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  1. #1

    Default How do you measure success?

    A buddy from work asked me last Tuesday if I wanted to fish up around Tennessee and North Carolina over the weekend. I didn't even need to think about it. We left at 2am Saturday morning and headed due north. At around 7am, we arrive to buy some flies and get some intel on the river.

    It was extremely foggy most of the morning.

    It didn't take long for the fog to burn off and opened uo to one of the most beautiful rivers I have ever had the pleasure of fishing.

    We were told that it would be around 11am (eastern time) before the water they were releasing that morning would make it to where we were fishing. So we hit the water and immediately noticed a few risers. We both kept working downstream with no luck. I had on a small stimulator fly with a small gray zebra midge dropper. After a while we noticed the water was moving a lot faster. Suddenly rocks that were easily visible were not anymore. We noticed a drift boat banking across the river and the guide came running towards us yelling for us to get out. Well we had already decided we needed to do that, but it wasn't that easy to move against that water, in fact I almost just gave up and let the river have me. Thankfully the guide rowed over and picked us up. His name is Patrick, a guide with Mountain Sports LTD in Bristol. Nice guy and we thanked him for saving us from a 3.5 hour wait for the water to come back down. So we decided to drive around until the water would be lower. Unfortunately, everyone else was there too. At least the scenery was nice.

    This experience alone made the trip for me. A lot of you guys might think this is no big deal, but for a newbie like me, and my first time seeing this with my own eyes, it was awesome. To preface, we get to the water and there are lots of insects hatching. We find a spot among the other fisherman and begin casting to the dozens of rising fish. I am not sure if these were blue wing olives or sulphurs. Some of you that know feel free to identify these bugs for me. Fish were clearing the water hitting these bugs. I saw some nice size rainbows (~16in) and browns leaping which further made me extremely antsy to hook up. However, they weren't touching my fly. I even watched them not only reject my fly, but swim out of the way of my fly as if it was kryptonite. I eventually had a few hits, but kept missing the strike.

    My fly (sz16)

    There were fish jumping a few feet from me. It's like they were teasing me, and they knew it. I can't describe how many fish were jumping/rising, but as soon as I would cast in the area of one, one would jump over there. So I played the "cast to every fish" game to no avail for an hour or so. Then finally I managed to connect with a little brown that slammed my fly, clearing the water.

    That was my only fish, and I didn't see anyone else catching that many either.

    ---------- Post added at 09:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:02 PM ----------

    So, we decided to break for lunch and headed out to try a new spot.

    We fished here until dusk, and after getting up at 1am, fishing all day, and being extremely hungry, we decided to call it a day.
    Had a great dinner at a place called Cootie Brown's in Johnson City, TN.

    The next day we opted against getting spanked by the South Holston again and decided to try somewhere else. We headed to a river that my buddy grew up fishing in North Carolina.

    This is right outside of Asheville, and is where my buddy learned to fly fish. I am amazed at how scenic this river is and jealous that people live so close to this.

    So for this stream I tied on a BHHE and caught this little guy out of a pretty fast riffle.
    Last edited by mrl0004; 10-25-2011 at 10:26 AM.
    "Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau

    "Chance favors the well prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

  2. #2

    Default Re: How do you measure success?

    After that fish, I didn't have much luck. So I decided to look around under rocks to see what they might be eating.

    Again, feel free to ID these. I have no clue.

    Some more scenery:

    After lunch we decide to change locations, hoping for better fishing. Again, the scenery was stunning. The fishing, S L O W.

    This was more of a mountain stream. Reminded me of the SMNP. It was extremely quiet and peaceful, nothing but the sound of running water. Them all of a sudden, it sounded like a sasquatch was running down the hill. Not gonna lie, I was a little freaked out. Finally, what was causing all the commotion comes into view.

    Of course they run right through the nice pool I had been eyeing upstream from me. :evil:
    I missed a huge strike further upstream. Of course the one millisecond I look away, that's when the fish strikes. We fish up a good ways and I decide to take a break and just watch the water for a while.

    I eventually came to this HUGE pool (relative to the rest of this river).

    I saw a few risers and never could get a strike on my dry. The only thing I saw was extremely small midges that I couldn't match anyways. I also noticed a nice size brown cruising around. Maybe around 15" or so. I tied on a smaller streamer and had several hits, but couldn't connect. It was getting dark so we decided to hike out and call it quits.
    "Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau

    "Chance favors the well prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    SW Montana

    Default Re: How do you measure success?

    Sounds like that trip was a success! Thanks for sharing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: How do you measure success?

    That was great! The rising water story brought back some memories of my own.

    Thanks for that,


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  5. #5

    Default Re: How do you measure success?

    Looks like a good time to me...sometimes you catch a boat-load of fish, and sometimes you catch one. It seems that I never remember any of the fish from the boatloads, but I remember vivid details of the "one" that I caught at cheery run, or Pine Creek. They are hard earned and more savory than the others!

    How was Cootie browns? I've found a couple of good eating establishments that really hit the spot during a long day of fishing. Grayling has the 'Lone Pine Diner' and "Spikes", and a I found a little place called "The Hungry Bear Diner" out in Woodland Park CO. I'd never been SO hungry as I was after that two days of ill prepared sub freezing camping out there. I still had to push away some of their massive breakfast portions.

    If anyone is interested, here is a link to "the hungry bear diner". If you scroll through the menu link I had the "Big Bear Ommelette". 4 egg omelette with top sirloin, and three made from scratch buttermilk pancakes! Mmm.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Alexandria, Va

    Default Re: How do you measure success?

    Hello, what kind of camera were you using? You have some good close-ups and scenic shots. Thanks

  7. #7

    Default Re: How do you measure success?

    Ausablebrown, Cootie Brown's was good. I had some jamican jerk wings for an appetizer that were awesome. Then we had their homemade tamale pie. Followed by a piece of pumpkin pie cheesecake for dessert. A lot of food, but after fishing all day on only a biscuit for breakfast, I was STARVING by dinner!!

    Innes, I use an Olympus Stylus point and shoot. It has some good macro modes that allow for nice close ups. Plus it's waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, etc...
    "Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau

    "Chance favors the well prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Southeast Idaho

    Default Re: How do you measure success?

    Wow! What beautiful country and waters! Amazing colors and scenery everywhere you went. I consider the setting a success by itself. Nice to catch some fish too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Parlin, NJ / Staten Island, NY

    Default Re: How do you measure success?

    If it moved you enough to write about it the trip was a success! Great pics!
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Race City USA, NC

    Default Re: How do you measure success?

    Cool report even if the fishing was a bit slow.

    Success can be a weird thing. I always enjoy fishing, regardless of how many I catch. I will not lie, I do get caught up on the numbers thing. For me, I like to catch at least 30 fish and usually fish until I do, unless it's a really unusually slow day and I know I will never hit that number. If I don't catch 30, I am disappointed, I know I shouldn't be, but I am.
    Wild troutin', blue linin', fly flingin', camo wearin', redneckin' elitist.

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