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ijsouth
04-18-2009, 09:44 PM
I don't know how many of you out there are "soccer parents", or perhaps have played the game. I have become quite a fan of the "beautiful game" since my oldest has started playing a few years back, and I've learned a lot of the lingo from watching a lot of games on the Fox Soccer Channel. One of the terms used in the world of association football is "fixture", which means a game on the schedule; at this time of year, with various cup competitions piling up, the phrase "fixture congestion" appears, meaning a team has to deal with multiple games in a short period of time, along with the fatigue and injuries that arise due to all that play. Well, the same thing happens in the "real world". We had planned to drive up for our usual Springtime trip to the Smokies right after church on Easter Sunday; we would get several days of fishing in, and still get the girls back for their next game this weekend. Well, plans had to be modified. I had a project at work that was in sort of a delicate state - I didn't feel very comfortable leaving town before I ironed a few things out. Secondly, I saw the weather forecast for the day after Easter, and it didn't look promising. The final straw was my oldest having a team function on that Monday...dinner, bowling and a sleepover - I would have felt horrible if she had missed that. So, I shifted our plans a bit, and we left on Wednesday. Unfortunately, it meant that we would basically only have one day to fish, since we had to get back at a decent time for today's games...oh well, a little time in the mountains is better than no time at all.

We ended up in Maggie Valley this time, so we decided to start at Straight Fork:

http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s243/ijsouth/IMGP0716.jpg

It was a little chilly Thursday morning, and the first thing I did was take the stream's temperature - it was around 45F, which didn't bode well. I like Straight Fork, but I've found it to be either feast or famine, and I feared for the latter. We dredged nymphs through a few good looking, deep pools, with no takers. There seemed to be a minor hatch of either some very small mayflies, or midges, but nothing approaching a rise could be seen.

After a while, we drove to the Hyatt Ridge trailhead; one day, I would like to fish Raven Fork, and I wanted to sample the trail for a short distance. I don't think I experienced a fair example of the rugged reputation of that path - I couldn't go very far with my two youngest in tow. I did sample a short stretch of Hyatt Creek, and picked up a nice little spec out of one pool, which reinforced a belief that I have - when temperatures are marginal, go with the brookies...they like the colder water a bit more than other species. With that in mind, I didn't hesitate to pack things up and head over to our "home" water of Cosby Creek. I know there were miles of stream that I passed up in order to drive all the way over to the other side of the park, but our time was short, and I wanted the girls to experience a few rising fish. We weren't disappointed:

http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s243/ijsouth/IMGP0717.jpg

http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s243/ijsouth/IMGP0718.jpg

All in all, we picked up about a dozen specs, with 5 coming out of one pool about the size of a small dining room. The action wasn't as fast as would be normally expected for April, but it wasn't bad. The temperature at Cosby was around 49F - two or three degrees warmer, and the action would have been nonstop. As it was, we did see a few rises, including one from the largest fish of the day, which gave away its position - my youngest did the rest...I'm very proud of her - it was pushing 8 inches, a fine brookie for Cosby.

I'm not sure what the immediate future will hold. My oldest is entering a time in her life when things, including her chosen sport, become a bit more serious; she has a busy schedule of summer soccer, camps, and so forth - and she has to start high school the first week of August, which means it will be a short vacation for her. We'll try to squeeze a few trips up - I may even have a new recruit for our fly-fishing fraternity...stay tuned.

BlueRaiderFan
04-18-2009, 10:06 PM
Those are some cute kids! :biggrin:

nvr2L8
04-18-2009, 10:22 PM
Ian,

I fully understand fixture congestion. We went through it with our kids with sports and piano and dance and school. But they grow up too fast and you have to cherish the days you have with them. We'll keep the fish in good practice for when things ease up for you. For now, have fun with those girls.