Don't Forget To Look Upstream
It was a beautiful day and I was finally on
the famous and perhaps the finest trout
stream in my home state, West Virginia. I
got to Valley Fork Fly Fishing flyshop
around noon and spent an hour talking to
Dave Breitmeier, the owner of the shop
and the authority on fly fishing the Elk. I
found Dave tying his famous #32 midges.
We talked about the river and the
reproducing browns. Dave's eyes sparkled
when he showed me a picture of a brown
fry. I was supposed to meet Zach Pittman
for a day on the Elk, but Dave informed me
that Zach had gone home after a month's
fishing. I was a little disappointed but went
on to the
river and began fishing. It felt good being on
the Elk and I caught a small brown on the
second cast. It was at the lower end of a
beautiful 100 yard pool. After 45 minutes of
fishing,I landed a 12 inch brown further up
in the pool. It had been thundering and
when the lightning got too close I went to
my vehicle to wait out the storm. Drinking a
coke, I was just  happy to be there. It rained
a little, but not much. When the rain turned
to drizzle, I went back to the river and began
fishing. At the head of the pool, in the
middle of the river, was a large boulder. I
waded out, got behind the boulder and was
fishing the current to my left looking
downstream. Darn if I didn't catch another
brown. I noticed the water getting a little milky.
It was coming from a  feeder stream  upstream
a short distance. I began working my way to the
bank when I saw this young fellow walking up
the gravel bar toward me. He was dressed in
shorts and a windbreaker. " Hi Zach Pittman" I
yelled, "Get your fishing gear and let's fish."
Zach said there was a wall of water on the way. I
said" No way. We didn't get that much rain"
Zach assured me that it was true. Someone in
the headwaters had emailed Dave to warn him
that they had received 5 or 6 inches of rain and the water was coming. Zach and I walked
back to my vehicle and were eating a sandwich when Zach anounced " Here it comes". A
wall of water 5 ft high came roaring past. Zach and I drove down the road to an old bridge
and snapped these pictures. Proof is in the pudding.
Always Keep Your Eye
Upstream From Time to Time !!
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Photographs By: Carl D. DeFazio