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The Green Bank Elementary-Middle School fly fishing club received supplies from members of the Southern West Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Knapps Creek Trout Lodge. Front row, from left: Anne Mitchell, Jeremie Mick, Wyatt Hendrick, Trenton Gray and Brooke Dickenson. Second row, from left: Ray Nakakura, Steve Pugh, Mark Hengemihle, Jacob Arbogast and Bronson Brown. Photo courtesy of Brooke Dickenson
At the beginning of the school year, teachers at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School were encouraged to create a club for students to participate in during the school year. Noticing that the school had a collection of unused fly tying materials, Brooke Dickenson chose fly fishing as the focus of her club.
Throughout the year, the six member club worked with fly fishing experts, including Gene and Nancy Rexrode, of Green Bank, and Anne Mitchell at Knapps Creek Trout Lodge, to learn how to tie flies and properly cast with the fly rod.
“I told the boys if we’re good and respectful, we’re going to go fly fishing, so that’s how we got hooked up with Anne Mitchell,” Dickenson said. “She was incredible. She was an awesome help. We went to Knapps Creek Lodge and did a fly fishing lesson. We were out on the creek all day and everybody caught a fish.”
After the successful day, Mitchell contacted the Southern West Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited to inform members about the club at GBEMS.
Two weeks ago, members of the TU chapter visited the school, worked with the club members and donated supplies to the club.
“They gave us fly tying supplies and a fly rod,” Dickenson said. “Anne Mitchell also donated a fly rod, so we can go on our own, too. That was really cool. Steve Pugh and Bronson Brown with Southern West Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited tied flies with them. They also offered a membership to a youth fly fishing club.”
The club has been an interesting change for Dickenson, who has never tied flies or gone fly fishing.
“I’ve been learning – there’s a lot more to it than regular fishing,” she said.
The students have had a fun year, and Dickenson said she is looking forward to continuing the club with the newly minted fly fishermen.
“Anne said when the boys got out there, they were naturals,” Dickenson said. “They did an excellent job.”
After a brief social media hiatus: We're back and ready to bring fresh ideas to KCTL in 2018!
In building on our fundamentals of providing personalized experiences to best connect with the natural beauty of Pocahontas County through clean and comfortable overnight accommodations and exciting and educational approach from introduction to and advanced techniques to fly fishing our Fresh Ideas include:
- Increasing our collaborations with local producers to bring you the freshest products and ideas from our region
- Optimizing the utilization of the teachable moments of small stream ecology to engage more youngsters in the subtleties and excitements of nature thru fly fishing
- An additional private room with Queen sized bed available for overnight accommodations beginning in April (pictures coming soon)!
Cheers to the New Year - We hope to see YOU in 2018!
In 2013, Knapps Creek Trout Lodge, LLC, was just an idea of the Pocahontas County raised, WVU Alum, fly fisherman and trout enthusiast, Mark Mitchell. Having built an exterior renovation company and raised a family in Northern Virginia, Mark set his sights on a business nearer to his roots. Utilizing his childhood home, designed by his Mother and built in 1973, along Knapps Creek as an idyllic mountain retreat- offering the comforts of fluffy beds and big fires, home cooked meals that reflect local heritage, and fantastic fly fishing opportunities. A place where family and friends could gather to reconnect with each other and the natural landscape.
In early 2014 called his daughter, Anne Mitchell, who had recently graduated from WVU with a BS in Sport & Exercise Psychology with an emphasis on positive outdoor recreation participation in 2012. Alongside, Mark Hengemihle, WVU College of Business 2013 and fellow outdoor enthusiast, they were located in Teton Valley, ID, after years traveling between West Virginia and the coasts of North Carolina, working in the outdoor tourism industry both as certified snowboard instructors and in the Summer, Anne as a kayak eco-tour guide with Coastal Explorations, Mark with the rental property company Twiddy Realty.
In his call, Mark M pitched the combination of their unique experiences to create Knapps Creek Trout Lodge; he would assist on putting the plan into action if they would lead the charge. Anne and Mark H returned back East in search of a new kind of adventure. In March 2015, Knapps Creek Trout Lodge opened to the public. Under the leadership of Mark M, the trio had formed a small contracting company and tackled local projects while building their own. Anne and the Marks worked to improve the amenities inside the Lodge, expand structures on the property, reestablish the gardens, and a spot in the community. After two years of advising, Mark Mitchell returned to his home in Fairfax, Virginia while Anne and Mark Hengemihle run the Lodge. He does still frequent the Lodge coming in on the country roads to hit the water and unwind.
Entering its 4th year in business, KCTL provides the original mountain retreat while collaborating with local producers to expand and improve the quality of that experience. We focus on creating a friendly and welcoming fly fishing environment where youth, female, and male participants of all types can feel comfortable. We continuously strive to provide the right support necessary for guests to be successful relaxers & adventurers: whether it’s reading, resting, fishing, hiking, biking, or birding!
Come & see for yourself. Now taking reservations for 2018; see you in March!
Its been a while since our last blog post and we're looking to get back into regularly keeping you guys up to date on the happenings around the lodge, and we're kicking off this years first post with some great news!
