Change of Pace (Day 3):


Things cannot go wrong when you take the time to fish with kids - in my case, my
eleven year old grandson.  We started with his first ever trip to a Bass Pro Shop.
He was stunned. Three hours later he had spent the graduation money I gave
him (I didn't know kids graduated to from what ever they call it now to middle
school but I guess they do) on spinning tackle and some other things. Friday the
13th can't even change your day when you are with your grandson.
Yesterday was just Tanner and I. It was the first day in years that I can
remember that I fished without a video camera. Angie stayed home to do some
shopping and to have a late dinner ready for us.
Tanner insisted that we go back up to Walkers Camp Prong and try the brook
trout again, even though I tried to steer him in a different direction. We left about
3:00 PM and found the water even lower than the two days before. What rain
showers that had taken place during the last few days had managed to miss the
headwaters of the Little Pigeon. The water is almost critically low. Almost, but not
quite, as low as it got last year during the drought.
He surprised me and wanted me to fish to show him how I would do. Now you
wouldn't think that would pressure me much but it must have. I missed about six
takes, knocked one brook off on a rock, tossed another over a rock on my back
cast and lost it and in general, did a very poor job of fishing. He told Angie that I
was slow and didn't set the hook fast enough. He tried to do that without me
hearing him but it didn't work. I heard him loud and clear.
About mid-afternoon, we moved to the Little River. I thought maybe it had
received some of the recent thunderstorm activity.  I forgot about the lightning
bugs. The park shut off the road to Elkmont (except for buses) and Tanner and I
were forced to fish downstream of the turnoff to Elkmont.
I was very surprised to see the water was not that low. It was low but nothing like
the Little Pigeon. We started fishing about 6:00 PM and found the dry fly action
rather slim. There were no hatches taking place, no stoneflies depositing their
eggs, no spinner falls and no fish rising.
Fishing the big water was new to Tanner. I fished some of the time and managed
to hook two average sized rainbows on a Little BWO dun imitation, but Tanner
found it difficult to keep track of the size 20 fly. He was able to do a great job
casting but got no response from the trout. I still had to drag him out of the
He gets a lot of practice on his own medium sized lake at home.  He is very
lucky. His father, who raises and races thoroughbred horses,  has a full size
racing track for training with a lake in the center of it on. The bass and bream
fishing has taught him a lot. We both will give the lake a popping bug test when I
take him home this weekend.
Both he and I cannot wait until next month when we will be together at Perdido
Key Florida for a week of fishing. I can assure him of one thing. There will not be
any shortage of bites when I take him bottom fishing, offshore Orange Beach. In
October, fishing with me in Louisiana,  he will get his chance at Redfish on the
fly. I also have a good idea, he may be back to the Smokies before the summer
is over. I must say, all of this depends on the good Lord. The death of Tim
Russert reminds me to be certain to mention that.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh