Monday, November 25, 2019

Fun at the Farmhouse

For a family get away this fall we booked a stay at a farmhouse in the NC mountains. It wasn't far from my favorite creek to fish and hiking spot. While we were unloading our stuff at the farmhouse we were welcomed right away by this kitty.
My kids spent a good majority of this trip trying to let the cat come in the house with us and asking if we could keep it. The cat was a sweetheart but I tried to explain that cat was going to be more happy on the property than at our house. The cat did its best to try to change my mind.
The farm was previously a working dairy farm converted into a rental property. The owners still run cattle on the property. The scenery was amazing and the house we stayed in was very comfortable.
There were donkeys and a horse you could pet and feed treats to. 
This miniature donkey was cute but it could be really ornery and every once in awhile it would try to nip you.
We spent the majority of our time hiking at Grayson Highlands.
This is a great place for kids. The hiking trails meet up with the Appalachian Trail. There's plenty of places to climb rocks and if you're lucky you'll see wild horses.
The trees were still showing some of their fall color but I think we were late to see their true splendor.
The wild horses here are smaller than your average horse. most people call them ponies and some of them have hair that has a shaggy look to it.
They aren't afraid of people but you're discouraged to try to pet or feed them. They are really wild animals. 
My kids love climbing rocks here.
There's plenty to mess around on most aren't that dangerous to climb. There's some that have a easy trail that leads to the top of one side.
The views were pretty even with the clouds.
It's not uncommon to see Appalachian Trail hikers lumbering 50lb packs looking exhausted. The elevation difference can be a little extreme in places.
This is a great place to get 3-5 hiking miles in and not feel spent. The weather was perfect and a nice breeze kept us from getting over heated.
It's always neat to see the horses and I like seeing the variety of their coats.
If you're ever near Grayson Highlands it's worth checking out. You can camp here and there are some decent sized towns that aren't far. There's West Jefferson on the NC side and it's not far from the 81 in VA.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Fly Fishing Podcasts

This has been a strange year for me. I haven't had the desire to fish as much as in the past. Recently I started listening to podcasts. I find them entertaining when I'm driving to work or running errands. The podcasts hosted by comedians are what I started with then I slowly migrated to fly fishing podcasts. I've found two in particular that perked up my interest in fly fishing again. One is called Anchored with April Vokey and the other is the Remote No Pressure Fly Fishing Podcast.

Both of these podcasts have great guests and the hosts to a good job of keeping the conversation engaging. You'll feel like you're sitting right in the same room with them. If you're looking for something different to entertain you while driving or doing odd jobs check these out.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Large Mouth Bass Are Snobs

There's talk of picky fish like carp and trout feeding on specific bugs but few fish swim away with the smugness of a largemouth bass. Bass don't just refuse your fly they do it with a fishy version of giving you the finger. I recently found some huge largemouth bass holding close to downed trees near the bank. I cast a few flies and the large bass just ignored it. One fish in particular gave my fly the same look cute girls gave me in school. Like they had just stepped in gum, it was annoying and they wish it never happened. They don't even swim away a lot of times when your fly falls near them they just ignore it and act like you were stupid for even trying. Few fish give more of an indication of who is more clever than the largemouth. I guess I love to hate them because I keep going back for more punishment. More looks of pity and anger from the bass as they wait for this idiot to stop raining trash into their fishing space. I think maybe that is the only reason they hit at times. They think ENOUGH and just hit out frustration and the desire to be left alone. We think we're smarter as we take pictures and release them back to where they came from. More often though we leave empty handed cussing under our breath and the bass watches us walk away with that dumb permanent frown. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Son's First Trout

Took my son to a Delayed Harvest stream to catch his first trout. These streams are great for teaching children to fish. The waters are stocked heavily and the fish love nymphs especially soft hackles. 

He was able to cast, hook and bring this fish on his own. He didn't catch any more but he was content having me hook fish and then hand him the rod to bring it in. It was a wonderful day.