My wife and I decided to go up Thunderhead prong and hike up the manway Saturday morning. She wanted to take a few pictures for her dad, who is doing a series of smoky mountain fly fishing watercolors, and I wanted to explore the area a little more with a fishing rod.

I stopped at the shop around lunch time to get some tying materials, but spent more time talking to byron than I did concentrating on my shopping list. I told him we were thinking of going up thunderhead, which almost immediately turned into a conversation about the brook trout restoration on Lynn Camp. Byron said he couldn't wait for the opening day and that he would be up there bright and early.

As we drove up the gravel road past tremont, I was amazed that noboddy was on the river. A few pull-offs were occupied, but for the most part, there wasn't anyone in sight.....until we got to the parking area at the end of the road. It was completely packed. Horseback riders, hikers, fishermen, picnicers, gawkers, rock chuckers, belly dancers, name it..they were there. I thought that if a man were to set up a small table selling lemonade, keychains, bikini bottoms, & parking passes, he could retire early.

Anyway, there was no parking to be found anywhere. There was actually a line of people jockeying for position on the next available spot. It was a huge cluster, so we decided to drive back down the road and have our pick of quiet pull-offs.

The fishing really seems to be picking up in the park. I forgot my thermometer at home, but the water felt considerably warmer than a week ago. Bugs were all over the place and the fish were rising to dry flies without hesitation. I caught several small rainbows, one decent one that my wife couldn't get a good shot of, and missed a brown that would have been the crowing achievement of my fishing career thus far. It was one of those moments where you see the fish rise, feel the tension on your line, your heart skips a few beats, and hes gone. I must have casted back into the hole 30 times, but he was a gonner.

Heres a few pictures from the day. Hope everyone got a chance to get outside yesterday.