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Thread: Try to help make things click for Matt Blick

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
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    1,569

    Talking Try to help make things click for Matt Blick

    Matt Blick has been an active forum member for quite sometime. I recall several years ago poking fun at his I-phone charging stove that ran on sticks and how it weighed much more than my whole kitchen kit and backup battery charger. He always took it in stride and has more recently fully embraced the joy of backpacking light. While he seems to have many trips under his belt many at more remote places in the backcountry where I know the fishing is great, he just wasn't pulling in the numbers like he should be. You could sense the frustration in the sarcasm of a few of his posts, and I knew if I could get a day out with him could hopefully observe what he is doing and maybe give him a few pointers. I was real lucky to have much more experienced people who were willing to show me the ropes, and always feel obligated to pay back. It seemed for a while every time Matt would post in Hook-up thread about him coming I was always busy, working, or had some plans already. We were finally able to meet a couple months ago as he planned to join me on half my water sample route where he would stop and camp at 23, but my stomach was horrible as usual and after dry heaving in the parking lot at Park headquarters, I cancelled the trip. My wife and I hiked with him a few miles from the bottom of his hike, but there wasn't any time to fish.

    Well that finally changed on Wednesday. My wife was able to swap her Thursday off for Wednesday and we were finally able to make a day of it. Since he was staying at Cosby campground I had him meet at Carver's Apple house where I treated him to breakfast. We filled up and soon he was following me to the stream. Matt had met another fisherman from the Northeast who had a fishing blog that was meeting with David Knapp for the day. I'm glad we ate fast and unlike the Saturday before, WE were the first ones on the stream.

    I chose the stream that exactly fit what Matt had requested for the day, which was " I'd like to hike a few miles, catch a few fish, chat, and enjoy the day."

    We hiked in a few miles and worked our way up a bit of elevation. Unfortunately I missed the short cut chatting and we had to hike the extra .3 miles. We jumped in and Matt insisted I go first.

    Buzz why do you want the first fish picture. I mean I understand taking it unless you don't catch anymore, but this posting every first fish picture rule might need to be amended

    My first fish



    Matt jumped in and soon had one as well



    His first fish sure trumped mine, maybe I should be watching him



    We worked upstream and I tried to get him to fish the fresh water of the good pools where I would pick up scraps, but it didn't work out that way most of the time



    He soon had this nice Rainbow



    Apparently after you spend 300+ days rock hopping up little streams you get quite adept at it, making mere mortals fall behind. Great for my day of fishing, not so good for his. After Matt was making fun of my Neversink/ pink weenie combo, I decided today would be Hammertime.



    Eventually I'd wait long enough and he'd catch up and get some fresh water.



    It was about this time it was becoming apparent of how much more effective the dry dropper set up was over the dry only. Tough learning curve that is so worth it. Matt that's you next frontier



    While most things are camouflaged in the Smokies you can see all sorts of cool stuff if you look close enough. Today was a dead salamander with ants and other bugs eating his remains.



    Inviting waters

    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
    www.foamiefriends.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
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    1,569

    Talking

    Matt playing catch up





    Matt caught this beauty and that's debris on his eye, he was fine





    Matt working some high stick action



    And the pay off



    I had some pay off as well









    I had a great day out with Matt, and hopefully I didn't put too much of a hurting on him.

    He was just doing a few things wrong and hopefully won't be offended by me posting it as I'm sure they are all common newbie problems.

    1 - If you can't see your fly, it doesn't matter if it matches what is hatching. A dry fly you can see is the only one you should use

    2 - Shorten that leader. The extra line just gets in the way on small streams. You have 1/3 to 1/2 second to set hook. The extra 3 feet of line will decrease your hook sets significantly.

    3 - Position yourself where the drift works with you. Just moving 1 to 2 feet to the left or right in line with the outflow instead of fighting the edge of the eddy line will often be the difference of getting the strike.

    4 - Move on and don't spend too much time anywhere. You won't run out of good pools, and it's better to catch 3 more than coaxing that one that you missed to come back.

