A Speckled Trout August!
8/9/23 Beech Flats Prong
I went back to Beech Flats looking for Aden Branch. I had fished what I thought was Huskey Creek and an unnamed tributary back in 2010, and the map I used back then showed Aden Branch running into Beech Flats farther upstream. A thunderstorm complete with high winds and falling widow-makers kept me from going any further. I took my garmin again (same map), passed what I thought was Huskey Branch, and worked my way upstream to the exact spot where Aden Branch was supposed to run into Beech Flats Prong - nothing but dry land. When I got back home, I checked the map on topozone.com/north-carolina/ and it shows Aden Branch turning parallel to Beech Flats and combining with Huskey Branch before running in to Beech Flats. At some point since the original map was made, a flood has changed the course of the creek. So, I did not get a new creek on this day, but I realized that I had already fished Aden Branch (not Huskey) and Huskey Branch (not a UT). On the plus side, I caught a bunch of specs, one rainbow and one brown in Beech Flats to complete a Hat Trick! I fished a green weenie under an orange indicator. Several fish hit the indicator on top. In every case, on the next cast they found the fly, so I never switched to a dry. I also caught several tiny specs by letting the fly sink to the bottom in slow eddies, and they came out from under rocks to it it.
8/12/23 Upper Tellico River
Ben Wilson took me into Upper Tellico to fish one of the creeks on my bucket list. I also wanted to go far enough upstream on the Tellico to catch a spec, since I only caught rainbows near the state line back in 2006. We crossed at a ford a little ways downstream from a couple of waterfalls, and once we got above the falls we fished at several crossings. I still had on the green weenie and orange indicator, and the specs in Tellico could not resist the indicator. As an experiment, I switched to a gray foam spider with neon yellow legs and bright orange thread that I tie for panfish in Lake Junaluska. I hate to admit it, but the specs ate it up! When we got to Mistletoe Creek, it wasn't there - same situation as Aden Branch! We fished our way up to Bob Creek, and Ben's first couple of casts were followed by a loud crack of thunder and hard rain. With four river crossings and a creek crossing to negotiate, we decided to head back down. By the time we got to the last ford, the water was a little pushy, but we made it across. No new creeks, but we caught lots of specs!
8/18/23 Enloe Creek
Ben and I hiked in to fish Enloe Creek and a tributary appropriately named Hideaway Brook. We got in Enloe a little ways above the trail crossing and just fished upstream until we reached it. Enloe was a new creek for both of us, and the fishing was fantastic! We were not counting, but the best way to describe it was we caught a fish about every third cast - yes, it was that good! At least I did not humiliate these specs by catching them on a bream fly - I used a size 12 Hazel Creek parachute dry fly all day. When we got to Hideaway Brook, of course it was much smaller and tighter than Enloe, but we did not have to fish very far upstream to catch 3-4 fish each. The walk back up the mountain to the trail was the real adventure, including an accidental discharge of my bear spray while crawling through a laurel hell, but that's a story for another day. Ben caught fish in Raven Fork, Hyatt Creek, Straight Fork and Ledge Creek to finish the day with six new creeks.