Saturday, July 30, 2011

10 minutes on Little River

Had a church outing today at Elkmont, and the family and I got there a little early. So, while the wife and son were waiting for everybody else to arrive, I geared up and went down to the river before all the tubers got there. Found a decent little run and tied on a #16 stimulator and a green weenie. Immediately had a fish come up and inspect the stimulator on the first cast. After a couple minutes with no activity I walked up to the head of the run. First cast into the side current at the head of the run a nice little bow thought my stimulator looked appetizing.

Fished for a couple more minutes before heading back to the car to see if everybody else had arrived. In that next couple minutes I had one fish strike the green weenie, and another inspect the stimulator.

Shortly afterward the sun popped up and the vinyl hatch began. It was a very productive 10 minutes on the water. Wish I had more time to go farther upstream and take advantage of the excellent water levels.

Also picked up a new C&F fly box that I hope to have a review on soon. I hope to post some additional reviews of some recent camping gear purchases I have made.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In Search of a Secret Smokies Gem

I got a chance to fish the mountains this past Friday. I stopped by LRO about 11:30 with hopes of heading above Elkmont for a few hours of solitude. Daniel told me that a guy just left the shop reporting about how crowded Elkmont was that morning. So it was recommended that I pick somewhere else to go. I passed a group of probably 300 motorcycles, so apparently Elkmont was heavily crowded.

I don't know what possessed me to pass up the zoo-like atmosphere at Elkmont for the circus-like atmosphere of Forge Creek, but I did. It has been a long time since I last fished Forge Creek, but the results that time were quite surprising. Unfortunately this trip it wasn't the case, and I saw and caught more chubs than I ever thought was possible. After an hour and too many trash fish, I packed up to make my way to Tremont. Little did I know but apparently everybody in the area must have selected that same time frame to do the Cades Cove loop. I didn't imagine anybody in their right mind would try to drive the loop looking for wildlife on a 90 degree day at 2:00. I was wrong! Boy, was I wrong!

It was so bad that there were actually park rangers out directing traffic past the one and only deer to be seen that day. You read that correct, one deer had the traffic at a standstill. I am talking about a 40 car backup to see one deer! I will give that young fellow credit, he was quite a decent specimen with all six of his velvet covered antlers. However, I hardly believe he was worthy of a two park ranger escort....

About an hour after I set out from Forge Creek, I arrived at my destination above the Institute to try my hand up there. I was quite surprised to see water running off the hillside and into the river quite heavily. Also, the water clarity was somewhere between tea colored and chocolate milk. Apparently it had rained quite heavily on the middle prong while I was fishing Forge Creek, and I got there just as the water was getting muddy and rising.

I put on a large nymph and tried fishing some of the deep runs around that area, but had no luck. Eventually, I chose to call it a day and head on back home to rescue my 8 month pregnant wife from our 3-yr son who was basically having his run of the place. Seeing as how this will probably be my last chance to wet a line until late fall due to the upcoming baby, I was hoping to have a fruitful day on Forge Creek. Unfortunately, this trip allows me to scratch Forge Creek off my list of potential hidden gems for the time being.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

1st Father/Son Smokies Outing

Took the little guy out for some father/son time yesterday. So far he has been camping two times, turkey hunting (kinda) once, and bluegill fishing three times at age three. So, I thought it was about time to get his feet wet with some hiking and fly fishing in the mountains.

I didn't really have much faith in it being an overwhelming success, but thought it would be fun either way.

I chose Elkmont because of the relatively flat trail and the easy access to the river. He quickly decided daddy's walking stick was better than his, so he confiscated it...

About 1/4 mile up the trail he wanted to get in the water and play, so I found a convenient spot and let him play for a while....

After about 15 minutes of playing he was anxious to fish in a particular spot....

Working on his technique....

Only had patience to fish for about 10 minutes, but managed to miss two in that short time frame. By this time he was starting to get tired, so we turned around to slowly make our way back to the parking area. Surprisingly he was more excited to see all the old houses and walk through the Appalachian Clubhouse. He is already asking to go back again, and told everybody today about the old houses and hiking. I think I have myself a lifetime outdoor buddy, and am so glad that he had a great time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Introducing New Fly Tying Tutorials Page

At the top of my blog, just below my banner, you will find a Fly Tying Tutorial page. I will be working to populate that page with some of my favorite flies. Today, I have added the first of these how-to segments with my first subject being a Sulfur Sparkledun. Give it a look, and I hope that maybe you learn a new pattern or trick from these tutorials.

Tight Lines and God Bless!

19" Clinch River Brown