Puddles don't look like much, but they can sure surprise you. That's what I learned today. A long drive through the mountains eventually led me to the headwaters of a rather well-known trout stream. Normally I chase brown trout in this particular area and today my intention was the same. Since moving out here, I have fished a large portion of the stream and have discovered that it has more nice brown trout than most people think.
Pulling in to a familiar parking area, I quickly grabbed my gear and started the short walk to the stream. I had barely started walking when I noticed something in a small puddle along the path. A rise??? In all likelihood, the small puddle was the work of beavers at some point in the past. The puddle was small enough I really didn't think of looking for fish in it.
Edging over, I was soon casting. A small and eager brook trout swirled again and again but couldn't quite figure out how to eat my fly. I was rigged up to chase brown trout after all, and a snack for a nice brown would be a 5 course dinner for this little brookie with leftovers to spare. Again I tossed the fly out with the same result. On the third cast, a larger shadow swirled and found the hook!
Not a large fish, this brookie made up for lack of size with its beauty. I was just enjoying having caught a fish out of a puddle that I'm sure many other fishermen walk right past on their way to the real trout water.
Oh yeah, I caught a few brook trout in the stream as well. I suppose I'll be tying some brook trout colored streamers for the browns this year...
FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 3/23/2017
The fishing has been great lately! This spring has been phenomenal in the Smokies. Long hatches have produced dry fly fishing lasting for hours every day. The Caney Fork has been producing some great fish on high water.
In the Great Smoky Mountains, the spring fishing has started early this year. Quill Gordon (#12-#14) and Blue Quill (#16-#18) mayflies are starting to transition into Hendricksons (#12-#14). On foul weather days, the Blue-winged Olives (#18-#22) have literally poured off of the river. The recent cooler weather actually enhanced the dry fly fishing. The bugs have been having a harder time getting off of the water, so despite the cool water temperature, fish have been rising lazily through an extended afternoon hatch. Little Black Caddis (#18-#20) have been hatching well along with some Early Brown Stoneflies (#12).
On the tailwaters, the fishing has been decent to good. The Clinch is fishing well along with the Holston. The Caney Fork continues to be my river of choice, however. Streamer trips continue to produce and we are doing some high water nymphing as well. This is as good a time as any to have a shot at large rainbow and brown trout on this tailwater!
I still have some open dates for guided trips in April and May, but the calendar is filling fast. I've been turning away trips because people wait too long to book. Don't make that mistake!