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Old 06-22-2013, 10:03 PM
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Default Quick Trip with the Wife

Before our kids were born, my wife enjoyed going on fishing trips with me. Not to fish, but to just enjoy the peace and quiet while watching me fish. So, when she recommended we do that today, I immediately took her up on the offer. Knowing it was going to be a busy weekend, I needed a stream that would offer the following:
  • Convenience of trail by the stream
  • Relatively short hiking distance
  • Typically overlooked fishery
I have three such streams that I keep in my back pocket for such days as this. Unfortunately, one of these is over in North Carolina, and another was right in the middle of an area that was going to be busy this weekend. So, that left me with only one option. We got to the trailhead around 10:00, much later than I originally intended. On the drive in, I was concerned when I saw lots of color in the water, and remembered that storms crossed the mountains yesterday evening. So, I was beginning to question my decision for the day, until we got our first glimpse of the water.



We walked in a distance, then realizing that we may have gone too far, turned around and backtracked looking for a good spot. We found a spot with good pocket water, and a convenient place for my wife to sit.

Amy Trying Out my Alite Monarch Chair

We packed along my new Alite Monarch Butterfly chair for my wife to sit in, and she put it to good use while reading something on her Nook. I didn't see any fish rising or any flies dancing above the water, but I chose to go with my recent go-to Yellow Sally pattern. It didn't take long to find a willing participant:






After a couple more takers, my fly really started to get water logged and I needed to switch. Now, keep in mind that this is the very same fly I used almost exclusively on my last backpacking trip, and the trip last weekend. So, this one fly was on its third trip, and had landed numerous fish. It was about time to retire it because I was having difficulty floating with all the fish slime on it. I switched flies a few times, and got a few slashing strikes but overall success was much less than with their predecessors. Finally, I did manage to land one on a extended body yellow sally pattern.


He came out of this really nice run underneath overhanging branches.



Unfortunately, the fishing continued to be less productive than previously, and I was contemplating calling it quits. So, I did a quick change of location and tried my best to revive the previously retired fly. Right on cue the fishing began to pick up, so I began to think that maybe there was something about the pattern that was special. I flipped through my fly selection and discovered that this was the only pattern I had like it in my box, so I quickly snapped a picture so that I could try my best to replicate it later.


I tied this pattern a couple years ago while tying up a batch of foam neversink caddis patterns. I didn't like the blocky foam body sticking out the back, so I thought I would see what one looked like if I wrapped a thin strip of foam around the body. I then hackled the fly with brown whiting saddle hackle, added a wing of sparkle flash and bleached elk hair. For some reason I used black thread for this fly, whereas I would probably normally use yellow. Whatever it was, the fish definitely seem to like this fly. It has easily outproduced other commercially available yellow sally patterns 4 to 1 in recent weeks.

The water was looking just absolutely fantastic in this area, and the fish were quite aggressive. Although, many were very small, around 3" to 4".


We decided to call it quits around 12:30 since we needed to make our way back to Knoxville to collect the kids from the grandparents, most likely loaded with sugar and caffeine by now...

On the walk out we saw lots of butterflies, more dayhikers, and even some dayhikers taking pictures of butterflies. Kind of like this...


Amazingly we saw probably 50 - 60 hikers today, but not another fisherman. That is why I love this area. There are two streams in this vicinity that see lots of day hikers, but most likely go for days without seeing a fly drift by.

On the way out, our stomachs were really rumbling, so we stopped in at a small BBQ joint for some amazing food.



It was nice having my wife with me riverside again. It had been over two years since our last trip, but this is something we should try to do every so often again.
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2013, 12:07 AM
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Nice! And that BBQ looks good too
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:53 AM
Don Kirk Don Kirk is offline
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Default Wives and fly fishing

Nice to hear you and your wife had a nice time astream. Over the years I have had four wives that fished/hunted, and three that did not. Ironically, I have had the same number of bird dogs. I am smart enough not to make any comparisons, at least not on a public forum.

I will say this though, the key to enjoying a good bird dog is if the animal is willing to allow you to train it, that means it is hunting for you, not with you, but you think that you are hunting with it. Dogs know how to hunt. Dogs do not necessarily know how to hunt in such a way as to make you happy. Sometimes you have to go through a number of dogs to find one that you can train. You canít tell by the way they look, wag their tail, or how little or much they bark. They are all cute and loveable when puppies, but sooner or later you just donít want them sitting on your lap when you are watching television. Ideally, you want one that will silently take hand signals, fetch, sit on command, and one that does not whine too much when you are watching football games.

I ended up giving away Mrs. Kirk I and VI. Mrs. Kirk III and VI ran away. Mrs. Kirk V was utterly un-trainable, as was II to a lesser degree. The current Mrs. Kirk is working out well. So long as there is a play somewhere she can direct that gets her out of the compound now and then, she is happy. She doesnít know a fly rod from a fly swat, but she is a natural when it comes to taking commands.

Recently at the FFF event in NC, she met some female fly fishers. It looked like trouble until I offered to buy her a new sewing machine with all of the bells and whistles. She is quite content now making me a new smoking jacket.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:54 AM
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Travis, nice report. What's this make for the year, a half dozen trips? Looks like your on your way towards meeting your goal.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:19 AM
Streamhound Streamhound is offline
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How did your wife like the chair? Looking at one for same situation

Thanks for the tale we used to do same for quick weekends before the little one came along
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzmcmanus View Post
Travis, nice report. What's this make for the year, a half dozen trips? Looks like your on your way towards meeting your goal.
Buzz,

I do believe I have already surpassed my total number of trips last year. However, the year is already half over now. We need to think about a follow-up overnight trip sometime in the next month or so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Streamhound View Post
How did your wife like the chair? Looking at one for same situation

Thanks for the tale we used to do same for quick weekends before the little one came along
Streamhound,

I bought it to use on backpacking trips, and used it on the trip Buzz and I recently went on. However, a secondary benefit is that my wife can use it on day hikes like this. She thought it was very comfortable, although it took some getting used to balancing on two feet. I really like the seat and the concept, plus it packs down really small and is lightweight. I would definitely recommend giving one a try before buying, as it may not be for everybody. I contemplated getting an inflatable sit pad or a Crazy Creek chair, but didn't like either of those.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:29 PM
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Nice Post

Awesome to get out without the kids.

I'm not looking for your overlooked stream, but can you mind sharing how you ditched the kids

My wife would benefit from more Smoky Mountain time without the kids so if you could share

2 years is too long need to make a twice a year commitment to get her to come with you

Thanks for posting
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post
Nice Post

Awesome to get out without the kids.

I'm not looking for your overlooked stream, but can you mind sharing how you ditched the kids

My wife would benefit from more Smoky Mountain time without the kids so if you could share

2 years is too long need to make a twice a year commitment to get her to come with you

Thanks for posting
Ducky,

Just put a jug of water and a box of animal crackers in the floor, and have a days worth of Transformers cartoons on Netflix...

Seriously though,we are blessed to have both of our families here in Knoxville, and the grandparents enjoy keeping the kids. Often they volunteer to only keep one at a time, but this weekend my mom kept them both Friday night. We try not to abuse this "resource" we have, so we also have a really good backup sitter that we can hire for anywhere from an hour to a full day whenever needed. Likewise, we try not to use her more than twice a month, and that is usually when my wife is really busy with work and needs somebody to entertain the kids.

I agree that two years is too long. She used to go with me every couple months, but those trips just slowly came to a stop. However, it probably didn't help that I only fished a handful of times all last year, limited opportunities for both her and myself.
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