Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Camping/Fishing Trip...

The Whitetop Laurel Creek begins in the mountains of southwestern Virginia and flows down to the small town of Damascus. Along the way it is joined by a number of other streams and eventually ends up in the Holston River. I drove from Louisville to Damascus early this week to get in a few days of fishing... and to take "Sacerdos 1" on her maiden camping trip. I must say that the fishing, as well as the overnight camping were excellent. The scenery in the mountains was beautiful, and the truck proved to be a suitable home. The mountains have received more than their share of rain this year, and the river was up and rusty in color. With a storm the day I got there, and one overnight, the river was on the rise. This didn't keep me from catching about a half-dozen wild rainbow trout in the 12" range. The wild fish always seem to have the brightest colors and the most fight in them. The rainbows lived up to their reputation of being fantastic jumpers when caught, leaping out of the water. Another notable thing about the trip was the tremendous access that the stream enjoys. The "Virginia Creeper" trail (a former railroad right-of-way that was converted into a 30+ mile biking/hiking trail) parallels the river for quite a while and provides some great access for fishermen. The Appalachian Trail also utilizes part of this right-of-way as well, before it disappears into the rhododendron of the mountains. Here's some pics:

One of the many existing trestles spanning the creek on the "Virginia Creeper Trail:"

A beautiful wild rainbow trout:

"Sacerdos 1" on her maiden voyage:

A storm blew-in overnight, but the truck kept me high and dry:

The Appalachian Trail crosses the Virginia Creeper Trail along the creek:

Another view of the creek:

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