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Driving into Banner Elk on Friday night in a blinding snowstorm, it never occured to me that I might be fishing in shirtsleeves that weekend, but wouldn't you know it that's how it ended up. Sunday at noon I was standing in the river, watching little trout rising to take some microscopic (or imagined) critter from the surface. I tied on my littlest white dry fly, and an equally tiny beadhead 12"down from it as a backup plan, and failed to tempt those trout in about 30 casts. Then as luck would have it, the wind blew my cast back at me and it dropped less than 20 feet from me, in a rocky shallow. I had just started pulling in line to make another cast when the trout pictured below exploded on my dry fly, missed, and whirled and grabbed the beadhead. It was so loud and close to me and unexpected that I literally jumped. He had been practically at my feet the whole time, and I hadn't even noticed him for all my focus on the 8-9" fish rising 40 feet away. That fish was frisky, and he came 2 feet out of the water 3 times before I brought him in. 15 min later, in the next pool up one as big or bigger broke off my dropper, and those were the only two fish I could coax to strike in the 2 hours I was out. Still a wonderful day in early march to stretch a line.





 
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