Our friends over at www.inflatablepaddler.com are putting together a comprehensive list of Fishing Charters and Guides categorized by state for your viewing pleasure, and Knapp's Creek is on the list!
Fishing on the water, not in the water, is becoming increasingly popular among both fly and spin casters for a variety of reason including their versatility, ease of use, and sheer number of options available, just to name a few. If your interested or even thought about fishing ON the water, Inflatablepaddler.com, is a great new resource to steer you in the right direction be it by boat or wet wading your local stream, be sure to check with them before your next fishing adventure.
What's your take on fishing from a boat, yay or nay? Let us know in the comments below!
It is spring in the mountains of West Virginia, which is different from spring experienced most anywhere else in the Mid Atlantic. I am sitting in the Sun on the porch enjoying daffodil blooms, vibrant Forsythias, and wild Crocuses- which I can only now see since the snow showers from this morning have melted..
Our business Manager and I returned to the Lodge from our winter season spent in the Teton Valley, Idaho to reopen for Lodge Guests in early March and have wrapped up our first trip of 2016! Dave from Maryland visited with us last year to celebrate with his wife and we were so happy to have him return, this time with his friend from Wilmington, North Carolina, for 5 nights with 3 Full Day Guided Trips and Full Meal Service. As for a trip to start off the Season our approach was baptism by fire and we enjoyed every (mostly) bit of it!
The fishing was great on Knapps with trout rising to the top in the evenings to take small grey-bodied dries, mimicking Slate Drakes, and green rock worms and flashy mayfly nymphs below the surface. Some of the fishing highlights from this trip included, Jim from NC, though being inclined to saltwater fishing, landed a beautiful Rainbow Trout from our Honeyhole on his first fishing day of the trip! Dave from MD, had great success on his waxed line, bamboo Legacy rod, with an Elk Hair Caddis HE TIED on his trip here last year!
Though we enjoyed warmer temperatures most days, we saw a bit of snow on Friday morning and decided to relax with a fire in the Great Room to tie a few flies and "enjoy" a lesson on Knot tying. We usually preach the benefits of general fly/nymph imitators, we sat down with some Nymph-Head Evolution clinger and crawler Mayfly beadheads from Flymen Fishing Co. and were very happy with our results! As for the Nail Knot lesson, I would advise fishermen in investing in a simple Nail Knot Tool for the sake of everyone's enjoyment!
Along with a steady stream of fly fishing and Bluegrass, the trip included fresh Rainbow Trout, locally raised Rib Eyes from Rose Beef, and Chicken Kabobs on the porch! A Chef by trade, Jim took our signature Trout Benny Breakfast up a notch! Already showcasing homemade Dilly bread, sautéed Ramps, eggs from our chickens and Lodge smoked Trout, I was taught to make homemade Hollandaise sauce to top it off! Though that is going to take some practice, I am looking forward to mastering it for the menu in the future.
Overall, we had a great trip enjoying nature and fellowship and are looking forward to the upcoming visits this spring season!
Welcome to our "What's New at Knapps" Blog! We are looking forward to keeping you connected with the current happenings at the Lodge and events in Pocahontas County, the highlights of our recent Guest Visits, and a weekly special "Eco-Lesson from the Lodge," where we share an informative video on something interesting we are observing creek side at the Lodge.
Firstly, for those of you who are unfamiliar with our Company, a little about our Lodge:
Alongside our business manager, Mark Hengemihle and our fishing guide, my Daddy, Mark Mitchell, we have converted my Dad’s childhood home along Knapps Creek, designed and built by my grandmother Mimi, and my Granddaddy in the 70’s, into a B&B style Fly Fishing Lodge and Guiding Service located in the town of Marlinton in beautiful Pocahontas County, WV.
We offer overnight lodging accommodations as well as guided fishing trips around the 8 major River headwaters of Pocahontas County and beginner fly fishing lessons. As a guest at the Lodge, you receive a fresh, hot, breakfast and the option of additional meals, access to our fleet of beach cruisers to explore the nearby Greenbrier River Trail, and access to fishing from our property at Knapps.
It's one of the benefits of running a small business- that we are not having to cater to the masses, instead we are catering to the guests we have on that given day. Every group that comes out is a little different, with different preferences and expectations, and we are able to roll with that. For instance, we cater our menus to fit personal preferences and our guided trips and lessons to best suit your learning style and needs to offer the best possible experience for you.
I think what makes us unique amongst fishing lodges is our fundamental approach to Fly Fishing. Our primary goal is not to go out and catch the biggest fish in the creek, though that doesn't hurt, but it is simply to go out in the creek and have a good time. I think Fly Fishing has a certain connotation surrounding it, that it is a bit stuffy or pretentious as a sporting community, but we have created an environment where fly fishing is more accessible and simply- FUN. Whether you're a trout nut or have never stepped foot in a mountain stream, you can come get on the water and throw some flies, let down your guard a little and have some fun! That is our measure for a successful day on the water and we do that by focusing on the individuality of our guests.
Simply, We’re just out here doing what we love, in some of the most beautiful bits of this humble planet, trying to share it with others- and we’d love for you to join us!
Keep posted for our next entry highlighting our first Guest Visit of the season.
Anne Mitchell, General Manager