Last week it was the DH streams that Mark and I fished so this week we decided to try out a wild trout stream. I’m not about to mention the name of this stream as there are folks who would string me up if they found out, but suffice it to say that had we gone in there much further we’d have needed a Tennessee license!
We got stream side about 10:00am and were ankle deep in water by 10:15. At a temperature of 49 degrees, the stream was about 10 degrees warmer than the air temp and it wasn’t long before my toes started to lose that warm and cozy feeling. With the water so cold and the sun still not peeking over the ridges I knew the fish would be lethargic and hanging near the bottom, which meant using a nymph with enough weight to hug the bottom and bounce from rock to rock. I dug out some stonefly nymphs tied with tungsten beads and slowly started taking fish as we moved upstream. After I lost my first fly to an overhanging branch, I tied on a big yellow stonefly with a tungsten bead the size of a small pearl–guaranteed to go straight to the bottom in all but the fastest current. With this added advantage the catch rate increased as did the size of the fish.
This stream we were fishing is interesting in that the lower section is populated by wild rainbows whereas once you get above a waterfall its all brook trout. The gradient is steep enough for plunge pools, which brookies love and we had a great time pulling them out of their deep holes. Even though we were fishing in a deep valley the sun finally worked its way over the ridge about noon and the sun on the water gave the fish even more energy, which resulted in even more vigorous fights. And the fact that I decided to fish a 1 wt rod made a 6 inch brookie feel like a 16 inch monster.
After about 5 hours of this fun, the sun started to disappear over the next ridge and we decided to call it quits and head for home. So don’t let the sudden drop in temperatures keep you off the wild streams–the fish are still out there and are more than willing to put up a fight for a juicy looking nymph bounced along the bottom–Larry