View Full Version : Lessons in Humility

05-16-2008, 05:40 PM
Well, after original plans for fishing today didn't work out, I decided it would be a good day to try Mannis Branch - been wanting to try it ever since I scouted it out this past winter and then heard it had been stocked with brookies a few years back.

Started out the day just missing a nice brown right at the mouth of Mannis in Little River but decided to try him again later in the day after I had slain the brookies up the creek. The Mannis venture started out badly when I took a dip crossing Little River. One thing I discovered is that my rain jacket not only keeps rain out but it keeps river water in after a dunking. So the rest of the day I was drenched but my expectations still high as I ascended the bank to get above the water falls.

My enthusiasm waned as I worked my way up Mannis Branch and saw not the first brookie. In fact it was hard to imagine how any fish could live in this little creek. I went a good ways up the creek, killing a good part of the day, before I lost my fly and took it as a sign to give up on the Mannis brookie myth and head back down to try for that brown in LR again. When I got back down to the river, I tied on another fly and got ready to cast back in the pool below and saw another fly fisherman about 20 yards downstream. I yielded to him, hoping that he would have better luck than I and went on up stream where I found a good crossing and (after a few token casts) gave it up and went back to my vehicle.

After getting into some dry clothes, I headed back down to LRO to see how things were shaping up for the Troutfest Banquet. I saw Byron in the parking lot with another fellow and went over to speak. Byron said "What do you know" and I said that I now knew there were no fish in Mannis Branch. The fellow standing next to him, said "Sure there's fish up there; it's full of brookies if you go up far enough." Byron then introduced me to Jack Gregory. Oh well, the vanquished got to meet the Trout Master and get reminded that I still have a long ways to go before I can declare a creek void of fish.

Mannis, I'll be back. But it will be a while - I need to catch some fish before I submit myself to that torture again.

05-16-2008, 06:01 PM
Don't despair, I used to do those kind of things a decade ago, back then when gas was only 85 cents a gallon. It didn't hurt as bad to have a bad day back then. I find myself carefully study the map before I go nowadays, although I didn't do my homework back in February when I almost got stuck on a hillside on Chilhowee Lake.

05-17-2008, 03:36 PM
Sounds like someone might have been fishing ahead of you! I've had more than one occasion where a creek that should produce a fish per cast wasn't....only to find fresh footprints in the first sandy area I came acoss!

Maybe just unlucky timing!

05-18-2008, 11:44 AM
Charlie, Sorry I was detained by "honey-dos" in advance of my folks coming in to town this weekend. I would have much preferred chasing brookies.

As far as Mannis Branch is concerned, I wonder if maybe you were attacking it from the wrong spot. Take a look at the following .pdf from the 90s (go to page 47). http://www.sdafs.org/meetings/99sdafs/abs99.pdf

Where Mannis Branch enters LR is pretty low in elevation and has a pretty steep gradient. It may be that the brookies were introduced higher up, near the Meigs Mtn Trail. The stream is more manageable at that point. Its not too bad of a hike across from Jakes Creek.

05-18-2008, 11:55 AM
Thanks, Pete. I'll take a look at this when I get a chance. I knew it couldn't have been my lack of skill that kept me from encountering any fish.(?)

Hope springs eternal in the hearts of fly fisherpersons everywhere.

05-19-2008, 10:24 AM
I think you can access it from a trailhead at the sinks also