East TN and Guerilla Fishing The Spawn

16 12 2008

So my wife was responsible for throwing a baby shower in Kentucky last week.  I left twenty minutes after she did with the boat in tow on my way to the wild wacky world of Eastern Tennessee.  My plan was to fish for three days and reward myself for a whole year of unemployment and my reversion back to student life.  Unfortunately the weather had a different idea and when I arrived  the Watauga was chocolate milk so floating went down the crapper.  I feared this may happen and worked out the South Holston as a backup.  I, like everyone else around here, have been drooling over some of the monstrous brown trout that have been coming out of this river system in the past month.  I know these fish are being caught while either spawning or on the pre-spawn.  I did not however realize that fishing for these browns has turned into a complete shitshow.  I am not a purist or a fly fishing ethicist but this has become less like fly fishing and more like redbirds lined up trying to snag kokanee with grappling hooks when they draw down a lake.  (Which is truly a site to behold and one that I highly recommend) I do believe that if a river system in this day and age is lucky enough to have fish that naturally reproduce in it the resource should be protected.  To me this means I won’t fish on redds because I don’t think i would enjoy someone mouth hooking let alone snagging me while I am trying to make sweet fish love to my special hen.  This part of it aside there is nothing that appeals to me about fishing egg patterns shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of other dudes that have let the prospects of the trophy photo outweigh the parts of the sport that drew me to it in the first place including the challenge, the solitude, and the all around undouchiness that is supposed to be flyfishing.  I say catch a 10 lb. brown during the summer and maybe we’ll talk.  I watched the circus at the weir dam for a while and then promptly moved down to big springs and pulled streamers the rest of the day.  The water clarity was zero and as I am unfamiliar with this section so wading was sketchy and snags were plentiful.  Needles to say I have officially put in my skunk on the South Holston.  Humbling? Yes. Feelings of low self worth? Maybe.  Fishing tomorrow? Of course.  After crying myself to sleep in the fetal position I awoke, put on my big boy pants and headed out for my bread and butter, the Watauga River. But that is a story for another day.  I will say, for any one who cares, there is no one fishing it right now (3 boats on the water) and the BWO’s are lockin and poppin.  Shake and bake!