Mossy Creek, VA
Kyles Mill Rd, Mt. Solon VA
Air Temp – 52
Water Temp – 64
Bright sunny skies, 10-30mph windsA (yikes)
Water Clarity – murky
Hatch Activity – none.
I have been in the ICU literally everyday since the month started. This afternoon was my first glimpse of sunlight in weeks, so naturally I shirked all other responsibilities and went fishing. A cold front is moving in, so the temperatures have dropped and the wind was very fast. I contemplated not going, but I decided that wind shouldn’t effect stripping streamers and short casts on a small (warm) spring.
Mossy Creek is a meandering limestone spring creek surrounded by farmland and it reminds me of home. Pennsylvania is famous for its limestone spring creeks. The Falling Spring, Big Spring, and Letort Run are all within very close distance of my hometown. Even though we have had a mild winter, it was still too cold and windy for the freestone creeks nearby. We also got a few inches of rainfall in the past few days which could render mountain streams unfishable. The increased flows in the spring creeks tend to get the large browns feeding as confused baitfish are more likely to be caught in the unusually high flows.
I strung up the bamboo rod and tied on a 6/0 Clouser minnow. I thought the upside down drift pattern of the Clouser might help keep me off the weeds on the bottom. I parked near the church on Kyle’s Mill Road and ran into two young guys. They said they fished all morning and afternoon and caught one in the early morning.
Just upstream of the parking lot there are the remnants of an old stone bridge.
I started swinging the Clouser straight across and downstream and caught a small rainbow on my 3rd cast! It was a small 7″ beautifully colored wild fish. I released it quickly and didn’t reach for the camera. I thought with luck like that I would be able to land one of the fabled 19-21″ browns that haunt this stream. Pride cometh before the fall…
The wind picked up and was so bad at one point I couldn’t even mend the line. I tried a variety of streamers (lost about 4) and tried some of my new favorite wet flies and never saw another fish much less got a strike. Although, with the wind literally making waves on a 4 foot wide stream it was hard to detect a strike…
Since the fishing was a bust, I moved on to another passion of mine, Civil War History.
Mossy Creek Presbyterian Church sits on a bluff just above the stream at the Kyles Mill Rd public access point. I stop in the church every time I go to fish the stream as the front doors are always unlocked and I usually have to use the restroom.
I recently bought a book of Civil War maps by Jedediah Hotchkiss. He was Stonewall Jackson’s cartographer during his infamous 1862 Shenandoah campaign. Since today is Lee-Jackson day in Virginia, I thought it fitting to visit Mr. Hotchkiss’ home church.