7/14/20 Jackson County Blue Lines
I fished two headwater forks of a wild trout stream in Jackson County, raising my total to 980 creeks. These creeks have names, but they will remain anonymous out of deference to my former principal and fellow blue line fisherman Travis Collins. I owe him big for allowing me to create and teach my Southern Appalachian History Class at Tuscola High School, and these creeks are his babies, so the names will be withheld to protect the innocent. There is "road" access to both of these, but my little Honda CRV has 330,000 miles and has been front-wheel-drive-only since the drive shaft fell out about ten years ago, so I parked and walked in. I followed an old logging grade on the left side of the main creek up to the confluence of the two headwater creeks and fished the left fork first. I fished a yellow parachute dry fly, and after catching a spec on the first cast, I decided I would fish the left fork until I had caught 20 trout. It did not take long, and I did not have to go very far to reach that number, evenly divided between specs and rainbows.
I then walked back down to the confluence on a "fisherman's path" and planned on fishing up the right fork all the way past a road crossing to a waterfall I wanted to see. The right prong was steeper, rougher, and had more trees down across it, so it took a little longer. It also contained rainbows and specs, but either there were not as many fish in this one or they were not as hungry, because from the mouth to the falls I only caught six.
When I reached the waterfall, I sat down on a rock and ate a nutritious lunch, and then stayed a while longer and enjoyed just being there. After the hike back to the car, there was still a lot of the day left, so I stopped in Maggie Valley on the way home and caught a few more trout, but that's another post.
This started out as a #14 yellow parachute dry fly (my interpretation of a parachute Hazel Creek), with a dyed-yellow deer hair tail and yellow rabbit dubbing. Twenty-six trout later, the tail is gone and the body has been chewed up, but check out my parachute hackle! I know I use more than twice as much hackle as a commercial tier, but that thing would still float and catch fish if I hadn't left it on that mossy rock - my gift to the wood sprites.