Saturday is the opening day of trout season in York County. Opening day is almost a holiday. Fishermen, women and children will don tall rubber boots, bundle up in warm clothes and wade into their favorite stream to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other fisher people trying to catch a fish that has been dumped, unceremoniously into the creek from a bucket.
For those who know me, I am an avid trout fisherman, but I haven’t taken part in opening day for at least five years, maybe more, the only reason I have in the past 15 or so was for my kids. I prefer fishing wild mountain streams alone or with a close friend or two. I love wild trout, no ugly stocked fish with missing fins and flat noses for me. And never, ever will you catch me with worm or corn baiting my hook.
But yet, for some reason I always get assigned to get a photo to promote the first day of trout season. In years past I’ve done multi-media pieces about bamboo rod builders and behind the scenes at the trout hatchery. I’ve gone to streams open year-round and photographed fly-fisherman catching and releasing wild trout. I’ve made countless photos of people buying fishing gear at the local sporting goods stores. This year I just got lucky and received an email about a last-minute trout stocking that featured a dozen or more kids dumping stockies into Beaver Creek.
The past two days have been awesome here in the Smokies. Yesterday Rich and I hiked to Ramsey cascades, an eight mile round-trip hike. We hit snow at about 2000 feet and at 3000 we were hiking in four to five inches. The last 2.5 miles were brutal, climbing over 2000 vertical feet.
Ramsey Cascades was a beatiful sight, with snow on the rocks and icicles hanging. We spent about 45 minutes at the cascades before starting our decent. We stopped and floated a fly through several pools on the way back down but had no luck.
Rich Pavoncello photo
Back at Greenbrier, Rich and I got on some rising fish in the Little Pigeon River and caught several each.
Today we traveled to Towsend, just outside the park and visited Little River Outfitters. The staff there was great and provided good information and conversation.
On the suggestion of the LRO staff, we headed to Tremont inside the park to fish. Walking the trail about 1/2 mile, we came to the Tremont cascade. Above that is were we started fishing.
Rich and I split up and fished the afternoon away through crystal clear pools full of beautiful little rainbow trout.
On our way back down the mountain we smelled smoke. Near the parking area we came upon a small woods fire. Obviously, some idiot tossed a cigarette into the woods and the leaves caught fire.
Tomorrow we attempt Mt. LeConte and try to find some Smoky Mountain Brook Trout!