View Full Version : Picking apart the pockets

04-24-2011, 08:24 PM
Here's something that, I'm sure many of you know, but was reinforced for me today. Easter day was the first day I have been able to make it to the Little River since last summer. Easter day wouldn't be my first choice, but with a demanding job, teaching part time, launching a new business last summer, and myriad other responsibilities you take it when you can get it. We got home from church and my wife said "go". So I went.

Event though the fishing report/barometer said "excellent" I never expect any gimme's on the Little River. Today was no exception. However, my strategy today was a little different. I knew I only had 3 or 4 hours on the water so I wanted to make the best use of my time. I rigged up somewhere above Metcalf and below Elkmont. I dropped off the LR road and skipped the first plunge pool and headed down stream. I hit eddy's behind rocks and all the deep riffles but I purposely avoided all of the "obvious" spots. Every time I got to a large pool I skipped right by and began working the pocket water below downstream. In fact, I purposely worked a lot of spots most would consider unlikely.

Bottom line, I had a very respectable 3.5 hours bringing a dozen rainbows to the net, including 4 that were fat little bubba's about 11-12 inches. And again, I skipped right by every pool that looked fishy and worked the spots that many would ignore.

Moral of the story: mix it up. Hit the little out of the way pockets. Stay low. Wear drab colors. Get your nymphs down, and keep that rod tip up. I'm not an expert, but every now and then even a blind squirrel finds a nut. Hope y'all did as well.

04-24-2011, 09:16 PM
Nice post! Your Little river approach to fishing is the same as mine is hiking. It's obvious where 98% of the people will be - so just go where they are not:smile:

I typically stay away from the Little River since it gets so much pressure, but you make a great point. In fact, as I was paddling that very section last weekend, I thought to myself how it might be good to try & fish from my boat sometime. Many places are so deep, it's hard to wade over even in low water, so I figured they'd be pretty good.

04-25-2011, 08:59 PM
Good post, how do you think inexperienced fishermen catch their first fish? They just toss it over there somewhere...and get lucky...I know this from experience.

04-26-2011, 10:58 AM
I think it's just a different way of reading the water. It's sort of like bowhunting for deer (my other favorite way of killing time). Big bucks show up in some of the most unlikely places - a 10 acre patch here, a small drainage in a corn field there, the edge of a housing tract, etc. With the exception of a couple of the bigger browns I have caught on the LR, most of my best fish and best days have come when I intentionally work the small pockets and riffles between pools. And when I say intentionally, I mean I stand and pick them apart methodically, near to far, up to down. I'm not a great fisherman (my buddy Buzz can outfish me with one hand tied behind his back) and I'm an especially poor nymph fisherman, but I have been blessed with patience. I can fish a 100 yard section of stream all afternoon and be perfectly content. Just a different approach.

05-15-2011, 05:05 PM
Nicely articulating the same sentiment.


05-19-2011, 11:02 PM
Indeed a great post. Now, everybody knows my secret. :smile:

Most of the fish I catch, and it seems all of the larger ones, are in those pockets and on the seams of where 2 or more currents merge. Right on that edge between faster moving and slower moving water and the pillows in front of rocks. Getting a good drift in these waters is the tricky part and sometimes, I catch fish in spite of a terrible drift. Fish are not that smart but they do know what food looks like and what is just junk floating in the river.