Ice Fishing in the Smokies

Ok, so it wasn’t ice fishing but it sure felt like it.  With a cold front moving in and the wind getting up to 30 mph, it wasn’t supposed to get past 56 degrees on Saturday.  That’s a big drop from the 75 degrees from just 24 hours before.  The previous weekend wasn’t very productive so I thought the cool weather might get the fish moving a little bit.  I also thought I wouldn’t need my fingerless gloves and fleece and just wore my vest.  Bad move.  It was cold enough that my fingers were sore and I was doing a crappy job with my knots.  Granted today would be the day that I had to break my leader off in a tree and lost a ton of flies, including a few in the lips of some fish.  See crappy knots noted earlier.  Why is it that when it’s cold that is when you have to tie the most knots?  The fishing turned out to be hot though and it made up for the rest.

With the wind I busted out the 5-weight.  I started with a large parachute Adams and caught a few rainbow trout that were in some flat spots.  Picked up a few more and found some trout rising but didn’t see any bugs.  Tried an orange stimulator and got some looks with no luck.  I let those fish be and moved on.  Caught a nice brown out of a bigger pool and then a rainbow right behind that.  Got into a few brookies including a really beautiful fall colored one getting into spawning mode.  Caught over a dozen fish, including the Smokies Slam.  The cool water definitely seemed to be helping the fishing.

One of the first fish of the day

Beautiful Fall Brook Trout

After a break for some coffee and peanuts, and to warm my hands, I moved to another spot where I am always convinced that there should be a big brown.  The water was lower in this spot but thought I would give it a rub.  There were some fish rising and they looked pretty small.  Saw some very small mayfly duns skittering on the water and then getting smoked by the small trout.  Looked close and with the cloudy cool day, grey/green duns, figured maybe small BWO?  Smallest I had was a #18 dun pattern and put it on.  Had a blast trying to catch them while they were rising, but I spooked every one of them.  Don’t know what it is about rising fish that enthralls me, even though I knew they were small, it was the most fun of the day.

Thanks for reading!

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