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jzimmerman
05-26-2008, 10:44 AM
As a new trout fly fisher I am asking for yalls advice. I fished middle prong the other day and it seemed like i missed 15 or so strikes on my dry fly that at the end of the day that left me with a big goose egg for a fish count.:confused: Now I am seeing the fish hit the fly and and then I set the hook but there is never anything there. I have tried not setting the hook and just raising my rod but it seems like i am doing something fundamentally wrong to be missing so many fish. Also is there some other type of fish more minnow like that might be hitting my fly instead of a trout? I just moved here from Mississippi and am a little new at the mountain stream fishing thing. I work at Denso in Maryville so I have been skipping lunch and speeding straight to the park after work so there is usually lower lighting when i get there around 5:15 or so it is harder to see what exactally is hitting my fly. Any advice would be great thanks guys.

Brian Griffing
05-26-2008, 10:58 AM
J,
It could be any number of things. It could be that some fish are too small to take the fly you are throwing. Or it could be that they miss, or that they change their mind at the last minute and just flip at it. It's possible you have too much slack in your line, and when you set the hook you are just taking the slack out instead of actually setting the hook.
It's said over and over again on this board, but the advice is still valid. Try being a little more slealthy and using as little line as practical. You may already be doing both. I get a lot of little guys flipping at my flies, too. You just have to stay with it, stay hidden, and keep the slack out of your line.

2weightfavorite
05-26-2008, 11:36 AM
I'd say your biggest problem is fish size. There are a tone of small (2-3 inch) bows around right now and they seem super aggresive. They're everywhere and they seem to really key in on dries. When I take folks fishing I always tell them to set the hook pretty sternly. You have all that leader and a limber rod to absorb the shock if it turns out to be a big fish. Sooner or later a quality fish will rise for you, and all your troubles will be rewarded in a single moment.

Another thing that used to help me is fly size. You may actually down size. Go with a 18 parachute adams or 18 elk hair caddis. You'll still get the quality fish but they are alot easier to eat for a small fish than a stimulator.

Good luck

3wt
05-26-2008, 03:15 PM
The minnow like fish you asked about may be creek chubs.

PeteCz
05-27-2008, 11:03 AM
John, in addition to the name creek chubs, they are also sometimes referred to a Shiners or my favorite, Smoky Mtn Cutthroat http://www.outdooralabama.com/Fishing/freshwater/fish/other/minnow/shiner/warpaint/
They can be a real pain. I've found that where you find Shiners, you don't find many trout...move on to another spot.

If you fish on Middle Prong, you might want to fish further up the stream toward Lynn Camp. I think the drought last year really affected the lower parts of that stream.

As for missing strikes, Brian and 2wt are right on the money. You need to have as little slack on the water as possible (tight line) without causing drift problems (where your fly looks like it's water skiing). If you have a fairly tight line, you will not have to set the hook very hard (if at all). If you feel like you are doing a good job of line mgmt, then the fly is the issue. Its either dragging just a little bit or is the wrong size/color. Go down one size and try it again.

The good news is that you are close. The fish are at least reacting to what is floating by. If you were completely off the mark you wouldn't have any activity...

MarvintheRookie
05-27-2008, 12:17 PM
If you think you have the slack out, I'll second the Chub/shiner idea.

One quick check is that, in my vast experience,(six days in two years LOL!) A trout will rarely give you a quick second chance, those shiners will wear you out as long as you care to cast.

I didn't see a one last year but it seemed the water was polluted with them this year. Brought 15 of the little boogers to hand and literally could not count how many strikes I had.

TroutAssassin
05-27-2008, 07:21 PM
I think we could all admit we rocketed plenty of shiners into outerspace getting that "firm" hookset...or at least i have:biggrin: . Joking aside though, Personally, i dont find hook size to be a determining factor in whether i hook smaller fish or not. I have caught an infinite amount of 3 inch dinks on a #12 hook with no problems. Just match the fly to the size and color of what they are feeding on and make it work. In my opinion, you are more likely missing fish because of a bad drift or you have a good amount of slack in your line. Depending on the elevation you will encounter alot of shiners too. They just slap wildly at your fly like idiots rarely getting anything, probably why their always so hungry;) . Just get a good drift, keep your slack pulled out, and be quick on the hookset and you will very rarely miss any fish

buster55
05-28-2008, 07:59 PM
Just got back from the Park. I followed all the good advice from last week, but didn't have as much time to fish as I wanted. I did manage a nice brook near the Chimney's picnic area.

