Puddles don't look like much, but they can sure surprise you. That's what I learned today. A long drive through the mountains eventually led me to the headwaters of a rather well-known trout stream. Normally I chase brown trout in this particular area and today my intention was the same. Since moving out here, I have fished a large portion of the stream and have discovered that it has more nice brown trout than most people think.
Pulling in to a familiar parking area, I quickly grabbed my gear and started the short walk to the stream. I had barely started walking when I noticed something in a small puddle along the path. A rise??? In all likelihood, the small puddle was the work of beavers at some point in the past. The puddle was small enough I really didn't think of looking for fish in it.
Edging over, I was soon casting. A small and eager brook trout swirled again and again but couldn't quite figure out how to eat my fly. I was rigged up to chase brown trout after all, and a snack for a nice brown would be a 5 course dinner for this little brookie with leftovers to spare. Again I tossed the fly out with the same result. On the third cast, a larger shadow swirled and found the hook!
Not a large fish, this brookie made up for lack of size with its beauty. I was just enjoying having caught a fish out of a puddle that I'm sure many other fishermen walk right past on their way to the real trout water.
Oh yeah, I caught a few brook trout in the stream as well. I suppose I'll be tying some brook trout colored streamers for the browns this year...
UPDATE: 5/24/2015 -- Streams in the Smokies are getting lower with the recent lack of rainfall. Dry/dropper rigs are accounting for a lot of fish, especially on the dropper. High gradient streams in the mid and higher elevations will fish better because of the broken water but water temperatures are still acceptable all the way to the Park boundary on Little River. We could use some rain so keep praying, doing rain dances, or whatever it is you do to get the water flowing.
The Caney Fork continues to fish well. Conditions vary from good to great with some days being easier than others. On days that start out slow, a pattern change or two will keep the rods bent. Contact me about a float trip if you want to get in on this great fishing at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884. With the holiday weekend and summer coming up, expect the fishing pressure to steadily increase on this river so get out and enjoy it while you can.
Cumberland Plateau smallmouth fishing is definitely getting cranked up. Two weeks ago, I landed my new personal best smallie from a favorite local stream. This fishing will only improve. Isonychias are hatching on the smallie streams here on the Plateau and Golden Stoneflies should be just around the corner. Over the next few weeks, the streams will transition to great surface terrestrial and popper fishing.
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