Smokys, Trout, 2.5 weeks
Returning to The Smokys after a 2 year absence. I've been fascinated with fly fishing since I encountered a hatch on Abrams Creek in Cades Cove about 10 years ago. I was spin fishing, standing in the middle of the creek. All of a sudden there was a rainbow in mid air, right in front of me! Then another, and another! They would hit the water and disappear, only to fly out of the water
moments later. They paid no attention to my wide variety of Roostertail spinners. Whatever they were eating wasn't visible to me.
In desperation I ran to my car and dug out an old fiberglas fly rod. While trying to get it ready I noticed a cloud of very large, dark colored flies flying around the field in which I was parked. (Green Drakes?) I tied on the darkest, biggest fly I had-probably an ant pattern. By the time i made it back to the stream the hatch was over.
The next day I went to LRO and related my experience. They sold me some Green Drakes but suggested trying a Thunderhead. My wife and I bought a box supper and headed back to the creek the very next evening. After eating our supper by the creek, I headed down stream to practice before the anticipated hatch. Sure enough, same time as the day before, My wife announced "There's fish jumping out of the water up here! So wading up the creek, I caught some trout!
I've concluded that flies aren't the always the best way to catch trout, but sometimes they're the only way.- Bob