I have been wanting to do a backcountry trip for a year or, so sometime back around January a buddy and I exchanged emails about doing a backcountry trip. Well, work and weather got in the way, and that trip seemed to fizzle away. Thankfully, things seemed to start looking better and we made plans for this weekend. As the date drew closer, the trip shrunk from a two night trip to just Friday night. However, we wanted to make the most of the day, so we planned to set out from the trailhead around 10AM. This would allow us to fish all afternoon and evening. Surprisingly, the online booking tool showed that Thursday was completely booked up, but Friday only had five occupants including us. So, it was with some anxiety that we began the day on Friday not knowing whether the camp had been inhabited by a party crowd that would leave it trashed, a group of boyscouts, or worse fly fishermen...
A quick stop at Little River Outfitters to get some last minute supplies and Daniel told me
about a group that had just stopped in and had some success fishing the
day before. Although, I also talked with others who had poor luck and I
didn't know what to expect. Additionally, the weather forecast had
changed significantly, and the chance of storms had increased.
When we arrived at the trailhead, we saw a large group of guys leaving.
We stopped to chat for a while and learned that they were the group
from the camp and only one of them in the group had fished the day
before with some success. Things were starting to look up.
The mandatory hike in photo:
Hanging out around camp, planning our fishing day.
It wasn't long before we got into the water. I can honestly say there
was more fishable water in this area than I have ever seen before. Buzz
working the first run as soon as we stepped into the water.
While I was putting my camera away I hear, "this is what we are here
for". He had already hooked up and landed a rainbow, not 30 seconds
into our fishing day. This got me excited. So I moved on up to the next
little stretch, and hooked into this guy on my second cast.
I pulled this little guy from this tiny little side run that probably
90% of the fishermen would pass right over to reach the bigger water.
Five minutes later, I had this guy to hand.
Buzz and I continued to play leap frog up the river hitting every other
hole and landing many fish in the process. Almost exactly one hour
after landing my rainbow I completed my slam with this guy.
Amazingly, it took one hour and ten minutes to achieve my slam and all
within a couple hundred yards of each other. It wasn't long afterward
that we began to hear the rumble of thunder, and so we hoofed it back to
camp just in case. Thankfully it passed north of us and we ate some
dinner and got back on the water. About 7:00 the yellow sallies started
coming off heavily, and there was a very large light cahill spinner
fall. We fished until we couldn't see where we were walking and called
it a day.
Around 1AM it began to rain, and continued to do so until we reached our
vehicles at 11AM. As I was driving back to Knoxville, the sun popped
out briefly only to quickly be overcome by rain clouds for the rest of
the afternoon. All my gear is currently setup in the garage trying to
dry out, but it was all worth it.
Buzz caught a lot more fish than I did, and completed a slam himself
shortly after I did. Unfortunately, it was quite evident that my lack
of fishing last year really hurt my presentation efficiency. However, I
would consider this a tremendously successful outing regardless of how
poor my presentation was. This was also my first real
overnight backcountry trip, and I think I am hooked. Can't wait to do
it again! I got to try out some new camping gear, that I hope to do a video review on and post in the near future.