So with marriage looming (now only 2 days away), my uncle and I struck out to the smokies to get some long over due fishing time together in. After the always too long drive to get to the NC side, we parked at the trailhead and started out. We made quick work of the 2.6 mile hike and we got on the water about 9:00.
The water was definitely way up, especially compared to what it has been in the years past with the drought. The calm pools and gentle runs had been replaced with rushing whitewater that seemed to cloak the entire surface of the river. I figured i would be drudging nymphs, but instead i decided to try a dry fly first just to see.
Once we made it in the water we noticed the water was not only up and fast, but also pretty cool. After crawling through some rhododendron and finally making it to a somewhat open area to fish, we quickly got into some fish with the dries, which was sort of a surprise. Bow and arrow cast was the order of the day as we didn't really have room for a roll cast except for in a few places. We continued the trek upstream and seemed to be going into a gorge, although the stream opened up some. This was one of those streams that offered just enough interesting stream crossings to challenge ourselves, while entertaining the other person. Seems like nothing is funnier than watching someone try to climb a 8' rock ledge that is wet with water rushing down both sides.........that is until it's your turn.
Anyways, after every massive rock that was scaled and downed tree that was traversed across, eager fish awaited. The stream was small but seemed to house plenty of fish and it was good to see the stream maintained good population levels after the drought. After several hours and cloudy skies looming, we decided to make the hike back downstream through the riverbed to the trail. This proved to be the most difficult part of the day as all that water was pushing us the whole way. Several falls occurred, but luckily nothing too bad.
This was one of those trips where the whole adventure outshined the fishing. While the fishing was great, the beauty and ruggedness of the mountains and the effort that was put forth to travel in stream in the backcountry was something that words can't fully explain. Here are some pics that will hopefully show y'all what i mean.