The temperature dropping by close to 20 degrees is almost like a snowfall around the mountains of North Carolina. I saw jackets and puzzled faces downtown from tourists and locals alike. It started getting my mind thinking about the water temperatures and what was happening with the trout. I was out of town this past week and didn’t think I’d get a chance to fish this weekend and thought it would be too hot anyways. Was I ever surprised!
I wanted to fish my favorite stream and figured with not a lot of rain that everything would be fine. When I got there a little after seven, the stream had other ideas. It was very high, very muddy, and obviously a big storm or flash flood had come through in the last few days. I got out and poked around the stream and realized that fishing here was not in the cards.
I decided to head back to another stream in the Park, and wasn’t too excited. This stream “hides in plain site”, and every book says it’s full of fish and excellent fishing. I never have any luck on it, but it always seems like a challenge. I hooked and lost a fish in a nice pool and run down low, and then nothing for an hour or so. Then hooked a couple of very small browns. River wins again.
So I did something I’ve never actually done. I got in the car and decided to go through the fog, and drove over the top to the Tennessee side. I always like exploring new fishing, but that sometimes means no fish caught. When I got to the other side, I found a nice stream and just put in. I had been using a yellow Elk Hair Caddis and it had been working, so I left it on. I cast a few times and really nice sized fish missed my fly. This was a tiny stream and this fish was big!
I kept moving up pools and started really catching some fish. A few beauty brookies that looked really healthy. Saw a couple of sulphurs coming off, but no hatch, so I left the EHC on and it kept working. Got a really nice rainbow and lost a good sized brookie that wrapped my leader around a down branch.
The weather was very cool and a light rain was keeping me slightly cold, but well worth it. Ended the day with 8 or 9 from this stream and it was a great spot that I definitely want to explore some more.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park consistently amazes me with how good the fishing can be when you hit it just right. I obviously need to keep trying new spots when the old haunts are blown out or not producing. There are enough fish to go around for sure.
Thanks for reading!