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By woolly bugger
#700751

July 30, 2020 #31?

$101/7 = $14.43 (TN License / number of trips)

Schedule looked promising, weather iffy.

Left home around 7:30, things looked a bit crowded up by the dam, drove on down, passed a few good spots and then ran into more parked cars. Ended up in a familiar spot. The spot was wide open or so I thought, just as I closed the trunk, I turned to see a spin guy casting into my run.

He stopped after a while without catching and went back upstream. I was rigged up with a sulfur so gave that a try first despite not seeing any risers or bugs other than midges. I caught a few on the surface and probable worked the water way too long it hopes that something would start soon.
I took a lunch / beer break and then headed to a lower section. Got a pune to rise before finally switching over to nymphing. Tied on a splitcase and after some thought tied on a #20 rs2. Well damn if that didn’t do the trick. I hooked a fish right off and several more took the rs2 in quick sucession, and not just dinks but fat and feisty rainbows and a brown that pushed 18”

I wore out that section and then thought that the pulse would hit and moved hoping that that it would bring a late hatch. Neither materialized. I don’t’ know what was up with the water, the app said a 2 hour release. But I couldn’t tell much difference in the water level.

With nothing happening on the lower river I moved back up to the damn dam. Lot had cleared out and it looked like most of the remainders were standing on the grates.

I hiked on down and found some picky risers, but before I could hook any a monster thunderstorm moved in and with visible lightening striking too close for comfort I high tailed it back to the lot where I thought about waiting it out under the bridge with several other anglers, but after about 10 minutes with no relief in sight I ran back to the car and drove home. That damn storm traveled up I-81 with me.

No photos at all this trip, not one, no scenery shots of the billowing thunderheads, or the grey skies or the torrential rain, No fish picks of trouts or sardines, and no beer shote either…
Here is some info on the RS2



From the TU Blog
[quote}For you masochistic anglers out there who actually enjoy fishing tiny emerger patterns, this one’s for you. (And, yes, on occasion, I’m one of you. Insert face-palm emoji here).
The RS2, which stands for Rim’s Semblance 2, is one of the most effective small emerger flies ever crafted—it can be absolutely deadly in the fall and early spring when Blue-winged Olives are emerging.[/quote]


User avatar
By woolly bugger
#700761

July 9, 2020 #29

$101/6 = $16.83

Gas $2.09

RiverBum sent a text declaring that he was “eyeballing the soho Thursday if nothing comes up”
I replied with the thumbs up. But I guess that wasn’t good enough for him as he cryptically replied, “I assume you are not interested”

I’ve been to the Smith on Tuesday and Wednesday swinging flies on the Echo Trout Spey. On Tuesday I worked the Bassett “Library” run hard without a hookup but after moving down to The Great Road access I finally got grabs and caught a couple of stocked rainbows.

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First spraypole fishy

The grab and tug are addictive so I went back on Wednesday evening to swing again at The Great Road. I had a few grabs early on by failed to hook a fish despite my improving casting. On my second pass through the run I switched to a heavier tip and changed flies. Right off I realized the heavy sink tip was messing up my cast and my timing was off and I had to make some adjustment. Still no fish. Oh well, there will be another day.

That day was Thursday and I was out the door at 6:15 for the 2:40 drive to meet up with the Riverbum.

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He was almost an hour ahead of me and was fishing away when I arrived. We were low holed on the river but had some good water to work. I was still rigged up with a sulfur emerger and took four fish on that fly before it was chewed to pieces.

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Caught a few more before Bum and I snuck around and low holed the low holer. We didn’t have much luck down there but I did manage a few on the dry.

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We took a lunch break and I discovered that the Bum doesn’t like sardines! He does, however, like Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale. (he took the lunch photos)

We then worked the risers in the flat water. I fooled a few with a #18 puff daddy.

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Bum had enough punage and abuse and split around two. I stayed until about four, when the heat of the day took its toll and I retreated to the comfort of the car’s AC, but not before I enticed a few more trouts to rise to the comparadun.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#700778
Almost caught up with the backward time travel...

July 1, 2020 #27

Sometimes you go fishing because the conditions are perfect, sometimes you go just because you can. The tailwater is calling me and despite short wading times due to early dam releases I headed over hoping for a repeat of my last visit.

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I was five minutes from home when realized that I forgot the TG-6 camera, I almost turned back but figures I could use the phone instead, not wanting to shorten the time on the water as the generation flow would hit at two.

