Jake's Outdoors » Blog Archive » I’ve Got the Itchin’…to Go Fishin’…

I’ve Got the Itchin’…to Go Fishin’…

February 11th, 2008

The Fishin' HoleWhen spring comes, I found myself wanting to get out on the rivers in the mountains of West Virginia and catch a few trout. I always start getting the itch a little early. The last few years, I have gone out too early, only to be met with snow, ice and extreme cold weather. Not only that, the water was so cold, that the fish just wouldn’t feed. It can get a bit annoying to be able to see trout in the ripples, and float everything in your box past them without them going for anything. Nonetheless, I am already getting the bug to get out on the river! The picture over to the left is on one of my favorite rivers in the state, The Williams. I am probably most familiar with this river, as I will almost always make a few trips per year there. I know where to go to catch fish, whether I am fly fishing or spin fishing. I hope I didn’t insult or offend all the purists by admitting that I enjoy both types of fishing!

Our best trout fishing kicks in around the middle of March, and goes to about the end of June. The West Virginia DNR does a good job of stocking trout in a lot of rivers, and there are many stretches that are designated as “Catch and Release”. Most of these”catch and release” sections are in the coldest, most aerated sections of the river. These are often also the most inaccessible sections of river, which make them fun to fish. There are plenty of other waters that provide opportunities for keeping a few fish. The limit is 6 fish per day on rivers, but I rarely keep more than a couple for the frying pan. I don’t feel bad about keeping these stocker fish because they cannot survive year round in most of the water that is not catch and release.

BrookieBrookieLast year, I didn’t get out too often, but I was able to catch some trout. I came across this picture of a brookie I caught, and it reminded me of a good day on the water. This is a stocker brookie. Some of these can be pretty good size. I love catching these, as they are beautiful fish. They are probably the prettiest fish in our waters. This is one of the larger brookies that I have caught. I was happy to have a camera along to get a picture of this one before turning it back to water. I purchased a small, inexpensive camera just for the purpose of taking pictures of the fish that I have been fortunate enough to catch. Most of the time, none of my fellow fishermen are close enough to snap a picture for me, but on this day, I had someone there to be able to get a snapshot. This is one of the few pictures I have of a fish I have caught with me in it!

We also have a lot of wild trout streams here in West Virginia. There are many streams that are just full of wild, native brookies. These fish do not grow (in most cases) to be as large as the stocker trout. In fact, a 10-13″ brookie is really good size for a wild fish. These streams are guarded with secrecy by the people who fish them–it is considered taboo to even name them in a public forum. It is kind of like your favorite hunting spot. You just don’t give that information to anybody. You only share it with your closest hunting buddies (and, only selectively then). These streams are great to fly fish. The fish are not big, but they are beautiful. You just can’t beat the colors.

Alan and Golden RainbowWe have another claim to fame here in the Mountain State. It is the Golden Rainbow Trout. This is a rainbow trout that does not have the same pigmentation as the normal ‘bow. It has a golden color, with a rainbow streak down the side. This is a picture of a golden that was caught by a friend and fishing partner, Alan. As you can see, it is a beautiful fish. These fish are stocked at about 1 golden to 6 rainbows. So, if you see one of these beauties in a hole, you can be sure that there are a lot of rainbows in there that you cannot see. This color phase breeds true, so the DNR has worked to continue the line so that they are plentiful in the state. I believe these fish have also been shared with Pennsylvania and Maryland. This is not the true Golden Rainbow that can be found in California.

The golden rainbow is perhaps the most difficult of trout to catch. This is true because they are so visible. Since they are easily spotted, everybody can float something past them. They see every lure, fly, egg, and clump of Power Bait that comes down the river. It is not surprising that if they make it past the first day or two, these fish are very difficult to catch.

I’ll leave you with one more picture of one of my favorite fishing holes. This is again, on the Williams River. It won’t be too long till I’m wetting a line there!

Fishin' Hole

9 Responses to “I’ve Got the Itchin’…to Go Fishin’…”

  1. The golden trout looks like a yellow rubber fish. I have that itchin’ as well. I think that is why we did a fish fry this past weekend. We are headed to Kentucky in April to hopefully catch crappie. Last 2 years I think we were a bit to early.

  2. Excellent post, Kris! Good to read about someone else itchin’ to go fishing. Thanks for the beautiful photos. Every picture tells a story so they say. We have some Golden Trout here in my part of Idaho that I think are similar to those you have there. We have nicknamed them “Banana Trout”.

    Be sure and change the link to my blog on your blog, please!

  3. Thanks Eagle Eyes! Banana Trout is certainly descriptive of these fish.

    I have updated your link!

  4. I’ve never heard of a Golden Rainbow Trout. Those are some pretty fish.

    You know, if you lived up here in Northern Michigan, you could go ice fishing. Not particularly my cup of tea but I know people who swear by it.

  5. Some awesome pictures. I can’t wait for our steelhead run to kick into gear around here. To be honest I’m sure there are already some fish in the sytem, but it has been bitterly cold and we usually wait til mid March or so to go after them.

    Gorgeous pictures though and looks awesome. Makes me want to brave the single digits we have to see a fly float through the water.

  6. I’m ready to go fishing too — my husband took me trout fishing for the first time in ’06 – he tried fly fishing and really enjoyed it – he wants to try it again, I just fish the regular way (don’t know what its called – I just do it!) anyway that was a lot of fun, we didn’t get to go last year but I’m hoping we can this year. We’re getting ready to gear up for snagging season and my hubby keeps talking about crappie fishing. I’m so ready for spring and warmer weather to get here so that we can start spending more time outside!

  7. The golden rainbow trout tastes pretty good too 🙂

  8. Nice place you have here man! Very nice.

    We’ve been catching a few trout here in Tennessee all winter. I’m itchin’ to go fishin’ all of the time. Probably more than is good for me.

    In a few days I’ll head to Montana to get things ready for the season. I’m really looking forward to it this year. We’ve had good snow up there and the spring and summer should be great.

    Thanks for stopping by my site a couple weeks ago, I really appreciate it.

    Sharp Hooks and Tight Lines,

    Ron

  9. Thanks for stopping by Ron! Enjoy Montana…I’m going out there some day!

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