As day 3 of my excursion to the western slopes of the Shenandoah Valley dawned, the trip had already brought me enough of what I look for in a flyfishing trip that I could have had a horrendous day and still counted the trip as an overall success. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
Weather was expected to be iffy. Cool at the base of the mountain, almost cold at the top where I planned to go. Skidmore Reservoir (Elev. 2280 ft) is just a few miles from the West Virginia line. Virginia DGIF stocks it with fingerling brook trout, which are said to thrive in the lake and grow quickly. They are also said to make spawning runs up the Skidmore Fork that lets into the lake.
I had read in this blog post that the outlet just below the reservoir could provide some enjoyable brookie fishing. At 36 degrees, walking the streambank sounded more fun than floating, so I gave that a shot.
The water coming out of the reservoir was 42 degrees. Fishing was fun but not super fast. Another one of Murray’s patterns helped me entice a pair of little brookies in about 45 minutes.
After picking up a couple of these little guys, I wanted to see what I could do on the reservoir. I developed a taste for float tube stillwater trout fishing on the alpine lakes in Utah. If you haven’t tried stillwater trout fishing in a float tube, you should. I didn’t catch anything on the reservoir, but just floating in that serene alpine setting was a great experience.
In the 3 days I spent at the cabin in Rawley Springs, I was able to fish mountain trout streams, a valley spring creek, and an alpine lake, without ever driving more than 30 minutes. I also passed up the opportunity to fish Mossy Creek, another renowned spring creek. I would say that this little known area is up there with the top opportunities in the Mid Atlantic, not quite rivaling Garrett County, but close. I’m fairly certain I will make the trip again next year.