Yesterday I had the pleasure of guiding Shane for a day in the Smokies. Having lived in Tennessee for a few years, but never making it over to fish the Smokies, it was high time he learned a little about the Park streams and how to catch the beautiful wild trout there. With a cool start to the morning, I decided that fishing on Little River would be a good way to start the day and we stopped in a likely area. After chatting a bit while rigging up and getting on our wading gear, we finally approached the stream.
Looking just downstream, I noticed a spot that I've long suspected had a nice fish. After getting confirmation from Shane that he was willing to start his day with a challenge, I explained the approach, the cast, and the drift. He nodded and started to work into position. After a few drifts in which I felt we weren't getting deep enough, I added another split shot and he resumed casting. A few casts later the indicator dove convincingly. When he set the hook, a beautiful brown trout came all the way out of the water in a leap for its life.
Immediately I got nervous. Fish like that don't come around every day, and certainly not in the Smokies. Thankfully, I hadn't told Shane that his bottom fly was on with 6x tippet so he wasn't nearly as nervous as I was. In fact, he was probably one of the calmest anglers I've seen with a nice fish on the other end of the line.
While I was nervous and really concerned about losing that fish, Shane did everything he needed to perfectly, working downstream with the fish until he was able to lift its head so I could slide the net under it. I had spent all that time worried, and in the end I didn't need to. Shane did a great job fighting such a nice brown trout and clearly didn't need any help at all. There are few people who can say their first Smoky Mountain trout was such a pretty fish. Congrats to Shane on a job well done and a beautiful Smoky Mountain brown trout!
If you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip in the Great Smoky Mountains, please contact me via email at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com.