If you fish the Oconoluftee River basin, including the Bradley Fork, and tributaries, and you catch fish this size, I recommend you keep them. These are migrants from the trophy waters at Cherokee and they have been reported all the way up to the very beginnings of the Luftee, presumably searching for colder waters. I saw one "brood" fish, a brookie, that I think was on her redd, that could have eaten either of these guys. I am guessing her size to be 8-10 lbs or perhaps larger. When I dropped the biggest, heaviest, lure I could find in my tackle in front of her nose, she just picked it up, took it out in the main current, dropped it and came back to her redd. She hadn't responded to any smaller flies, nymphs, etc. The second time she moved off into deeper water behind a huge bolder and I never saw her again. I was about 12 feet higher than the water on a huge bolder, looking straight down on her. She was in about eight feet of water, tailing near the bottom, at the current seam, over a gravel redd.
-don't tell me why we can't, tell me how we can.- whitefeather
Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!
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