Actually it was two confused guys on the water! We, my brother in law (Adam) and I ascended back up to the South Holston in search of putting him on a decent fish. See, Adam and I started fly fishing together about 6 years ago. I, was the fortunate one of the two who stuck with the sport and made it my obsession. Adam has, however, managed to keep his casting skills up somewhat casting to an occasional striper or bluegill every now and again.
Adam has been reading, I should say looking at pictures, of my blog and decided it was time for him to get back into the game. Life has gotten a little easier and a little more relaxed for him allowing him time to get back to old times! He called me about two weeks ago to let me know he wanted to ride along on my next trip! “Stand by!” I believe were my choice of words. “I have the place for you!” However now, while writing this report, I feel terrible! I talked a ton of hype and didn’t wind up with much to show for it!
We left early and headed up towards Bristol arriving on the water at around 9. We put in at one of my favorite spots for wading on the South Holston. I had tied up some pretty new BWO’s for the trip. I rigged my fly rod and then rigged his using one of my favorite set ups, the deadly dry dropper. I spent a great portion of the morning cussing him for making casts and watching the water, not his fly. It actually got kinda funny, I kept asking him “Where’s you fly?” with him replying “I don’t know!” I found my self saying “If you can’t see your fly, you can’t use this technique!” I said cussing, maybe not, but he eventually caught my drift! No pun intended!
They are suppossed to float in the film..That didn’t work…A little more tweaking and these things will be awesome! Hey, they already catch fish!
Adam’s first catch of the day, average for the day! Oh, well there will plenty more where that came from!
After about 30 minutes we had him on his first South Holston brown trout. Instant smiles on his face realizing he had properly fished that technique and now understood why I was getting aggravated with his can’t see the fly technique. After realizing he had it, I set out to find one of my own! It didn’t take long on my new pattern, I hooked up on a decent brown! Snapping some pictures along the way. I really spent the day enjoying the bad weather, overcast and wind.
Here’s a shot of that BWO I tied up working it’s magic. Have confidence in your flies, I learned that quickly!
Here’s another shot of that fish!
We wound up on our last spot of the day, a spot that holds several big fish, I’m talking over 28” and one that would go well over 36″!!! Silly me I spent the whole day casting to a monster brown that just wouldn’t eat what I had! I didn’t have a streamer box, shame on me! Adam casted a black bugger in the pool and lost it in about 30 seconds! “Poor knot?!” I believe is what I said to Adam, while Adam sat looking at his rod I believe saying “Damn, damn, damn!” Now laughing I knew it was time to head back. We casted all the way to the take out and didn’t hook set a single fish! Oh well, now I look like an idiot. Won’t make the first time! I promised him a nice spring day catching fish till his arm hurt and wanting to give the fish a break. He smiled and said “That’ll do!”
See if you can spot the monster in this picture…Oh, and I made it easy on ya, I tweaked the hell out of this picture to give you a clear veiw of the bottom!
We picked up about 15 fish total for the day. A tough day on the South Holston. A day that consisted of constantly changing flies. Conditions were terrible and I truly believe the fish are still in that transitional stage. They are trying to re locate on the stream, and the hatches just aren’t set for spring yet! I did manage pumping one fishes stomach that was completely loaded with midges ranging from 18 up to about a 26…Yes, they come that small and I’m convinced the fish certainly do seek them out to eat! So if your headed anywhere in the near future I’d look for alternative means of fishing. Float the Watauga, wade the Caney, Miller’s Island at the Clinch, or simply just find yourself deep in the Smoky Mountains National Forest on some back county stream! I believe I’d hit the Smokies for some quill action! Just my two cents!