Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Raven!?

It has been a long time since I wet a line for some trout. So I took a vacation day yesterday and drove over to Cherokee, NC to fish the trophy section on the Raven Fork. The weather was beautiful and the traffic was light. Surprisingly I found the river relatively empty. Actually two of the higher traffic areas were completely deserted when I arrived around 1:00. So, I geared up and slowly made my way to the river.

If you have never been to the trophy section in Cherokee, the palomino trout are a sight to see. Very bright yellow and easily seen by everybody. However, seeing them is like a car wreck, you can't tear your eyes away. I saw a couple feeding in a small area and before I knew it I had wasted about an hour trying to catch them. One of them was actively surface feeding, so I switched over to a stimulator. To my amazement I saw its head slowly pop up out of the water and suck my stimulator in. I was so shocked I set the hook immediately, and completely missed it. That was the end of the story for that trout, it disappeared after that.

I gave up on the palomino trout and made my way to another productive spot and began working the deep run for some of the bruiser rainbows that hang out in this area. I tried dredging the bottom with nymphs of all types and even threw an assortment of streamers at them. Nada! Finally after about 2 1/2 hours of fishing I chose to call it quits. As I was walking to my car I chose to hit one tiny little run before leaving. So, as I was stripping my woolly bugger back, I felt what I thought was a leaf on the end of my line. Then that leaf started pulling back. Somehow I managed to fool an average sized bow on my streamer to prevent the goose egg.

I am a tailwater guy, and my small stream skills are really lacking. I need to work on them more next year. Thanks to all of the rainfall this year and TVA, I have had to resort to the small streams when I would typically be on the Clinch or South Holston. It is completely different, and I am having major tailwater withdrawals.

Raven Fork Bow

Raven Fork Bow

Hopefully in the next couple weeks TVA will back off the generation schedule on the Clinch and I can renew my passion for my old friend. Until then, I hope everybody has a Happy Thanksgiving and God bless.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Beautiful but Crowded Smokies Saturday

The weather was beautiful yesterday and we didn't really have anything else going on, so I headed up to the mountains for a little relaxation. I grabbed myself some lunch on the way in, and ate streamside on Little River. Afterward I put on my fishing gear and proceeded to start searching for some large browns. I did not have any definite sightings, but wanted to try a few spots anyway. Fished for about an hour in this general area before electing to move on. Next, I drove up to Elkmont and was surprised to see droves of people out on the water. Nearly every pullout had a vehicle in it, and a majority of them had people fishing nearby. I just spent some time watching the water and enjoying the scenery before making my way back to Townsend and on home. I typically stay away from the mountains on the weekends during this time of the year because the tourists really aggravate me, but I am undergoing therapy for this sickness... :) Of course, I could have probably walked half a mile and gotten away from 90% of them all, but I didn't really have the time today to walk very far before needing to head back home.

I took some photos with my little camera, but have not uploaded them yet. If any of them turn out okay, I will put them up later. I wish I had taken my DSLR along with me, the weather was perfect for some streamside photos.

I definitely need to work on my mountain fishing skills. Not being on the water much this fall combined with the skittish Smokies trout combined to provide me a skunking. I need to focus more next year on fishing the mountains, but I am in desperate need of some tailwater trout action soon.

19" Clinch River Brown