This year has been a strange one, with almost daily rain and several instances of flooding in our local area. My go to summer spot for smallmouth and redbreast sunfish has stayed at a level that is too high and muddy for me to feel comfortable wading ever since my early summer trip down there. With most trout fishing involving a minimum one hour drive each way, I'd been hesitant to go only to wind up in a thunderstorm that would put an end to the fishing.
|Stream Side Break Before the Rain|
I didn't want my last trip of the summer to end with a skunking, so as soon as I got home I began making plans for at least one more trip back to the mountains. I had several locations in mind to try, but in the end I decided that I wanted one more shot at the trout in this stream. I knew from past trips that this watershed holds some nice sized wild fish, especially by NC standards, and this area is also one of my favorite spots to fish. It could only be my imagination, but the water here seems to be colder and clearer than anywhere else I fish on a regular basis, and the views upstream of some of the highest peaks on the East Coast only add to the experience. I mentioned to my brother-in-law my intentions of going back, and we agreed to give it a try on Friday afternoon. He had just recently purchased a fly rod, after a couple of seasons of borrowing one of mine, and we both figured that this would be a great opportunity for him to get his new rod out and hopefully break it in on some wild fish.
|First Trout of the Day|
I was wondering what to try different when I noticed a few yellow mayflies (I'm guessing sulphurs?) and Yellow Sallies flying around. I remembered reading in an article one time that a lot of the older Southern Appalachian fly fishermen swore by flies with yellow on them, and I had a few sulphur patterns in my box that I had tied a year or two ago in hopes of catching a hatch on Pennsylvania's Oil Creek. The sulphurs never showed back then, but luckily I had left these flies in my box. I tied on one, and on the third or fourth cast a nice little rainbow nailed the fly like it was what he had been looking for all day.
This gave my confidence a boost, and after fishing a few more pools, I came upon a pool that had a small tributary creek flowing in from the right side. In my past experience fishing this stream, I usually caught a mix of wild rainbow and brown trout, but I had also heard from my uncle that several of the smaller tributaries had healthy populations of wild brook trout. I was surprised when a nice wild brookie ate my sulphur, and I wonder if this trout was one that had originally come from the tributary and made his home in the main river. Either way, it was a nice surprise and gave me hope of possibly catching all three species of trout that call these waters home. This was also one of the nicer wild brook trout that I have ever caught, and I thought it was kind of ironic that a trip especially for brook trout earlier this summer yielded mostly rainbows, while a trip where I expected to catch rainbows and browns gave me one of my bigger wild brookies to date.
|Biggest Rainbow of the Day|
|A Great Ending|
|Trent's First Fish on the New Rod|
Thanks for stopping by!