By Ken Calkin
Every month ORCTU’s fishing trip chairman Brian Carney plans a fishing trip for the chapter. Anywhere from one to a dozen fishers head out to a stream Brian has selected. The March trip was to go to the Nantahala in North Carolina, and initially 5 or 6 of us expressed interest. After a week of cold and rainy weather and the same predicted for the scheduled Thursday, the fishing party had dwindled to three of us, Tim, Ron and me.
Sometimes when you mention to another fisher that you went fishing but didn’t catch anything, they will humorously reply; “That’s why they call it fishing and not “catching”. This trip we called a “catching” trip.
It really didn’t matter where we fished, as long as we were close to the pull-offs. I think there were only 3 or 4 other fishers out on Thursday and my suspicion is there had been nobody there since they stocked on Monday or Tuesday. By Thursday, when we got there the freshly stocked fish were really hungry and waiting for someone to feed them. They were so hungry, I think if we threw an empty hook in the water, they would have tried to eat that. I think they were all huddled together, right where the truck put them, and they were fighting each other to get to our flies.
When we first got there we went all the way to the end and there was someone there, so we moved back upstream about 3 pull offs and Tim suggested this was a good spot and he would go upstream and I could go downstream. Ron could start where we pulled off. I went downstream about 50 yards and started fishing. I worked at it and did catch 3 fish. After about 1/2 hour I looked upstream and Ron was still on the bank, where we parked. I thought maybe he was having trouble with knots or the slippery rocks and current had intimidated him. As I continued to work my way upstream, he still hadn’t moved, but I did see him frequently bend over with his net out. When I finally got to him and proudly boasted that I had already caught 3 fish, he told me he had caught 20, and hadn’t moved from that spot. When I challenged him to “Show me!” He made 3 casts and had another.
I caught a couple in that spot and then Tim joined us for lunch and promptly caught one. After lunch we moved up to near the top of the DH section where they are doing a lot of construction, and continued the same pattern, each of us catching a dozen or so. At one point, three casts in a row to the same spot were rewarded with three nice brook trout. After we tired of that spot, we got in the car and went to near the middle of the DH section and again each caught 20 or so. At the end of the day, the three of us had landed well over 120 trout. Most of the trout we caught were in the 9 -12 inch range, with a few larger rainbows and browns.
We can’t wait to go on the next “Brian trip”!