This weekend brought more much needed rain to the Great Smoky Mountains. Yesterday I awoke to the sound of rain drumming on the roof and knew it would be a good day to go fishing. After a leisurely morning I finally made it out onto the stream by early afternoon expecting to find the water stained from all the rain. Instead the streams were in great shape with very little color in the water. Unfortunately the sun had come out by the time I started fishing so I didn’t expect too much out of the day. Surprisingly, the first place I stopped at provided some consistent fishing, much better than I thought it was going to be in fact. The best fish at this first location was a 10 inch rainbow that put a good bend in the 4 wt. The top producer early on was a soft hackle Isonychia pattern I tie although a Prince or similar nymph would have worked well also.
After fishing all the way through the section I was on, I decided to head farther upriver to see what was happening. I eventually ended up hiking up Little River above Elkmont and found some more good fish including a 13 inch brown that I caught as a storm was pounding the Little River watershed. Despite the rain coming down and occasional flash of lightning, I still managed a quick picture before watching the fish swim away.
With the storm continuing it seemed like a good time to turn around and head for the car. Soon the rain increased to the point where the trail was as much a stream as the one it followed. There were several nice runs in the trail that almost appeared to be fishable. I avoided the temptation to try and catch a trail trout, and kept hustling back to the dry car. Soon I emerged from the dripping woods bearing a strong resemblance to a drowned rat. Thankfully there wasn’t anyone around the trailhead to laugh at my bedraggled appearance.
As I head into another week, its time to start deciding what to do next weekend. I’ve been wanting to do a backcountry trip before the summer is over and this would seem to be the best weekend. On the other hand it would be nice to try the Caney again. Anyone have any suggestions?