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: 7/11/2016 Smokies Fly Fishing Report -- Current Hatches: Blue-winged Olives, 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. Brook trout fishing is great now. High water days will be excellent in the lower elevations throwing nymphs or streamers. Recommended flies include, Prince Nymphs, Golden Stonefly nymphs, Yellow Stimulators, Green Weenies, Ants, and Black Foam Beetles. 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: Terrestrial season is upon us but we have been boating some large trout on nymphs and midges as well. Some high water this week will also offer the chance for some streamer fishing with very large trout and stripers always possible. Fishing will remain great if you know the river. 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: So far the sulfur hatch has not been anything to write home about. 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: Give this river a break on the trout sections until next winter.
Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: Smallmouth bass fishing is excellent right now. The rain last week has left a good amount of water in the creeks and the fish are happy. Get on this sooner as opposed to later and be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms and rising water.