    5 - While dry fly fishing is great, a dry/dropper will land you much higher numbers. Getting a big enough dry fly and find a nymph that only minimally messes with your drift is the key.

    Matt I had a great day and hope we can fish again sometime. Thanks for a great day
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
    www.foamiefriends.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    2,431

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    Quote Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post
    Matt had met another fisherman from the Northeast who had a fishing blog that was meeting with David Knapp for the day. I'm glad we ate fast and unlike the Saturday before, WE were the first ones on the stream.
    Haha, actually we did beat you there but dropped in as soon as we heard water and only fished maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of a mile. Of course, if I had known you guys were coming in I would have run upstream just to leave a few wet boot prints... We saw what must have been Matt's vehicle on the way back out close to noon on our way to the next stop of the day as my buddy Mark recognized it from the campground. Only one car there that had just arrived when we started hiking but there sure were plenty when we left... We caught plenty of brookies and Mark caught a rainbow or two so good times were definitely had. Your comments about fishing a dropper were spot on. Probably 10:1 fish on the dropper versus the dry for us. Glad you guys had a good day. I'll have to explore higher up next time!
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Springboro, OH
    Posts
    324

    Default Ducky bought me breakfast, gave me gifts, and beat me up.

    Ducky I really appreciate you going out of your way to show me a good time and a thing (or 5) on how to increase my count.





    I did lag behind quite a bit and think of myself as being in pretty good shape.
    I have come to the conclusion that Ducky is part mountain goat.
    Notice how far up the stream he is?
    This was the norm, but he was nice enough to stop and wait for me and offer me up some of the best water.
    Last edited by mattblick; 05-18-2015 at 08:35 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Springboro, OH
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    Here's David's friend Mark who I met on Wednesday morning and had a chance to fish with for about an hour on Thursday morning.


    We were talking Thursday and I told him of Ducky's advice to shorten my furled leader. It turns out Mark ties his own and he set me up with a nice 4' one. That reduced length seemed to make casting with a dropper much less tangle prone, so I gave it a shot. Results were soon realized:

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Springboro, OH
    Posts
    324

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    I was really slipping on the rocks throughout Wednesday with Ducky, who's hooves never slipped. On Thursday I went into LRO and met Dan for the first time. I wanted to pick up some neversinks and a set of Chota's gravel guard neoprene socks for wet wading. I mentioned how much I had been slipping in my STL+ boots, and Dan advised me to check for rounding on my studs. When I got back to the cabin, I checked the boots and he was totally correct. The cleats were mushrooms.

    Unfortunately I didn't remove the cleats before I headed out on Friday morning. I had a spectacular fall. Rock busted through my heavy cordura pants and into my knee. I was down for a men's weekend and fortunately 2 of the guys are DRs. I carry medical grade super glue and butterfly closures in my first aid kit. These were expertly applied, and then unfortunately was told me to keep off of it.

    I was going to post a picture of my knee but have thought better of it. I'm getting a tetanus shot at 1:30 today..

    Still a great trip.

    - Matt -
    Last edited by mattblick; 05-18-2015 at 10:07 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    East TN
    Posts
    79

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    Man, this is a sweet report. Beautiful fish and fellowship. The comrodery (probably spelled that wrong) on this forum is beyond belief. I have read tons of reports about people on here meeting, and fishin. I would love to fish with some of y'all sometime. Keep the good stuff comi Ducky!!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Louisville, TN
    Posts
    606

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    Short leaders are the way to go on small streams. People never believe me when i say that, glad y'all agree. What's the main thing when fishing the smokies? Missing a lot of fish. How to set the hook faster? Shorten the leader (or somehow become younger)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Maryville
    Posts
    75

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    Matt, hope the knee heals up well. Glad you made it down to fish again.

    God Bless,
    Dances with Trout

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Kingsport, TN
    Posts
    19

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    Awesome pics !

    Man, that is some skinny water ! I thought the upper Taylor in Colorado was thin.

    I have not yet fished the Smokies. Need to get my butt up there.

    Nice job, guys !

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