Headed out into the park early on Saturday Morning with FloatOn hoping to catch my first Brown here since moving from PA. I have spent the last few weeks doing a lot of research on the browns in the park as they are my passion when it comes to fly fishing.
I want to thank David Knapp especially for his advice and words of wisdom in helping getting me started in my quest for a big brown from the park
We did a lot of pool jumping and scouting and occasionally wetting a line catching the odd Rainbow here and there , FloatOn caught a beautiful juvenile
Brown and was on his way to his Grand slam which I believe he will be posting about soon.
Around midday in a deep pool I found what I was looking for , hunkered down in the deepest part was a big brown that was lying motionless . As is often the case when I have fished for big Browns in PA they are very hard to entice to eat in the middle of the day when they are inactive .
I had to give him a shot though ....So first drift through my fly comes with inches of him and he turns and takes it and spits it out before I even have time to set the hook! After much cursing I start to resign myself to the fact that this fish will not be mine today as you usually only get one chance at fish like this on the first drift and then they usually close up shop.
I decided I would continue to try for him as he had gone back to the same spot and had not spooked. I changed flies several times and got some great drifts right to him but he had developed lock jaw or so it seemed. I have learned a trick for big browns passed on to me from my Fly Fishing guru in PA and that is that sometimes they want a stationary fly that they can inspect for a minute or two when they won't respond to one dead drifted.
I added a heavier shot ,cast out and slowly inched my fly down the pool until it sat motionless no more than two inches from his mouth....the fly sat there for maybe one minute and then without even moving the fish opened its mouth and sucked the fly in.
I struck and was immediately greeted with the sight of a big Brown angrily shaking its head and taking off downstream as my reel screamed as it gave line.
The fight was one of the best fights I have had from a big Brown , it went airborne four times and took me at least 4 feet into an undercut . My final thanks have to go to FloatOn for the amazing job he did netting the fish because without him it would have been nearly impossible to land the fish, thanks buddy hopefully I can do the same for you one day!
So after a few quick photos and getting the fish recovered in the water we put the tape on him and he was just over 22.5 inches , my first Brown in the Park and one I will never forget. The Smoky Mountains has welcomed me with open arms since I have arrived as have the great people I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with. I am very happy to be able to call this great place home