I went out with Hugh Hartsell today to learn his nymphing techniques. This was the "Advanced Nymph Fishing Class" that he talks about on his website. I learned a lot. I decided to book with Hugh after the many positive comments that I have seen about him on this message board.
I have always caught fish and usually outfish my buddies, but I knew that I was missing fish. It is pretty hard to miss a take using Hugh's methods with a double nymph and no strike indicator. Whether you hook up or not depends on recognizing the hit and reacting in time, but you can certainly see most takes.
We fished Abrams Creek until early afternoon and then a little bit on the Middle Prong. Hugh counted 22 fish that I hooked. 3 or 4 I long distance released (within 10 feet of the net...those count don't they?) All were rainbows and the nicest was a nice fat 14 inch rainbow. I caught a couple on the Middle Prong later in the day.
Almost all of the takes were very very subtle...only one or two were big visible hits. About half were caught on Hugh's Smoky Mountain Blackbird Soft Hackle, the others were caught on his Abrams Creek Searcher. I used the same two flies all day. I don't mean the same two kinds of flies...believe it or not I mean the same two flies for about 7 hours. That is a first for me.
Sorry I don't have any pictures...I didn't take one all day, but Hugh did. He said he would put them on his website. This was my best day in the Smokys to date.