Fall = Killer Trout Fishing

2 Oct

With so much going on, I don’t even know where to begin. So I ‘ll give it a try. The past few weeks on my beloved Watauga river have been superb (ok that sounded ghey, shall I say kick ass). With the onset of fall, cooler temps, and excellent water levels I have bent, manipulated, and rearranged my work schedule to allow me to float at least twice a week. The fish were active, along with midges and craneflies. Over the past few weeks I have been fishing hard, sticking some nice fish and having the river to myself, not to mention I have become an unofficial guide! No, I ain’t guiding people illegally, I am just following up on promised trips to friends and family. This past Wednesday I took my wife and her friend Katie fishing on the Watauga. Picture this if you will, two women, dual nymph rigs, no experience to speak of, and you get my drift. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.
Not to bore everyone with every detail, I will cut to it. The fishing was off the hook, the girls manned up and caught fish. Not to mention Katie is hooked for life thanks to yours truely. Although I do have to mention the funniest moment, well funniest moments of the trip. I was teaching Katie to dry fly fish and we were casting to risers just in front of the boat. We see this nice 16″ football of a bow just gorging himself on midges, so I have her cast to him. “Bam” he smashes the size 22 Griffith’s Gnat, Katie sets the hook and then begins to strong arm the trout as if she was marlin fishing. Knowing the attitude of the Watauga rainbows I start screaming let him run, let go of the line. Well it was to late. The fish made a quick turn and took off spitting the fly. That was some of the funniest stuff I have seen in a while. Now the second blooper was when Katie was trying to net a fish for me, she slipped, feet went flying and she landed on her rump in the 50 degree water. That is one of those moments where you ask if they are ok, and then bust out laughing.

Katie and Leroy

Katie and Leroy

Now my wife Angela has fished with me before, but here lately she has chose to sun her self on the lake instead of fishing. So with the cooler temps on the way she opted to fish instead. Dry flies, streamers, forget about it. She is a nymph fishing junkie, not because it produces, but because you get to use a bobber! Angela rode the rear of the boat all day and played clean-up. She put on a clinic on how to hook and land a fish, and then promptly cast into a tree and lose my flies. I love you honey, but if you lose one more fly, I am going to self destruct.

Posing with Mr. trucha

Posing with Mr. Trucha.

Ok, the women are happy, its around lunch time, I anchor the boat for a little wade fishing. It just so happens to be in a spot where a nice slab-o-bow lives. I have fished this same fish for a month, and on our first meeting he broke me off. He resides in a little back eddy and can be found eating small morsels as they float by. It seems everytime I fish to him, he knows it and leaves the area. So this time I opt for a different approach. From past lessons learned, I scrapped the bobber, weight and any fly bigger than a 20. I extend my leader to 10 ft and 6x. I grab my midge box and proceed to tie on, fish to him, tie on, fish to him, tie on fish to him, you get my point. Finally after the gazillionth refusal I set back and watch him for a while. Now with my bag of tricks nearly exhausted, I opt for a small BWO split case (sz 22), and I begin to sight nymph with no indicator. He ignores the first drift, but on the second drift he moves over and inhales the fly. Game on, he instantly shakes his head and tears off up stream for the deeper water. So I follow, stumbling the whole way. Next he tries to take me under the rocks, but with a little side pressure and luck, I thwart off his attack. Soon he realizes this isn’t working, so he makes a blistering run down stream. I follow helplessly. Finally I coax him near shore, and this is where Katie(who has never netted a fish) tries to net him. Well like I mentioned earlier, she busted her arse while trying. Luckily a local guide was fishing on his day off (Your the man Evan Merril, Elk Creek outfitters) was just down river watching this fiasco in the making. He promptly grabs his net and runs up to assist. With a quick scoop the turmoil was over and one hell of a Rainbow was brought to hand. I was happy as a pig in crap! Now I have caught bigger fish, but this fish will always stick in my memory because of the for-mentioned events and the fact he was sight fished.

Slab-O-Bow, and yes I look like an idiot, but an idiot holding a nice fish!

Slab-O-Bow, and yes I look like an idiot, but an idiot holding a nice fish!

Now he only measured 20 inches, but I would estimate him in the 4 to 5 pound range. That fish has ate well, just look at his girth (no pun intended).

Gettn Official !

Lie Detector!

One more shot.

One more shot.

All in all it has been a great fall so far! I am going to post some pics from the previos trip, a trip where the bottom dropped out of the sky and the fishing was epic! Enjoy….



This proves you can sleep in a drift boat!

This proves you can sleep in a drift boat!

The calm before the storm!

The calm before the storm!

Angela showing off her skills!

Angela showing off her skills (and small trout)!

First fish of the day, no more shunk!

First fish of the day, no more shunk!

The storm is about to hit!

The storm is about to hit!


9 Responses to “Fall = Killer Trout Fishing”

  1. Kent Klewein October 2, 2009 at 3:01 PM #

    Nice post guys. I enjoyed it thoroughly 🙂

    I’ll be trying to head up your way early next week. Let me know

    Kent Klewein

  2. bentrodmedia October 2, 2009 at 4:31 PM #

    Nice Job Ryan…Great Post!!!!!

  3. Katie October 2, 2009 at 8:02 PM #

    Hey Ryan and Angela,
    Thank you for taking me with you guys. I had the best time. You guys are the best. Can’t wait to go again. I am hooked thanks to you Ryan. I may never go back to the streams.

    • Joel Cook October 8, 2009 at 3:44 AM #

      Katie we need to go to Montana to the ranch for a week before you go back to your old ways…..when you come back you will only want to fish in Montana and Tenn and maybe a few place’s in NC….PS When all else fail’s use ADAMS……………..Happy Trail’s…JBC

  4. Nymph-o October 2, 2009 at 10:29 PM #

    That is the best looking driftboat I have seen in years…did you lose weight Ryan?

    • bentrodmedia October 2, 2009 at 10:50 PM #

      Nope….I think I have gained some… Damn Snickers Bars!

  5. Dave October 3, 2009 at 10:56 AM #

    NOICE. You guys rock! I know I’m not a midget so I must be a monkey 🙂

  6. Elizabeth Anderson October 5, 2009 at 3:19 PM #

    HI I am Elizabeth this Andersons Riverside Cabin Thank you for the facebook. We have a web sight andersonsriversidecabin.com and it is on 32 acer of priv land you have to hike to the river. We are at 401 Moore Rd Bristol TN and cabin is .9 miles off in the woods. It is at the TVA Dam and at the tailwaters feel free to call me if you have any ?423-418-4134 is cell and 423-538=8080 is home Thanks Elizabeth

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