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Weather was beautiful when we left and headed for the mountains Monday morning. But by the time we reached the top of Hwy 18...it was cloudy....and in the distance around Mt. Rogers it was dark and ominous. Temps were mild, however, and the rain jacket was ready.

Against my better judgement, since it was obviously a popular spot on the DH stream , I slid down one of three well-worn paths and cast to a spot that almost always holds a fish or two. Water level was up a few inches and not crystal clear but a nice shade of "snow melt green?" Nothing. Not a flash of a fish or a look. Hmmm....not good. But, 20 yards upstream the situation changed. There were a dozen or more willing and aggressive fish that attacked my flies. When the action slowed, I changed flies and fished the area again....and picked up a few more fish. This was a pretty fast riffle and run and I was surprised to find this many fish there.

Moving up the road to a new section, there was a car near a spot I had intended to fish so I drove up a few hundred yards more and parked near a popular pool. I saw another angler downstream, landing a fish...so I moved upstream The pool held at least a few fish who were willing to eat a wooly bugger, egg and nymph. The pool was quite deep so I shifted to an yarn egg and a nymph about 4 feet under a strike indicator...a few more fish.

By this time the angler had gone so I headed downstream, not really expecting too much since the water there is relatively shallow, fast and is fished a lot. Wrong again. This stretch of faster water was full of eager trout and they attacked an egg and nymph tandem rig like they hadn't had a decent meal in days (maybe true...). After that stretch, the action seemed to slow down some...but fish in deep, slow water were still hitting the egg and nymph rig.

Two more spots on the stream also fished pretty good...but not like the previous section. Best fish of the day came out of the last run and was a 17-18 inch rainbow that took a small nymph drifted and bounced along the bottom in about 2-3 feet of water.

It was a good 3-4 hours on the water...as good or better than folks often experience a few days after stocking. Bright colored egg patterns with a nymph dropper produced the most fish...sometimes on the egg and sometimes on the nymph. In shallow water I took off the strike indicator...fishing across and downstream was either a tight line and you felt the take or you could see it. In one stretch I shifted to a black wooly bugger and could see that I was getting looks but no takes. I shifted bugger colors 3 more times before they showed a preference for an olive bugger.

A good day on the water and it hopefully is a sign that fishing thru the next few months will continue to be productive.
 
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