As for missing fish, that happened to me a lot. I concluded that I have mastered the art of serious catch and release. Unlike the LDR (long distance release), I have developed Extreme Long Distance Release. I let em go before they touch my fly:p Much easier on the fish, and I "catch" so many more that way!

Alan

jzimmerman
05-29-2008, 03:31 PM
So I headed out to the park tuesday late as always and thanks to your advice I had my best day so far!! I ended up with 8 rainbows by the end of the day and two of them were in the 7 to 8 inch range. This is a big improvment from my previous high of 1 fish. It turns out that I was just leaving to much slack out and not keeping my line straight. "In mississippi I never had to worry about the whole current thing :biggrin: " I am thinking about making an all day trip this weekend any suggestions on where to go? (other than middle prong i am trying to explore other areas)

P.S. Thanks to the lady a LRO I didn't get her name but a showed up 5 min. before closing and unlike most places around closing time she was very nice and helpful!

Rog 1
05-29-2008, 04:07 PM
Hike up the LR trail above Elkmont....after you reach the Huskey Branch "falls" start looking at the water.....doubt if you make it that far before getting wet but there is all kinds of water to test you along the trail

jzimmerman
06-02-2008, 01:55 PM
Just wanted yall to know that I fished west prong late last we and ended up with 13 bows. Most of them were small but one of them was in the 7-8 inch range which from what I understand is a good fish for this part of the creek. Saturday I took my roomate fishing on Abrams Creek we hiked about 30 min in and were going to fish our way back, but after a couple hours and two decient sized rainbows my roomate said that he had all that he could take "he's a city slicker". I was wondering if there is anyone else out there that would want to fish some of the park with me. I usually fish it 4 times a week and late in the day. I just moved up here from Mississippi and am still learning a lot about how to read these moutain streams. I also am having a very hard time catching fish on the little river I think I got the small creek thing down but when it comes to Little River towards Maryville I am totally lost. I even found myself picking up my ultralight and fishing for smallies last friday (I caught a good 2.5 pounder though which made it worth it). I have yet to catch a trout with myfly rod on the "bigger water" so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

BlueRaiderFan
06-02-2008, 02:38 PM
I'd be happy to join you except I live in Nashville and can't get up that often. As far as fly fishing in town, I've had success fishing from the road and hiding behind one of the big boulders by one of the pull offs next to the main drag. I think a streamer would work well. Get a couple of different colors, or maybe try a Clouser.

jhicks30
06-03-2008, 12:09 AM
i was up off huskey branch up by elkmont and was having some of the same problems. As a fairly new fly fisherman it was frustrating to get the hits but not hook a single one. All i know is when i finally get one up there it will be that much more rewarding.

milligan trout degree
06-03-2008, 01:09 AM
Just wanted yall to know that I fished west prong late last we and ended up with 13 bows. Most of them were small but one of them was in the 7-8 inch range which from what I understand is a good fish for this part of the creek. Saturday I took my roomate fishing on Abrams Creek we hiked about 30 min in and were going to fish our way back, but after a couple hours and two decient sized rainbows my roomate said that he had all that he could take "he's a city slicker". I was wondering if there is anyone else out there that would want to fish some of the park with me. I usually fish it 4 times a week and late in the day. I just moved up here from Mississippi and am still learning a lot about how to read these moutain streams. I also am having a very hard time catching fish on the little river I think I got the small creek thing down but when it comes to Little River towards Maryville I am totally lost. I even found myself picking up my ultralight and fishing for smallies last friday (I caught a good 2.5 pounder though which made it worth it). I have yet to catch a trout with myfly rod on the "bigger water" so any advice would be greatly appreciated.


shoot me an email sometime if you need a fishing partner. I work most days during the week. I can fish late in the day during the week (around five or so). My weekends are usually open for the most part. bktaylor@milligan.edu

Ben