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...
UPDATE: 5/31/2016 Smokies Fly Fishing Report -- Current Hatches: Blue-winged Olives, Sulfurs, Light Cahills, Pale Evening Duns, March Browns, Isonychias (Slate Drake), Little Yellow and Little Green Stoneflies, Giant Black Stoneflies, Golden Stoneflies, Tan and Cinnamon Caddis, inch worms, beetles, and ants. The recent hot dry weather has resulted in falling water levels but fishing is still good. Early and late is the best time to fish now with terrestrials becoming more important as a component of the trout's diet. Both dry flies and nymphs are catching a lot of fish now. If you need to learn how to fish these streams, a guided trip with me can help you accomplish that!
Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report: The Caney Fork is fishing excellent right now. Good for both numbers and a chance at some larger fish. Flows allow for both float or wade trips. Midge fishing is good to great but don't forget your nymphs and terrestrials either. 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 is anywhere from good to slow depending on the day and your casting ability. Long casts, long drifts, small flies. Watch for sulfurs and be prepared with nymph, emerger, and dun imitations if the fish are noticing them. When there aren't a lot of bugs on the water, stick with small nymph, emerger, and midge patterns and you should catch some nice trout.
Holston River: Fishing well with some nice fish being caught. The famed caddis hatch is on along with Sulfurs, midges, and craneflies. Caddis pupa and midge larva and pupa patterns are producing the best but don't forget your dry flies either.
Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: Smallmouth are coming on strong now and wade fishing the creeks and streams for smallmouth and various sunfish will only get better from here on out. Some good fish are being caught on topwater and that will continue for the rest of the summer except during high water episodes.