This past Friday I got up early to head over to the Smokies for a backcountry trip with friends. They were hitting the trail early, so after a stop at Little River Outfitters, I continued on to my trail head and started hiking the several miles up to where we were camping for the weekend. This was a new one for me so I was glad to see some new water.
Upon arriving at camp, I found my friends gearing up to fish. After a quick discussion on where they were fishing, I set up my tent and geared up to hit the water. The stream I chose was roughly followed by a trail. I say roughly because the trail was often up the hillside and out of easy reach...a true backcountry experience if there ever was one. What a beautiful place to fish!
The better fish were generally taking the dropper although some preferred the dry fly.
The brookies were all on the small side, but you would be hard pressed to find a prettier fish in these waters...
Eventually, the difficulty (I know, life is tough but someone has to do it ) of keeping the dry fly floating with all the fish hitting it made me decide to try something a little different. In "Reading the Water" by David Hughes, he mentions fishing wets upstream in small streams when the sun is on the water. Basically high stick nymphing but with unweighted (or minimally weighted) patterns, this technique is challenging but proved to be worth the effort. My best rainbow from this stream fell for this technique and one of my favorite soft hackle patterns.
Soon after this fish, I crawled up the hillside to find the trail and made tracks back to camp. The next day would bring a lot more fishing adventures!
To be continued...