispersion" factor. Remember to refer to my rating explanations - these are based on what I look for - so RED for Physical Fitness translates to easy physically - you do not need to be in shape to fish this section.
I prefer terrain that is tough to get into and out of. I slipped and slid down the damp, muddy hill and eventually made it to the edge of the creek.
I walked upstream and loaded on a nymph with a small dropper and began to work the deeper run where the water entered the beaver pool. As I was doing this, another fishermen popped up out of the upstream thickets and commented that, like me, he had had no luck yet. We discussed how this particular pond would fit into the stock truck calculus which involves proximity to the road versus downstream dispersion. Neither of us had a solution to the equation, so we just continued to fish. I gestured over to the end of the beaver pond and he took up position there and began working that part of the hole.
In short order, he actually caught a small trout! I was absolutely stunned given how the morning had been so far and the distance of this particular location from anything. I guess there had been enough rain for the trout to move away from the stocking locations near the road. With renewed energy, I continued to fish my end of the stream and then walked around to fish downstream another quarter-mile.
Unfortunately, that single trout was the only trout I saw on Upper Passage Creek. Resigned to being skunked, I climbed back up the truck and pointed the nose towards the Rose River. I wish Virginia would publish how many fish they insert like Maryland does. Fly Fishing the Boulder River. Fly Fishing the Missouri River.
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Paul and I chose to fish the upper reaches of the stream in Warren County that the state manages as a delayed harvest stream. You can slip and fall on rocks and sustain severe injury. Water levels and quality conducive to great fishing. Do I schlep down to check it out or do I give up? Upstream from the location on the Trail map marked "wading area". I prefer terrain that is tough to get into and out of.
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