My fishing partner in crime invited me to fish with him up in the Smokies last weekend. He explained that the plan was to hike for an hour then drop down in to stream, passing the most heavily fished areas. Rainbows and Browns mostly, but we may may be far enough up to get in to some brookies.
I learned to fly fish on skinny waters in Colorado. I was excited to take a break from the local rivers and do a little boulder sliding......I mean hopping. Skinny water is lazy man’s fishing.......or so I thought.
My first error was thinking that a 4 wt 8-6 would be the perfect rod. And I was wrong! Super tight in most places. Fished an awful lot of pocket water with drifts of 3-5 seconds. The rod was cumbersome. I just felt like I was fishing with an 11 foot 8 weight.
My line mending was poop at best. I missed at least 30 fish and my partner in crime just as many. I finally got it together and managed to net a couple.
Some where in the middle of the slipping, sliding, bad fishing words, overhanging limbs and endless clouds of vampire gnats, I fell in love with this type of technical fishing. I suck at it but hey, baptism but fire is the quickest way to improving my skillset.
Just breathtakingly beautiful day with a few fish, great company, and it even ended with a greasy cheeseburger and a frosty craft beer that was so tasty!
And before anyone asks, YES! I bought a 2 weight and 2 3 weights this week, just for this type of fishing.
Don't you love it when a plan comes together? A small pool at the end of a riffle, bound to hold some trout. Only problem is the over-hanging tree branch just above the drop. Can't drift or cast a fly directly into the pool, it's destined to get hung up in a branch. There's enough room along the bank, though, so if you drift the fly along the bank, the leader will sneak under the tree branch and drag the fly into the pool.
Execute the cast, tight to the bank, follow the drift, drop in, no hangups... BANG! Fish on! Not a river monster by any means, but the instincts and actions lined up perfectly. That's why we got out of bed this morning!
Fished a couple more streams with my trout ll 486. A wonderful flexy rod that's a delight to use on small stream fish as long as there's room for an 8'6"er. It handled full bends bringing feisty 12" rainbows out of some fast rocky mtn freestone. Back on my gentle home waters I flicked flies off undercut banks all day enticing wild apache trout to strike. So far I've caught rainbow, brook, gila and apache trout with the trout ll and galvan T4. I love this rig on small streams.
Tried out this mountain stream today. It's only accessible by vehicle during hunting season, otherwise it's a 4 mile hike. Unfortunately it's pretty hard to get to a lot of it due to the steep banks and dense rhododendron and mountain laurel.
I fished some really skinny water yesterday down in Southern Utah. I’ve fished this creek once before and did pretty well with dry flies. This time was a lot more difficult. The water was much lower and very clear. There were a lot of dead leaves on the water that would pile up above all the little rock/log “dams” and the fish would hide under those. I tied on a bead head frenchie and dropped it just above one of those piles of leaves and this little guy came out and grabbed it. There are much bigger fish in this creek but it was very hard not to spook them.
Here you can see the leaf piles I am talking about