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Tyler Legg
Charlotte, NC, United States
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Welcome to THFF.com! Kick your wading boots off and stick around for a while. You'll find content ranging from NC fishing reports, videos, pictures, fly fishing news from around the state/country/world, humor, and even some irrelevant, yet interesting posts.
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Congress came to an agreement just before midnight, preventing a government shutdown. We were all gearing up for a potential shutdown of the National Park Service, thus Great Smoky Mountains Natl Park closing all facilities, roads (except US 441) and services within the Park. I am pleased to say, this will NOT be the case. GSMNP is open for business. Hallelujah! Congress will work all week to further cut spending. So, to celebrate, I went fishing. On the NPS operated Blue Ridge Parkway. It has been a long while since I've had a day so epic, so eventful, and from 1pm to 7pm, so nerve-racking.

At 7am, the harsh HONK HONK HONKing of the alarm clock awoke me. Today, it was a welcome sound. It signaled a day of unwinding and relaxation. With the truck loaded, I was west bound once again. This time to the streams I have abandoned since last September.

The forecast changed a bit as we approached the weekend. The meteorologists began increasing the t'storm chances. Not your typical evening storms that you expect almost every summer evening, but powerful supercell thunderstorms unleashing 70mph winds, softball size hail in some places (baseball size hail in many locales), and tornadoes. Fishing today was a dicey proposition, but all went well. I was going to enjoy what little nice weather there was in the late morning. A lot of the other folks hiking and fishing would have agreed. With severe t'storms in the forecast, I had to resort to more accessible streams. I still was determined to stalk some specks, so I chose one of the few somewhat easily accessed wild brookie streams.

The specks are really starting to wake up after a long, cold, and snowy winter. They were still a little lazy and lethargic despite the water being surprisingly comfortable. One of the first casts, enticed a dark torpedo shaped figure to the surface, followed by splashing and in moments, the first speck of 2011. He lazily and slowly rose to the surface to meet my dry before lightly plucking it from the surface. I've never seen a trout (well, char in this case) eat a fly, artificial or the real thing, in the manner this guy did. Not a ring, tiny wake, large bubbles, or a sound when he took it.

By 1 this afternoon, the distant, yet ominous sounds of thunder echoed through the ancient mountains. I high tailed it to the truck and waited for the relatively fast moving storm to move on. The sun came back out and I went back to fishing. 30 minutes later I was forced to head back to the truck once again. The sunshine was quickly becoming engulfed by storm clouds billowing over the the mountain peaks surrounding me. Heavy rain and dangerous cloud to ground lightning was moving back in. I repeated this process many times.

Towards the end of the day, one particularly nasty storm rolled in, dropping large hail. I was lucky to have bolted to the truck as quick as I did. Just as I jumped in, Mother Nature let some rage out. Quarter size hail (eventually mixing with golf ball size) started falling from the sky at velocities upwards of 100 mph. No damage. If the hail would have been any larger, there would have been!

Without further ado, here's the rest of the pictures of the trip. Didn't take a picture of each fish, but snapped some of selected fish instead.

Convergence of 2 streams. This is the exact point where a certain popular WNC trout river is born.

 The reason why bluelining would have been a disaster. The hail actually melted a bit by the time I took this picture. HAIL no I wasn't hiking into the backcountry today!

Finally had the opportunity to see the 2wt bend! Excellent rod the Cabelas TQR is. Well priced and just as good as a $600 rod.

Looking forward to fishing it again! I've got a feeling most of the trips this spring, summer, and fall will be on streams such as this. Personally, I'm not a big fish junkie. Between 25" browns on the Davidson and 7" specks on a stream you could leap across, I'd pick the latter.


Les said...

Great post! We bugged out of Wilson Creek on Friday night as the storms rolled past to our north. Glad to see you put a whomp on the brookies. It was a great weekend to fish... well, before the storms it was. Tight lines!

Owl said...

Oh man Tyler, that was awesome! I ended up in the Park on the TN side and had some really great fishing for 8-12 inch bows! They were taking a brown attractor mayfly thing I whipped up. It's uglier than I am, but they took it like they were starvin'! :) lol

Nice pics of those brookies. I love those fish!

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