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Started by troutboy_II, July 17, 2011, 14:49:16 PM
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Trout_girl and I hit the S. Mills for the first time in a long time. I caught a few, missed a few , and slipped around a lot. At least we were not bouldering like we have the previous two weekends.
Not really intending this to be a report, but a question. What happened to the South Mills that dropped it out of the top 100 streams? Frankly, for the last 6-7 years we've been fishing it, we've never been blown away by the number of fish. Certainly may be due to our fishing skill or lack there of, but did something in particular change since it's top 100 days?
Been fishing it for about eight years, it has gotten worse every year while I would say I've gotten exponentially better. My guess would be that because it was on that list is the same reason it is longer that great. It can't support the number of people that want to keep fish. They need to go down on the n mills or dave to keep some pellet heads. Which section were you fishing?
From the gaging station and we didn't have long so we didn't walk back downstream that far. I really seldom see folks fishing the S. Mills so I've wondered if something other than pressure might be an issue which is really the purpose of my original post.
I've found that the section from the gauging station to High Falls looks so money, but for whatever reason it's very unproductive. I wish they'd just start over again with southern strain brook trout transplants. The section above the gauging station has decent fish, but it is difficult to fish. Below High Falls is best, but it slows down considerably in the hot summer months.
I've only fished it a few times in the last year but each time I have been there I see worm tossers. That river should be great but I doubt that it will be with the designation it has and the lack of enforcement in WNC.
I actually fished the guaging section on Friday and went upstream and caught two small browns, but didn't even spook many fish :( which was even more disappointing. I was thinking the same thing, that the weather was cool, overcast, and a slight sprinkle off and on and I figured that the browns would be out to play, but I was wrong. I did hit a few other streams in the area and finished off the day with a good slam. The brookies were actually the largest fish of the day for me. I caught two that were 8+ inches and another at 7, but even that stream didn't have real strong numbers of brook trout. This was my first time fishing that particular stream, but I'm sure the drought from a few years has killed off some fish. I caught young of the year, and then adult fish, but nothing in the 3-5" range. Overall, I was disappointed in the way the streams fished and the numbers of fish, but it was a great day just because I was able to get out.
I'm curious about the "above the gaging station" posts. Do you access above the end of FS 460 (?) or do you walk up from there. Another alternative we tried a year or so ago was coming in through Pink Beds. Frankly, deeper, silted up, slow water didn't look that appealing, but maybe we never got far enough upstream. Not asking for secrets, but since this is a pretty public stream... discuss...
There is a path that runs along the stream starting at the campsite at the gauging station. That is a good way (probably the best) to access the upper portion. But, like you said, it is slow moving, flat water. I haven't fished it much, but I have seen a 16" rainbow caught on a rooster tail right behind the campsite and seen a dead 15" brown just a little ways further up. I know there are brook trout in there, as well. In any event, it is difficult to fish with a fly. The calm water requires long casts, but the overhanging brush makes letting that much line out almost impossible. It's probably best to be fished with a spinning rod and a rooster tail or with worms while holding a busch light in your other hand........which makes it ideal for a lot of those weekend campers.......catch my drift?..........frankly, there are so many other great streams in the area that I don't really make it a point to fish up there anymore.
I still say that if they poisoned all of the fish in the stream and then started transplanting southern strain brook trout, it could be Panthertown II from Pink Beds to High Falls.