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Overdue Homecoming in the Smokies- A Good Morning

Started by Yallerhammer, June 13, 2020, 17:37:08 PM

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Yallerhammer

June 13, 2020, 17:37:08 PM Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 17:59:04 PM by Yallerhammer


My home water has been shut down for four months. I've been having withdrawals. This is the water I learned to fly fish on. The water I caught my first fish on the fly, running through the valley where my ancestors lived. This is the first year since I was probably 12 years old that I haven't been there by this late in the spring.

I checked the GSMNP website yesterday, and found that it was now open, no announcement, no publicity.

Good.

I left home at the crack of daylight this morning, and it was a bit nippy.

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I stopped at the store for a honeybun and a pack of crackers, and half an hour later, I was rigging up my nymph rod on the tailgate, listening to running water. My water.
I hiked about a mile downstream, so I could fish back up to my truck.

I waded in before the sun had peeked over the ridge. The first steps into the creek were a little brisk. I woke up quick.

First cast into the first hole yielded a camera-shy 9" brown.

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It was good to be back on this creek, fishing water where I know every hole, rock, root, and run. I worked upstream, getting into the rythm as I went. Cast, drift, mend, strike. Fish hit, and were missed, lost, or landed. The sun rose over the ridgetop. Time ceased. I was home. At peace. No matter what kind of craziness was going on outside this foggy valley, once again, for me at the moment- all was right with the world.

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To be continued....
Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff

Yallerhammer

As I worked upstream, I soon lost count of fish. 8"-9" browns were plentiful, but the bigger browns that I know are there eluded me, except for one in the mid-teens, briefly hooked, and soon unbuttoned.

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The rainbows were on fire, though. Fat, colorful, feisty ones. They were averaging 9"-11" and many of them were fat as little footballs. They fought like demons, each one jumping multiple times.

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The last one came from a dark, deep spot under this huge boulder covered with thousands of rockcap ferns:

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To be continued...​
Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff

Yallerhammer

As the sun got higher, I reached the truck. I decided to head upstream a few miles and do some dry fly fishing.

Fire pinks were blooming along the trail as I hiked a ways upstream:

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It was getting hot, but almost every hole yielded a small rainbow or brown. Not the size of the ones caught earlier on nymphs in the bigger water, but lots of fun to watch them come up and attack the dry.

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After I had fished for an hour or so, catching and releasing the small trout, I saw an arc of red fins when a trout rose to my fly. When I landed the speck, I realized that it truly was good to be home, and that it was time to quit. It was the icing on the cake of a great morning.

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Before long I was back at my house, but I know that home still lies just over the ridge. I've missed this place terribly. It grounds me, and for half a century, this valley has embraced my life like sycamore roots gradually grown around a mossy grayback boulder. I couldn't get loose from it if I wanted to.

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Fin​
Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff

greg

Spectacular. I've been to park 2 times this year. Once backpacking and last Sunday for the day. The rainbows have seemed nice and fat this year. Glad you made it back to your home water. Thanks for the show.

Dougfish

"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

itieuglyflies

Great report from a special place....no mask required!

Phil

Most excellent, Yaller. Lordy. I'd love to get back down there! Made me drool, ya did.  :bow  'c;

Stone-Man

 'c;     Damn pretty fish. I'm glad that you got to fish your special spot. Kind of a special uplifting.

that brookie crowned a great day-- Thx for the share    'c;

  JT


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