Monday, June 23, 2008

Smokies Day 1: SMBSH Continues Assault on Trout, Number of Victims Rise

On Friday, my uncle and I headed our way up Thunderhead Prong to give that a shot. I have never been up there before, though trips on nearby Lynn Camp Prong had given me hope that this sister stream could provide the same results. After following the manway for a short while, we got in at the second water crossing. The water was extremely low and the word of the day was, say it with me, stealth! Stealth and presentation were definitely the most important factors of the day in catching fish.

I started out with a stimulator and managed a couple fish when I kept low and out of sight. Conditions like this make a fisherman hone their skills and really think about how the fish behave and see under water. The fish weren't consistently hitting the fly, but I managed to get a strike every few holes as long as I stayed invisible to the fish.

Things got interesting when my uncle, Shawn, almost stepped on this fellow when we were rock hopping around a fallen tree.

I must confess that he held his composure pretty well and I was impressed, he stayed pretty calm and gave plenty of space. Shawn, on the other hand, ran away screaming (had to take a jab!).

The fishing never really heated up the way that I had hoped, though. The river was absolutely gorgeous even though it was low and I can't help but wonder what the effects of last year's drought plus the low water this year had on this stream.

On our way back we decided to hit up the lower portion of Lynn Camp for a little bit. I decided that I would tie on a SMBSH dropper since there are some deep pools and runs in that section. Immediately I began getting strikes and landing fish on the dropper. At one pool I caught 3 fish, all on the dropper. It seemed that I had hit on something as the fish were taking the blackbird in a consistent, although not furious, manner. In a short 45 minutes on Lynn Camp I brought 7 fish to hand and was very pleased with the way my fishing went as I really tried to stay out of sight and stealthy (like a ninja). On the way out we saw this fella up the bank at the parking area. Never saw one before and this was a treat to see and they are magnificent creatures.

It will probably be tomorrow before I get into the next day's fishing: Little River above Elkmont.

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