Well fishing just ain't for summer here in east Tennessee. Here in our region, the east slopes of the Appalachian mountains, we have the privilege to be able to fish year round for beautiful trout. There is nothing like a cool crisp frosty morning on the river. It seems that time slows down and all your senses are on full alert. You hear the chipmunks and squirrels scurrying about in the woods while they gather extra nuts to put in storage. Sometimes it can be challenging to move around in the layers of clothing you have on to help with the early morning chill. But you trudge on knowing what rewards the river has to offer.
During a recent trip on one of those mornings we were rewarded very quickly. We were no more than one hundred yards away from the boat launch when both clients hooked up on a couple of nice brown trout. If you have never had the opportunity to hook and fight a brown trout, they are the best fighting of all the trout species. They attack the flies with gusto and then make a quick stout run trying to pull the fly out of their mouth. When they can't pull free, they start what we call bull dogging to the bottom trying to find some type of structure to help break the leader. The heavy tugs on the rod and the constant switching of position will keep you on your toes while fighting these warriors.
When you finally land a brown trout the feeling is exhilarating. There are lots of high fives and atta boys along with the obligatory "grip-n-grin" photo. Afterward most folks just take a seat in the boat, lay the rod down, staring off into oblivion, reliving the fight over and over in their mind. When they have had a chance to relax, they stand back up and start looking for that special current seam or slow water behind a rock that will hold their next shot at going toe to toe with another river warrior. Then they start trash talking each other about who's was bigger, fought harder, and so on.
It truly makes me feel lucky to be a part of these peoples lives and give them that day of escape from all the trials and tribulations in everyday life.
Here are a couple of "grip-n-grin" shots from one of those most recent days.