After gearing up I realize that I also had forgotten to pack my wading staff, or “old man stick” as some of my friends call it. Well damn, the snot covered bowling balls the make up this streambed make wading treacherous. The morning pulse arrived just as I got in the water, there were a few risers in the flat water and I targeted and caught a couple of them before moving on down to the run where I had great success the other day. But is wasn’t happening today. No risers in the run and no bug on the water, the birds were working but once the pulse arrived they disappeared. There was a stain to the water and low visibility didn’t help the wading situation either. After catching a few rainbows, I moved on down river to see if I could find some feeding fish.

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Tossed a streamer for a while, better than bobber watching and similar results. I wasn’t pleased with the conditions of the day, so I sat on the bank and watched the sky and listened to the rushing water and waited for the pulse to recede. When I spotted fish rising I went after them and picked off small rainbows feeding at the edge of the current as I worked my way to the top of the run. One nicer fish, a brown, took the fly and put up a good fight aided by the fast water. Best fish of the day at 14 inches.

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Punes all day…

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Photo fail: I can’t hold a fish and take a photo with the phone.

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Photo fail #2

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This is the brown… Photo fail #3

Finished up the afternoon fishing the flat water casting a puff daddy to sporadically rising fish. One better fish bolted on the hookset and broke me off, proving to me that blood knots are better than surgeon knots. I quit at two, just as the water was coming up. After walking back to the car I entertained the idea of swinging flies on the high water, but not having a wading staff to help navigate I thought better of it and headed back home.

Not the best day on the water, but I really can’t complain….

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DSFK
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#700781
moving forward again after catching up with the backlog of TR

Covid continues to stymie my fishing as have the damn dam problems on my former home water.

all y'all be safe and we'll get through this crap.


October 14, 2020 #45

Gas $2.09

I’ve been looking at maps and decided to go to the middle section of Wilson Creek above Edgemont. There was an unmarked trail down Laurel Mountain Branch. There used to be a small pull-off and a tree had a small, ½ “ x 3” white paper with a long forgotten quote about fishing which marked the trail head.

As I drove along Wilson Creek I noticed that the bear hunters were out in droves. I stopped a chatted with them, asking about their luck. Some had dogs that had been working a bear but they lost it, others had no luck at all. There were a lot of fisherman out on the DH water.

As I approached the trailhead I noticed that there was yet another group of hunters parked in a new, to me, parking lot and an official forest service sign for trail 264. The one hunter at the vehicles indicated that the rest of the group was on the way out after losing track of a bear that had crossed the high water of the creek. I drove on. Thought about taking the trail to walnut bottom creek which also now has a forest service sign, but decided to go on up the road to where the lower road crosses upper Wilson Creek at 2800 feet. I was thinking I might run into rainbows and brookies. The upper road crossed the creek at 3500. I took a serious look at Little Wilson Creek but in the end opted for the bigger water.

There was plenty of water flowing in the creek and it was clear as glass, the sky was cloudless and I began my trek up the creek. Went with the hopper dropper and was surprised not to get any lovin at all. I kept working up the creek which is fairly slow going especially when stopping to take photos of everything, the water, the fall colors, it was beautiful day. Even in “bomb proof” pools I didn’t even see a fish. Well now I was getting miffed, rigged up a new leader and continued on. Finally getting a fish to rise to a small stimi. I was thinking rainbow but was surprised to see it was a brown up at 2904’. I continued on catching only more browns. Shoulda taken the higher road, oh well there is always next time.

Only went about a half mile up the creek and only several hundred feet in elevation, but it seemed like much more.

There was now a truck parked across the way with a women sitting in the passenger side looking at her phone, I had put up all my gear and almost finished my beer before she finally looked up and saw me. She got out and we spoke for a while. Her husband was fishing downstream. Fly fishing was on his bucket list, they are from Morehead City, he is almost 69 and they are semi-retired from a marine service co.

Here’s the photo dump….

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Damn rock stackers…

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#700784

October 20, 2020 #46
Gas $1,85


Last time I was up here I wanted to go to the falls but fell short. This time I was on a mission. In years past it wasn’t such an endeavor, the trail was in much better condition. I counted the creek crossing on the way up but lost the trail again at 13 and ended up crossing in the exact spot as last time. On up the trail I kept looking for the chimney that I remember seeing decades ago. If anybody knows what crossing it is located near let me know.

It was tempting to start fishing the further up I got, but I kept going only stopping occasionally on the way to catch a fish from pools that were just too good to pass up, I finally made the 18th crossing, the trail in this section is beginning to be reclaimed by rhododendron and the many fallen trees. It became easier to just walk through the woods at this point.

It was fifty degrees when I started, but when I reached the fall in full sunshine it felt like 80. All of the browns and brokies that I caught up to this point were on a yellow stimi. I had to go deep with a mr. rubber legs to catch one out of the pool below the falls.

I made a halfhearted attempt to follow the trail above the fall, but when I reached the first rhodo hell I decided that I had gone far enough today. I love fishing that gorge above the falls, but that will remain a memory for now.

Here is the photo dump.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#700791

November 6, 2020 #47

Gas $1.90

Sunny skies, temp 70.

Wet wading in November!

At a popular destination I saw a number of wadered up anglers on the DH water. I headed up a “Wild” tributary

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There were a couple of cars at the trailhead, passed one spin guy down low and hiked in a mile before starting to fish. Couldn’t get a fish to hit the dry fly, same stimulator that’s been on for the last three or four trips. Maybe I should retie. Finally added a dropper, and still nothing for the longest time, felt like I was fishing behind someone, wouldn’t that be my luck.

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Finally, as the creek turned and sun hit the water the fish began to bite.

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Most took the prince nymph dropper, but a few smashed the dry.

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~fin
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#700822
November 8, 2020 #48

Gas $1.65 ( 30 cents grocery discount)

Temps in the low 70s, partly cloudy with a slight breeze.

I’ve been trying not to fish on the weekends to avoid as many humans as possible. Nothing new here. Anyway there was one car parked at the trailhead. I was planning on starting in the middle of where I fished the other day and kept a eye out for the other angler on the 1.5 mile hike in, I didn’t see him. I had hoped that I would be high holing the dude(s)

The punes were hitting the dry and the bigger punes were taking the dropper.

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It was a glorious day to be on the stream. The last of the fall colors were catching the sunlight and contrast with the muted tones on the shaded streambed. The tumbling water drowned out all worldly concerns, focusing on foot and cast placement. Often I started the guard fish at the tails of the pools and the rocketed up to the head alerting every other fish of danger.

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I had planned to take a small landing net, but somehow managed to leave it behind, along with some bottles of water. I was forced to pack some Tonic Water, which was a pandemic purchase while I was on a gin and tonic kick. A number of the fish that I caught managed to free themselves from the barbless hooks before I could take a photo. I’ve been using the iPhone although I still carry the TG. The phone requires a bit more dexterity, unlock, camera app,etc…

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Found a Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) hanging out on a rock.

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Old park (boundary) sign? 50 years old?

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An average cooperative trout.

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About two miles in the scenery really is specular.

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I landed a nice 12 inch brown but it wriggled free just as I was ready to snap a photo. Oh well.

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I took my son up through this gorge many may years ago. When we got to this pool he was chest deep standing in the water as we started to work our way above this little fall. He freaked out a bit and became a bit frightened about continuing on. We backed down a bit and then bushwhacked back up to the trial.

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Since I was wet wading the prospects of going balls deep into this pool wasn’t appealing and besides footprints in the gravel indicated that I was now fishing behind someone. So I took the route that my son and I had traveled so many years before.

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#700838

November 15, 2020 #49

Quick trip up the road for a couple of hours of streamtime. The water was still up from the rain. Hiked in a mile and began fishing. Not many spots to fish as the water was just ripping. Fished a dry dr0pper, most fish smashed the dry with only a few on the nymph.

Broke in my new Spey Nation hat!

It sort of looked like this…

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One day I’ll remember to bring the net…
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#700850

November 20, 2020 #50

Gas $1.93

With net in hand, I drove off to catch a small fish for a photo contest with my local TU chapter’s November Virtual meeting. I saw an entry with ta 5” rainbow, and was certain that I could hood a wild pune.

The first fish to hand might just be small enough to be a winner of the smallest trout prize, $15 gift certificate plus a fly box and 6 flies!

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The stream was still running boisterous and the fish were either under rocks or glued to the bottom.

This little grandiloquent rainbow took the prince nymph that I tied up the other day.

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Took a shot with the gopro in its aquadome for the half and half shot…

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I’m starting to photograph a “tree of the trip” and here is one that I found interesting with it’s multiple trunks.

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The low sun glared upon the stream making the fly difficult to see but made for some pretty pictures.

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I dredged up this surprise from a deep run, I was hoping for a mythical brookie, but wasn’t too disappointed when realized it was a brown.

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Another well fed rainbow was the last fish of the day.

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I was standing on a footbridge getting a beer out of my pack when i was startled by a couple hiking along the trail. I’m usually watchful but had my back to the trail. We chatted for a bit and the guy took some photos of his gal by the stream before heading back down the trail.
I took some photos and consumed the delicious SNTIPA.

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If southern folklore is to be believed, we are in for a long cold winter as this Woolly Worm’s 13 segments are all black.

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When you can’t have members gathering in church because of the pandemic you should just Go Fishing!

