Monday, August 14, 2017

Fuster Cluck

A Fuster Cluck is a funny way of saying a phrase that describes a rather unfavorable situation. You could say that situation has been my life the last month or so. I can't complain too much. My kids are fine, my job situation seems secure for the moment and for the most part life is chugging a long. My family went to Branson, MO for vacation in July. We had a great time tubing on the river and reconnecting with family we haven't seen in years. The last day my wife decided to take one last shot at wake boarding. It was just like all the stories you've heard the last time anything happens there's a 50/50 chance something bad happens. This went the bad way and my wife ended up breaking her femur. It was in the most freakish unlucky way. She wasn't landing any crazy jumps or doing anything severely dangerous. She was laying in the water, the boat took off, she went to get up and felt a pop. She knew something was seriously wrong right then. She even said, "I think I broke my leg." We were all in disbelief because what she did before hand wasn't very violent. Sure enough at the hospital, they gave us the bad news.
While the X-ray tech was filling us in on what was about to take place my only thought was how the hell are we going to get home? We were driving a small sedan and the doctors were talking about her possibly having a cast up to her hip. We couldn't worry about that at the time and my wife had surgery the next morning.

After an hour of surgery and one steel rod later my wife's leg looked like this.
At least it was straight but the fracture was so bad she still a month later can't put more than 25% of her weight on the leg. A family member let us borrow a van for the drive from Missouri back to North Carolina. Luckily it was an uneventful trip and we made it home without incident. 

It's been slow going and I've been stretched pretty thin doing all she did at home as well as working. Family support has been huge in helping with the kids and helping out with her care at home. You really realize how many people care about you when things like this happen. 

Needless to say, I haven't been fishing much. I did get out while we were on vacation a little but I wouldn't consider what I did fishing by any extent. I caught some bluegill on poppers and that was about it. Other than that my fishing life has been pretty stale. I'm hoping to go on a trout trip next month. It all depends on how my wife is healing and what else is going on. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Virginia Creeper Trail

Way up in the southwest corner of Virginia lies a gem for anyone interested in hiking, biking or fishing. It's called the Virginia Creeper trail and it runs from the top of Whitetop to the quaint town of Damascus. The trail is 17miles from Whitetop to Damascus and it's downhill the whole way. I have been wanting to do this ride with my family for years and last week we finally did it. 
The trail is dirt but very flat and almost as smooth as a paved road for the most of it. It is fairly steep in the beginning but it turns into a slow dropping grade after about 3 miles.
The views are amazing and change from farmland to forest. There are several places to stop, picnic, use the restroom or even buy lunch.
The highlight for me was Whitetop Laurel Creek. It runs next to the trail the whole way. You cross the creek several times over wooden bridges.
It was hard passing up so many good fishing holes along the way. The water looked amazing and every turn lent itself to more beautiful pools and riffles.
My kids had a blast on the ride and we stopped several times to enjoy the views and play in the water. The trail becomes part of the Appalachian Trail and it's common to see several AT hikers. We went during the week to avoid the big crowds. It was rumored that this trail is crazy in the summer and on weekends. After experiencing the ride I can see why. Everyone needs to try it at least once. 
Damascus is a neat little town and there is trout water in every direction. You can't go a half mile without crossing a trout stream. I spent a few days fishing the area. I had hooked and lost more fish than I ever had before. I chalk it up to rust and lack of knowing the area. I was able to bring a few to hand.
With all the changes going on with technology and society it's nice to know some things stay the same. Wherever I fish I seem to have success using the same techniques. It's nice to just not think about what line you have or rod you're using. Just tie on a wooly bugger and let it fly.

Tennesee is less than 3miles from Damascus. We checked out a place called Backbone Rock. 
It's a pretty cool site to see and you can hike to the top.
You can see the stream flowing near the road at the bottom. It was one of the prettiest streams I have seen in awhile. I didn't fish it but I wish I had.
Backbone falls is a short hike nearby and it's definitely worth seeing if you're in the area.
It was great having hikes the kids could enjoy and the views are worth the effort.
If you're looking for a family vacation and want some place for fishing, hiking, and biking. I can't think of a better place than Damascus, VA. It has a little something for everyone. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Life Stuff

It's been forever in a day since my last post. So long that I actually had a fellow blogger reach out and make sure I still had the ability to type words and think up full sentences. I turned 40 this year and I'd love to say I am wiser but if I've learned anything it's that I have a lot to learn. This year more than others has taught me to appreciate friends, cherish family, and make my health a priority.

My fly tying skills have gone to crap. I tied my first fly in months last night with a tying group. My clouser was pretty embarrassing. I think it might have been worse than the very first clouser I ever tied. I struggled with remembering how to tie patterns and relearning techniques. While talking to others in the group I was reminded of why I go to these things. It's the fellowship and the constant reminder that in all of life's craziness fishing has brought us together. Some of the news was sad and some funny but all of it was enriching and it really kickstarted my fly fishing engine. Which is most likely the reason I'm writing this today.

Why such a long hiatus from my last post?

I really don't have a good answer. I'd like to say it was the kids, family obligations or work that kept me away but that would just be an excuse. Truth be told I've been getting into mountain biking, playing video games and I guess the kids are taking up more free time. Fishing has taken a lower number on my list of priorities. There has been a lot of thought over the direction of this blog. I've thought about starting a vblog on youtube about fly fishing my local waters. I've also tried to refocus what this blog means to me and why I have it. In the end, I decided to stop thinking about things and get out and fish. My big plan for this year is to get my daughter out on the water. I plan to share the experiences with all of you.

I did make it out to wet a line last weekend. I was skunked but I was able to explore new water and make a friend. I've tried for a long time to get recognition for my fly fishing prowess. It wasn't until recently that I realized I care more about what my friends and family think of me. If at the end of the day I've made more friends than fish I caught I'll be happy.

Tight lines my friends.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Christmas Round 2

My goodies arrived from the Windknots and Tangled Lines giveaway. It was a nice distraction from me staring out the window at frozen snow. 
If you haven't checked out the blog Windknots and Tangled Lines you've been missing out. The blog owner Howard is a great guy and one of the best in the fly fishing blogosphere.