Fairfax County, Virginia, November 20, 2009
It was going to be a very nice day but I had only a few hours to fish so I decided to try my luck at Holmes Run Stream Valley Park.

According to the
Northern Virginia Trout Unlimited bulletin board Holmes Run and Accotink Creek had been stocked with hatchery trout about two weeks ago. These were really nice fish. Many of them were holdovers from the Spring stocking and were allowed to fatten up before being placed in the streams in late October. About 1,200 fish were stocked by the folks from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and because or recent improvements to the pathway at Holmes Run, the stocking truck was able to drive in and put fish into the major pools along the stream all the way down to Glen Hills Park.

I planned to begin fishing after the first crossing but another angler was working that stretch of water so I walked way downstream and began fishing back up through a deep stretch of water that had always been productive in the past.
The water was running high and clear at 51 degrees and the Holmes Run aroma hung in the air (there is a sewer line that runs nearby). Because a recent rainstorm had passed through the area I began fishing with a size 14 Montana Mud Snake and hung a size 16 bead head emerger off the end. After three drifts a nice 13-inch Rainbow trout slammed the dropper nymph so after landing and releasing the fish I switched out the two-fly rig for a bead head fly and lengthened out the tippet a bit.

At first the fishing was steady but slow. I would catch a few fish but then the bite would really slow down. I changed flies frequently but stuck with size 16 bead head patterns because the bigger or smaller flies drew no strikes. Eventually I tied on a
bead head Hare's Ear fly and the fish really liked it. Being hatchery fish they probably thought it was a food pellet! However all the fish I caught (and didn't catch) fought well and put a decent bend on the 4-weight rod. A few trout were missing a fin or two, but overall they were very fat and healthy.

For the rest of the afternoon I walked along the path, fishing upstream, and continued to pul fish out of the deeper pools until it was time for me to hit the road for home.
EQUIPMENT: I used a 4-weight rod, floating line and a short leader with 24-inches of 6X fluorocarbon tippet. I tried various nymphs but the winner was a size 16 bead-head Hare's Ear.

DIRECTIONS: The headwaters of Holmes Run Stream Valley Park begins at the face of the Lake Barcroft Dam located just off Columbia Pike (244) amid apartments, residential housing and strip malls. As you drive on 244 towards Leesburg Pike (Rt. 7) the road will begin to head downhill. To your right you will see a large apartment complex and on your left will be the face of the Lake Barcroft Dam. You will cross a bridge with a covered pedestrian walkway. At this point slow down and get in the right lane. As the road begins an uphill climb you will see on your right a narrow paved road that looks like a bike path. This is the road that leads to Holmes Run. It's a sudden right turn so make sure the car on your tail knows you're turning. Park and follow the path to Holmes Run.