Sperryville column for April 4

Trout in the hollow again

Welcome back, Skyline Trout Farm – we missed you! Kaye Johnson and her husband, Tom, ran Skyline Trout Farm from 1982 to 1992 up in magical Old Hollow. Now a new generation, namely their delightful grandson Aaron Johnson-Woods, is carrying on the family tradition deftly managing the trout pond operation.

Aaron Johnson-Woods, left, and friend Julian at Skyline Trout Farm in Old Hollow. Courtesy photo.
Aaron Johnson-Woods, left, and friend Julian at Skyline Trout Farm in Old Hollow. Courtesy photo.

The pristine, radiantly clear, spring-fed pond is fully stocked with rainbow and golden trout and there is no fee to fish (but you must keep what you catch; the cost is $4.50 per pound). There’s also a fishing fee for bass and hybrid bluegill (catch and release, $5; bait is available, as are rods and reels). Skyline’s hours are 8 a.m. to to dusk Friday-Saturday or by appointment.

I had the pleasure of cooking two freshly caught, fabulously delicious trout for my great friend Bill and his son Saturday evening. I will be back for sure, not only for myself when I want a great dinner, but also when I have out-of-town guests. What a great way to showcase some of Rappahannock’s lesser-known (but soon to be well-known) jewels! For more information, call 540-987-9438 or visit skylinetroutfarm.intuitwebsites.com.

Woodville to San Antonio

Our own Peter Cecere, resident of Woodville, an avid collector and folk art specialist, has an exhibit at the San Antonio Museum of Art April 6-Aug. 18. According to SAMA, Peter’s art donations over the past decade – in excess of 300 pieces of Spanish and Latin American folk art – comprise the most important addition to the museum’s collection in almost 30 years. You are a generous man indeed, Peter. Congratulations on your exhibition.

Ben Venue: Be there

Virginia has the most steeplechases and point-to-point races in the nation. There are 18 hunt-sponsored point-to-points each spring. And by far, our own Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point Race – at Ben Venue Farm, as always, this Saturday (April 6) – offers the most breathtakingly beautiful venue. The views are simply signature Rappahannock. Come celebrate the athleticism of horse and rider, savor the sights, sounds and smells of tantalizing tailgates, enjoy back-slapping camaraderie, and simply take in one of Virginia’s time-honored traditions – the heart-stopping steeplechase race. The first of eight races is at noon Saturday. Call 540-364-4573 for more information.

Congrats, Dr. Tom Massie

Rappahannock’s Tom Massie Jr., honored by the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association. Courtesy photo.
Rappahannock’s Tom Massie Jr., honored by the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association. Courtesy photo.

If you live in Rappahannock or nearby counties and have animals ranging from dogs or cats to goats, llamas, cattle or horses, chances are you’ve had occasion to experience the care and skill of our local veterinarian, Tom Massie Jr., and his talented team. But recently Tom was recognized on a much larger stage: The Virginia Veterinary Medical Association honored him with its 2013 Paul F. Landis Veterinarian of the Year award.

Many of us have our own stories of the ways that Tom has demonstrated his abilities and his dedication day and night in the service of our animals and their owners. On a personal note, my 5-year-old Xerxes (Baby Huey to his friends), with all 16.1 hands of his gorgeous Friesan soul, might not be here if Tom and his staff hadn’t helped him into the world. And, oh, the stories I have to tell of my baby goats and rambunctious labs, all of whom were and are equally well cared for. Congratulations, Dr. Tom, and thank you. Our best wishes for your continued success and happiness.

– Chris Doxzen

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