Warm Up (A really long, sad, mostly pointless fishing report)
Ok, I'm going to call my first trip of the year a warm up trip. I managed to bungle almost every aspect from forgetting my coffee cup and thermos to falling down to not catching anything.
I arrived at Cades Cove and set up camp at about 4:00 on Friday and fished for around an hour below the picnic area on Anthony Creek. Nothing. Next day I realized I didn't have my coffee cup, so I drank cokes in an attempt to get my caffeine for the day. Fished most of the morning on Abrams. Fell in, got wet almost from head to foot, an otter and I scared each other half to death, and didn't catch a fish. I realized I had forgotten my split shot (which I had removed from my vest for a trip to Yellowstone last year), so I tried using a copper john and big hare's ear in tandem to get my rig to the bottom, but I know I wasn't hitting the bottom in some of the better runs. Saw an 8 pt buck at the bridge on the way back to my car. Ate lunch. Felt a headache coming on. I sometimes experience severe migraines, especially when I don't get caffeine. Drank more cokes. Didn't help. Optimistically cast a dry on the smooth Cove portion of Abrams for a few minutes before rigging back up with nymphs and turning to head down the trail again. Saw about 5 fishermen headed down the trail in front of me, so I decided to drive to Tremont for the warmer temps in the evening. By the time I arrived, I was nauseous and seeing spots. Tried fishing for a few minutes, felt like I was going to pass out, went back to camp and drank a whole pot of coffee using an empty water bottle as a cup. Felt better. Camp neighbors gave me some pan fried corn bread, so all wasn't lost. Should have picked up split shot while I had been so close to Little River, but was too sick to consider it.
Got up Sunday morning to heavy snow showers and cold temps. Drank lots of coffee this time. Drove around Cades Cove listening to Nora Jones' new CD, goofing off, and taking photos of the snow, which strangely enough seemed to be sashaying to the music of Nora Jones. The deer looked like they were all having fun. Drove to West Prong Little River after the snow quit. Started tossing copper john/hare's ear rig. Hooked a couple rainbows, but both got off. Spent the rest of the time trying to take self portraits of myself fly fishing in front of waterfalls using my new camera, tripod and shutter release switch. Almost killed myself trying to climb up on a rock before the shutter went off.
Deep nymphing really isn't my thing, plus I was trying to learn to nymph without an indicator. I spent much more time goofing off and just enjoying the mountains than a serious fisherman should have. I even found myself sitting beside pretty pools staring at the water on a few occasions. All in all, I had a really good time. But I can't wait for dry fly season and a chance to redeem myself. Hope others had better luck (and it looks like a few did),
"I ain't rich, But Lord I'm free" - Amarillo By Morning, George Strait