Thursday, December 23, 2010

Welcoming in Winter with the Long Rod

Finally was able to get out on the water for a little while lately. I met up with David Knapp of The Trout Zone in hopes of getting my big fish fix in for 2010. The weather was just as we planned, highs in the low 40's and rainy. This should keep most other people off the water, and allow us to get close to some of the big boys. Unfortunately, TVA had other plans, and we found ourselves looking at a generation schedule that was unfavorable for the South Holston. So we made our way over to NC to try for some rainbows. I found myself driving along the dragon in 35 degree temps with snow in the ditch in some locations. Not something I ever imagined I would experience. Needless to say we were about the only two people on the road that day, so it was quite a pleasurable ride.

After spending a couple hours at our destination, it was obvious that the fishing was very slow. So, we loaded up, drove back across the dragon, over the foothills parkway, and up to Elkmont. Oh, and on the way, we had to make our required stop by Little River Outfitters to shoot the breeze with Byron and Paula. We eventually found ourselves at Elkmont, and I just left my #20 blood midge tied on and started fishing at the first location David recommended. He played spotter for me and shortly thereafter I landed my first fish of the day. I was quite surprised at how active the fish were in the cold water, and how many missed strikes I had. We only stayed in this location for probably 45 minutes because the light was fading and it was getting dark. So, we made our way downstream to another location, where this time I just sat back and watched David work a run, and I took pictures. When we realized that we had virtually no chance of satisfying our big fish fix on this day, we immediately shifted into backup mode. Backup mode was for us both to catch our required fish for the LRO message board One Fish Per Month Challenge, and for me to look for some good photo ops while David was fishing. In summary, it was a very good day to be out. Even though the weather was bad, and we didn't catch many fish; it felt good to be on the water again. And the amount of effort we put in for our fish made the day's catch very rewarding. Maybe we will get our chance to go to the South Holston next week. Until next time though, below are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

David Working a Swift Run

David working the same run

A Bridge we came across

Getting the Perfect Drift

Making the Cast

Another Run

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19" Clinch River Brown