Words and Images from Ed Felker

Dry Flies, Peach Blossoms, Patagonian Wine and a Steak the Size of my Face

An oddly mild winter folded into an unseasonably warm first day of Spring here in Virginia, and I was lucky enough to spend the day at Rose River Farm. The peach trees had begun to blossom, bumblebees were everywhere doing their thing, and the trout were jumping with Spring Fever!

This seven shot panorama shows a nice view of the farm. Peach orchard on the left, black angus cattle on the right.

Without my little waterproof camera, which needs to be replaced, it was a challenge to get any photos of my fish. This is about as good as I could do.

I do rather like this one, though. You can see this very strong rainbow in the top left of the photo.

We fished dry flies exclusively all afternoon. It was the first time I’ve done that in a long time. But when trout are rising, and taking what you’re offering, there is just nothing like it in the world. My favorite rod for this river, a Sage 4-weight ZXL, loaded with Rio Gold line, is simply at its best with a long, tapered leader and a single dry fly. It casts effortlessly, and when I set a caddis down softly over a rising trout, and watch that little black speck as it disappears into a burst of water and motion, it’s as exciting as it was the very first time I ever experienced it. A confident hook set, the hiss of line snapping off the surface and then that awesome, unmistakeable tug of life vibrating through leader, line, rod, hand, and soul. A fight, a fish not quite ready to come in, a little more fight and then the match is conceded. Man, this is fly fishing.

Trout fishing in a t-shirt in mid March is pretty unusual. And by ‘unusual’ I mean ‘freaking awesome.’

I almost overlooked this shot, in a string of nearly identical pictures of a nondescript splash. But then I noticed this trout, mid-jump, about four feet off the surface.

Douglas, visible through the rocking chair as he fishes, told me how great this Palm Beer is, and he is right. This is an absolutely delicious product.

As we wrapped up our day on the water, lightning began to flicker over the mountains. While the grill warmed up, I set up the tripod and tried to catch an image of it. No luck, but I like the colors in this 20-second exposure.

I’m no connoisseur, but after a day of fishing, a bottle of this Malbec (okay, there may have been two bottles) from Argentina hit the spot with grilled rib-eyes so big I shared part of mine with Enzo, my gracious host’s Spinone. It was the first day of Spring, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

11 Responses

  1. Wow, Ed, what great pictures of a great day. I have trouble committing to relaxing, but this tempts me.

    March 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm

  2. Jo

    Man that is awesome Ed! All of it. Way better looking day then our first day of spring. Snow flurries all day long for us so I am very jealous. I will try and make you jealous next week when I am IN Argentina drinking Argentina wine catching fish in Patagonia. :)

    March 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    • Joel Thompson

      Whoops! Hit the wrong key when I was typing my name. Should say Joel Thompson not Jo

      March 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      • Oh I’m jealous already! Seriously though, have some of that Malbec wine. It’s my new favorite!

        March 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm

  3. Gods, Ed…that is some fine Virginia living right there. You know…fly fishing has always seemed like such an esoteric mystery…your blog posts make it slightly more accessible.

    March 21, 2012 at 9:09 pm

  4. Sounds like you had a picture picture and soul inspiring day. What a better way to enjoy life than to enjoy a warm spring day with fish and beer.

    March 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm

  5. Now I’m going to have to go to BevMo to see if they carry Palm Beer. If anyone here does, it’s them.

    March 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm

  6. Amazing picture of the blossoms and the bee!

    March 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm

  7. I loved it all. The steak at the end was perfect!

    Nancy

    March 23, 2012 at 9:13 pm

  8. The one of the bee is stunning! My favourite. :)

    May 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm

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