Sunday, February 19, 2012

Epic Quill Gordon Day

I had originally planned a trip to the mountains Sunday to watch David Knapp tie, and get a couple hours on the water. However, a change of plans for Saturday prompted the wife to suggest I take advantage of the weather and go fish. After a lengthy deliberation of about 1.5 milliseconds, I said okay.

While driving in I saw somebody in about every other pull-off either gearing up or fishing. When I arrived at the trailhead I was surprised to find plenty of open spaces. So, it appears that most everybody was focusing their efforts roadside.

I was anxious to try out some new Patagonia gear, so I had a little more clothing on than was probably necessary. Thankfully, I elected to pack in my waders and put them on after walking a couple miles up the trail.

This is where things began to get interesting....

I found this nice little run and saw one small head poke out of the water, so I decided to give it a go.

I rigged up a #12 Quill Gordon and made my first cast to the middle rear portion of the run. My fly hadn't drifted more than 2 ft before BAM! I caught this little guy.

Keeping with Buzz's posting requirements I took his picture because I figured he would be the only fish of the day. What I didn't expect to happen was to catch 5 more fish on the next 5 consecutive casts.... I actually had a group of hikers see me land the second one, and they hung around to watch me land the next four fish. Eventually they started applauding every time I landed one. I have to say it was quite an experience.

The 5th fish in the 6 fish streak was this 12" beauty that ran me up and down this little run.

I believe this is the best rainbow I have landed on the TN side of the park.

I caught a few more, but eventually wore out this run before moving upstream in search of more water. This was when I met up with RKeeton from the message board and had a nice little chat while searching for more water. I ended up walking another 3/4 mile or so upstream with less than stellar results. I caught a couple more, but there was absolutely no surface activity going on. Thinking that I may have walked above the Quill Gordon hatch range, I walked back downstream and soon got back into the action.

Throughout the day, there were not large numbers of Gordons hatching. However, of all the ones I did see bouncing on the water, none got away free. I did see large numbers of brown stoneflies in a size 16, but had no reason to switch away from the Quill Gordon.

It was an absolutely beautiful day to be in the mountains and on the water. I would hate to speculate as to the quantity of fish landed today. However, a day like today causes one to completely lose track of numbers and just enjoy God's creation. I feel extremely blessed to have been able to enjoy such inspiring scenery and spectacular fishing.

Tight Lines and God Bless!


Kevin Frank said...

Trout on a dry fly... Does it get much better?

Adam Wilson said...

Travis, Epic day for sure! I've never a "huge" hatch like that. We did see some nice hatches a couple weeks ago, but the water was really high from the rains.
Tailwaters are really picking up ;)

19" Clinch River Brown