Afternoon on the Hiwassee
Got on the river Sunday afternoon just in time to catch the water falling, about 2:45. As soon as I waded off into a favorite run, I could tell it was going to be good. There were fish rising everywhere. I had seen a few caddis while changing into waders so thats what I started with. Caught my best fish of the day on an x-caddis, a #18. After a couple of smaller fish, I noticed a lot of mayflies coming off. I used probably three different patterns the rest of the time, including an Adams, #16 a parachute bwo, #16, and a elk hair, extended body emerger, #16. These fish were very aggressive. Three different fish came out of the water as they ate my fly.That sight just made the day. I saw fish rising in parts of the river the I have not seen them in for years. I was very impressed with the number of different insects that I saw come off. At least three different types of mayflies, mostly the smaller olive bodies. The midge hatch around 6:00 was the strongest I've ever seen on this river. Walking back down the trail after 7:00, I looked over a riffle next to the bank and saw a huge number of stoneflies buzzing around. I haven't noticed many the last six or seven years. The one insect I didn't see much of was caddis. I saw some of a large variety, but not many. These may have been egg-laying caddis. One other thing I did not see. That was another fisherman for about two hours. I saw one guy, way off. I left the river last night feeling pretty good about what I saw. The previous five or six years, to me anyway, the insects just have not been around in any numbers. The water temp was 63, at about 7:00.