Updated: Sep 26, 2019
The threat of rain keeps many anglers away from the streams, but not me. Wanting to take advantage of the forecast, I grabbed my loaded Orvis waterproof sling pack, Simms G4 Gore-Tex jacket, Patagonia Gunnison Gorge wading pants and away I scurried to one of my favorite streams in the Smokies.
Fishing these conditions have proven successful for me. I have, on occasion, been fortunate to fool an old, wise, majestic brown trout that was lying in wait for its next meal. While driving I was formulating my plan of attack and what flies I would cast with the Scott G Series 4 weight rod. I was was planning to start with my Green Stimulator, attached to a 9 foot 5x leader and then make changes as needed. Mother nature would be my guide on this day.
I wasn't surprised to see the stream was void of any anglers, but I was happy for selfish reasons. A quick glance at the water revealed silver misty fog, usually a bad sign when talking with old timers. "Fishing the fog is a waste of time," according to many old timers in the area. The challenge was not going to derail my efforts, as I was confident that today was going to be a great day!
After rigging, I made my way to the stream, observing spiderwebs in hopes to gain any advantage I could before numerous casts. Much to my dismay, most of the webs were empty, but the webs proved that no one has ventured this way yet, leaving a virtually undisturbed stream for my fishing. The overcast conditions, fog, and high humidity made visibility difficult. This added to the conditions already stacked against me, but that wasn't stopping me. Water temperature readings revealed 64 degrees, which is still good, especially with the warm weather we are having.
After numerous drifts, I had not landed a trout, but a few had turned my way adding to the anticipation of what the day may have in store. I re-rigged, downsizing tippet and changing flies, but the trout continued teasing me, as if to say I was not ready for what they had in store for me.
After landing a few Rainbows, I stopped to tattoo the stunning surroundings into my brain. It was obvious winter storms had reworked the stream with new tree blow downs. This created obstacles for anglers, but habitat for trout. Old blow downs were absent, exposing boulders that have been seeking refuge for years. Many different shades of green contrasted against the summer blooms and many boulders were covered in different shades of lichen. It was a masterpiece, to say the least.
I continued on my journey hoping for the rain, knowing that this would tip the odds in my direction. After two hours passed the skies opened up, granting my wish. While retrieving my rain jacket, I observed one the few bugs of the day. I quickly found a match in my box, one of James Connors ties, his version of a Light Hendrickson. This discovery was a total game changer. Rain and a Light Hendrickson went together like peanut butter and jelly at lunch time. On my first cast a stunning Rainbow hammered my fly. After a nice release, trout number two. I found the mother load, and I ain't kidding. With the raindrops dancing on the water, the trout were absolutely destroying my fly. Cast after cast, I was rewarded with Rainbows sporting high definition colors.
The rain continued most of the afternoon into the evening hours making for some of the best dry fly fishing of the year. Still with a few spats of water drops drumming on my hood it was obvious that my stealthy movements and accurate casts were paying off. Taking the time to use the large boulders to hide behind while draping my line over rocks eliminated micro drag, and trout were fooled enough to launch themselves at my dries. It turned into an epic outing.
Oh, and, just in case you are wondering...I did not get the big brown on this day. That will happen at another time. I'm counting on it!