Fishing overload!

Back from a long stretch of fishing followed by a 4 day trip to Florida to do some work ( see next post )

So what is fishing overload? Well, it is 10 days of fishing in a row. I left on a friday and met up with the Carolina Fly Fishing Club for 3 days of fishing. We had a lodge, a big cabin, and 15 or so of us. it was a great time. I got in Friday afternoon and was greeted with rain for the last 1.5 hours of the drive. Got to the cabin, grabbed the last bed, said hello to the few who were there and headed off to fish Deep Creek which is in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. I caught nothing. fishing was hard and it was a new creek to me. Water was high and very stained. Back to the cabin, a dinner of steaks and potatoes, some fly tying and some lying and it was off to bed. Fished the next morning at the delayed harvest section of the Nantahala River. water again high and stained, it was all woolly buggers all day. Caught some fish, even caught a HUGE brook trout, 4-5 lbs, looked like it swallowed a football. Back for dinner of an awesome lasagna. more tying and lying, then back to deep creek on sunday am, came up empty again, but had a few hits. Sunday night I crashed at the NOC in thier ‘basecamp’ which is really just a hostel, a room with 4-6 bunks. met some of this years thru-hikers. Monday am, i took my time getting going and did some laundry in Robbinsville then headed out to Big Snowbird. After a 15 mile drive on a dirt Forest Service road, I ended up at a small parking area where there was a big camping trailer parked, a little disappointing, but they are allowed. they were parked along the hatchery supported section of Big Snowbird creek, and it was opening week, they were making their own fish camp where they cooked what they caught and drank too much beer. While I was gathering my gear, getting ready to hike in to the wild section of the river, a guy came hiking out with fly rod tubes. He had a wealth of info to share with me and I am glad he did. I would not have known to hike that far in with out his guidance. So I started hiking in, it was only 5 miles to the camp site, but it was slightly up hill and my darn wading boots added 12 lbs to the pack! Anyway, got there, set up, and fished some. Over all I caught about 15 wild Eastern Brook Trout, nothing bigger than 7 inches, but that is what I was after. They are so beautiful, the colors so bold and bright. These little guys are the kings of their pools. They hit the fly so hard one even came completely out of the water to hit it, like a missile. While I had a blast camping and fishing I didn’t care for being totally on my own so far from anything. Doing this with a friend would be much better. ( hint hint hint, any one interested? )
I ended this portion of the trip a day early as I took many falls getting around this stream ( it is not easy to access the stream from anywhere other than trail crossings, the trail runs a few hundred yards parallel to the creek. so getting around is by wading) I woke up with a sore ankle and decided to hike out a day early because I could and didn’t want to wait a day and have it get swollen up and then I would be stuck out there.
Headed over to the NOC again and drank beer with hikers.
Thursday I met up with BIL and his friends at the Nantahala River and we had a good day fishing. They all fished dry flies, but I was skunked trying that, so I switched over to the woolly bugger. I caught a bunch of trout every day, some on nymphs, some on bugger, some on dry flies. We fished the Nanty the whole weekend and had a great time. I did have one heart breaking moment…. (cue violin music)….. I hooked up with a HUGE brown trout, 29-32 inches, just a monster, a fish of a life time. I got him on the reel and was fighting him well, giving him some line, keeping pressure on him, trying to turn him and get him out of the current, then he got right by the lip of a little plunge. I tried to keep him in the pool, but over he went, I gave him line and started running down the river ( think of the movie ‘A River Runs Thru It’ ) we repeated the same thing in this new pool and then he went over again and I took of running again. It was at this point I noticed my net was gone and this guy would def need to be netted. I saw BIL fishing about 100 yards away and started calling out to him, of course he can’t hear cause of the rushing water, so I keep fighting and keep yelling and keep running. He finally hears me and makes his way up to me. At this point I’ve been fighting this monster trout for 12 minutes or so and about 100 yards down stream. I see BIL coming up to help and another little waterfall, The trout heads for it, I take off down stream feeding him some line when I slipped!!!! he hit the lip and dove over, I fell and put out one hand to brace my fall, the other was unfortunately holding the rod and the line. he pulled on the line and it snapped!!!! OH NO! I was devastated. But didn’t break my rod or throw it, well not too hard, just cursed up a storm and scanned the pool the fish went into. he was gone. I know just another fish story, but this one is mine. it is my loss. next time I will not be holding the line in my rod hand. lesson learned.

No more babbling, here are some photos:

deep creek

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deep creek, again

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the lodge

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brook trout from the nanty

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HUGE Brook Trout

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Snowbird part of the trip

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the creek

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my camp

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3 little beauties, check out the colors and details, look at the orange fins and blue spots!

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last part of the trip, on the Nanty..

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this is a ‘mud puppy’ a huge salamander that was hooked on a line that some idiot had staked out and left. I pulled it in and cut him free. he was a bit over 2 feet long!

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Dirty hikers on the Appalachian Trail that I shuttled to Pizza By The River near the NOC.

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  1. Sun Tzu says:

    What a great post and pics Peter! Sorry about the monster brown. It’s pretty evident to me that you have a personal Strategy for fishing the Woolly Bugger and are very successful with it.


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