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a Russian, two guys from PA, one from Maine ....

Started by Woolly Bugger, December 25, 2019, 10:24:10 AM

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Woolly Bugger

I haven't' been able to get over to East Tennessee as often as I would have liked to. They've been running a lot of water during this year's drawdown plus the fact that I really don't like that drive over and back. In the past I did it several times a week, but somehow that doesn't thrill me anymore. Well conditions looked right for last Sunday with just 230 cfs sluicing on the Watauga all day and despite the overnight lows in the 30s and cloudy skies there promised to be a warm afternoon in the 50s. Now I haven't fished the Watauga regularly in quite some time and wasn't sure where I should go wade.

I got to the Ballpark a little after nine and rigged up for some bobber nymphing, and I worked the riffle, which had a pretty decent flow going on and not wanting to take a spill I didn't cross over to the far side where their appeared to be  softer seam to fish. I worked the near side for a couple of hours without a bite.

I returned to the car to get my camera which I had left behind only to discover that it was not charged. A truck with a Stealthcraft had just pulled in and I talked to the two guys from Pennsylvania who had been down floating the South Holsten since Thursday. While they had success everyday they failed to hook any big boy browns.

I wondered back down and threw streamers for a while before deciding to tray another spot. I drove on up to the dam and was planning on wading on down to the first riffle / run beyond the still water. I hadn't been there in a decade or more and was surprised to see that the shore has been posted and cleared of brush. You can stay in the water and then cross over to the island, but damn that water is deep, rising up to the top of your waders which will make you walk on tip toes. The pool does shallow out at the end and crossing there is less risky with the exception of some very deep holes which I used to circumnavigate by walking up on the bank, which is now unfortunately cleared of brush and in direct view of the houses. So I backed up the trail and that is when I discovered this deceased beaver. It was odd to see the wounds on the neck and groin. I don't know how it died or why it was mutilated, perhaps to harvest the scent glands?

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Made a few dozen cast with a streamer at the head of the pool and spied a few risers that must have been hitting miniscule midges. Walked back up to the parking lot and saw a truck with Maine tags there and a guy with a dog getting ready to launch a canoe. We talked for a while and he asked about the river downstream and was under the impression that he was at the Watauga dam. I told him that this was Wilber dam and the sluicing would be 230 all day. He is a teacher from Waldoboro just up the road from where I spent my youthful summers at the family cabin and was spending Christmas week in TN. He was going to canoe on down to the Siam Bridge and Kelly was running his shuttle and he asked if I wanted to join him in the canoe. I thought about it but was hesitant because I wanted to be on the road by 3:30 and I kept thinking about that first "S" curve rapid where I had witnessed two canoes and a joh boat capsize right in front of me while fishing the run below that rapid.


I left and wen to check out the Siam area, and ran in to a Russian who wasn't catching any so we talked for a while, he even knew of Galicia the country of my ancestors. I gave him a couple of zebra midges in exchange for a small streamer.

The riffle below the flats was crowded and I didn't see risers in the flats so I headed on down to Blevins and fished there for a while with nymphs and streamers and still I caught nothing. Eventually a sparse BWO hatch got some peckerhead punes to rise and I whacked one on an emerger. 

I was getting close to the end of my day and I called it quits. Frustrating day for sure, maybe I should have floated with the Mainer.

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ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!


"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? " <br />-Oddball, 1970


thats what you get for photographing a beaver!


At least you were on the water fishing. Good for you.

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