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Lexington, Rockbridge Co., VA

2013 Fall Rainbow 

Fall Edition - 2012

Fall Edition- As a professional trout guide I get fishermen from all over the world and with that comes a huge commitment from my end to make the day special for each and everyone of them despite  having nature throw you a curve every now and then. A few years ago I had a 2 day late Spring trip with some clients from New England who only wanted to catch trout on dry flies, top water as we call it. This certainly is the most focal and dramatic way to enjoy the sport of fly fishing if nature cooperates. The night before our first day we had an unexpected 2'' rain storm hit on the waters I had laid out for the first day.  We headed out to the stream next morning and it was running high and very muddy. I knew my clients were not happy but I always have a backup plan. I told them  that dry fly fishing might just be impossible this day and that we would have to change the mindset and fishing strategy a bit. I sensed some disappointment but I tried to stay on mission of making a special day despite what nature had dealt us. We drove for an hour to a high elevation high gradient mountain  headwater stream loaded with wild Rainbows. This type stream can usually taking a pretty good rain but still be fishable in a few hours.  This stream was running high and what I call milky when we arrived and really in great shape to catch a trophy fish. 

My guys were a little to slow to take to the underwater nymphs and minnow imitations that I tied on for them but after I pointed to some likely holding spots under some huge ledges, fallen hemlocks and eddies they started taking trout in good numbers using the under water flies. We had adapted to what nature gave that day, one magnificent time to be on the stream where the big trout had come out of hiding after a low water time. We approached 1 fast pool that had a bolder with an undercut below it and I dropped one fisherman off to dead drift a Prince nymph in this excellent spot. I started upstream with the other guy when all of a sudden we heard the other angler yelling that he had a big one on.  I dropped everything and headed down to net the big fish. After several minutes we got him over some in some quieter water to land. Low and behold it was one of the brighest and most colorful 18'' Wild Rainbows even I had had ever seen. I'm sure the many crusaceans in this stream were a huge part of this Rainbow's diet .  We very carefully released the trout and could only hope another fishermen could have the same joyous future  experience that we had just had with it. My 2 clients were overcome by the big trout's stunning appearance. They decided that could not top this and we quit for the day. A rain event within limits can sometimes produce some magical fishing as it had this day. My fishermen agreed that maybe they needed to rethink their fishing  plan to include the times when dry fly fishing is impossible. 

Catching trout with nymphs, streamers and other underwater presntations can be doggone fun and very productive.  It might the way to fish if you fish year round like I do. John           

Stream Conditions

Fly Fishing Tips

Adding a split shot or 2 to your nymphing presentation can find less active trout holder lower down in the water column.

John Roberts - FlyFishing Guide

Have You Heard

John many thanks for a fun, informative and congenial morning last week.  Our party of 8 had a wonderful time and our adventure was the subject of much conversation over the entire wedding weekend. It was the beginning of a truly sensational time for our family  and friends. Thanks for your contribution. - 2023


Trip Lodging

John Roberts Fly Fishing
Adventure Headquarters!

LLewelyn Lodge
Bed and Breakfast
in Lexington, VA