I spent last week with family in Western N.C. and fished almost every day, sampling local ponds, creeks and rivers. Day one was on the Tuckaseegee River, where my father and I caught more than 30 trout on a day-long float trip near Sylva in the delayed-harvest section. Our trip was scheduled the day before the delayed-harvest season was set to expire. By now, the fish are under siege.
I piddled for a day or two in a few ponds, and amazingly enough, was shut out. Humbling to say the least. As a young boy and inexperienced angler, pond fishing served as a comforting refuge. I always seemed to catch fish. As an adult, I was skunked. And it wasn’t for lack of effort. I threw topwater (gurglers) and subsurface (wooly buggers). I fished shallow and deep. Nothing. I had two strikes. Total.
On the last day, I fished Norton Creek, a sidewalk-size stream near Lake Glenvillle and landed this native brown in a matter of minutes before heading back home for lunch. At first, I assumed the vibrant fish was a brookie. It wasn’t. A Facebook friend of mine corrected me. Most of my browns have been darker, richer in color. This one was lighter. Regardless of the species, it made my stay worthwhile. I’ll be back in August.