View Full Version : those little fish

06-01-2008, 08:45 PM
Today, I was loading my boat,getting my stuff together,at Helm's Landing on the Cumberland River,getting ready to launch for a bit of fly fishing.A new looking SUV pulls in pulling a drift boat made in Idaho.Three guys get out and begin loading the boat with tackle etc. they seem to be in a hurry.One of them shakes his head and smiles,says they are from Knoxville.I ease over and check out their rig.It is a nice one.I ask them if they ever fish the Smokies.They answer in unison-"NO-OOOOO"--the leader of the three,or maybe the one who talks the most said "Too much walking for little-bitty fish"
I said "there are large fish in the park if you are cantankerous enough to catch them" "Maybe so"says the leader"I am not wasting my time on tourist trout.I seemed to have hit a nerve.The leader did not realize the streams of the Smokies give us one of the last places in the East where we can actually catch wild trout out of clean cold water.One day,sooner before later,the leader will realize this and will end up on Tremont,casting a dry fly on to the waters,and wondering how he could ever have abandoned a place like this--

06-01-2008, 10:03 PM
They can have Idaho and we'll keep heaven. Seems like a good deal for us.

06-02-2008, 04:51 AM
I heard that! (looks so weird when you write it down) I love our itty-bitty fish. If they don't want them, more for us.

06-02-2008, 09:00 AM
They are little fish. We all get excited when someone catches a 12" trout.

But... it's not all about catching big fish. If I wanted to catch big fish all day long, I'd drive 20 minutes to the Ohio River, tie on a couple chicken livers and catch 40lb catfish all night long, or pop on a dough ball and haul in 30lb carp anytime I wanted.

There's something about standing next to or in a mountain stream, listening to the water rushing over the rocks and the wind in the trees and the smell of moist earth and pine that is the experience. Oh by the way, we may catch a little fish or two along the way.

To me, it's not even the fact they're wild. Wild fish just add to the pleasure but it's about the full experience.

Don't get me wrong, I like to haul in a 40lb catfish now and then. 90% of my fishing is for bass and bluegill. Nothing wrong with a 5lb bass on a flyrod either.

I catch bluegill at least 3X per week bigger and harder fighting than any trout I've ever seen in the Smokeys.

It's the full experience of fishing in one of the most beautiful places God has created that causes me to drive from Cincinnati (actually Northern Kentucky) to Townsend several times a year.

It's not the fish, it's the fishing.

I know a lot of guys like the ones described who only care about how many and how big. I really do feel sorry for them.


06-02-2008, 10:21 AM
Just three less people to see in the park in my book.

I think there is a progression of how people go through the fishing life cycle. Now that I typed that, I realize it is only because I just finished reading the new Geirach book. At first you go after any fish that will bite. Then you change to as many fish as you can. Then to the biggest. Then you go for the experience. Then back to any fish that will bite.

06-02-2008, 01:22 PM
If they can not appreciate the beauty and the opportunity of the park thatís there loss, once a week I get off work in Knoxville and head to the park for some fishing.
Itís great, nice quite catch lots of fish, may be small but every thing I need fits nicely in behind the seat of my truck. And there are some nice fish there just takes a little more effort but worth it.

Bears, hogs, otters, browns, bows, brooks and so much more it is not just the fish.

I never tire of it.

They do not take the time to appreciate what they are missing.

06-02-2008, 01:32 PM
People like that just don't understand, like others have said, that it's not all about catching a large fish. The serenity that comes with standing in a stream in the smokies is something that can't be described. Actually managing to fool a wily trout is just a bonus to cap it all off. Like gmreeves said, three less people in the park to worry about!!


Rog 1
06-02-2008, 03:46 PM
It is almost a religious experience...a feeding of the soul that replenishes what everyday life robs from us...fishing in the park embraces so much more than the actual act of catching fish....I sure those "fishermen" are of the ilk that still measure the success of a trip by the size and number of fish they catch...feel sorry for them.

06-02-2008, 05:20 PM
whatever floats your boat

06-02-2008, 06:51 PM
As you can tell by my screen name I have chased the little fish since I was a kid here in Waynesville. You have to love what you are doing.

06-02-2008, 08:02 PM
i started fly fishing about 10yrs ago my reason was simple i was getting bored catching fish on my spinning rod.... growing up in erie pa with lake erie and the bay many differant species of all sizes... so i took the challenge taught myself to cast and took a fly tying class..... the thrill of catching my first trout on a fly i made was great.... i'm no excpert and still have much to learn, but fishing the park last year was a great experience....my girlfriend will walk all day with me she loves being out there.... just need to get her to try casting the rod lol... i am about to move back to crossville tn after being gone this past winter and the first week im back we will be taking a trip to fish....fly fishing is escape from reality time and one of the most relaxing ways to spend a day.... when i get back if anyone ever needs a partner for the day give me a shout always ready to wet the line

06-02-2008, 08:33 PM
Tailwaters are great fishing.There are large browns in these waters.and decent rainbows.For the most part,they are stocked fish,not wild,and they are pretty dumn,,,will bite on about anything presented to them in state structured waters--I don't think much about tailwaters and easy fishing when I drift off to sleep--I usually think about the streams of the Smokey's and those little fish.....

06-02-2008, 10:21 PM
Wow, I thought true fly fisherman fish for the love of the sport. Are you sure they were'nt bass fisherman?? We will be fishing there next week and from what I have read, it's not that easy to catch them, so I will be jumping up and down if I catch 1 of any size.....ok, maybe not jumping up and down because I read that you have to be stealthy!

Brian Griffing
06-03-2008, 01:06 PM
For me, one of the best things about being in the mountains, (regardless of whether "mountains" means the Tennessee Smokeys, the high Sierra's of eastern California, or the Rocky Mountain Front of northern Montana) is that most people either don't want to be there, can't be there, or don't want to put in the time and effort to stand on the spot I am standing. I'd rather catch a 6 inch wild trout, standing knee deep in a swift current three miles above Elkmont, by my own sweat, knowledge and skill, than reel in a dull, lathargic "big-boy" from under the streets of Gatlinburg who thought my tan elk hair caddis was a glob of Purina fish chow.
As for folks who don't feel the same way, that's fine. If the moutains themselves aren't convincing enough, who am I to convince them? Besides, it leaves a little more casting room in the places I'd rather be.