View Full Version : Finally Fishing

04-03-2011, 06:06 PM
I was determined to go fishing on Saturday for the first time this season. Sadly, I had not even bought a license yet. So, I stopped by LRO on my way to the Smokies and bought the right to fish for another year and a dozen flies of several varieties based on hatch reports.

Being a creature of habit, I wanted my first outing to be up at WPLP. When I arrived, the pull-off with the Nature Exhibit sign was closed for construction (not a good start) so I parked on the upper side of the first tunnel. When I got out of the car, I questioned the wisdom of my choice for places to fish as I was met with a relentless wind (not a breeze, a full-fledged gale storm) and it was REALLY cold. As a matter of fact, it looked like there had been a hale storm recently and there were piles of BB sized hail everywhere. But sometimes obstinance outrules wisdom and this was the case on Saturday.

I started rigging up and pulled out the plastic cup of new flies, absolutely guaranteed to bring amazing results despite the weather. I pulled out a nice black stonefly imitation, put the cap back on the cup and started tying on the fly to the side of my vehicle. Shortly, I saw the cap of the cup go blowing by, quickly followed by the cup itself and the 11 remaining flies were nowhere to be found. Not a good start. Undeterred, I finished tying on the fly with a #14 Quasimoto and headed down the bank to the stream. After about an hour of walking back downstream, fishing sporadically as I went with no sign of fish (I forgot to mention that the water temp was somewhere in the 40 degree range but why let something like that discourage me), I started working my way back upstream.

The wind occasionally changed directions from downstream to upstream. A downstream wind, especially a strong one like I was experiencing, makes casting upstream a challenge. Even more than usual, getting a fly to land anywhere near where I intended was next to impossible without many errant attempts. When the wind was blowing upstream. All I had to do was pull my dry out of the water and it would cast itself back upstream. With a little guidance, this turned out to be a fairly effective ploy to get a fly placed relatively well. Of course, sometimes the wind was blowing hard enough that it would pick the dry up out of the water and blow it back upstream even before it had finished its drift.

After another hour with only one rise to check out my fly, I stopped, took inventory of my situation and decided that I might not be able to change my luck but I could at least change my fly rig so I went to about as basic a combination as you can get in the Smokies, a #14 Parachute Adams and a #16 BHPT dropper. Whether it was the new rig or the fact that it was now after 1:00 in the afternoon, I started getting some action. My first fish was a nice one, indeed, measuring close to 9".

I managed to catch it on the nymph. This was followed by 3 more, all rainbows of decent size with two actually caught on the PA.

While it wasn't a big number day, it was a good start to the season, especially considering the conditions (my hands and feet were starting to get numb by the time I left the stream). Fortunately, I did muster one bit of common sense and wore waders and a sweatshirt which kept me from totally freezing.

So, my Spring fishing was launched with a memorable and, in the end, quite rewarding day. After all, who needs wisdom to have fun?

04-03-2011, 08:13 PM

I absolutely visualized the plight you described. It sounded exactly like what I have experienced on more than one occassion.

Sorry you lost your flies in the ill winds that blew but congratulations on hanging in there and waiting it out and getting some fish.

I usually spend the first day or two of my trips to the park besieged by the gremlins of ill luck and lost stuff, myself.

Thanks for the report! Nice fish by the way!

04-04-2011, 09:42 AM
Excellent story and great photo.

Thanks for posting your day on the water. :rolleyes: