Being raised in sunny South Florida gives you a great opportunity to fish different species in both salt and fresh water. We are blessed with pelagic fishing a mile offshore, back country mangroves that hold Tarpon, Reds and Snook and Miami's famous canal systems which interconnect with other lakes, ponds and waterways and are known for holding several varieties of fresh water fish, such as the infamous Peacock Bass in its hundred mile stretch.
One thing for sure is that South Florida is an anglers paradise. Even though all this sounds exciting to most, there are some species of fish that our waters just cannot sustain in our climate. One of those species being fresh water Trout, the not so distant relative to Salmon. Just so happens that some good friends of mine wanted to do a cabin trip up to North Carolina, but not to just any city in up in North Carolina but the fly fishing town known as Bryson City. Once me and my good friend Jonathan knew we were gonna be able to target this species, we had to suit up.
First things first, go to youtube and look up info! After 1 hour of watching angler's catch huge Rainbow and Brown Trout we knew we were up for some fun. After 14 hours of cross country driving from Miami to Bryson City we were amazed with the view we had from our cabin.
But there was no time to waste! We had to start choosing who was gonna be the guide for our fishing trip with barely any cellular reception, Thank God for WiFi! We were able to find a nice little fly shop in the heart of Bryson City called Tuckaseegee Fly Shop. After we talked to the nice gentlemen and exchanged fly fishing stories it was time to book our guide and get a good nights rest.
Finally the big day came! We first targeted some hidden honey holes some fishermen told us about to obtain some Rainbow Trout, at first it was the most difficult style of fishing I had ever done before. I'm used to using 10 lb tippet to target Peacock and Largemouth Bass but here in these cold conditions I had to use 5X tippet. Were talking about dental floss here people. Do not try setting the fly too hard cause you'll snap your tippet and off goes a nymph. It was difficult learning that to set the hook we had to raise our fly rods instead of pulling the line but after a few tries we got the logistics down packed.
I will tell you this, when its below 50 degrees and you're placing your hand in that cold river more then 5 times, your gonna feel it to the bones! Once jonathan and I caught a couple on the river it was time to move onto the next level which was fishing from a float. I have never seen a guide work so hard for us to land our Rainbows. Here in South Florida I'm used to sight casting for the targeted species but for Trout your basically blind casting and all you have to tell you "FISH ON" is a strike indicator. Luckily for us we had a guide that will scream fish on that way we would not miss the opportunity to land our fish.
Jonathan with a nice Rainbow Trout
Jasiel Morales with his Rainbow
Overall what can I say? We explored new territory that we We're completely unfamiliar with. We were able to catch fish that we have never had the opportunity to catch before and we experience a fishery that many people only dream of. Remember this, its not about how big the fish is! its about the sheer enjoyment of having a good time and doing it with the people who matter.
Fishing for Rainbows by Jasiel Morales.