A Float Trip with Brian Kelly

By Paul Dobson

I was the very lucky winner, at the PVFF’s Annual Banquet, of the fishing outing donated by Brian Kelly of White Fly Outfitters in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. I scheduled my outing for a day in August. As you all know it rained a lot in our area this Summer, making fishing the rivers and streams a real challenge. When Brian called me the night before I was sure he was calling to reschedule. I was surprised when he said the Shenandoah River was only up a couple of feet and the water was still clear. He suggested we proceed with the outing if I did not mind getting a little wet.

At 7:00 AM the next day we met at his fly shop. It rained pretty steady while we were traveling to the launch area. I was able to stand under the bridge and remain dry while Brian launched the raft. Proper clothing was the key to enjoying this day. Fortunately, we were both prepared. Shortly after we launched the rain stopped and we were able to catch fish and enjoy the warmth of Summer. The fish were difficult to pattern and lucky for me the best way to catch them was with a top water fly. I know this is a little vague about the fly used but I do not want to give away all of Brian’s secrets.

Brian’s wife had prepared a tasty muffin for a mid-morning snack. Then there was fried chicken and cut fruit for lunch. It is a good thing Brian rows that raft most of the Summer. Eating food like that will quickly pack on the pounds because it is so tasty you cannot stop eating!

I would like to thank Brian for his donation to the Silent Auction and his knowledge of the river and the conditions that made this day possible. We did not see another boat on the river all day. We literally had the river to ourselves. Just goes to show the value of a good guide.