Photo of the Month: Autumn Slab of Gold

Photo of the Month: Autumn Slab of Gold

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fall Browns

Here is a short collection of some of the better browns I encountered over the last few months.  Some photos have been altered slightly to protect my favorite fishing spots although if you're familiar with the rivers and streams represented you can probably still figure it out. Right now, I'm preparing to venture into the wilderness of east Tennessee in search of big rainbows and browns.  Hopefully I'll return with lots of good stories and maybe a few pictures as well...







Monday, December 12, 2011

Memories: Part 1

A thread started today on the Little River Outfitters Message Board started me thinking about fly fishing memories.  I'm going to start sharing some of my favorite fishing related memories.  For starters, here's one about a brown trout and a boy with a fly rod. 

Before I even understood how to go about catching any trout, I dreamed of catching big browns. Early in my fly fishing career, I was doing good to scare up a small rainbow or two, but that didn't stop me from hoping for something more special.

One day, my dad (who usually drove me to the park to fish) had taken me fishing. He never actually fished but was the first one to take me fishing when I was 4 or 5 and almost the only one who ever took me before I was able to drive myself. This particular day was a beautiful early June day. We had explored several areas, but I was not having particularly good luck with just a few small rainbows to hand (from Tremont if I remember correctly).

As sunset was approaching, we stopped at one last pullout, this time on Little River. My dad was tired and decided to stay in the car. When I started driving myself, I came to understand why people would be tired late in the day, but at this point I was blissfully unaware. I trekked down a dim but short path to the stream and began tossing a yellow Stimulator.

I worked my way to the head of the pool and was casting in the pocket immediately above the main hole when I first saw the flash of gold. A nice brown came out and circled furiously around my fly before disappearing back under the white froth. Two more casts produced similar results and then the brown seemed to have vanished for good. Desperate measures would be needed.

Recalling how I had enticed a big Abrams Creek rainbow by dancing the fly on the surface during a hatch, I contemplated a similar trick. The big Stimulator was soon skittering across the surface and almost immediately the brown reappeared, charging through the water towards my now tantalizing fly. One last mighty twitch brought the intended result. I was now attached to what I then viewed as a monster.

Carefully battling the fish down through the pool, I finally brought it close enough to land. The 14 inch brown was heavier than many similar sized fish I have since caught. I will always remember that first nice brown even though I now dream of fish measured in pounds and reaching well over twenty inches. That fish was a major accomplishment to me as I am mostly self-taught, and at this point in my fishing career wondered if I would ever catch anything over 10 inches.

I have many other amazing memories from the Park. In fact, that is one thing that I love so much about it. Every trip gives me a special memory, and that is the way it should be. As soon as it becomes common or everyday, then it will no longer be the magical place that it should. I still get excited the night before a fishing trip and hope that will never change...

Drive Through Fishing

While perusing random local news stories, I came across a new method for fishing Little River, drive through fishing.  The main benefit is in never having to go to the effort to get out of your vehicle.  This idea, of course, was quickly discarded as I read the rest of the article.  Apparently the benefits don't outweigh the costs...  The driver of the vehicle probably was not testing out this novice idea by the way as the crash apparently occurred around 11:00 p.m.

The Little River road is no joke and I'm always at least a little surprised that things like this don't happen more often.  I have carefully maneuvered my way around curves in the Park many times only to discover an oncoming vehicle whose driver apparently feels it is necessary to use part of both lanes.  This and the poor folk who apparently don't know what a curve is and thus are terrified to drive above 15 mph always leads me to suspect that more accidents of this type should be occurring but thankfully that impression is not founded on facts.
Regardless, be careful out there on the way to the stream and be even more careful while on the stream.  Just imagine if it had been daylight and a fisherman was working up that bank picking the pockets...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Musky!!!

I joined David from Southeastern Fly out on the river today along with Brent for a day chasing musky! Brent ended up having the magic touch and we all enjoyed getting to see one of these awesome fish up close.  For a little more on our trip, read David's report here...

Friday, December 09, 2011

Great Article on Winter Fishing

I just enjoyed an excellent article on one of my favorite subjects, winter fly fishing.  The Hopper Juan is one of the blogs I frequent the most and always has great information.  Check out the story and get inspired to head out in the cold months ahead.  Most people don't realize that with the proper flies and techniques, the fish will still respond well even in very cold water.  Those fish still have to eat!!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Snow!!!

Today we had snow for the second time this year, although some people wouldn't condescend to label the dusting we got as snow.  Still, for this part of the country, the first snow of the year is a welcome sight as we never know how much will actually fall any given winter.  After the snow tapered off, I hurried out with the new camera to have a little fun.  Here are some of the results...



Another Good Water Year?

Next summer is shaping up as another great water year out west and in particular for the northern Rockies.  Obviously there is really no way of accurately predicting the amount of snow but all indications are pointing towards another good water year.  La Nina is back which was one of the main reasons for last year's great snowpack.  Current long range climate outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center are forecasting the likelihood of above average precipitation across large portions of the west.  Unfortunately, along with that is a good chance that the south central and southwestern states' drought will continue. 



In Yellowstone this past summer, there were still numerous snow banks on the higher north-facing slopes into August and the Tetons still had plenty of snow at that late date. 


A second consecutive year with better than normal water will mean lots of big healthy trout in the future and as a good fisherman, I'm hoping for another epic snowpack.  Start planning your trips west now but stay flexible as a heavy snowpack could again seriously delay the start of the best fishing...

 

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Out Shooting Again

A new Canon 550D (Rebel T2i) found its way to my house this week, and I'm ready to start taking pictures again.  Naturally I plan on being very careful with the new toy and to not flip any canoes while it is on board.  Hopefully I will be out shooting in the next day or two, and with a bit of luck I'll be out fishing soon as well...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

First Striper!

I have been out chasing stripers several times this fall as you all have probably noticed.  In between catching a few for myself, I have also had the pleasure of putting some people on their first striper on the fly rod ever and have another trip or two lined up.  One of the best trips was with my buddy Joe and his brother Ethan.  Joe catches a lot of big fish, especially browns up in the Smokies but can hold his own on other species as well.  He wanted to put his brother Ethan on a striper so we agreed on a time and place.  Ethan is an excellent fisherman himself and tied into a nice striper after just a little coaching.  The big grin says it all...

Friday, December 02, 2011

Not So Big

Stripers still continue to feed heavily in anticipation of continued cold weather.  I made it to a favorite striper spot earlier this week and did ok, catching two stripers in the 10-15 pound range plus a walleye and a white bass.  These stripers are not as large as some of the 20+ pound fish I have tied into, but I think they are just about the perfect size.  They still pull hard but your arm doesn't feel like falling off when you land one.  Hopefully the fishing for stripers will continue good for another week or two...