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Thread: Fishing a Trickle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Crossville, TN

    Thumbs up Fishing a Trickle

    This past weekend, a group of friends and I decided to go camping in the Smokies. I have not been much at all this year so it was a much welcomed opportunity to get away and relax for a while. My original plan involved leaving very early Friday morning so I could maximize my time on the water before my friends arrived Friday afternoon and evening. Working late on Thursday made me rethink that strategy, but even then I hit the road by around 8:00 a.m. Central time for the drive to the mountains.

    About half of the group decided to head up early with me, so after setting up camp, we all piled back into our vehicles for the drive to where I intended to fish. I think they were all intrigued by what they were about to witness. I've never had so many people watching while I tried to fish... Naturally, with the pressure on, I proceeded to miss the same brook trout several times before finally snatching it briefly from the water. When it fell back into the stream, I pounced to try and corral it for everyone to see. Unfortunately my best effort went unrewarded and an approaching thunderstorm cut short the fishing demo.

    Having gone to so much trouble to fish, I decided to just keep on fishing and hope for the best. These afternoon showers don't typically last very long and this one was no different. It stayed just long enough to make sure I was soaked and then departed. As I moved around the stream, I noticed an abundance of stinging nettle. Wearing sandals didn't seem like the best idea at this point, but I was already committed and just watched my step carefully!

    The little trickle I was fishing was quite overgrown, but as I wanted to check another stream off of my list, I intended to fish until I caught at least one trout. The conditions were so tight that I was stuck fishing 2-3 feet of leader out the tip of my rod and just dropping the fly on the water for the most part. Once or twice I was able to actually "cast" but for the most part there simply wasn't enough room. Here is an open section...

    And a more typical overgrown section...

    Finally, it all came together. I was fishing a pool the size of your average bathroom sink. The fish somehow hooked itself, and I was soon looking in awe at a beautiful native brook trout from the smallest stream yet that I've caught anything out of in the Smokies.

    I fished a bit longer, but really this weekend was about friends and not fishing. After a total of 30-40 minutes and 3 trout to hand, I was more than satisfied with setting the rod down for the rest of the weekend. Fishing in this particular trickle was even more exciting than I anticipated and I fully intend to return and fish it more thoroughly.

    There are so many of these little streams to explore, not to mention all of the "normal" water I typically fish. I don't know how I'll ever fish it all, but I'm willing to keep trying...
    "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
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    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC


    I would have spent more time retrieving my fly and untangling my terminal tackle than fishing. Amazing how almost every little trickle like that holds fish if you can get to them. Glad you had some down time to spend with your friends. Camping and fishing with friends always makes for a nice little get away.
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Great Smoky Mountains


    Nice report David, you need to take my 5ft. 3 piece 1wt next time, that looks like one tight stretch of water right there!
    "It starts with a raindrop, don't let it end with a teardrop!"

    "Nothing straightens out my mind like a twisting mountain stream!"

    Follow the Great Smoky Mountain Trout Unlimited website:


    "A true conservationist is someone who knows that the world is not given by their fathers, but borrowed from their children."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Knoxville, TN


    wow that is tiny water.
    I probably would have looked at it and decided it was just a wet weather drainage.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    MGM AL


    incredibly beautiful brookie! congrats!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Halifax, VA


    Nice Brookie! That's interesting, I have a similar little swift "branch" near the house. It's all spring fed and very cold, but the largest sections are 2-3 foot wide and 18 inches deep with very thick brush etc. I decided one summer to make a minnow trap to stock my minnow box in my own spring with some Crappie bait. I set the minnow trap and returned the next day, sure enough, dozens of brightly colored chubs, yellow and orange fins, etc but I was amazed at the size of some of them for this tiny little spring. Some of those fish had to literally squeeze into the opening on that trap but it was a good lesson to me in biodiversity, those tiny waters are full of life!
    <(((>< In tribute to Ben, Duck Hunter extraordinaire, and man's best friend.

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