By Bill Campbell, Regional Coordinator – PHWFF Virginia
This year, the PHWFF Virginia Region created special fishing outings for those fly anglers wanting to challenge their skills and take them to the next level. With the support and collaboration of the National Park Foundation and personnel at Shenandoah National Park, we held two fishing events in April called Wild Trout Trips where small groups of PHWFF Anglers and their Volunteer Guides learned skills like sneaking up on and stalking wary brook trout, learning what kind of conditions they feed best in, and what types of aquatic insects (and the flies that match them) they’ll feed on.
Many of our anglers have learned their basic skills fishing over stocked fish in ponds and streams where the prey is less cautious and used to seeing human traffic. Our Wild Trout trips will allow them to challenge those basic skills and give them a new kind of angling adventure.
Besides our Anglers and Volunteers, these trips were supported by Park personnel from the Shenandoah National Park with daily transportation, logistics on best fishing locations, and discussions with park fisheries biologists to enhance everyone’s learning experience. Evenings off the water were spent studying aquatic insects, tying flies to ‘match the hatch’, and discussing fishing strategies learned.
We believe these fishing events will prove to be fantastic for everyone involved and are forever grateful to our Partners at Shenandoah National Park and the National Park Foundation for their support of who we are and what we do. It’s a great relationship we hope continues here in Virginia for many years to come and may be replicated in other National Parks around the country.