Great year with no fish
OK I have caught a few, but far less than average. But when I watched my son learning the ends and out of fishing for wild trout, I see how much I have learned this year. We would stand at the head of a run and I would let him determine the best route to fish it. He would do a great job sneaking to the run then stick his rod out over the run and get busted everytime. Or he would make a good cast then let his fly line hit the water before the fly BUSTED again. He would sneak in then stand up and cast BUSTED AGAIN. I have had several takes this year, but most times I had way to much slack in the line and would miss the hook set. It is something that I need to learn to control better. But looking back 5 years ago I know I looked Just like my son. I took one year to catch my first wild trout. I caught several nice fish on the Caney Fork, But swinging a wooly bugger in the current is alot differant than dropping a dry exactly in the right part of a GSMNP stream. All the advice I have learned on this board has made a big differance and I know I could hire a guide and learn more in one day than I have learned the past 5 years. But I enjoy the learning process. Its not a pride thing but the experence that learning on your own builds.
No I didn't catch many fish this year, but when I was on one of the tight streams and I made a perfect side arm cast 20' under some Mt Laural branches, I see how far I have come. If the fishing was good I don't think that I would have tried several of the new things. I now fish every riffel and small pool. I tend to cast across to far water. My line control has improved drasticly.
Sorry about being long winded but this year I have learned so much. And can't wait for good fishing conditions again. My advice to beginners is to read this board everyday, get some of Lefty's books on casting. Take a class then get out there enjoy the GSMNP and learn. Don't ever give up.