Thursday, August 23, 2012

Smokies Stream Decisions

Some time today, my Expedition will start moving north, and eventually Nathaniel and I will be winding our way across the Great Smoky Mountains. We're bound for Townsend, Tennessee, where Nathaniel will teach dulcimer workshops and perform at Wood-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop on Saturday. Unless we get going really late (which I hope won't be the case), we'll have to stop a time or two or three or four on our way through the park to explore some trout waters. Tomorrow, we'll probably spend a good part of the day fishing.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a trout fishing wonderland with thousands of miles of fishable waters draining its steep slopes. Park waters, which range from remote to roadside and from fairly large to tiny trickles, provide opportunities for three kinds of trout, plus smallmouth bass and rock bass. What that means is that decisions about which streams to explore are never easy.

Since yesterday evening, I've had my nose stuck in Jim Casada's outstanding guidebook, Fly Fishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and I've come up with a mental list of options that fit with our travel plans and available time and that take into account mid-summer, low water and a forecast for far more bright sun than I would prefer. Which options we'll choose depend in large part on when we get out the door today and exactly how open our schedule turns out to be tomorrow.

The good news is that there almost is no bad option when you're talking about wading up a beautiful mountain creek on summer day. Some choices will just produce more fish than others!

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