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I visited the Bob White Covered bridge many years ago before the flood took it out, but the signs are still pointing to it from the highway. I wondered if it had been reconstructed, all I found were the abutments.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#700858

November 24, 2020 #52

Gas $1.93

Damn it Ken!

I followed in my BRFFF friend, Ken’s footsteps since I never really fished this creek, except for a bit right around the primitive campground a few decades ago. His photos of the pools and description of “open forest” made me think this would be a walk in the park. As I was gearing up I choose my Korkers a lightweight boot with felt and my neoprene socks for the 2.15 mile hike in to the creek.

There were four vehicles parked at the trailhead, they didn’t have the appearance of fisherpersons.

On the way in I passed a couple with their dogs and a photographer on the way out

I’ve fished all of the creek from the road up to the dam and then from above the dam on up to the campground in the past, many many years past, it still looks inviting.

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Just above the campground is the grave of Alice Caudill who died in the 1916 flood that took out her cabin further up on the main creek. She was just 2 months past 15 years old and had been married to Famon Caudill for 6 months. You can read more about the flood and the Caudill family here
Tragedy and Survival the 1916 Basin Cove Flood

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She was buried next to the Church/Schoolhouse.

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Looks like some dickhead has been digging for artifacts.

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Spotted a eft along the trail.

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And finally up at the starting point of the days creek adventure. It was in the upper 40’s and the water was on the cool side. I started fishing just up from where the trial crossed the creek and my goal with to get up at least to the first named branch.

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I was carrying the GoPro with its 6” dome port, it was clipped to my chest pack. Not the easiest thing to operate but my hope was to get some slowmotion ½ underwater shots of fish being released.



Well I find that changing the settings on the GoPos is a PITA and I didn’t get it set correctly. The damn thing got in the way while scrambling up the creek. Note to self leave the GoPro dome thing at home especially when creek crawling. Anyway that the only shot that I got.

Even with the net these little guys are hard to photograph,

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Came across this old fire ring at a unnamed branch.

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Looks like I’m not the only one who eats sardines on the creek. This tin has the old style key opener to roll back the top. The pop top had eliminated that some years ago.

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I started thinking about the hike back out, I didn’t like the idea of pushing forward up the cascades, because at that point it would probably be easier to bushwhack up to the trail several hundred feet above rather than coming back down the creek.

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My ankle, still not being 100%, helps me make the decision and I turned back at 3:30

I selected this triple trunk White Pine as the tree of the trip.

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Back down at the trailhead with all the modern conveniences.

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Oh the drive home I stopped to take some pictures of the barns as I’ve been noticing them more and more after seeing the artwork of Richard Harrington

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“Wild water abides, so it does, so it does” - Harry Middleton
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#700895

December 1, 2020 #53

Gas $1.83

Needed to get out. Trying to stay off the creeks and out of the parks on the weekends as crowds are a concern.

Listened to Neptune’s Inferno; The U. S. Navy at Guadalcanal by James D. Hornfischer on the drive up and back.

The temperature continued to drop as I approached my destination. Only a jeep was parked there and I geared up putting on some layers and waders and even looked for a pair of gloves which were not to be found. The 3 wt was still rigged with a dry dropper and off I went. Hiked in for about a mile just after passing the three occupants of the jeep who were tossing rocks into the creek.

I jumped into my now regular starting spot. The water was a tad lower than last time, I guess the 2” of recent rain missed this area.

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There were just a few snow flurries every now and then the clouds were competing with the sun but it never warmed up in the afternoon and the occasional flurries continued.

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Trouts were mostly hiding under rocks and a few decent fish were hooked, hooked, landed, but not photographed as the wriggled free. The punes hit the dry fly and could be found in any deep slow run.

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Some came out of faster water like this…

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With the leaves off the trees I spied this interesting fellow up on the hillside and ventured off stream to have a closer look. I decided that it would be the “Tree of the Trip”

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Back on the stream I found some DSFK

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And more punes

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I thought about pushing on but when I reached the end of this beat I headed on back down the trail

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User avatar
By woolly bugger
#700927

12/7/20

Back for more punishment…

I finished up some chores around the house and headed up the road listening to Neptune’s Inferno, which is pretty intense action wise. A bit hard to follow along without a map but the blow by blow account of the battles are engaging to say the least.

Only one car parked, another invader from the south

Hiked up to the end of my previous beat. I was cold, not much sun, but plenty of water, maybe a bit too much rolling down the creek.

Note to self; put the damn gloves in the car!

A handful of fish were caught and some punes to go along with them too.

Photo dump:

Tree of the trip:

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The creek:

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I’m done with this creek till spring…

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