Recently, while cruising through the Big Thompson River canyon, we spotted a bunch of Bighorn Sheep. That in itself was not particularly unusual or shocking, but the cool part of the trip was seeing a group of 3 mature rams hanging out on and around the highway. These bad boys were sporting some serious head gear, and I would hate to be on the receiving end of a headbutt from one of these critters.
Of course, it didn't take long for me to begin pondering the implications for fishermen. After all, one of the most important pieces of equipment that we have is our favorite lucky fishing hat. Not only does it have all that good fish-catching mojo stored away, but it also shades and protects our eyes so they can spot fish. But imagine this now: What if fly shops started selling head gear that very closely resembled something a viking sailing the north Atlantic would feel comfortable wearing. Imagine how intimidated the trout will be when they see that coming down the stream at them. They will probably just role over and wave the surrender fin...
I think I'm onto something here, but it will probably take me a while to discover how to come up with some Bighorn Sheep horns legally and more important cheaply. In the meantime, here's an old one but a good one of what I might look like with quality elk head gear...
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.