Saturday, October 18, 2014


It's not often that I fish for stocked trout, or rainbows at all even, here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia; but with the parental units gone until later this month, I've been rolling on a wild game/fish diet to save on groceries, and have some fun, too.

    So after checking the VDGIF stocking schedule, I loaded up my Golden Retrievers and my creel and headed northwest to Madison County, to the Rose River which had just been stocked on the 14th.

    The Rose River parallels the road that runs through Criglersville for much of its length, making it easy for the stocking truck to disperse fish throughout the river, rather than concentrate them in one or two holes nearest the best access point--supposedly.  So without much thought, I picked a pull-off, parked, and rigged up.

    I passed several pickup trucks parked along the river below me, and there was a mini van taking up the pull-off just upstream.  So I was mentally prepared to have just one pool to fish and make the most of.  This wasn't the case, however.  A friendly fisherman (a fly guy too) stood in the pool just above me as I slid into the crystalline flow, running high from a full day of rain two days prior, but clear as ever, filtered by the limestone bed.

    The cover was tight; but I didn't skip a beat.  My new favorite rod, the Tycoon Tackle Scion Series graphite rod, roll casts like a dream; and with a flick of the rod tip, I turned a sliding D-loop into an airborne cast.

Photo by Matt Reilly

Photo by Matt Reilly
    After casting to the belly of the pool, along the current seams, and to the head of the pool, I had succeeded in fooling seven fallfish and one redbreast sunfish--fine, native fish in their own right, but I was searching for the slightly less-sharp non-natives for a change.

    The next cast was claimed by a fiesty rainbow, who immediately took to the air, thrashing and trying to break free.  I guided him to my hand and admired him.  His rosy, spotted flanks marked him as a holdover--a welcome indication in those waters.  With dinner on my mind, I slipped him into my creel.
Photo by Matt Reilly
    I returned to my car to shed my sweater and came upon a friendly man looking to do some bait fishing in the same pool I had just pulled the trout from.  He insisted I continue my fishing; and so I did, for a short while, before wishing the gentleman good luck and moving upstream to seek better fortune.

    I continued fishing upstream, hooking the occasional fallfish and sunfish, but managed one last trout, larger than the first, but obviously a recently-stocked fish by appearance.  He too met the bottom of my creel.
Photo by Matt Reilly
    By then the sun was almost at its pinnacle in the sky, and I had work to do--a deck that needed staining--and so I made my way back to the car with a few stockies in tote.

    Given the choice in sport, I typically forgo fishing for stocked rainbows for blue-lining on the upper reaches of the same streams for native brook trout; but if you're in the mood for trout for dinner, following the stocking truck can be a fun way to grocery shop!


Anonymous said...

Where can I get one of those new Tycoon rods?

Matt Reilly said...

It's soon to be released! I'll keep you posted. Check out the Tycoon Rods at, and check back shortly for an upcoming review of the rod!