I decided to fish a stream that I have fished off and on since I began trout fishing several years ago. The past few years I've had mixed results fishing this stream, but I'm not too surprised because it is in a fairly heavily used area of the Pisgah National Forest, and the forest service road parallels the stream making for easy access. I'm sure the trout here are fished for fairly often, although I didn't see anyone fishing yesterday. It's interesting to see how things have changed since I started fishing here, although all my evidence is anecdotal. I used to catch more of a mix of species, with rainbows and browns being fairly equal in numbers with an occasional brook trout thrown in the mix. The last few years, I've not caught any brookies in this stream and the vast majority of trout have been rainbows with only an occasional brown.
I arrived to find the stream in better shape than I had seen it in the past few summers. There was lots of water, and the flow was up due to the recent rains. I was a little worried on the drive up because I knew that there had been some thunderstorms in the area overnight, and I woke to find a flood watch in effect for the southern part of the county where this stream is located. There isn't a USGS gauge on this stream, but I checked the ones in the surrounding area and saw that there was only a minimal increase in water flow. Based on this, I decided to go ahead and take a chance, knowing that there were other streams not too far away that should be fishable if flows were too high. When I arrived, I was pleased to find the creek running clear and low enough to make for fairly easy wading. It reminded me of the way this stream used to look back before the dry summers of a few years ago.
|Wild NC Rainbow Trout|
Some of my best wild trout have come from this stream over the years, but it seems that the overall size of the trout here has decreased in the last few years. I was curious to see if the higher flows would bring out the larger trout, or if there were even any there anymore. I have a feeling that the low water of the past few years may have hurt the trout population in this creek, but that is just speculation on my part. Yesterday's catch was all rainbow trout of about 5-6", although I did miss a nice fish due to a too anxious hook set on my part. This fish was holding in a nice pool formed by the trunk of a fallen tree lying parallel with the bank. After several aggressive strikes from the smaller trout that morning, I was caught off guard when this larger fish slowly and deliberately rose to my fly, and I feel certain I tried to set the hook and pulled the fly away before it had a chance to eat it.
One thing that I absolutely love about fishing for wild trout is the amazing colors that these fish have. All the small ones yesterday still had their parr marks, and the bright red stripes and dark spots made a pretty combination. All in all, it was a great day to get out and ramble around in the mountains. Now I can't wait to do it again!
Thanks for stopping by!