The Greenbrier Sporting Club’s Fly Fishing School is open to all members and members’ guests. Our expert guides and instructors teach the tactics and techniques of successful anglers for use on our local trout streams. New anglers will quickly learn the basic techniques for a fun day on the water, while experienced anglers will refine their skills to become more productive on the water.
New this year, we will be fishing two different streams during the school. We’ll start on Howard’s Creek and after we have practiced the basics and gotten comfortable with some new techniques, we’ll head over to Escatawba Farms and fish Dunlap Creek so we can put those new skills to good use.
The school starts off with a welcome reception at The Hunt Cabin on Friday, April 7th. Then we’ll spend all day on Saturday the 8th at The Club and on Howard’s Creek. Most of the day we’ll be working out of The Hunt Cabin and using it as our classroom, where we’ll learn how to set up your equipment, casting, rigging, and fly selection. Lunch on the 8th is at The Lodge so we can easily get back to The Hunt Cabin and learn about our local aquatic environments and some basic aquatic entomology before we head out and fish for the rest of the afternoon. Sunday the 9th we start out by getting geared up and running across state lines to fish at Escatawba Farms, a private fishing area on Dunlap Creek, about 20 minutes away from GSC. There, we’ll put all that classroom learning to good use. Escatawba is a great stream to fish that’s full of beautiful trout where all the skills we picked up on Saturday will get put to good use. Lunch is streamside that afternoon before we return to GSC and finish the school.
The school is open to everyone: members, guests, friends, and children over 12 years old.
The price for this year’s school is $603.41/person, which includes GSC service charge, HPF, Rod Fees, and WV tax, two days of instruction and guided fishing, lunch, and drinks. The price does not include required fishing licenses.
A valid West Virginia fishing license and trout stamp are required to fish Howard’s Creek. To obtain a WV fishing license go to www.wvhunt.com.
A valid Virginia fishing license is required to fish Escatawba Farms. To obtain a VA fishing license go to www.gooutdoorsvirginia.com.
Dress for success!
The weather can be highly variable in April, especially the first few weeks. Dress in layers and ditch the cotton. You’ll be much more comfortable in synthetic or fleece pants and wool socks & long underwear underneath your waders than you will be in jeans. Bring a raincoat, even if the sun is shining. The weather is likely to be very comfortable, but the school will go on in all weather conditions that are safe to fish in.
The right gear
If you have your own fly fishing gear, we welcome and encourage you to use it. It’s best to learn on what you have, that way you’ll be more likely to use it. If you don’t have gear and would like to purchase the necessary equipment before the school let us know. We’re happy to have it set up and ready for you at the school. If you don’t have any gear don’t worry. We will have loaner rods, reels, and waders for your use during the school. The most useful rods will be 8 to 9 foot, 4 or 5 weight rods, with matching reels and floating lines. The guides and instructors will have all the leader, tippet, and flies we’ll need. Breathable waders are the best choice and boots should be either studded sticky rubber, or felt-soled
Get the most out of your school
April is traditionally our best month of the year to trout fish and the school is geared towards trout fishing, (if you want to talk smallmouth we’ll get you scheduled for something in June). We usually see good hatches in April, so we’ll spend some time throwing dries, but as always, the subsurface game will dominate. We’ll spend a lot of time nymphing, since that’s where the fish eat most often. If you have a specific technique or style you want to concentrate on let us know, we’ll make sure you get the most out of your school.
|Friday, April 7th|
|5:00 pm||Welcome Reception at The Hunt Cabin|
|Saturday, April 8th|
|8:30 am||Introduction to Fly Fishing|
|9:00 am||Basic Fly Casting|
|10:00 am||Knots & Rigging|
|10:30 am||Advanced Fly Casting|
|12:00 pm||Aquatic Ecology & Entomology|
|12:30 pm||Lunch on The Lodge Terrace|
|1:30 pm||Guided fishing on Howard’s Creek|
|5:00 pm||Day’s events conclude|
|Sunday, April 9th|
|8:00 am||Leave GSC for Escatawba Farms|
|8:30 am||Guided fishing at Escatawba Farms|
|1:00 pm||Streamside lunch|
|2:00 pm||Return to GSC and conclude weekend events|
For more information or to RSVP, please contact:
Director of Outdoor Pursuits/Naturalist
When March finally rolls around, we can be sure that winter is behind us. (Regardless of what the calendar says, spring is here.) The days are longer and it is warmer outside. Now we can really start to take advantage of spring in our mountains.
This year the fishing continues to be great; we had perfect water conditions through most of the winter. The mild temperatures have kept the fish and bugs active and all of our streams have been fishing well. Look for most spring hatches to begin soon. (The little winter stoneflies and baetis have already hatched.) The larger bugs should be out soon and, most likely, the March Browns will actually be out in March this year. They will be followed by the first caddis of the year.
