Brookies atop Mt Mitchell

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Brookies atop Mt Mitchell

Post by Tyler on Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:07 pm



All of the tying and map studying paid off today. I did a little exploring atop the east slopes of the highest peak in the eastern US; Mt. Mitchell. When you think of Mt. Mitchell, you probably think of a cool getaway from the 100° heat baking the Piedmont. You may think of panoramic views that stretch as far as the skyline of Charlotte and Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains Nat'l Park. Fly fishing enthusiasts see a wild trout fishing paradise...

Today I fished a certain stream that flows off of the east slope of Mt. Mitchell. It's one of the highest perennial streams in the Appalachian Mountains. I was given strange looks and questions such as "where ya goin' fishing around here?" as I began the strenuous hike down the mountain. 20 minutes into the hike, I quickly found myself alone. The 2 hikers in front of me diverted to another trail. Other than my bulky wading boots clunking around, the only sound I could hear was the Frasier Firs and Red Spruce swaying in the breeze. Eventually the distant sound of rushing water began to intermingle with the ambient noises of this Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir forest. Now, this particular stream is unusual. In some parts it looks more like a stream you would expect to see in Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park. Not a bad looking stream at all! The fishing wasn't bad either!


The trail runs right through the creek. No bridge. If you're a hiker, plan on getting your feet a little wet! You can see the trail as it crosses the creek in the picture below. Immediately upon stepping into the stream, I saw a nice fish sitting in the pool (seen in the picture below). As he turned, I saw the white leading edges on his fins. Jackpot. We've got Brook Trout. Problem was, he was facing downstream (looking at me). Most normal trout face upstream. There was a little flow in the water, but he still wanted to face downstream for whatever reason. Hey, whatever floats his boat. Knowing that any wrong movement, or jerky motions would send this Southern Appalachian Brookie fleeing for his life, I stopped and slowly crouched into position. He was still sitting there. I made the cast and he rose to my dry. I set the hook and in a quick splash he was off. I shrugged it off and scouted for more specks. Not every pool contained fish, but most did. You could see them at the bottom of each pool, given how clear the water is. A #14 Elk Hair Caddis tossed into these crystal clear pools brought dark torpedo shaped shadows to the surface. A #12 Green Weenie sent the fish into a feeding frenzy. Every fly I tied on caught fish. You have one shot per fish with dries, but they would repeatedly attack a nymph. I hooked one fish 2 or 3 times before getting a hook set. He ate my fly, got off, came back, ate my fly, got off, ate my fly again and I managed to get a hook set. I watched him swim back to his spot after I released him. I'll let the pictures serve for themselves...

















This high altitude stream has earned it's place in my top places to fish in western North Carolina. Simply fantastic. I'll be back for sure.



Threw together a short video that includes some clips from the trip...http://vimeo.com/13627218

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Re: Brookies atop Mt Mitchell

Post by Buffalo96 on Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:20 am

Wow! Them are some awesome looking Brookies! That really is some beautiful area to be in.
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Re: Brookies atop Mt Mitchell

Post by Buffalo96 on Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:23 am

Cool video too! The Nickel Creek was a nice touch.
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Re: Brookies atop Mt Mitchell

Post by Tyler on Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:15 pm

Call me crazy, but I would pick these tiny brookie streams over the Davidson River any day! Who needs 25" browns when you've got fish that engulf your fly on every cast! Cool

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Re: Brookies atop Mt Mitchell

Post by teachrtec on Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:45 pm

Tyler you would go wild if you lived up here Smile
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Re: Brookies atop Mt Mitchell

Post by Tyler on Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:49 am

I would! No trout here in the Charlotte Metro...

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