I decided that I needed a little decompression time yesterday, so I took the afternoon off and headed to the mountains. I thought, "it is Thursday and spring break is over, what a perfect time to go fish". I can honestly say that my logic was completely flawed.
From the time I left West Knoxville and parked at Elkmont, it took almost two hours to arrive at my destination. Apparently Niagara Falls is frozen over, because I lost count of the cars from Ontario. And for those not in the know, Little River Road is obviously a training ground for the tour de France. Either that or le tour de Little River was yesterday because I got behind a group of cyclists every other mile.
None of this deterred me because I was set on having a fantastic afternoon. Along the drive I discovered that lots of other people too thought it would be a good day to fish because I counted 11 fishermen from Metcalf Bottoms to Elkmont. Must still be spring break somewhere, maybe Ontario.
Still undeterred, I grabbed my gear and headed up the trail for one of my favorite sections of water. I was distracted many times on the walk in by the numerous beautiful flowers along the trail. Looking back I probably spent too much time taking pictures instead of fishing. Although, it was quite enjoyable seeing all the colors and the peaceful afternoon.
Eventually I got to the river and hopped in anxious to get started. Unfortunately, the fish did not get the memo, and I struggled for the first 30 minutes trying to find any activity. That is when it happened.... I heard a loud crash behind me and thought that a tree had fallen. Instead I was troubled to see dark clouds looming and lightning all around. Obviously, I was so focused on fishing and the water so loud that the storm snuck up behind me. Before I could get out of the river the storm was upon me. I managed to find a little rock outcropping to take partial shelter under while lightning flashed all around and the rain just roared. Thankfully I did pack my rain jacket just in case, but the intensity of the rain vastly overwhelmed my Mountain Hardwear Epic jacket. Also, I had been wet wading, so I didn't have the protection of my waders to keep my lower extremities dry. Finally after about 20 minutes the storm moved on up the mountain and I was thoroughly soaked. The temp had dropped 20 degrees (to 55), so I chose to call it a day. As I slogged down the trail for the car, I listened to the rumbling of the thunder farther up the river.
Even though I was wet and uncomfortable, I still paused to admire the flowers and all the recently energized wet-weather springs that roared to life. Sorry for no fish pics, but here are some of the stunning flowers: