April 7 2006
I decided to try a wild section of howards creek I heard would be decent. I parked the car by a bridge and found this great spot..On my first cast I saw some shadows dart around the pool Then I recieved a hit and saw a splash and a nice fish head come out of the water only to spit my fly. I recieved a few more hits on the next casts but I was unable to hold on to anything. I moved up stream. The water was really nice and clear. Plenty of spots for wild trout to lie. I caught one in a run a few 100yds from the first spot, just a little wild bow.I've developed some really bad habbits in the off season. One is really unforgivable. I was tying really poor knots on my flies. I lost at least 3 fish to flies just coming off my line and the fish swimming away with them. I kept moving up stream until I came to this spot.I had to just stop and enjoy the view. It was such a beautiful spot. The weather, water and atmospere were so nice. It made me remember why I love to fish in the first place. It's not all about catching fish. It's about being outside and experience scenery like this. I decided to head back and check out some of the spots I tried earlier. Still no luck. I was glad to get outside, it was a fun day regaurdless.
New RiverThis is the first time I've fished this portion of the New River. I talked to a game warden who said there were 6lb trout in here. I was skeptical, I've never heard of anyone catching anything out of here that was of decent size or worth talking about. I stepped in the creek without my hopes up. The water was pretty slow moving. I didn't see any signs of fish. I worked my way downstream. The water started moving faster and I could see splashes. I couldn't tell if it was my eyes playing tricks on my or if it was actually fish. As I got closer I realized it was fish hitting the surface and I could see there was a nice caddis hatch going on. The caddis were everywhere laying eggs on the water driving the fish crazy. I couldn't get anything on my first section I fished. I worked downstream until I came to this section.From me to that tree down in the distance was full of trout hittnig the surface. I tied on a San Juan and on my second cast I landed this guy.This was great in two ways. It verified trout do indeed live in this river. Also they are decent size. This guy is close to 14inches. He's obviously super healthy. Nothing else seemed to be interested in the San Juan worm, so I switched to what I saw fluttering on the surface. A caddis. Still no luck. I don't know if it was my casts or the fly but fish were hitting the surface everywhere except for where my fly landed. I called it a day after getting frustrated. I was happy to observe a nice hatch. I'll have to explore this place more. I believe big fish can lurk in this river. But finding them would be really hard. I'm sure I'll have more reports from this section.
Helton CreekThis place is one of my all time favorite creeks. It's delayed harvest and is in a location that's not close to any major cities. What this causes is a low pressured fishing environment. It gets it's fair share for fisherman. But there is about 7miles of creek to fish and you can easily get away from people. In the late summer the fishing is rough, but it's rough anywhere. If you can get there within a month after they stock, you'll be catching possibly the most fish of your life. For the first time I didn't have this place all to myself. There were quite a few fisherman scattered down the creek. I found a place away from them and had a secluded section I could work.First off, the helton has scenic views everywhere. When I think of a perfect trout creek this place comes to mind. There's tons of holds everywhere for fish to hide. There was a fish in every hole I tried. The fish were interested in a certain type of presentation but I'm sure you can figure it out. The usuals were working, pheasant tail nymphs size around 16-18. I had my first hit on a san juan worm by a brown lying under a log. A word of caution to you, when you fish here, make sure your footing is good. I almost had some near bad spills. The rocks are pretty slick and the water today was murky making it hard to see where you're stepping.I almost broke my neck releasing this guy. He was a ferocious brown. Hammered my nymph right off the surface. Some fish were really aggressive while others had to be enticed. It was a really fun day. You had to work for the fish but not too bad. It wasn't frustrating. The wind picked up which made the fishing a little more difficult.I tried to find places that would allow me to duck under the wind. It was hard to do but manageable. Right before left I went to a calm spot where the current was going around a rock. I could see activity just behind the rock. I worked my nymph around the rock and caught a decent bow and this guy.I liked the colors of him. The picture does it no justice. I was fighting trying to take the picture as fast as I could and the fish flopping around. I need to find some new method of taking the pictures. It's no fun taking pictures of the fish this way. I feel it's too stressful for the fish. I don't touch them that much but they stay out of the water 3times as long as they would if I just pulled the fly and released them.This is the spot where I caught a huge brook last fall. Probably 3lbs or so. I didn't have the same luck today but I did get some good size fish. The day was perfect. Great weather and fishing. You can't ask for more.
Linville CreekAfter visiting Grandfather Mtn's dollar days, my fiancé and I decided to check out Linville Creek.This creek is one of the only creeks I've fished that is catch and release only. Pretty neat. The water is really nice here. Lots of pools and places for fish to hang out. This is the first place you'll see. There's fish in here. I saw a nice fish try to jump up this waterfall while I was fishing it. It was pretty comical. The fish was huge but didn't even make it 3ft up the fall. There's no way a fish could make it up this. I figured it was a instinct thing that made the fish want to go upstream no matter what.After about 15minutes of fishing I caught this little guy. The colors of the fish here are really vibrant. I don't know if it has to do with the altitude or water color. The water seems to be the same color as other places but the fish are more colorful for some reason.This is how most of the stream is all the way down. I tried some holes here and there. Caught one more fish then decided to leave. BE CAREFUL FISHING HERE! You will have to rock hop and the footing is not great in a lot of places. The holes in between rocks are deep. You don't want to fall in and get sucked under one of them. The weather is warming up, so be aware of snakes as well. I didn't see any but I'm sure they were out. I'm definitely going to come back here soon. This is a great place. The fishing was a lot better then I expected, I think more people come here to sunbathe and swim then fish.
May 30th 2006
Watauga River and Wautaga River DH
These are the moments that keep me coming back. I love driving up to the river and seeing scenery like this..The picture does not do it justice. You can't help but feel happy and catching fish is the farthest thing from you mind. First you just soak up the beauty and the nature.Views like this are around every bend of the river. I fished this section for a couple hours. I had a few on but only landed one. It was a great day to be on the water, not too hot. Cool breeze and cool water. The fish were biting, I just couldn't seem to keep them on.I had one of the finest days ever on the Watauga DH. This place never lets me down for good fishing. I caught a fish in about 15min on a yellow sally. Unfortunately that would be the only fish I'd land all day. I scouted different areas to fish and saw one of these guys.This is a giant stonefly, they look like a bird while flying. They are kind of clumsy and a little spooky when they fly towards you or land on you. They are huge, this one was over 3inches long. I switched flies and went with something I had that looked close to a giant stonefly. I had some ferocious strikes but nothing seemed to stay on. It was exciting none the less. It's so fun dry fishing. I pretty much forgot about it. I've been nymph fishing all winter and spring. I was like a little kid again when ever I'd see a fish come up from the depths to attack my fly. Many times I jerked the fly from the fish before he could take it. Other times, I couldn't tell you what I did wrong. I had a blast.These guys scattered the area from here and there. It got pretty warm fast. So they moved to the shady side of the rocks. They are pretty impressive bugs.I finished my fishing at this spot. Just enjoyed the view and practiced my casts. It was a great day. Probably one of my best times here.