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Old 05-12-2012, 08:28 PM
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Default A bunch of runts....but good to be back in trout water

I had some time today and decided to see what was happening on my trout stream. I haven't been there since January, but I have been hearing all kinds of doom and gloom reports. The water is extremely low, there are no fish, there is grass everywhere in the water, etc... Some of those are true. The water was low, there was a lot more vegetation, but there were some fish. Not as good as I remember, but then again there has been some issues with trout stocking all over TN due to hatchery issues. I had heard they dumped a bunch of brook trout in here, but I am thinking people are confusing juvenile browns with brook trout.

I decided to start at my usual place of solitude away from the crowds.
Click the image to open in full size.

I tied on what turned out to be good for nothing other than an indicator.
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I dropped a small zebra midge about 12" behind it. It turned out to be the only fish catcher. The dry received no action, although I have never fished that pattern here before and stubbornly wanted to try something new.

Since February I have been solely targeting warmwater fish, mainly smallmouth and largemouth. These fish require a stout hookset. Trout do not. I saw my dry fly disappear and I jerk the rod tip up and a small brown flies by head and about 20 feet behind me.
Click the image to open in full size.

I missed a few good strikes and caught more little guys.
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I decided to head to a more popular spot to try my luck there for these "brook trout." I caught more small browns there, but the fish were at least actively feeding on top. After dodging people in kayaks and canoes I decided I would fish my way back and call it a day. Also some dude was trying to low hole me, so I was getting annoyed.

I drifted close to an underwater log and watched my dry fly vanish only to find I had nothing on. I tried one more drift in the same spot and caught a little bigger brown (relative to what I had been catching all day). He put a nice bend in the 3wt.
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I'll take stocker browns over stocker rainbows any day of the week. Now they just need to get a bit bigger.

Saw this on my way out.........
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The public access places are going to be even more crazy now.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: A bunch of runts....but good to be back in trout water

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Originally Posted by mrl0004 View Post
Since February I have been solely targeting warmwater fish, mainly smallmouth and largemouth. These fish require a stout hookset. Trout do not. I saw my dry fly disappear and I jerk the rod tip up and a small brown flies by head and about 20 feet behind me.
mrl0004

Have to laugh at that!! I have several new to fly fishing client every year that send a fish or two flying through the boat. My first couple of years guiding I took a couple to the head but after 17yrs I've developed the instincts to duck em!!

Nice report and pics, thanks for sharing!! Good luck dodging the tubers!! We have them here to but the Snake river offers a bit more water to get away from them!!
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: A bunch of runts....but good to be back in trout water

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mrl0004

Have to laugh at that!! I have several new to fly fishing client every year that send a fish or two flying through the boat. My first couple of years guiding I took a couple to the head but after 17yrs I've developed the instincts to duck em!!

Nice report and pics, thanks for sharing!! Good luck dodging the tubers!! We have them here to but the Snake river offers a bit more water to get away from them!!
Luckily nobody saw it other than a bird or two. Usually the trout I catch are big enough not to do that, but it's been a while since I've been on a coldwater stream.

Kinda reminds me of my first brook trout experience.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: A bunch of runts....but good to be back in trout water

I did enjoy your pictures and report as I always do. The creek looks like it has some springs that keep it going.......... This is a perfect example of why we need to train ourselves not to over react when a fish takes the fly. If you just lift a tad most of them hook themselves They are beautiful brown trout, I never think of a trout as being little although some are large. Hope none of our safety minded members read this or they will advocate you wear eye protection
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: A bunch of runts....but good to be back in trout water

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This is a perfect example of why we need to train ourselves not to over react when a fish takes the fly. If you just lift a tad most of them hook themselves
Good point Ard. When I have clients who set the hook like contestants in a Bass Masters tournament I tell them to set the hook by holding the line firmly in their line hand and to raise their rod hand up like they were in the first grade and think they know the answer to the teachers question. Works most the time!!
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: A bunch of runts....but good to be back in trout water

Very good point Ard. Trout are way more delicate than our bass friends. I know how to set the hook on them, it's just that after setting the hook on smallmouth for 3 months now, I had to tone it way back down. Luckily it only took that onw fish for the wake up call. He was fine.

I see that a lot with people trout fishing for the first time. I call it the "Bill Dance hookset."
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