So knowing there was a good chance for some decent rain on Saturday, I headed out to the park. I was wavering between a couple of potential destinations, but since I had the whole afternoon until dark, I decided to go explore a place which I haven't really fished but one time last year, Greenbrier.
On my way out the park, it was semi cloudy, nothing too threatening looking. As I got closer to pittman center, there were a few brief showers and some steady sprinkes. By the time I got to the Ramsey trailhead, it wasn't raining, much, but it was steadily sprinking. The parking lot was reasonably full, and I parked next to a car that had a tent drying out on top of it. As I was getting rigged up, A guy came hiking down in raingear, and asked if I wanted a free tent . He was flying back to NY later that day and didn't have room to take it and that he had done what he wanted with it but didn't want to haul it back and also didn't want to just throw it away. So I obliged, got his email from him and told him if he ever comes back to do another week of backpacking in the GSMNP, to send me an email and I'll have his tent ready for him. Anyway, even though I am a Hammock guy, I have a pretty much brand new backpacking tent.
The had pretty much stopped when started up the trail
I hiked up to before where Ramsey Branch comes in and dropped down to the creek
At this point, the sun was kind of out and the water was crystal clear
There were quite a few leaves on some of the rocks, and some in the water, but nothing compared to what will be there in a few weeks.
I was catching LOTS of fish, a good mix of brookies and bows, all on the dry, which was an orange neversink. The down side was that while I was catching 1-2 fish per hole, they were all like this:
He was one of the bigger ones.
For the most part, the dropper was being left along, save a few chases and refusals on the part of some frustrating big brookies.
It was about this time that I came around a bend saw the familiar swinging of another angler casting. He was about two or three holes ahead of me. Had I been fishing behing someone the whole time?
Instead of moving around him, I took my time and kept fishing. When I got up to where he was, there was no sign of him and I noticed a rock cairn and the trail was very close to the creek. Maybe he headed home.
I decided after playing with both the weighted and unweighted pink weenie go with something else - a cream caddis larvae.
Very quickly I picked up this guy at the end of a run:
I snapped another picture of him just because he had such nice dark coloration:
Now I had been fishing for about an hour and a half at this point, but I quit taking pictures. Not that the story even close to ends here.
After fishing up a few holes and finally catching some better sized fish, and more frequently, it started to sprinkle. No matter, I kept fishing. About this time, my dropper snagged and broke off. No matter they were all hitting the dry anyway. I never ended up tying a dropper on again for the rest of the afternoon. About 10 min later, there was a loud clap of thunder and it started raining a little harder. So I stopped fishing and thought it would be a good time to take a break. I was just below the split of Ramsey Prong and Eagle Rocks Prong and was trying to decide a plan and ate my lunch. The thunder stopped quickly, but started POURING. The water was a little murkier and lots of leaves and rain made the water visibility go down. It also made the big fish come out to play.
Now instead of catching 4"iner after 4"iner in each cast was I catching 7, 8, 9 and 10 inch rainbows and brookies, sometimes 2 or 3 per run.
With pouring rain and on fire fishing, you can't blame me for not wanting to waste any time taking pictures! WHen the rain stopped, I kept working up Eagle Rocks PRong, not wanting to get too far up because of the chance more rain and possibility of rising water and lack of a trail out.
So I worked back down to Rasmey prong and fished up it. Caught several good sized Brookies and some dinks. THen it started pouring again, but this time I was getting cold and tired of the rain, plus it was about 6pm, so I got on the trail and hiked out and went home warmed up with a good beer and a couple of grilled trout. I know some people like them in a cornbread dinner jacket fried up, I prefer mine in a tuxedo of bacon and grilled. Yum.
On another note, Ducky - you're gonna have to show me that manway sometime....