Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Guided Fishing Trip In The Smokey Mountians

Today I was able to go on a half day guided fishing trip in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. I am vacationing with my family in Gatlinburg. On the way up my wife suggested I go on a fishing trip. I didn't have the foresite to pack any gear, so I knew I would have to either rent some or find a guide. I ended up choosing to go with a guide. This was the first time I have been able to afford a guided trip. I had the choice between fishing for small mouth bass or rainbow trout. I chose the trout. I didn't catch much fish, but had a great time and learned a bunch. There is defiantly nothing like fishing with a professional!

A beautiful river

I started the day fishing in a shallow slow moving river. My guide, Gary, brought me to a pool and had me start casting rooster tails and small rubber worms. We could see dozens of nice 12" - 14" trout, but none did more than look at my bait. They would swim up to it and then just turn away once they got a good look. This was exciting and frustrating.

We worked up the river, hitting the pools. Gary did a great job of showing me where the pools were and how to present my lures. This lesson in itself was worth the price of the trip. We came upon an elderly local fishing one large pool. He had caught a couple using corn slowly drug across the bottom.

While fishing a fast moving section of the river I caught my first fish of the day. It was not a trout, but a species I had never heard of; the locals call it a Red Eye. Red Eye's are also known as Rock Bass. These are not the Rock Bass we have back in the Chesapeake Bay (also known as Strippers), they are a cold water bream that live in mountain streams. I didn't know such a thing existed. It was a very pretty fish and I was excited to catch a new species.

A Red Eye

We worked up and down the river with no other fish, ending up at the pool we started in. There we started trying every lure and bait Gary had. We could see dozens of fish and they were chasing my lures, but no bites. Eventually we tried a black rooster tail, almost immediately I had a strong strike with a fish on. It was a nice 9 inches.

I ate this one.
After that I caught one other small one and hooked three others. One of them was quite large, but I lost it due to my inexperience. All in all it was a great experience that I look forward to repeating. Fishing with a guide was tons of fun. I could tell that Gary felt bad that I didn't catch more, but that is part of fishing. I am, after all, very unlucky. He definitely put me on fish and taught me a bunch. I have caught trout fever and am already planning my next trip.

I'm going to do a review the guide service I used in my next post, so stay tuned!

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