It was the most pleasant, yet toughest, decision of the spring season… where to chase brookies for the first time! after being skunked for shad on the Rappahannock on Thursday, I knew I had to hit it out of the park on Friday or it would be a wasted week. The fact that there were plenty of options made the choice even more challenging – should I go to Hazel? Hughes? Rapidan? Or Rose?
In the end,I elected to go to the Rose because I had not fished that river from the lower Park boundary upstream based on my standard assumption that the area closest to the parking lot would be the most pressured. Boy, was I wrong! Even if this section is pressured, there are still plenty of good fish waiting your visit.
After arriving at the small parking lot and turning on my satellite beacon, I took the short walk on the wide trail to find the last posted sign. I went up another 50 yards to make sure I was on public property and then cut right down the steep hill; keeping an eye on the prize in the valley below. The closer I got to the river, the better it looked. However, I noted that it was running low for this time of year. Based on that, I recommend you go here sooner rather than later and unless we get another good burst of rain.
I crawled carefully over the tall boulders that protected the river bank, stood high and looked up and downstream. In the downstream distance, I could see a grand, long pool with the hint of yellow posted signs farther away. Based on that, I decided to walk to the lower edge of the Park and fish upstream. Giving the river a wide berth to avoid spooking the fish, I crawled over the fallen trees and eventually arrived at the brown sign marking the border.
I loaded up a size 18 Adams with size 20 nymph dropper and flipped the concoction into the bubble line. Today was to be a pricesless day that did not require patience. On the second cast, I picked up the beautiful trout shown below. It was going to be a good day!
I worked my way upstream slowly, taking extra care at each of the large plunge pools facilitated by the dramatic drop in elevation. Every pool yielded a prize– typically a nice 7-8 inch brookie. Surprisingly, the dinks were not active and did not compete aggressively to consume my fly; defering to their older siblings.
The sun came and went throughout the morning. When it put in an appearance, the world lit up in a sparkling explosion of color. The small green shoots on the trees offset the dull brown of winter with the soft gurgle of clear water attempting to explain what secrets lay farther upriver. I did my best to discover those and continued fishing upstream for three hours. As you can see from the map, I did not get very far since there was so much to fish in the short distance I covered.
Eventually,the clouds began to thicken and I knew rain was in the forecast for later. Therefore, I decided to pack it in and headed back to the truck; happy that the brookies had cooperated on my first major expedition of 2012.
Getting There: Navigate your way to Syria, VA. Once there, just stay on 670. 670 deadends at the trailhead and turns into the Rose River Trail. There is space for about 8 cars. Walk past the last posted sign and then walk carefully down the steep hill to the river.
Google Local Coordinates: 38.514334,-78.365769
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented on the:
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Date Fished: 3/30/2012
The view downstream to the boundary
Typical plunge pool
The grand pool at the border
Upstream… pool after pool like this
What a scenic spot for a coffee break!
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore