Chasing Blue Lines and Tiny Trout

All I can think about this time of year is the freedom of warm summer days, my fly rod and backpack, instead I have endless overcast and rain. The trails are guagmires and the creeks and rivers are completely blown out, but, the daffodils and the red tinged maple limb tips are telling me a story, spring is right around the corner. As soon as it warms just a bit and the trails dry out I will be back to my passion of exploring the Western North Carolina back country looking for out of the way streams and creeks that hold native trout.

In another article, The Best Trout Streams in North Carolina, I mentioned blue lining, which is the hobby of using maps to find tiny streams off the beaten path that may hold native trout. You will never catch large fish, and you will spend a whole lot of time on your hands and knees crawling, fighting and cussing your way through laurel thickets but when you do find a stream that is filled with these little mountain jewels it is amazing!
The trail is about a mile up that way. 

Most people really don't see the attraction to chasing these little guys, as a matter of fact a lot of people actually make fun of this hobby. That's fine, I don't understand why people waste their Sunday afternoons watching overpaid, overgrown man children chase each other up and down a field with a football, but I digress, back to exploring blue lines.

Maybe the winner for all time smallest trout.

It is hard to imagine some of these streams actually holding fish but I promise there really are fish in these trickles of water. It never fails to amaze me how these fish, and nature in general, can find a way to expand and thrive in places you would never expect.

I have talked about tenkara style rods in a past article and mentioned that fishing with tenkara gear is perfect for smaller streams and smaller fish, not to mention it is much easier to navigate the thickets with a rod that telescopes down to a little over a foot long! Your tenkara rod, a small fly box, a bottle of water and a snack and you are ready for a day of exploring. You never know what you are going to find, I have no idea what kind of vehicle this was but it has obviously been there for a while.
The aptly named Trout Lilly

It won't be very much longer and I will be back to roaming the hills looking for tiny trout in places I have never fished and of course in some that I know are sure bets. For now I guess I will just have to look at pics of past trips and reminisce. See you on the creek, Chris 


  1. Thanks. Hope to see you out there sometime. Please keep the posts coming especially the photos. Don't want anything giving away your favorite places. It's just nice being able to show folks that I am not the only nutter who likes specs

    1. Awesome! Yeah there are a few of use crazies out there that will walk miles and miles to catch 6 inch fish.


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