One of the more elusive fish species I have pursued, steelhead offer a unique experience in the Lake Erie tributaries in Northeast Ohio. The tactics, behavior, and results were completely foreign to me. Plus my gear wasn't quite up to par for casting the long, heavy rigs that are typically used for dead drifting. Plus it can get miserably cold in Cleveland, but it's all worth it when you land one. That, unfortunately, was not the case this year.
There's really only one famous trout stream in Georgia, the Chattahoochee. It runs straight through Atlanta which reminds me of chasing Erie steelhead in the Cleveland metro parks. The one day I decide to go just happened to be a "kids" fishing day on the river so parents brought their kids and extended families for a day on the water. PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.
My dad's side of the family lives in Elkins, WV and are surrounded by ample trout streams (both stocked and native trout). An hour drive can take you to endless water filled with even more trout. This trip, I went to a few sections of Shavers Fork as well as some family secret native streams. All excellent fishing!
Just on the other side of GSMNP is Gatlinburg, TN where tourism is booming. It is also home to some great trout streams that the city stocks heavily and only allows fishing with a special license. Their promotion of trout fishing is fantastic! I fished both inside and outside of the park with greater success than in NC. And, unlike NC, this trip offered very easy access to streams, especially in the city limits.
After my spring break trip to the Smokies, I've fallen in love! The scenes are absolutely beautiful, the streams are teeming with trout, and there are tons of trails to hike (both on and off the water). This trip started in Cherokee and hit some road blocks (literally) along the way.
One of my long term goal is to catch a brook trout in each of its native states (which is a lot). I know it will take many years, but it's one of the ways I can honor one of my favorite fish. The brook trout has unmatched beauty and resilience. It has survived countless years on the east coast (and is taking over the west where stocked) though times of crazy natural and man made disasters. So this summer I took the time to add to my list (of one state prior to the trip) and pay tribute to Salvelinus fontinalis.
I came across this passage the other night while reading my Bible:
"The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth." John 3:31
Spring break 2014 is upon us! While many people headed to the beaches, I sought out a different paradise. A friend and I went to GSMNP for a 3 day adventure. Hiking, fishing, and bonding. Not to mention the amazing people we met. We started just below the Fontana Dam and immediately ran into some amazing people. It just so happened that the Fresh Grounds Leapfrog Cafe was there (click here for the Facebook page and more later in the post). The other person that caught our attention was Brian. Brian works for an organization called Hiking for Wellness that helps raise money to support traumatized children (website here and also more later). It was incredible!
Noontootla Creek is a well known stream in the Georgia mountains. The public waters hold wild browns and rainbows (very few native brooks) that can reach trophy size. I want me some of that!
I often find myself asking, "What hook should I use?" This was even more common when I was a beginning fly tyer. Now that I have more of an idea what to use, what about the crazy codes used by the different companies? What's the difference between the TMC 206BL and the Daiichi 1140? Seems like jibberish to me, but that's how it's done. I discovered this chart here and it has helped me out. It shows you comparable hooks between companies. Hope this helps!