Change of Pace (Day 2):


The day before yesterday I would have said Tanner (my grandson) would not
have wanted to go back to the small streams to catch brook trout. After all, ever
young boy's dream is to catch a big fish. When I first explained that an eight inch
brook trout was considered a fairly good sized brook trout, he looked at me like I
was crazy. Much to my surprise, Tanner started talking about brook trout as
soon as he got out of bed yesterday even though he had not caught one or
actually seen one other than on video and in pictures.
About noon we headed back up to Walker's Camp Prong to give him another
shot at it. After missing four or five ones and breaking his light tippet on one, he
finally managed to catch one about five or six inches long. Both Angie and I were
very surprised to see him so excited. You would have thought he caught a world
The water is very low in the headwaters of the Pigeon. The brook trout are
hiding and are not so easy to catch as they would be with normal water levels.
Trying to coach an eleven year old boy into sneaking up on one without
spooking it is a tough job within itself.
When we got back down the mountain around 3:30 PM, we noticed that a large
thunderstorm had moved through and dropped some water in Gatlinburg and
Pigeon Forge. That was almost opposite of what you would expect or at least
hope for. The rain yesterday and the day before in the same area, had really
clouded the water in the Pigeon downstream of Gatlinburg and put the second
part of our fishing plan in jeopardy  If that was not a fact, it would almost be
funny. No rain in the headwaters made it tough and too much rain in the lower
river made the smallmouth bass fishing tough. I explained to Tanner that it is that
type of thing that makes fishing interesting, challenging and fun. We took shots
at the smallmouth in several spots along the river through Pigeon Forge with no
luck. Just before dark, I gave it a shot below the bridge directly across from
Walmart in Sevierville. A large one took my popping bug about a foot from the
bank almost directly below my feet and surprised me so much I didn't get the
hook set. The fish won and all I could do was look at Tanner with a blank look on
my face. He was shocked at the size of it and so was I.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh