Last Cast

Andy and daughter Elise on the Lower Mountain Fork River in Oklahoma.

I’ve certainty covered a lot fishing waters in September — Massachusetts, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Oklahoma, and missing getting New York on the list by a week. I hadn’t started with a plan, but the pieces came together for a wide range of fly fishing experiences. Here’s my report:

I started off the month fly fishing for stripers in Cape Cod Bay in Barnstable, Mass. While Cape Cod is closely associated with fishing, there is very limited fly fishing on the actual Cape, most are either offshore or in one of the many kettle ponds. For this experience, my guide was George Syvestre, a veteran who started this family business. George led us wet wading through the sand bar during low tide to almost 1/10 of a mile off shore. Following the birds circling over the baitfish, we waded around the outer edge of the bar, saw a few and, using an 8 wt rod, threw the Clouser minnow to them. No luck. George noticed that the tide was higher than usual, so we decided to get back before the water got a little high. Good call! George earned his money as much for being a trail guide, threading us back, as a fishing guide. A fun, unique experience.

Next state was West Virginia, staying at a cabin in Babcock State Park, thanks to Randy Underwood. The park is amazing, the drive up the mountain in the dark and rain was…amazing. With my partner in fishing, Mike Holland, we went to the “nearby” town of Lewisburg, proclaimed the coolest small town, and located the Serenity Now Fly Shop (sounds like a Seinfeld episode), however it was closed for the week. We spoke to the people at the town’s information center who sort of gave us directions to Second Creek. We found a couple of good places to fish; however, like a lot of nice spots, water was low and trout was scarce. We caught perch and blue gills. Hey, at least we caught something! After we finished the first two spots we decided to look around, as we had heard that there is a fly fishing-only spot, and those weren’t them. Somehow, we spotted a sign that led us six miles down a gravel road where we finally found the spot at the end. It was late, so we only threw some casts under a “fishy log.” It seemed like a nice spot, although not a lot of parking.

The next day, on the way homeward, we stopped at Smith Creek in Virginia, booked through Mossy Creek Fly Shop. This is one of our favorite spots. Lots of big browns and rainbows. The MekelMop and Kreelex flies worked their magic. And the weather was great!

Following that, I was able to do a quick test for fish at my home waters of Rockdale Run waters in Maryland. I learned that it’s time to restock, as the last of the golden trout have moved on to wherever fish move on to when they are no longer in their spots. Personally, I like to blame the great blue herons that live by the stream.

Last, but best, was my trip to Dallas to visit my daughter and son-in-law, Elise and Nabeel. Prior to

arriving, I had arranged to take Elise to the Lower Mountain Fork River in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, for her first real fly fishing trip. I was able to cross Oklahoma off my list of “states not visited.” (Down to three now: Alaska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.) Nice spot for beginners, and our guide Patrick was able to steer my daughter to catching a nice rainbow. Well worth the three hour voyage each way. This adventure also included Elise rescuing a loose horse running on the highway. That story I’ll submit to the Horse Newsletter!

I’m a little tired and need to replenish the fly stock, but I’m already planning trips to Smith Creek, the Salmon River, and Western Massachusetts. The sacrifices I make to write this column for the newsletter!

Remember to sign up for the banquet and let Dave Keane know what you would like to donate for our big event. Hope to see everyone soon.

— Andy Mekelburg, Club President

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