Rain. Temps in the 30s and low 40s. Camping. Not normally a recipe for good camping, some friends and I decided to battle the elements as we were all free this past weekend. We wanted to do a long hike in preparation for a trip to the Grand Canyon in another couple of weeks. Amazingly, despite the bleak forecast, the weather actually turned out very well. Friday night featured just some very light drizzle that quit once we set up camp. Saturday turned out to be partly cloudy which meant we had some great views once we got to the higher elevations.
For the most part the camera stayed in its case. The light was a little weak, and I knew that the pictures I stored in my mind were much better than anything my camera could accomplish. Our hike took us up the Anthony Creek Trail out of Cades Cove to the Bote Mountain Trail. Ascending up to the AT, we then took a right turn and headed west for three miles. In the process we took in views from Spence Field and Russell Field. Our route back down was the Russell Field Trail which connected to the Anthony Creek trail. Several hours and close to 15 miles later, we were back in camp, all a little sore, but everyone agreed that the hike was well worth it.
Sunday I planned to do a little fishing. The morning dawned overcast and stayed that way up until we headed out of the Cove. I was excited because the low light conditions increased the odds that some large browns would be out feeding. Sadly, as we drove back down Laurel Creek Road towards Little River, the clouds thinned and soon broke completely. The day turned out beautiful but not so good for fishing. I still managed some small rainbows and even got a 14 inch brown to come attempt to eat. Unfortunately I set the hook too early and missed out on pictures of the nice fish.
Hopefully I will be out fishing again soon, most likely on the Caney Fork this next weekend. This is the time of year to be fishing streamers as much as possible on the tailwaters and I'll probably try to do that some...with a little luck, the big guys might come out and play...
UPDATE: 7/27/2016 Smokies Fly Fishing Report -- Current Hatches: Isonychias (Slate Drake), Little Yellow Stoneflies, Golden Stoneflies, Tan and Cinnamon Caddis, inch worms, beetles, and ants. Hatches are sparse for the most part. We have reached that point in the summer where heading higher in elevation will increase your odds of success as will a good hike. Please avoid fishing Little River and any other low elevation stream with warm water. Carry a thermometer and use it. Terrestrials have reached the peak of importance. As the water cools over the next couple of months, we'll eventually start to see more bugs hatching again. In the meantime, ants, inchworms, and beetles will catch a lot of trout. Don't overlook a Yellow Stimulator with a small bead head dropper as well. If you need to learn how to fish these streams and where to go, a guided trip with me can help you accomplish that!
Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report: Terrestrials are catching some nice trout now. Earlier this week, on a guided wade trip, we found a Japanese beetle tree hanging over the water. Downstream, trout after trout succumbed to our beetle imitation. When not throwing terrestrials, nymphs and midges will still account for a lot of fish. The best way to enjoy this fishing is out of the drift boat which allows us to access some less pressured sections. Contact me about a float or wade trip if you want to enjoy this fishing at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884.
Clinch River Fishing Report: For the most part, the Clinch is going to fish best on nymphs and midges. Terrestrials will be important as well now however so be prepared.
Holston River: Give this river a break on the trout sections until next winter.
Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: Smallmouth bass fishing is excellent right now. See some of the recent blog posts for more on this.