Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shelton Laurel

Shelton Laurel
North Carolina Fish’n 2011

Even with a long 10 hour drive ahead of me, I just couldn’t leave without fishing the morning. I figured I can fish to at least 11:00am and leave from there to travel homeward. Giddeon took me north of Asheville, Monday morn., to the Shelton Laurel Creek. We found the Shelton Laurel flowing lower than normal and by the time we got there the sun was already up bright and early. We checked a few areas and decided to fish the deepest pools we came across. With cars passing by on their way to work, we parked along the road and put our gear on. I decided to use the 5weight bamboo rod for this short expedition.

The mountain water was sparkling clear as it flowed between bankside brush, around exposed rocks and pebbled shallows. The narrow channel emptied into a long deeper pool which also received water from a smaller mountain creek. Giddeon started at the narrow channel below the riffles as I started casting weighted buggers in the deeper pool. After about a half hour of no strikes or followers I decided to fish my way downstream a piece. The deep pool emptied into a channel of exposed boulders that caused rough choppy water with good pocket waters. I drifted a dry along the bank seam and behind boulders without a rise. From there the water emptied into a long pool around a bend in the creek. Up against the bend and down creek the water pushed against a boulders and trees that rose up towards the road. There were a few boulders that had fallen that created good deep small pools.

I switched to a nymph and worked this water over with an indicator. When my indicator finally was pulled under I found a creek chub had taken my dark hares ear nymph. After about my third chub I heard Giddeon call from up stream. I walked around the bend and seen Giddeon standing along the long deep pool.

His 7’ 3weight Wright & McGill fly rod was flexed down into the butt section of the rod while he struggled with a fighting fish. He got it close enough to him and called out it was a big smallmouth bass. The fish turned down creek and unknowingly headed right for me. From up creek Giddeon led the fish, with bent rod, towards me where I was able to get a hold of him. After a picture I went back down creek and continued to catch and tease chubs.

It wasn’t long after that I decided to quit playing with the chubs and headed back up to the long pool. Turning the bend again Giddeons fly rod was flexing deep into the butt section. He was playing another big fish but this one fought with quick turns beneath instead of pulling tugs. The fish didn’t take to the current down towards me but cut through the water up creek. Giddeon played him well and got the fish near his legs before I was able to reach him. After unhooking the nice wild brown trout he gave him water as I snapped a picture before he released the brown back into the deep pool. He said it took a #16 Adam!

We fished for about another half hour or so until the women showed up around 11:00 or so. It was time for me to depart and head north east towards Pennsylvania. We bid fair well as a father and son do. A tight handshake and a shoulder hug.

On the drive east on the windy road of route 212 I passed a few tobacco fields. The first field was still green as the long tobacco leafs stood tall under the sunshine. The next few fields I found tobacco leaf stalks tied together like corn stalks one would see in Amish fields during harvest time. The tobacco, in these stalks, now were more yellowish and tanned than green. I seen a tractor pulling a bed full of these dried leaves into a well weathered wooden aged barn.

After it was evident that no more tobacco fields would be seen the further we traveled, after the Shelton Laurel, that followed the road, disappeared through the forest and after the excitement of the weekend came to a calm, I sat back in the drivers seat. “It was neat seeing these tobacco fields” I thought.

I looked down between the bucket seats and seen the white with red lettered tube lying upon the van floor. I picked it up and unscrewed the cap. I remember Glen telling me the Macanudo Portofino cigar was mild and smoother than what I’m used to. I slipped out the long slender smoke and inhaled the fresh tobacco aroma that escaped from the tube. After lighting it up I found he was right. The smoothness of the cigar was a good relaxing mild way to start the long journey home.

Thanks Glen for the mild smoke to end this mini vacation.

Thanks Giddeon and Kista for a wonderful time.

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