Photo of the Month: Ol' Gator Mouth

Photo of the Month: Ol' Gator Mouth
Showing posts with label First Trout. Show all posts
Showing posts with label First Trout. Show all posts

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Best Fishing Trip

Some fishing trips are about catching fish, some are about scenery, but all fishing trips are good. My favorite trips are the ones that I get to enjoy with friends or family. Recently, I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with Leah, a wonderful young lady who enjoys many of the same outdoor passions as I do (there might even be a correlation here about my lack of blog posts... :) ). The only thing we hadn't done yet was to go fishing. The good news is that she wasn't anti-fishing and in fact was a little bit excited about trying it out.

Fast forward to last week. Leah had some vacation time that she needed to use or lose. We decided to take my parents up to see Roan Mountain State Park. My mom has always wanted to go see the flame azalea and rhododendron blooming up there and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. After talking with Leah, I also packed some fishing equipment.

The flowers were just about perfect or even a little past their prime but still beautiful. We enjoyed a picnic and some hiking before my parents had to head back home a little earlier than we did.

View on Roan Mountain

Roan Mountain rhododendron`


The stream in Roan Mountain State Park was calling so we headed back down the hill. The Doe is a beautiful stream that is legendary for big brown trout. Those big fish are rumored to hang out in the Doe River Gorge for the most part. The section in the state park is smaller water where larger browns are certainly possible but not likely. Smaller brown trout as well as rainbow and brook trout call this water home.

We waited out a thunderstorm before suiting up and getting in the stream to fish. Leah picked up the casting required rather quickly. She also mastered the hook set. With these two keys to success in place, we were ready to catch fish!

The first fish of the day didn't take long. It was a mighty chub, not the hoped for trout. Still, it was the first fish on the fly rod for Leah so we took some pictures! Doesn't she look great in waders?

Leah's first fly rod catch

A bit further up the stream was a tricky section with overhanging trees requiring a longer cast so I took a few casts myself. A pretty brown trout nailed the dry fly and we took more pictures. By this time, thunder was starting to get close again so we decided to move to another spot where we could fish close to the car.

Nice brown trout on the Doe River

After moving upstream, I found a spot where we could get to the water easily. The weather was still decent although it appeared we were on borrowed time. A small plunge with an undercut boulder seemed like a good spot to try. Leah made a good cast and we saw a large shadow swirl. I got excited but the fish refused to come back out. A fly change seemed appropriate and with the rain that just happened, a green weenie seemed right.

After tying on the fly, I told Leah to try that same spot again. That big shadow of a fish was probably a hungry brown trout, and I hoped that we could hook it.

Sure enough, the dry fly dove and Leah set hard into a feisty brown trout. The fish surged hard downstream before changing directions and heading upstream in an attempt to burrow under the boulder. I quickly waded out with my net ready and pushed the tippet off of the rock so she could get a good angle again with the rod tip. Soon the fish came to the surface and I dipped the net under a hefty brown trout. Unbelievably, Leah's first trout on a fly rod was a big brown trout, my favorite! The next best part of the day was when she was interested in going fishing again the next day for day two of her vacation, but I'll save that for another post... Needless to say, I think I found a good one!

Roan Mountain State Park Doe River brown trout

Leah's first trout on the fly rod is a beautiful brown trout

Friday, January 02, 2015

First Rainbow Trout of 2015

Catching the first trout of 2015 was high on my list of things to accomplish yesterday, but it almost didn't happen.  With minimal time available to devote to fishing, I had to stay fairly close to home.  Even if I had made the drive to the Smokies, the very cold temperatures would not have been doing me any favors.

One of the winter stocking locations came to mind, and I started planning a quick trip.  Since Cumberland Mountain State Park was not stocked this past December due to a lake drawdown, I had to find another place.  Cookeville has a place I enjoy fishing on occasion that also just happens to have some trout stocked in the winter so I headed that way.

Arriving at the lake, I still had a rod rigged up from the other day and decided to just see what that would do.  Pulling some line off the reel, I made my first cast of 2015.  After letting the fly sit for a moment, I started a slow retrieve, stripping line in short 3-4 inch pulls.  Before I had moved the fly very far the indicator went down, and I set the hook on the first trout of 2015.  Seriously.  First cast, first fish.


Now, the question that I need answered is this: is it bad luck to catch a trout on the first cast of the year? Anyone who has fished long at all knows that catching a fish on the first cast of a fishing trip could be a bad sign.  In fact, this particular trip highlighted this very problem.  In a cold hour of fishing, I never had so much as another strike, much less a fish to hand.  The somber skies matched my concerned mood.  Bad fishing luck must be dealt with as quickly as possible so maybe I'll have to look into a new lucky fishing hat.


The hot chocolate waiting in a thermos in my car helped to warm things back up.  In fact, by the time I got home I was almost as warm as if I had not gone fishing to begin with.  The question of luck continues to nag me though, so it looks like I'll have to do some first hand research into the subject by forcing myself to go fishing and see if my luck improves.  I know, life is tough.