Painting Through Prosek: Humper Lake Trout

In the depths of Superior

Many things lurk. 
Large eyes and full bellys
Hug submerged rocks. 
One hundred feet deep
These Humpers dwell. 
Only in a Great Lake
Where it gets cold as hell. 
The Humper Lake Trout from James Prosek’s “Trout: An Illustrated History” is a fun one to paint. I enjoyed the subtle variation in the color of the spots. 

Day Hike at Bear Church Rock

Sara getting us started. 

Yesterday, Sara and I woke up early and drove to the Rapidan Wilderness Area to hike up Bear Church Rock. I found the hike on the site which has a great list of hikes throughout Virginia and West Virginia. It rates the hikes for their difficulty, views, streams, solitude and camping. I was looking for something that had good views and streams. I was hoping I might squeeze in a tiny bit of fishing along the way.

This guys reminded us of our cat. Very Fluffy.

Bear Church Rock is an outlook that gives a nearly 180 degree view of the wilderness area. It is about 3100ft in elevation. You hike 3.9 miles (one way) climbing 2210ft from the parking area. The first 0.5 miles of the trail is along the Rapidan river. The next 1.7 miles or so hugs the Staunton River before turning up the mountain to snake through a canopy of mountain laurels and eventually navigate its way to the Bear Church Rock Overlook. There is also a small cabin 0.3mi off the trail you can rent. We met a friendly couple who was spending a few nights there.

We set out to enjoy a day hiking, have lunch at the overlook, possibly do a bit of fishing on the way down, and grab some barbecue and cupcakes at BBQ Exchange in Gordonsville for dinner.

Although I didn’t catch anything in the 30 minutes I spent fishing,
I saw several nice fish in the Staunton River. I think I’ll come back and try to tackle them again. 
Plenty of fungi for this fun guy.….

We did all of that. As you can see by photos, it was a great day to hike. We spotted lots of treasures along the way. The butterflies were out in full force as were the fungi. I got to see a ghost plant (Monotropa uniflora) which was super cool. I even stole about 30 minutes to fish the Staunton with the Tenkara rod. No fish in hand, but I had several takes. Several were nice sized fish as well, probably over 10″. This would be a great river to return to in the fall.

Finding bright colors all over the forest floor.

We made our way back to the car and headed to BBQ Exchange. This place is so good and even better after a day of hiking. I suppose it doesn’t really matter what you eat after a good day of hiking. Any food always seems to be very fulfilling. But I’ll tell you this, there was no talking as Sara and I each got lost in a good BBQ sandwich paired with some fresh slaw.

We found several groups of Monotropa uniflora also known as the ghost plant, Indian Pipe, or corpse plant. 

These are parasitic, non-photosynthisizing flowers. 

Sara by the big tree stump.

Mountain laurel canopy. Very cool. 

I think crossing the path was this little guy’s summer activity. 
The panorama view shows no man-made object in sight.

The Tenkara rod came along, but no fish to hand. 

BLTs at the top. Hit the spot.

Rest Easy, Friday Night: Vol. 15: Aoife O’Donovan

On this hot summer night, I bring you the cool, soothing voice of Aoife (sounds like “effie”) O’Donovan. I heard her in New York at the Prairie Home Companion Show, and she was phenomenal. She also recently played on the Mountain Stage (hear the recording here).  She has been in the band Crooked Still for some time, but this is her first solo album. Sit back, drink something with clinking ice and beads of condensation dripping down the side of the glass, and have a great night.

Painting Through Prosek: Lake Trout, "Denizen of the Deep"

“The Algonquian tribes called the legendary fish namaycush, or “denizens of the deep,”…”

On page 34-39 James Prosek explores several of the specimens of Lake Trout. I chose to paint a bigger image of the fish as these can grow to become pretty hefty fish. “Some specimens up to 125 pounds” states Prosek. Just do a google image search for monster Lake Trout and you’ll see what I mean.

Repost DIY tenkara line holder

From: Tenkara Path

I thought this was so cool I figured I’d just repost it. I was wandering around tenkara sites this AM and stumbled upon the Tenkara Talk forum about DIY line holders.

He uses these “go tubs.” If you look at TP’s page or closely at the pic below, you can see there is a ridge where you can wind your line. The center container hold whatever you want. The larges one can hold tippet.

Tenkara Path shows it in action at his page here.

Pretty sweet.

The Coastal Explorer is at it Again with a New Video

Fished in the Lynnhaven this morning in my kayak. I think there were puppy drum on the flats, but there’s SO MUCH algae in there from the spring nutrient loading that every retrieve was a snag. I will have to tie some unweighted flies and add weed guards to fish those waters this summer.
Switched to outside the flat in the main stem of the river, still on the incoming tide. Caught two nice specks while the tide was still moving – the biggest one was 18+. Surprised to see them this early and this big! Should’ve had my tagging gear, but I was traveling light.
From the Coastal Explorer at