Once the retreat adjourned I had our bags and gear packed up and ready to go, but realized that I had not yet purchased my 2014 license yet. So, a quick stop by Little River Outfitters was in order to pick that up and then off to the river it would be. However, upon arrival at the shop Daniel presented me with a very interesting proposition. They had recently gotten in a 7'-6" 4-wt Orvis Superfine Glass rod and he asked me if I wanted to take it out and give it a go on the river. Originally, I hesitated, but quickly caved as I thought about this opportunity. So, once Daniel had the rod packaged up we were off for a quick fishing trip, as I only had a couple of hours to spend before we needed to head back into Knoxville.
About the only time of year that I will even consider fishing roadside is in March during the Quill Gordon hatch, and most other times I prefer to be somewhere a little more remote to avoid all the tourists. When we pulled up to the spot I had intended to fish, the water looked excellent. However, there were some ominous clouds overhead and the wind was beginning to pick up.
|Orvis Superfine Glass & Battenkill Bar Stock Reel|
|Simple but elegant reel seat|
I actually began to see a few QG's coming off in the first little run I was fishing, but the trout were showing no interest. So, I changed over to a QG wetfly with a BHPT dropper. That was the ticket as I got a strike on the very next run swinging the flies in an across and down presentation. Unfortunately, this approach typically gives me some difficulty getting a solid hookset, and that little guy quickly came unbuttoned.
Thankfully, just a few more yards downstream I managed to bring in the first trout of the day.
|This guy crushed my BHPT|
So, I continued on fishing downstream (my preferred approach when swinging wetflies), and managed to stick a couple more trout but once again they came off before bringing them to hand. Eventually, I came to a very nice long sweeping run with an undercut bank along the outside. I just knew there had to be something in there, so I carefully crawled up to it and presented my fly. I gave it a good long drift and then began to swing so that it kissed the edge of the undercut bank. That is when I saw a flash and set the hook into a much more hefty fish. The full flex glass rod doubled over and I saw a large shimmering body come near the surface but not out of the water. I quickly landed this guy and tried to snap a picture, however he had other plans as he managed to squirm free from my hand and drop into the water. The only shot I got does not display the coloring on him, but you can see most of his 10" length. Definitely the largest rainbow I have caught out of the particular stream I was fishing. Shortly after landing this guy the frontal system moved into the area and brought heavy winds that were making my casting a little difficult.
|Healthy 10" Rainbow|