The past couple of weeks I have been fishing heavy in the Clinch and even spent time in the Nantahala during the Fly Fishing Federation weekend in Western Carolina. I also went with friends on our annuual opening day Delayed Harvest on the Tuckaseegee trip last Saturday (Oh the humanity!
). My body and mind was craving the Smokies, so when Byron reported the other day go to mountains I listened and obeyed. The clock clicked 5:01 last night and I blasted from work for the quick 30 minute jump to one of my go to holes. There was a huge traffic backup at the airport so I zigged and zagged thru Aloca and Maryville and got in the water about 6:30 a good half hour behind schedule. do these people not know I am a fly fisherman and have important work to do!
I had watched the weather all day and knew I probably had an hour window before a possible thunderstorm and dark. I broke out my 12ft.Tenkara rod and tied on a neversink and let it drift, on the third cast a mouth appeared on both sides of the fly and I went it's on now. Many casts later with no fish in hand and the minutes counting down and the water running fairly fast in the rain, I changed to a green weeinie I tie on an 18. Many times in these type of conditions I can usually bag a couple, no luck this night! I opened one of my boxes and said last shot hand me that beadhead pheasant tail, something out of kilter caught my eye in the box as I noticed and wondered why was that soft hackle pheasant tail loose in the box? I never throw a soft hackle in the Smokies, like a superstitious ball player I have learned not to screw with karma, so I grabbed it and tied it on. The light was fading and the stream looked like a Chinese water color all mist and moisture, the second drift the furled leader pulled tight and I set the hook and landed the almost nine inch bow you see below. After weeks of hatchery landed fish it was sheer joy to handle a perfect Smokey mountain specimen, beautiful colors and perfect tail. an almost nine inch beauty.
Moral of the story: Sometimes just let the box choose the fly! Oh and leave work early.