I did quite a bit of fishing last year, but I didn’t write about it much. It was somehow refreshing. But now I’m beginning to feel the urge to write again, so maybe I just needed a good break.
I fished several times with my good friend Eric last year, even convinced him to give fly fishing a go, and I think he’s hooked. Eric just became a proud father, so his fishing will no doubt be curtailed a bit this year, but I think he’ll still get out there a few times. We took three trips to different spots in East Tennessee over the summer. First was a spot Eric had been on me to try for awhile. It basically amounts to a private stream across his dad’s property. I call it Eric’s Stream. Under normal conditions, it would be purely a warm water proposition. But, thanks to spill-over from a trout hatchery and a few cold springs, it contains a fairly healthy population of escaped rainbow trout, some of them reaching hefty sizes. We didn’t have incredible luck the day we fished it, but did manage to catch a handful of 13-17″ trout.
A group of us did a quick backpacking trip on National Forest land along a secluded stream a bit later in the summer. The fishing wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, but we caught a few. Eric got his first fly-caught trout. This particular stream had more hornet nests along it than I’ve ever seen in such a small area. In less than 2 miles of stream, we counted around a half dozen. You can see a real dandy in a shot with Eric below. This trip also included the apparently-necessary torrential downpour. It must have rained 3″. The creek nearly rose up to our tents. Typical TVangler fishing trip.
Finally, we visited the Hiwassee River for a couple days. Our first afternoon there, we received a good tip from Hiwassee.net founder Don Denney. We met him along the train tracks smoking his patented corncob pipe. Between us, Eric and I caught better than a dozen trout in a short time, all on dry flies! The next day began with the water very low with only slight current. The fish were very skittish in the low water, but we managed to catch a few. Then the generators came on, and we spent the remainder of the time exploring down in the trophy section, which I’ve never fished much. The catching down there was slow. Nonexistent in fact.
That’s about it for last year’s coverage. Itching to get out there and start a new year of memories. If it’ll ever stop raining. Take care,