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Troutman
02-28-2007, 08:52 PM
Good news fellow MB readers! I believe the Smokies trout are as eager for spring as we are! I started out the door this morning with my wife asking if I was going to play hooky from work. "Of course not honey!" I said.
"But I may leave a little early". I decided with the 63 deg. temps and bright sunshine today that enough is enough. I left work at 3pm and headed on up to the park to get at least a few cast in before the weather changes again.
I arrived on the LR at one of my favorite sections to fish a dry fly. No, its not Metcalf Bottoms but very similiar. I'm an optimist, so I rigged up the 4wt with a #12 Quill Gordon. I had one fly by my head while getting my waders on. The sun was shining brightly on the water and I could see a lot of grey midges swarming over the water.
I cast probably 30 times before a small fish splashed at the fly. I missed it and figured it was probably to small to hook up on a size 12. I looked downstream and noticed a couple of fish rising sporadically on the small midges. They were not out in the main current but were in the skinny water close to the bank.
I clipped off the Q. Gordon and extended my leader out to about 10ft and went down to 6X tippet with a #18 para adams. I ended up catching 2 rainbows and 2 browns in about an hour all roughly 8-10" long. Some clouds rolled in and blocked out the sun and everything stopped. No bugs and no rising trout.
I feel like the next warm spell we have, the fishing will be fantastic. Oh, and by the way, the water temp. was reading 44 deg. on my stream thermometer when I started at about 3:45.

doghaircaddis
02-28-2007, 09:08 PM
That's great news! I saw quite a bit of bug activity today on the Caney. It's about time, isn't it?

patillac
02-28-2007, 09:20 PM
Nice to know one of us was able to take advantage of the day. Me? I was on Cherokee lake all day........ building a condo

ijsouth
02-28-2007, 10:23 PM
The insect activity sounds similar to what we saw over the weekend...the difference is, fish were actually rising for you today - perhaps the sunshine is what did the trick.

DryFly1
02-28-2007, 10:23 PM
Hey Troutman,

Thanks for the update! I'm even more excited about hitting those streams in a few weeks..

Mark...

fishlicker
02-28-2007, 11:46 PM
many thanks for the report! I can't wait for spring and hungry trout that have their noses pointed at the heavens!


C'mon caddis! :)

Troutman
03-01-2007, 03:49 PM
ijsouth, I think the full sun on that stretch of water for several hrs. caused the trout to move off the bottom of the deeper runs into the shallow (6-10") sections along the banks. The water is still crystal clear and I was having to make long cast with no false casting within 20ft of my target fish. The fish were very sensitive to any change or movement overhead.
DryFly1, that is terrible news about your txl rod. I have broken 2 rods myself, usually from falling or slipping down a bank and forgetting to let go of the rod. I loaned an 8wt. rod to a friend for an Alaska trip and it was snapped in half by a King Salmon.
Luckily they were under a lifetime, no questions asked warranty. Maybe you will have it back before your next trip to the mtns.
Patillac, take your rod with you if you can. the bass and bluegills will be moving to shallower water soon and a lunchbreak can provide some time for a few minutes of fun.
Fishlicker, Have you tried any of the N. Ga mtn streams? I wonder if the Spring hatches have started down there yet.
DH Caddis, Never fished the Caney, only crossed it several times driving to Middle TN. Looks like a nice river to fish and maybe explore with a kayak or canoe.

fishlicker
03-01-2007, 04:29 PM
Troutman, I know a few creeks in GA. ;) LOL

Actually, there are reports of some pretty decent bwo and midge hatches, but the real activity will start about mid-way through this month. We do have a few mayfly hatches, but it's one mayfly an hour, if that. Our biggest hatch will be sometime around the end of March and into April - and sometimes into May depending on the weather, etc. and it's caddis. And, even then - we don't have hatches like the park or NC do....it's not super rare to see a hatch on GA water, but it's not common either. Our little fish mostly eat any fly that looks "buggy" on most days.

If anyone ever heads down to GA and you want some info on good wild water just shoot me a PM, I know a few places and can give you advice on most of the rivers and streams west of the Chattooga area - never have fished there much. but anywhere west of that, I've probably fished at least one stream on any given watershed.

But, if this tells you anything - 9 out of 10 times when I get to go trout fishing, you'll find me in North Carolina. They are leaps and bounds above us in terms of regulations on wild water, amount of larger water and amounts of bug life in-stream. About the only major hatches we have are big rivers like the Chattooga, the Toccoa( no public access for miles and miles :( ) and the Hooch through Atlanta. Massive caddis hatches there some years, if you don't mind fishing with jets overhead, the sound of table saws and hammering, dogs barking in backyards, and car alarms going off.

meh. yuck.

ijsouth
03-01-2007, 08:43 PM
I think the angle of the sun might play a role, too...every day advances the angle higher on the horizon, and that angle, along with increased water temperatures, might trigger things.

The interesting thing is what a difference a few days makes. I fished Cosby on Saturday, and I couldn't even spook a fish by sloshing through the pools. On Sunday, I did see a few minnows up against the bank as I fished the Middle Prong, and they weren't concerned about me at all, which I thought was strange. Meanwhile, back down here, it is getting greener every day - that fresh, vibrant green we only get for a brief time in Spring. It's heading y'alls way....I bet things will really bust loose in a few weeks.