Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan then fish your guts out. I and four great friends had planned a trip to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a couple of months and this past weekend was finally the weekend. I actually had trouble sleeping the night before. I’d say like a kid before Christmas, but it was more like a grown adult that didn’t want to go to work and would rather fish all weekend and shoot the shit over some corn liquor and a fire.
We all met in Asheville (minus one because of technical difficulties) and drove to one of the park campgrounds. After a harrowing experience with a pissed off dump truck driver, we made it safe and sound. After setting up camp and the last of our group made it to the campground with my terrible directions, we started to think about fishing. The last member of our group had never fished before, so I gave him a quick “lesson” on casting at the first hole at the trailhead. We almost actually hooked a fish just messing around, and then we met up with the rest of our group up the trail. I managed a couple of nice fish, including a really nice rainbow. The takes were very light, and they were spread out for such a nice night.
Myself and one of my friends were then helping out the new guy fishing. His casting was getting good and he was placing the fly in pockets, and letting it drift with no drag. We were sitting on the bank when BAM! A fish hits the fly. We jumped up and screamed “Set the hook!”. That doesn’t mean much to someone who’s never fly fished before. So he started reeling. After screaming better instructions, he landed a nice rainbow right at dusk. It may have been the most fun I had on the whole trip.
At the campsite we had a great time of hearing a friend get falsely arrested and being joked on by the rest of the “guests” (and the reason for the title of this post), and of “yankees” at a Darlington race.
Saturday was warm and we hit another stream in the park and it was a total grind. Slow fishing all day with a few fish here and there, but it was the hardest I’ve ever had to fish that stream. It was a beautiful day though and everyone had a good time. That evening we hit the homewaters and picked up a couple. I started to see some yellow flies coming off and picked one out of the air. Actually saw that it was a small yellow stonefly and put on a #16 yellow stimulator. Caught a nice fat bow in a side pool. I actually matched a hatch for once! I also could tell these fish were fat, fat. They had been eating well and I think they weren’t being too active.
We got rain Saturday night and I thought that may improve the fishing even though some had to leave early. In the am, I hit the first pool before the trailhead and picked up a rainbow on a blue wing olive. Met the guys as they were heading to another stream, and talked to them later and they both picked up two fish before heading back to Raleigh.
I moved up an picked up a couple small trout and then got to a long pool in the shade. It was perfect, just deep enough with sun coming on and off. I picked up a nice brown at the bottom of the pool, and worked another rainbow up ahead of that. Ended up with four fish out of that pool and missed another one. All really nice fish. Sunday was the day to fish, but I had to head back. Probably could have picked up a dozen or so if I had stayed.
It was a great trip, there were fish to be had, no skunks, and sometimes, it’s just that easy.
Thanks for reading!