Monday, April 11, 2011

Heading Home (Day Two)

Before driving up to Flag Pond on Friday I emailed a couple of buddies from high school who still live in the area and are really good fly fisherman. I informed them I was heading in this weekend and would like to get together on the South Holston on Sunday afternoon. Well, Mother Nature and TVA had other ideas.

On Saturday evening some nasty storms blew through the Tri-Cities. The South Holston stains very quickly plus TVA was generating at 11am. Wilbur Dam on the Watauga was running 2 all day. The Tennessee non-tailwater creeks and rivers were pretty much unfishable. This left very little options for me on Sunday. I could only think of 2 possible choices...the Rocky Fork or Big Laurel Creek DH in Marshall NC. Once again I didnt have much time of Sunday and the Big Laurel DH was about 45 minutes from my parent house, but the Rocky Fork watershed had received a lot of rain. I thought I had better odds on the DH. The drive from Flag Pond to Marshall NC followed the Laurel Creek headwaters and the water didnt look as swollen has the TN side, but it was stained quite a bit. I reached the DH section. The sun was out. It was 80 degrees. I decided to wet wade. With the stained water conditions I tied on a big white sparkle bugger and started chucking. I only had about an hour to fish. Only my 3rd or 4th cast I picked up a small but fat brown trout. It was nice to be wet wading. About 10 minutes later I hooked up with the best fish of the year so far. It was a very healthy and angry brookie, 12-13 inches. Overall Big Laurel Creek is a nasty stretch of water with lots of houses contributing trash and mud to the creek. Im surprised NC would invest resources given the amount of development along the creek. On a positive note, it was a very nice brookie. The picture does not do the fish's color justice. On my way home I saw a family with bathing suits swimming in a big tailout pool....Delayed Harvest indeed.

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