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: 9/29/2016 Smokies Fly Fishing Report -- Current Hatches: Isonychias (aka Slate Drake or Mahogany Dun), Mahogany Duns (Paraleptophlebia), Little Yellow Stoneflies, Golden Stoneflies, Tan and Cinnamon Caddis, inch worms, beetles, and ants. Low water everywhere you go! Water temperatures are good now with cool overnight fall weather the norm. Fish throughout the Park now and focus on stealth and finding faster broken pocket water where you can get close to the trout. Stonefly or Isonychia nymphs and terrestrials are probably your best bet until we get more rain.
Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report: This has been a banner year on the Caney. The majority of floats are yielding fish to at least 18-19 inches with quite a few 20"+ trout being caught as well. Yesterday we boated a big 20"+ holdover rainbow that ran all over the river before finally coming to the net. I have some availability if you are looking for a guided trip so 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: Fishing continues to be good and there are some wadeable flows on a regular basis now. Long fine leaders and midges are the recipe on low water. Combine this with long casts and you will be rewarded. High water is producing some quality trout. Nymphs and midges or streamers are both going to produce on high water.
Holston River: Give this river a break on the trout sections until next winter. Water temperatures on most of the trout water are elevated and fishing now will stress these beautiful fish.
Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: Cooler weather will get the bass fired up again as they feed heavily before winter sets in. Muskie will be hot as well. Our current problem is low water. Wading is an option but I would wait longer until we get some rain to start fishing these streams again.