Oct 8 2008 11:25 pm
I've returned from North Carolina and it was good. I went to attend the wedding of Sean and Krista. It was an incredibly good time. There was a priest, a nun, a dude in a kilt, a celtic-bluegrass-rock band from Vancouver, and six kegs of homebrew. And old friends. And a beautiful day in a beautiful place. I have video. I'll try to patch something together in the next couple days when I have some time to spare.
It's hard for me to drive all the way to Western North Carolina and not fish. So fish I did. For a couple days. I fished Deep Creek in the Smokies and camped there. I also fished the Delayed Harvest section of the Tuckaseegee and of the Nanatahala. Two very different Delayed Harvest Rivers. The Tuck is a very large river that probably has little natural reproduction though there are some decent holdover browns. They just stocked it last week with mostly rainbows, apparently, but also some browns and brookies. I caught all three this morning. Only rainbows the other day. Stocked trout aren't smart. Once you get into a pod of them you can drift that #12 crap nymph through ten times in a row and pick up a fish on each pass. They were fat little fuckers and fought with all their heart. I don't mind fishing for stocked fish sometimes. Pays the bills.
The delayed harvest area of the Nantahala begins just above the famous whitewater section. It's a small river, more like a creek, about 20 or 30 feet across. Steep gradient. Lots of boulders. Lots of pocket water. Tough drifts. Skittish trout. They stock small brook trout in that section but there is also a decent amount of natural rainbow reproduction. Funny that the wild fish are rainbows and the stocked fish are brookies. But that's actually been a problem, so I've heard, in the southern Appalachians: rainbows tend to outcompete brookies in their native range (vice versa out west). Of course they aren't managing that creek for wild brookies, it's a put and take fishery, but it's still ironic. I caught an ok number of fish on this section, but would have caught more I imagine if I fished something other than my #18 Adams parachute. I just really like fishing dry flies.
Stay tuned for a very fine report from Deep Creek in the park. And of course a full report on the wedding.
Matthew D. Dunn, Esq.
PS. My car now has 200,000 miles on it. Original transmission bitches.