After fishing Wednesday, a big storm chased me all the way home. That night before I went to sleep, I checked the flows of the Davidson to see what the storm did to it. It went from 60cfs to 200cfs in about 3 hours. The promise of high off colored water, and the chance of catching some big fish on 4x tippet was all I needed to coax gas money out of my wallet and hit up the D the following day. However...
The water was gin clear and back down to 90 cfs when I got there. Probably a little cooler, but still pretty low. Not to mention the hatchery section was the most crowded I had EVER seen it. Picture, if you will, one of my missed opportunities. I am down stream of the hatchery bridge, I look up stream and see atleast 10 fishermen, 3 of which where dangling their fly lines over the bridge ON TOP of another fishermen. I missed the chance to capture this kodak moment on the cannon elph. It would have been a classic. I was dying laughing as the dude in the water being fished over looked up at the idiots above him, dumbstruck. Fishing etiquette on the D is a little different, but really!!? The hatchery area was a circus. I caught of couple of fish there in an hour or so, nicely asked a kid to stop illegally throwing his night crawler baited spinning rod into the river, then left the zoo for some solitude.
I found a pretty stretch of water on a stream that was new to me, and I had it all to my lonesome for a solid four hours. Never saw another person.
Aside from the missed strikes, my second missed opportunity was another missed picture. I pulled a nice 14 inch brown from the hole above on a 30 yard cast with a dry fly. It was by no means my biggest fish of the last couple of months, but it was by far my favorite fish. Any hook set with that much line on the water is gratifying. I landed the fish but botched the photo op. I was very careful to leave fish (in the net) in the water as I placed my rod on the mossy bank, and dug my camera out of its home without dropping it in the river (side note: I dropped my blackberry in the river Wednesday and am happy to report it is fully functional after it's 1 minute bath and subsequent blow drying). As I go for the shot, finger on the button, the fish slipped out of my hand. Sorry. A fishing blog with no fish pictures is like a hockey game without a fight...what's the point? That was a special fish, and deserved a photo.
I was having too much fun fishing to do the dance of stopping to photograph the fish I caught. All in all, I probably only caught 8 or 9 fish. The two biggest coming from the hatchery section on the D. I fished different combinations of ants most of the day, having most success on a size 8 foam ant, and a size 16 dubbing ant in the film. I also caught fish on a H.E. bird's nest.
My time alone on the smaller stream was one of the most enjoyable days of fishing I have had in a long time. The water held some nice fish, some that rose to my ant unscathed due to missed hook sets. There was a pleasant breeze, the twittering forest was green with ferns and moss, and it probably never got above 75 degrees. Summer in WNC is awesome, and a great opportunity to leave the crowds and get lost in His creation. Do it.