Monday, September 1, 2008

Appalachian Slam!

What is the Appalachian Slam? This is what fishermen call it when they catch all 3 species of trout of the Southern Appalachian Mountains in a single day. Yesterday, I fished the wild section of the Davidson River in the morning and caught a small brown trout and a 10" rainbow. Another angler was fishing downstream of me and wanted to pass. Normally, fly fishing etiquette would require that he walk around me and go far upstream. But, because I had already caught two pretty fish and he had been fishing after me, I told him to just go ahead of me.
I decided that I wanted to try for some Brook trout so I left the Davidson and went to a new stream that I had been wanting to try. The stream requires a difficult hike and climbing up 2 waterfalls. But it was well worth the effort. The stream had many small brookies at first. The further upstream I went the larger the fish got. At the back of a large pool there was an undercut rock that looked like a perfect holding area for a brookie. I took my time and tried many different patterns including nymphs. Finally, a large 10" brook trout took a #16 Royal Coachman and gave a nice fight. Unfortunately, I was using a barbless hook and I did not have net. So, he escaped right at my feet! But, I was very happy! I hooked atleast two more large brookies a little upstream and lost both of them. The point is, I have found a new stream with large sized brookies and I think it receives very little fishing pressure. I can't wait to go back with my net. Normally I don't like to use barbed hooks but I usually shallow hook the brookies and they are really good at shaking the fly from their mouth.

I'm afraid I am going to have to keep the location of this new stream a secret. Sorry!

So after fishing the "secret" stream for a few hours, I headed back to the Davidson to fish the evening rise. I found a large, deep pool where the Davidson and Looking Glass creek intersect. Just upstream of the pool is a nice riffle on the Davidson side. I knew this would be a likely spot for the evening rise. I waited until about 5:30 pm until I started seeing trout rising to insects floating on the water. My first cast was about 60 feet to the top of the riffle with a large grasshopper imitation. It drifted naturally for about 10 feet and was sucked under by a very large rainbow. I struggled to keep him from getting into the rocks at the head of the riffle, but I lost him. Usually the largest fish in the area gets first dibs on any food floating by. I'm guessing this one was about 20". The fish continued rising and I caught 5 more medium sized rainbows (10"-12") out of the same riffle and pool.

So, for the day, I had my first Appalachian Slam. Can you identify the three species in the following pictures? Sorry the picture quality is not very good, I forgot my camera and had to use my cell phone.Well? If you're not sure the answers are below.









1) Rainbow Trout

2) Brown Trout

3) Brook Trout

><> Tight Lines


  1. Hi David:

    Well done, mostly!
    You learned something by losing a big fish. You should have stopped his first run using all your power and techniques.

    Try not to get involved in a trouble with other angler in the river. The unpleasant feeling will undoubtedly ruin your holiday. You did well too this time.

    You are becoming an adult fisherman.


  2. Kyousirou,
    As always, I appreciate your comments. You are right, I will be prepared for the bigger fish next time. I need toadjust my tippet size and thinking for large trout on the Davidson River.
    I think it is important to be courteous to other anglers. There is a quote from the Bible that says, "do to others what you would want them to do to you." I think it is good advice for fishermen.
    tight lines,

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  4. Daisukina Debi-ji,
    Appalachian Slam no de omedetou gozaimasu. Watashi mo ureshiku narimashita ke do, himitsu ga suki ja nai. Oshiete kudasai. :-) Blog wa erai desu yo. Ganbatte....
    Your Happy Fly Fishing Widow,