Here on the Cumberland Plateau, we are blessed with an abundance of small to medium sized streams. Every one of these holds a variety of fish with smallmouth and various sunfish usually dominating. Tired after a long year of teaching, I just couldn't get excited about making the two hour drive to fish in the Smokies, but the thought of driving 30 minutes and trying some of the local water sounded appealing.
This morning I went through my usual pre-trip ritual of stressing over my limited available fly selection, and this is always despite the fact that I normally have enough flies to open a small fly shop. Regardless of whether or not I had enough flies, I knew that if I didn't tie a couple the trip would be a bust. Sitting down at the vise, I quickly tied three flies that have done well on these local fish before. Throwing the flies in my car along with the other necessary equipment, I was soon cruising along the back roads near Crossville on my way to a favorite area that I have only begun to explore.
Arriving at the stream, I was surprised to see that very few people were around. That is unusual for this particular spot, so I took the opportunity to fish a pool that normally has plenty of people swimming and otherwise enjoying themselves. Several fish later, the crowd started to show up so I wandered downstream in search of solitude. I moved slowly along, casting my fly to each likely spot while keeping both eyes peeled for snakes. While I love fishing this area, it always seems to have a large number of snakes. Friends have told me of seeing rattlesnakes swimming in this particular stretch of water as well so I'm always on the lookout.
As I moved farther away from the road, the smallmouth started biting better. Most likely they just weren't used to seeing flies, but I like to think that I was actually doing something right as well. I ended the day no more than a quarter of a mile from the road but still the farthest I've made it downstream.
My morning tying session was justified...all the fish I caught except for one were on one of those three flies I tied. Part of my problem with tying is that I've been lazy lately. I just don't sit down to tie in the evenings like I used to. Each fishing trip uses up more of the supply I have so eventually I have to start tying again. Tonight I need to tie a few more patterns. I'm going to a bluegill and bass pond tomorrow evening and will have a friend that is new to fly fishing along. I need a few more good bluegill patterns ready to go since I am running low on the usual suspects...so for now I'm off to the tying bench. Here are a few more pictures from today's fishing...