Into the Wild and on to the Stockers

I had a great opportunity to visit with one of my favorite fishing buddies who lives at the beach, but was in Avery County camping and fishing with some other old friends from the Raleigh area.  When I first moved to North Carolina, this group of guys invited me to their annual Trouttrip where they had competitions for horse shoes and fishing.  I was completely unprepared the first year I went up there as I was not much of a camper at that time.  I grew up spoiled rotten (as I quickly realized) with a fishing cabin my grandfather had on a salmon river.  I didn’t know anything about what that first weekend had in store.  I was quickly initiated, both figuratively and literally to the ways of the trouttrip.  I also found out that me and my buddy from the beach were the only fly fisherman and quickly became quick fishing partners.

My first NC fishing buddy - Big T!

It’s been a few years since I made a trouttrip and I was excited to get back there and fish some of the wild streams.  I left Asheville early and was in Avery Co. by 7:30 and ready to fish.  The water was not so accommodating.  It was the lowest I had seen it, and with temps in the 90’s the last few days, I could believe it.  The stream by the campsite did not look good so we headed down river to fish another wild stream.  With Delayed Harvest opening up, we had a whole lot of company, but the wild stream was pretty bare.  We walked the stream and missed some good looking fish right off the bat.  At the first good hole, I was missing fish on top with a yellow adams, and switched to a fly with some antron that I could strip underneath.  That did the trick and I caught the fish that was missing the other fly.  A nice sized brem.  Oh well, he was a good fighter.

I always catch one a year

Check out that red fin in the back

We made our way upstream and the fish were spooky with the low water and hot temps.  I caught a nice little wild brown with great colors and a nice red fin.  I missed a really good fish in an undercut run across the stream but couldn’t get him to rise again.  It was nice water, but it was getting really hot.

Lettin him go

We then decided to do something we rarely do.  Chase stockers!  We went down to the delay harvest section to this one run we both really like and we have always had success at.  These fish were getting the snot pounded out of them by the corn and worm crowd, so I didn’t think we would hook anything.  Thinking that maybe there were some hold overs, or some that were figuring out the eating of the mayfly, I tied on a big Adams and went at it.

To my surprise I got into some browns holding below the large pool.  I caught 4 or 5 and lost a few more.  They were a good enough size on my 3-weight to bend it over and peel out a little line.  They were fun to fish.  We moved up to another pool and I caught an average size rainbow for an ass backwards kind of smokies slam when you throw that brem in there.  The stocked fish also get a reprieve, as I didn’t put them on a stringer and they probably didn’t take anything again that day.

a stocked brown in low, clear water

It was a nice day and a nice drive.  With the weather heating up, it will probably be a little bit before I get some more fishing in.  Maybe a day for some brookies higher up.  It’s tougher now that the big action of spring is over, especially since I had such a good spring.  You also have to look ahead though to the next trip and that next big trout.

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