Photo of the Month: Backcountry Brook Trout

Photo of the Month: Backcountry Brook Trout
Showing posts with label smallmouth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label smallmouth. Show all posts

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Creek Fishing

Wading warm water creeks and streams is one of the less popular but nevertheless fun elements of the sport of fly fishing. Some people never even get that far. If you only fish a few days a year, you are likely still focusing on trout for each of your trips. That is just fine, and with a few exceptions, what attracted most of us to the sport to begin with. In fact, I still fish for trout the majority of the time. That said, when I have a few hours to kill and want to have fun, you can probably find me with a four weight rod and some topwater bugs looking to have fun with the smallies and panfish.

Last Tuesday, I checked with my buddy Chase to see if he wanted to fish some creeks. We agreed on when and where to meet and not much later I was headed out. Looking down at the outside thermometer on my car, I knew it was going to be a hot one.


When we arrived stream-side, we found the usual collection of people out swimming, drinking beer, jumping off of the rocks, and generally scaring all of the fish. That always means a hike so we hit the trail. By the time we had hustled back about a mile, my shirt was soaked with sweat, and I was almost ready to jump in and swim instead of fish. As soon as we started fishing it was obvious that the discomfort was just a small price to pay.

The fish were hungry and looking up, always a good combination for fun. I nailed a gorgeous sunfish on one of my first casts. The fish hit so hard that I thought it was a smallmouth.


Chase soon followed up my sunfish with a nice smallie that would turn out to be the best fish caught for the trip. We saw some much larger fish that, while mildly interested, were much too intelligent for us on this trip. With a little foresight and planning, these fish are just as catchable but a few factors need to come together to make that happen.


Cumberland Plateau smallmouth bass

In the end, with the heat and humidity, we didn't make it as far up the creek as I sometimes do. The trip was eventually cut short when I didn't want to make a required scramble around some boulders through thick brush. If the weather was cooler and we had more hours of daylight, then we probably would have continued up the canyon.


At this furthest point upstream, I paused to take some pictures. After shooting several of the scene, Chase nailed another good fish, this one a nice sunfish. A couple of pictures later and we headed back downstream.


The thought of a Gatorade in the cooler in my trunk kept us moving back down the trail at a good pace. I'll be back to this stream soon, but probably not while it is so hot.

This next week is going to be great for fishing across the area. We got enough rain this weekend to help just a little with the water levels and the water temperatures are dropping like a rock. The good fishing should last at least through the upcoming holiday weekend. If you have been thinking about a midsummer trip to the Smokies or to walk a smallmouth creek, this is the time to do it. The topwater bite is ON for smallies on the creeks and floats are putting out good fish and numbers still. The flows are very good right now for Caney Fork floats.

Contact me if you are interested in a guided trip for trout in the Smokies or on the Caney Fork, or smallmouth bass and panfish on the Cumberland Plateau streams. Email me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text me at (931) 261-1884.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Bronzebacks

Most off days lately have resulted in some great exploration.  The Cumberland Plateau area is blessed with more great water than one could reasonably expect to fish in a lifetime although that isn't keeping me from trying.  The local smallmouth are eager to hit surface bugs which is probably part of the draw.

Here are a couple from last week.



The stream has a fairly decent flow for this time of year although we could still use a little rain.  One of the things I'm noticing more and more as I look for good shots with the camera is that fall is on its way.  Yes, I know some of you don't want to hear about that yet.  Seriously though, there are colorful leaves everywhere I look.  Fall is coming soon!





Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chasing Smallmouth

As the Plateau streams drop and clear, the smallmouth action is heating up with the weather.  Low clear water means spooky fish but if you are willing to throw topwater bugs (who am I kidding, who wouldn't want to throw topwater bugs) then you can get onto some nice fish.  Recently I made it back out to one of my favorite new streams that I've started to explore.

The bass were eating well once we tied on the topwater stuff.  


The overall size was pretty decent on top as well although I saw a few monsters that spooked well before I ever got a cast on them.  Those are the fish that keep me coming back though.  The stream was beautiful and at a good level for throwing the topwater bugs.  


I'll be heading back soon to sample some more of the bronze fish...


If you are interested in a guided wade trip in some of the rugged Plateau creeks, please contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or check out my good site, www.troutzoneanglers.com.  

Monday, June 02, 2014

Dangerous Critters

Fishing is dangerous.  Many people think of fishing as something where you sit in a lawn chair and watch a bobber with a worm under it.  While that is a perfectly good way to fish, people don't realize that many of the more adventuresome types are scrambling along rugged shorelines or through remote canyons in an effort to reach less-pressured water.  There is good reason for that of course.  Most people are lazy and a bit of effort can put you on water where the fish rarely if ever see a fisherman.

On yesterday's smallmouth trip, we started to see significantly more action as we got farther and farther from the road.  Several times over the course of the trip, I almost commented to the guy I was guiding about how I have never seen any poisonous snakes in that particular area even though they are rumored to be there in good numbers.  Something kept nagging at the back of my mind though, and I kept my mouth shut.  It turns out that just thinking about it is enough to jinx a person.

While scrambling over rocks and through brush stream side, I suddenly froze like a bird dog coming to a point.  In a small crevice right under the rock we had come over on the way down was a nice big copperhead just waiting for an unsuspecting fisherman meal.  I've climbed over those rocks many times, often while only wearing sandals.  After I found my way back down to earth from the upper atmosphere where I had involuntarily jumped to, I realized the snake was still a good 6-8 feet away and got out my camera while keeping one eye checking the area for its mate.


In the end, it was actually interesting to see a copperhead.  It was the first I've run into since returning home from Colorado.  If I see a few more I might just have to move back, but in the meantime the fishing is good enough to keep me coming back to those smallie streams.  I guess I learned why no one fishes them too...