To many of us, spring means trout fishing. Expect to find fish in most areas of the stream this time of year, especially those areas with moderate current and gravel substrates. The rainbows congregate in likely spawning areas and the trout congregate immediately downstream of riffles to pick off bugs as they drift. Keep an eye out in the tails of pools for spawning fish or areas of clean gravel. We need to keep away from fish that are actively spawning. Howard’s Creek is not a great stream for natural reproduction, but we see some stream-born fish each year and want to give those that are spawning the best chance at success. If there are fish spawning in the tail-outs, look at the head of the pool and chances are good you’ll find a few that have finished spawning and are strapping on the feed bag. When you find some fish that are feeding, try to determine what they are feeding on. Our fish are generally not too picky, but if you can match their natural food source, you’ll do a lot better.
Next month is our annual fly-fishing school. We still have a few spaces available. You will spend the weekend learning all the basic and not-so-basic skills needed to catch fish on a fly in our local waters. Our instructors are experts at casting, rigging, finding fish and presenting the fly. The best part is they are expert teachers too, so all of our students come away from the school with the skills they need to get out there.
Just because the fishing is great this time of year, don’t put up the shooting gear. When the weather gets nice, it’s easy to spend some time on the range. We have some great options this year, everything from The Club’s .22 range on Greenbrier Mountain to the challenging clays shooting at The Greenbrier Gun Club and Powder Ridge Sporting Clays, plus the Friday night matches at L&S Indoor Pistol Range. Many of our members are taking advantage of the new ranges. If you want to check them out, give us a call and we will go burn some powder.
March is a fantastic month to be outside. If you’re going to be around The Club, give us a call or stop by The Hunt Cabin and we can make arrangements for all your outdoor activities.
June is the beginning of the king salmon run and the fishing for rainbow trout, arctic grayling, and arctic char is very good. The big rainbows will be feeding on the outgoing migration of salmon smolts and after a long winter under the ice they are ready to feed.
We will have six full days of action packed fishing. Each day begins with breakfast at the lodge and then we head off in jet boats or float planes to our daily fishing location. Lunch is streamside with big hearty dinners back at the lodge.
The lodge at Rainbow Bay Resort has ample space for you to spread out and relax after a tough day of fishing. The lodge sleeps ten people so our group will have it all to ourselves. Bedrooms have two queen beds and private baths.
Cost for this trip is $6000.00, includes food and lodging at Rainbow Bay Resort, fly out guided fishing, beer and wine. Does not include fishing license and king salmon tag, liquor, travel to Anchorage, food and lodging in Anchorage, or transportation from Anchorage to Rainbow Bay Resort.
To book this trip or answer questions call Jacob at 304-667-8337 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corie Lynch, The Greenbrier Sporting Club’s winter intern, presents the first installment of her series of “Reasons I Love The Greenbrier…And So Should You.”
You don’t have to be President Eisenhower to appreciate The Greenbrier and all the activities it has to offer. Both the indoor and outdoor events are worth the time it takes to leave your cell phone in your room to really escape the daily grind. The options are almost endless, with mountain ranges and creeks in abundance everywhere the eye can see. Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with The Greenbrier Sporting Club’s Director of Outdoor Pursuits Jacob Ott for a fly fishing tutorial. One second I’m meeting Jacob and rounding up the supplies while admiring the 77-year-old hunting cabin on the Snead golf course, and the next second I’m thigh deep in the ice-cold water of Howard’s Creek. Needless to say, the experience was incredible. Being in the calm tranquility of nature for a change, yet being just a short distance from civilization (in case the fish ganged up and attacked me) is really a great way to spend the perfect vacation. I strongly believe I would not have had the same amazing experience had I just gone alone, especially since I am clearly not the outdoors-y type. Jacob was very familiar with the outdoors in general and of course was ready for the thousands of questions I asked about fly fishing. I liked it so much, I asked for a fishing rod instead of clothes this year for Christmas. Now that’s dedication.
Summer is here and the smallmouth fishing is in full swing. The last few trips have brought some big smallies to the boat. Lewis and Janice Whiting had perfect conditions over Memorial Day weekend to float the Greenbrier and the river gave up a nice 4lb bass for Janice and a number of great fish in the 2lb range for Lewis. The next week we could not find any members to go, so the outdoor pursuits staff had to go fishing by ourselves. While the river had dropped a bit, the bite was still on and guide Max Hammer landed this 4lb bass just below Ronceverte. The bite should continue until mid August. We are catching many fish on each trip and with an occasional big fish thrown in the river is fishing extremely well.