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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Elk River, West Virginia

I decided against going to Yellowstone and opted for the Elk River in beautiful Slaty Fork, West Virginia. O.k, Slaty Fork is just a few houses, but it is a beautiful area. The trip took about 8 hours from Nashville. Be certain to take I64 to Lewisburg, WV to get on state highway 219 to get to Slaty Fork and the Elk Springs Fly Shop. I don't recommend taking 219 all the way up from the state line like I did. Just before Lewisburg on 219 is the town of Aceverte and it is a tiny coal mining town, but they have a place called Rudy's that has a really good dinner buffet for nine bucks. You can get to Aceverte in about 10 minutes on 219 south from Lewisburg, but Lewisburg has several options. It has a small college and is very "hip" with small coffee shops, restaurants and art galleries etc for the wife to enjoy if she goes along. There are basically three sections of the river to fish; Directly behind the fly shop, the Slaty Fork area and another that I didn't go that is off of 219, I believe. The Elk Springs fly shop is tiny. It does have the essentials and a bit more, but man they are pricey (you have to buy a few things to fish, so get the guide to pick out a dozen or so flies for you, but bring your own leaders and tippet). The shop also has a "restaurant," that the cash register/part time fly shop assistant/cook/waitress operates. They have burgers etc, but don't expect much. They also have beer and wine, but the beer is a bit expensive. I recommend you stop in the town before Slaty Fork (Marlinburg?) and buy some food at the store there. The "resort" has several cabins around $95 a night and two of them are on an island in the river! The guide gave me some blue quills and BWO's when I asked about the hatch and mentioned something about the poor spinner fall to which I mumbled "Uh huh" before I ran out the door. I did well with a Docks Cork Stimi with a black Zebra Midge dropper until the hatch in the afternoon. It was the most amazing hatch I have ever seen. BWO's and Blue Quills every where. I switched to a blue quill and did fine. I caught several fish on dries and the dropper really wasn't neccessary. I came back the next day and tried the Slaty Fork section, but didn't go far enough up river to get away from the pressured areas. This is a nice trip, especially from East Tennessee. Make certain you bring some VHS movies if you stay at the lodge, or bring your DVD player and DVD's. I also recommend stopping and buying some food and charcoal. They have grills at the cabins as well as a hottub on a deck over looking the river.

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