View Full Version : Fished Chimney Tops Lately?

03-10-2008, 05:37 PM
My wife and I are coming up this weekend and I want to do little fishing. I Have fished Greenbrier and Porter's Creek allot. I have read about Chimney Tops being a great place to fish. Is it this time of year and what is hatching right now? Is the water back up from the very dry summer?

Thanx for any tips or advise!!!!

03-10-2008, 06:00 PM
be ready to boulder hop.....use caution if it looks like rain.

03-10-2008, 07:14 PM
I have not been up to WPLP (runs from the Chimney Tops trailhead) this year but from what I have seen of the rainfall in the upper elevations, there should be plenty of water and then some. While this is one of my favorite places to fish in the park so far, I have not really seriously fished it yet this spring as the water temps are still probably pretty low (higher elevations and snow melt). If you go up there, be sure and post a report; I'd love to hear how it fishes this early.

BTW, the boulder hopping is one of my favorite features of this stream.

03-10-2008, 08:36 PM
Charlie B

Thanx for the encouragement. I have not fished this area at all. Do I need to hike a bit before I start fishing?

03-10-2008, 08:48 PM
no, you can start right there////once, long ago when i was 10 feet tall and bullet proof.........i took the old manway from the chimneys picnic area (then campground) to the chimney tops////////now i'm vulnerable...use care in the lil pigeon up there

03-10-2008, 09:00 PM
I plan on it.....I was going for my fist slam last summer and my fun was interrupted by reality when I found myself on a rock that a copperhead wanted really bad.....I let him have the rock, but it was after I broke my rod trying to defend myself and poking at him to slow him down from his charge at me. That day I got a new St. Croix Rod, completed my first slam, and learned a lesson in caution and vulnerability (I am glad nobody was around when the snake showed up, cause I screamed like a 7th grade girl at a Justin Timberlake Concert ;D)

03-10-2008, 09:03 PM

There is some great water up by the Chimneys picnic area and upstream as well. Myself, this early in the season I would focus on the WPLP from just upstream of Gatlinburg to the Quiet Walkways below the picnic area. I just think (I could be wrong) that the water temps will be too cold up by the picnic area this early in the season. The stream gains a great deal of elevation between the picnic area and south Gatlinburg and that will make the water at least a few degrees cooler in higher reaches of the stream. I would try down lower and if have some success you can always move upstream to try some different water. I highly recommend that you buy a temperature guage to check the water temps and see what works and doesn't work.

Good luck,


03-10-2008, 09:33 PM
Thanx Neal, I use a temp gauge allot. Thanx for the tip on the picnic area also.

03-10-2008, 09:59 PM
I screamed like a 7th grade girl at a Justin Timberlake Concert ...Humor goes along way around here...

I second Sam's, Charlie's and Neal's comments and would add this, as well: Don't overlook the in-between...There is some great water in between the Picnic area and the Sugarlands. Just park at one of the "Quiet walkways" on the way up to Newfound Gap from the Sugarlands and walk down to the stream. Its amazing how few people you will see so close to the the road (out of sight, out of mind).

I'm a huge fan of the stream from the picnic area right up and through Road Prong, but I think the water is still too cold. I would wait later in the month to attempt it. But check out the Quiet Walkways, you'll be pleasantly surprised...

Indianapolis Fisherman
03-10-2008, 11:51 PM
Last summer, a friend and I fished the Clinch River with a guide. We asked our guide to suggest an easy place to fish inside the park. He recommended the Chimney picnic area. We took his advice and had great luck!

Access is extremely easy in the picnic area and there is plenty of water to fish. Our guide suggested getting there early in the morning. He said that as lunch-time approaches, the stream fills-up with splashing kids and the fish stop eating. He was exactly right. From 7:00 until 10:00 we had the place to ourselves. Sometime around 10:30, it got crowed and the fish quit biting.

Iíve also tried fishing upstream of the Chimney trailhead. The terrain there is very rough. You have to hike in the stream as the brush on the banks is impenetrable. The stream is very steep and you have to do quite a bit of climbing. I learned that Iím too clumsy to fish there. Every time I approached a new pool, I spooked all of the fish -- it was kind of fun to watch them all run for cover. If you are sneaky, youíll probably do well. For me, it was a great place to go creek stompiní but a hard place to fish. Next time, Iíll leave the rod in the car.

03-11-2008, 12:56 AM
I love the entire WPLPR watershed, but one thing I've noticed is that it can push quite a volume of water down its streambed. Even back in November, the last time I was up, the water was higher there than anywhere else - I had to be very careful wading. I second the boulder-hopping scenario described above, and would add that it seems, at least to me, to be particularly slick as well - I always end up with a new gash or bruise on this stream. However, it's great, particularly in the warmer months, when it seems to be a bit cooler than other streams.

Rog 1
03-11-2008, 09:58 AM
I recall reading somewhere that the WPLP has the highest gradient of any river east of the Mississippi....this may not be accurate but after spending a day rock hoppin up through that gorge it will get my vote....a lot easier to fish when the water is managable.....have spent many a day elsewhere in the park after getting to a put in point on this river and looking at the water....I have found that the upper reaches do fish better in the warmer months through October.

03-11-2008, 01:05 PM
The WPLP is a pretty gnarly stream. My buddy is on the olympic kayak team and trains up there when its pushing high volumes. He says its a great place to lose life and limb. I like the fishing.

03-11-2008, 05:39 PM

Your buddy has more "Stones" than me, I wouldn't wanna take on one of those big greenback boulders head on in a little kayak. I'll stick to wading when the water isn't too high.


03-11-2008, 06:34 PM
After a particularly hard rain in early fall (one of the few last year), I went up to Road Fork and WPLP. WP was raging but, since I made the trip, I tried to find some spots along the edge where I could at least throw a fly or two. As I had my head down tying on a fly, I heard this CRASH that just about made me jump out of my skin and it was a kayak hitting a boulder in mid-stream. In all, there were 12 kayaks that past me on the stream in a short time and they were flying down through the gorge. One was using oval paddles strapped to his hands that looked like a sure-fire recipe for torn rotator cuffs.

Needless to say if it was a great day for extreme kayaking, it was a lousy day for fishing but it was pretty crazy just watching those guys roar down the river - scary stuff!

03-11-2008, 10:31 PM
My son and I fished up there last summer. The water was pretty good considering the drought and we caught a fair number of fish from the picnic area to about 300 yards upstream. Like has been said, it's a lot of boulder climbing. Some of those rocks are the size of my living room. Be careful as the space between the rocks on the stream bed can catch you by surprise and what is knee deep water can suddenly become chest deep in about three inches of space.

Here is a photo I took of the area. It is quite beautiful and worth the fishing. Just be cautious of where you step and watch out climbing over and around the boulders. They can be slick. I fell once but did not hurt anything more than my pride. What hurt most was when my 12 year old son started laughing and reached down his hand to help the senior citizen up off the ground.


Rog 1
03-12-2008, 09:30 AM
Great photo....that river used to be a sportsman stream when I began fishing in the Park....anything under 16" had to be released...the numbers game at this time was unbelievable...60 fish days were not uncommon..there was also a hatchery in the picnic area that was a campground back then....largest trout I have taken in the park came out of the lower gorge several years ago...16" bow on a #14 EHC....