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Crunch, Crunch

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Awarded by , 12-14-2017 at 09:09 AM (389 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by badankles View Post
Thatís the sound of my tires, boots, and fly line this past freezing weekend.

When thereís a call for winter storm warning across most of the state, whatís the thing to do for the city folk? Milk, bread and TP run? No, go toward the storm, to the mountains for trout fishing. Yep, thatís what I did. I put myself through a lot of stress just so I can get my fix of feeling a trout at the end of my line. I think thatís what the experts call addiction. (Help.)

I had plan to visit the streams in Ashe County a couple months ago, and asked for Monday off, so didnít really want to back out. At first, it was just going to be a couple of inches, so I didnít think much of it, but then the weather people were all freaking out, so I started freaking out. Since I donít have a 4x4, and have almost been stuck on a slope in the mountains before, I was a bit worried. I reached out to @rmhpmi to see if he has any thoughts on the potential road conditions. What a guy! I wasnít expecting to hear back, since he doesnít know me from Adam, but lo and behold, he responded almost instantly, and continued when I had more questions. I also touched base with the AirBnb host. Both said the main roads should be okay, but the smaller ones will be questionable. Back and forth in my head. Watching and reading more weather news; 2-4Ē, 4-6Ē, 6-8Ē, more. Should I? Shouldnít I? My wife was like, go for it, you need a break. She even volunteered to stop at the store to pick up a pair of long johns. (Get out of my hair for a few days already. I need a break. She says silently.)

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I went, obviously, forecast for Sunday and Monday were sunny so fishing was still possible, although, I was resigned to sticking to the main roads. I got up to West Jefferson around dusk on Saturday, and for the most part, the drive was alright. Sunday was sunny and cold, cold, cold. It stayed below freezing all day. The new long johns, plus a couple of additional layers, merino wool socks under a couple of neoprene layers all worked great. I decided to head up to Lansing for water just off the main road with clean parking. I drove up past town, but decided not to venture too far north as the road sides and side roads were not looking good. So hung out at the stretch in town for a couple hours with a few willing rainbows. BTW, the trick of dipping and swishing the rod guides in the water to melt the ice off didnít work that day.

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That's not a shadow cast on this one. He's wearing a hood.
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Monday was warmer, but area schools were called off (my AirBnB host was a teacher). That meant some side roads were still frozen. Iím hoping not Helton, so decided to shoot up 194 first, then toward VA, but I didnít feel comfortable going far as the pull outs were covered and frozen. Did stopped at a popular hole, Iím guessing, lots of fish with one upside down. Unfortunately, a thin sheet of ice covered most of the pool. Try as I might, I couldnít get a drift under it. Couldnít trick any of the other trout in the flows either.

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Decided to head down river, but Helton Rd was covered with snow and ice just off of 194. (Remember, no 4x4.) I wanted to see as much of the stretch as I can, so I did a u-turn, looped around to 16 on the other side of Helton. Saw a truck at the first pull out, then another before the little single lane bridge. Didnít get as far as the campgrounds because slick. By that time, I had maybe 3 hours of daylight. Hung around the area and managed to fool a few rainbows and a little brown before the long drive back home.

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Wish I was able to explore more, not just Helton but a few other good looking streams in the area. The mountains, always leaving them wanting moreÖ