It’s amazing how fast the fall always seems to creep up on us here in the highlands of North Carolina. I think it’s because it’s not as hot and humid as the other parts of the state, where the summer seems to linger longer, and just feel hot. I’ve been fighting a little insomnia lately and wavered about going fishing Saturday, but decided to go out as the mornings have been cooler and a little more pleasant. I went to a spot that to me is one of the closer locations of The Smoky Mountains National Park, and usually takes less than an hour to get there. I was up early, and on the stream around 7am.
This portion of the park has a major stream running with two main tributaries. I usually always fish one of the tribs, as I always assume there is less pressure. Lately I never see anyone on the main stretch, and I think that people assume the lower sections get a lot of pressure. Sometimes this is true and sometimes I think that everyone starts walking up stream and it creates less pressure on these lower sections.
I put in at an easy spot and started to get hits right away. Started with a beetle but quickly moved to a yellow elk hair caddis. This started to move more fish and got a rainbow at the first hole. I stayed on the main stretch and hit the main longer runs, as I was looking to try and pick up a larger brown. I started picking up fish pretty consistently and they were mostly bows.
Came around a bend and there was a nice pool with a large tree down. There was no hatch, but two or three fish actually rising! It seems so rare after spring to see fish rising, or maybe I’ve been unlucky. It was exciting and I love trying to catch a rising trout!
Put a perfect cast after a rise and a nice brook trout slammed the fly. Looks like the brookies are getting ready for the fall, as his color was starting to get very bright. Picked up a brown trout at the end of the pool and completed the Smokies Slam!
Got to another larger pool and got a couple of nice browns and another beautiful brook trout. Ended the day with 30 or more fish and lost a couple of nice ones. The stream really surprised me today. It’s great when you don’t expect the fishing to be that productive and you pick up a lot of fish. There were thunderstorms the night before and the weather has been cooling, and that probably had a lot to do with the good fishing. I also did not run into a single person fishing this stretch, so that was an added solitude bonus, and I slept like a rock at night.
Thanks for reading and here are a few more pics: