Sticking Pigs on the Reservation

27 02 2009

I have fished the trophy water over in Cherokee a couple of times in the past week scouting for the season.  For anybody that doesn’t know about this water don’t read any further because there are already too many people there already.  This means all of you Georgia guys.  I got nothing against you guys but we already have every asshole from Florida up here and the infrastructure just can’t take you guys too.  The kind Native Americans have taken to stocking a lot of very big fish in a 2.2 mile stretch of river that is fly fish only, catch and release only.  When I say big fish I am referring to fish that are measured in pounds and not inches and make you start worrying about breaking your 6 weight when you have one on.  In order to fish this water you have to pay of course, but only seven bucks a day and a twenty dollar year pass.  This has officially become a public trophy trout club for the everyman.  The proletariat in me wants to bang my hammer and sickle and shout, “Fuck the elite”.  But as usual I just nod and wave and ask the elite if there’s anything I can do to help them out in hopes of getting a good tip.  Now that I have gotten a trophy club experience I have come to conclusion that these type of waters with pellet fed trophy stockers are really nothing more than a pay to play trout pond with water running through it.  This type of water is like a New Orleans hooker, fun at first but eventually maces you and steals your wallet (Didn’t happen to me but I know a guy).  Don’t get me wrong I have pulled fifteen or so bad mama jammas over 20″ out of that water the last two times I have gone and it hasn’t gotten old yet, but I fear like all things in life it will.  I just hope it doesn’t ruin 18″ trout for me.


What the Tuck?

17 02 2009

Yes, sports fans I am referring to the mighty Tuckasseeggee (I always forget how many ee’s, ss’s , and gg’s are in that word so I have added extra to cover my bases) River in beautiful Jackson County NC, affectionately referred to as the Tuck by most everyone ’round them parts.  Sorry for the colloquialism but I am southern and never feel like I can get away with writing southern without sounding like a jackass, but I digress.  Yesterday I was propositioned by my boss to join a shop flotilla on the Tuck.  As I am new to the shop and jockeying for days I graciously accepted the invitation to row some folks around  and maybe even get to see a fish or two as there were three guides, a fine bamboo rod maker, a fly shop owner, and a board member of our local TU on the boats.  The day started off as usual in February on the Tuck; cold, slow, and waiting on water.  Duke Power had said they were running the big generator and yesterday they actually did it.  The sun shines on every dog’s ass one day, or so the saying goes. We pushed the boats through the top section picking off a few fish along the way.  It was at this point of the trip that the ‘boo rod maker on the boat proceeds to tie on a fly that I was not familiar with.  I caught a fleeting glimpse of something fuscia but my mind was a flutter and I let it go.  Well he starts sticking fish at a higher rate than the other chaps and I ask what in the hell is that pink thing he is throwing.  I get a mumbled response which I press him on.  Well, I will just say that this man, that crafts beautifully expensive bamboo fly rods, was throwing a certain plastic product that the trout love and that comes in all different flavors including root beer and candy corn.  When I remark on the hilarity of what is transpiring in front of me, he looks at me with a smile and tells me, “It’s February, these are stockers, and I like catching fish.”  

The moral of this story is let’s not shame anyone for how they go about catching a fish on a fly rod.  To all you guys that have spent countless hours at the vise tying up the ultimate pellet fly, or even for you guys out in WY that chum up the water in the elk refuge by kicking up hoppers  (you know who you are, I saw you do it last summer you slimy bastard)…..REJOICE!!! Let there be no shame it’s all just fishing in the end.  Unless you are using spinning gear, then I won’t have anything to do with you…….cheater!

At the end of the day fish were caught, some even on flies.  My boss only caught one but it was the last hole and it was the biggest fish of the day.  I am sure it will be making an appearence on a certain shop site in the near future.  They were taking the usual DH stuff as well as midges.  My advice is spend the next couple weeks tying because it’s only gonna get better in march.

Wet Tail(water) Dreams

8 02 2009

So with guide season looming I am spending a significant amount of time scouting out wading water around my home of Asheville.  The weather has been generally cold, colder, and really frickin’ cold.  This doesn’t bother me so much as it does the trout looking up through the ice.  Half the wild water around here has been iced over as much as it hasn’t for the past month and every Mexican and redneck has poached all the fish out of every delayed harvest stream in North Carolina.  I will take a moment here to say that I have nothing against and generally admire the Mexican people as hardworking and honest BUT, can you please  go rape the catfish populations and leave the trout alone?  Seriously trout that eat dog food taste like dog food. That being said, I have been able to get some days on our fine smaller free stone waters here in the western corner of the state and I have decided that all you small stream, brook trout purist guys can keep that shit for yourself.  I love you guys but I have nothing in common with you except our shared disdain for all things not  trout on the fly.  Why would I haul my admittedly out of shape and lazy ass up or down a steep trail so I can fish a 20′ section of creek for 4″ fish all day when I can comfortably sit in my boat and fish 4 to 7 miles of river where the trout make their creek trout cousins look like Emmanuel Lewis (T.V’s Webster) compared to the Fridge (The fattest man of my childhood), all while drinking my beer out of a cooler like a civilized human being.  You savages of the woods be warned I will not tolerate your tom foolery on my tail waters.  There will be no bow and arrow casting, there will be no Taliban like belly crawls through the shallows, there will also in no way be demonstrations of your superior physical shape or fishing abilities at any time on our waters below the dams.  Any of this behavior will result in swift retaliation, mainly me complaining some more every time my clients hook the eightieth tree for the day.  Tuesday i go float the Watauga and leave all my small worries behind.