Cameron County Natives
I found that when the brookies were spooked they’d flee to undercuts or under the cover of leaves gathered along the banks or tail-outs. Skip figured, even though we both fished up creek, I may have been getting too nearer the pools in such clear water. Once I stayed back a few more feet the more success I had in making trout rise.
One of Skip's brook trout
One on mine
I learned from a guide, while we were fishing a small brook in The Great Smokey’s, you fish a pool from the tail-out to the head. You just never know where a wild trout will be holding.
From my position, in the middle of the creek, I checked my back-casting clearance and began my cast with my 3 weight Hardy Demon rod. A soft loop placed my caddis about 3 feet up stream from the leaf covered tail-out. Skip and I watched in amazement as a surface torpedo wake b-lined right towards my imitation from under the poolside leaves a couple of feet away. When the water rippled at my fly I wristed the hook set and the unsuspecting wild brookie skittered about. I brought her towards me with not too much commotion in the upper part of the pool.
From above, water found its way between rock crevices and spilled over a narrow rock shelf. The falling water bubbled below within a foot and a half wide channel that led to the wider mouth of the pool. If I could get my caddis in that channel of wavy water I figured would be my best chance for another unsuspecting trout. I told Skip my plan as he watched me cast. My first cast was short and a little to the right. I let my fly drift back towards me before recasting. With a little wrist on my forward cast I dropped the caddis exactly where I wanted; shy of the falls and between the stone wall channel.
“That’s it!” I muttered as the elk hair wing wobbled in the channel with the riffles. In an instant, with a hardy surface splash, a fish attempted to consume my dry. I reared back, with a little more force than I needed, to set the hook. The fish skittered a short distance with a fight before it released itself from the barbless hook.