i have been busy all week working overtime and getting caught up with life after most of a week spent in the woods. i have barely found time to read, much less post on here. so heres a really late report...
my brother, brother in law and i were to go backpacking on eagle creek last weekend. we had our permits bought and printed, packed our bags and and ready to go. friday morning we met up in lenoir city and disussed the weather, with a possibility for more than an inch of rain in 24 hours, and 9 stream crossings to bear in mind. for the second year in a row, we went with plan "B"
we got to the holly flats campground around 11 am and threw up camp quickly then hit the water. i started out with a new dry fly i tied for the mountains i have been calling the poor mans stimulator (it could be considered a variation to an EHC or stimulator) and a pheasant tail dropper. i caught half a dozen rainbows in short order ranging from fingerling to 7 inches.
first fish of the weekend
soon it started to rain and i headed back to camp and sat under the tarp hoping it was just a passing storm. an hour later i was wet, sitting under the tarp indian style on the picnic table watching the creation of a small stream under my feet. i dropped a cigarette butt in it just to see how far it would float (of course i picked it up later) it made it pretty far. i ducked into my tent during the next lull and was trapped there for a few hours. the river came up and was stained, fishing was done for the day.
by morning the river was in better shape but it was still sprinkling on and off. i fished for a little bit before it got heavier. this time we all sat under the tarp for two hours watching the water go by. the river stained again but didn't gain too much flow. i hiked up above kirkland creek to smaller water and started fishing again. i wasn't having much luck so i switched my dropper to a black stonefly nymph, big by my standards. this gave a bigger, darker profile in the stained water and i was catching trout again.
sunday morning the weather was much better. partly cloudy, it finally warmed up a little. after a little packing up i hit the stream one last time. the fishing was slower as we had exhausted most of our favorite runs the previous day. i managed to get a brown to eat near camp.
he liked the poor mans stimulator
we finished cleaning up camp and decided to try a different stream before we head home. we chose sycamore creek since none of us had ever been there. it is a beautiful stream and we found a couple of backcountry campsites we agreed we should make use of fairly soon.
my brother wasn't fishing this trip, he hasn't been bitten by the small mountain stream fly fishing bug yet. he caught a couple on eagle creek three years back, and lost a pig on the clinch once but hasn't really had fond memories of the challenges of learning to fly fish. we were walking the trail together when i spotted a good run and crept down to make a cast. almost as soon as my fly hit the water there was a splash and i hooked a rainbow. my brother was watching and took pictures of the whole process. i think he was impressed. Nope, he was just thinking the same as me... there's a fish there...
hooray for the poor mans stimulator! sorry about the camera strap
he talked about updating the cheap fly combo with no fighting drag i gave him a few years ago, especially getting a quality reel and maybe a yellow eagle claw rod to cast it on. i'm alot more experienced now than when i was guiding him back then, i hope i can help make his experiences more memorable this next time