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View Full Version : I Hate the Smokies


BlueRaiderFan
07-17-2008, 10:04 PM
Do these fish need to eat? I mean, seriously. Skunked again. I went a mile up the trail head at Elkmont like everyone said and nothing. After four hours of fishing, I saw two trout and caught none. I either didn't go far enough or I just can't fish. I hate trout.

jwebb541
07-17-2008, 10:15 PM
You've got to work on excuses. It's never the fisherman's fault. It's always moon phases, temperature, water level, time of day, wind velocity, el nino, la nina, or something along those lines whenever I have a not so productive trip.

BlueRaiderFan
07-17-2008, 10:33 PM
Well...I am good at blaming others for my problems.:biggrin: I think these particular fish don't like me. It's personal at this point.

Plunker
07-17-2008, 10:42 PM
There has to be some kinda early warning system in use it's like...

"PSSSST here comes that guy that stands in the creek waving a stick...pass the word":cool:

What makes it even worse is when I realize that I've just been outsmarted by something with a brain the size of a BB:eek:

psnapp
07-17-2008, 10:56 PM
BRF - not trying to make a pitch for Hugh Hartsell, but what I have found is that in the mtn streams, if they won't hit a Smoky Mountain BlackBird softhackle, then they just are not hitting, period!

Phil

rainshaker
07-17-2008, 11:24 PM
Blackbird? Smoky? whats that all about? :cool:

psnapp
07-18-2008, 12:04 AM
Like I said, I'm not trying to advertise for Hugh on Byron's / Paula's / Daniel's board, but it is a Hugh Hartsell pattern that is especially effective in local mountain streams. Here's a pic of the pattern:

http://www.smokymountainflyguide.com/wet%20flies%20and%20soft%20hackles.htm

mtnman2888
07-18-2008, 05:38 AM
Haha i'm with you psnapp, if i can't catch anything the smbsh always bails me out and if i don't catch anything on that then there is just no fish in the streams!

Back to your original question, brf, fishing in the smokies during low water can be very difficult and trust me i'm sure you weren't the only one who didn't have any luck yesterday. During low water conditions the most important thing in my eyes is stealth. Since the water is low it also becomes very clear and the fish seem to go in hiding, so use whatever you can (trees, rocks, etc.) to hide behind and conceal your presence. Also, stay low to the water. I know it can play havoc on your knees and back sometimes but crouching down and not looking like a giant among men increase your odds. Also, what size leader were you using? While i don't think this plays as much of a factor as concealing your presence, 6x would be sufficient for elkmont. Hope this helps and don't give up, everybody has bad days.

BlueRaiderFan
07-18-2008, 06:33 AM
Haha i'm with you psnapp, if i can't catch anything the smbsh always bails me out and if i don't catch anything on that then there is just no fish in the streams!

Back to your original question, brf, fishing in the smokies during low water can be very difficult and trust me i'm sure you weren't the only one who didn't have any luck yesterday. During low water conditions the most important thing in my eyes is stealth. Since the water is low it also becomes very clear and the fish seem to go in hiding, so use whatever you can (trees, rocks, etc.) to hide behind and conceal your presence. Also, stay low to the water. I know it can play havoc on your knees and back sometimes but crouching down and not looking like a giant among men increase your odds. Also, what size leader were you using? While i don't think this plays as much of a factor as concealing your presence, 6x would be sufficient for elkmont. Hope this helps and don't give up, everybody has bad days.


Yeah, I was in stealth mode. Used a 7X tippet too. Stinkin trout.

cardfly
07-18-2008, 08:31 AM
Hey BRF,

I'm not trying to start anything but last time I was fishing I heard a group of trout talking about you. They were saying not to take any type of fly from you.

Man I feel your pain. I hear people say the got 10 and every time I go I get 2 or 3.

Now I hate the smokies too:smile:

Flyfishjeep
07-18-2008, 08:32 AM
BRF- You should use a thingamabobber as your indicator to increase your hook up ratio!
http://littleriveroutfitters.com/store/product.php?productid=18184&cat=0&page=1

Ha! I made a funny.

Seriously, You may have been fishing behind someone and you didn't know it, or maybe the fish were just not hungry.

If you caught fish easy everytime it wouldn't be a sport.

ALflygirl
07-18-2008, 08:50 AM
It is certainly a bummer not to catch fish especially if you can see them, but one bright spot I always try and remember is.....I am not at work!

kytroutman
07-18-2008, 08:58 AM
That's the thing to remember ALflygirl, if you can see them, they have already seen you.

PeteCz
07-18-2008, 09:31 AM
BRF, I hate to admit this, but I went years of fishing in the park without catching anything...yes I said: YEARS!!

I could go down to the Hiwassee and catch fish, I could catch fish in Colorado, but I had the darnedest time catching fish in the Smokies. From about 1999-2006 I fished up to about half a dozen times a year in the park and never caught a fish. I mean NOTHING!

Then I went fishing with Hugh Hartsell last year and it all changed. Its much different fishing in a tailwater than in the mountains, and I had not really fully grasped what that meant. Like everyone has already said, you have to be sneaky and quiet (no backcasts, no standing, no....). Once I really started focusing on that, I started to catch fish. Not big numbers at first, but I stopped getting skunked. As the year wore on I started getting the hang of it and got to the point of catching 20-30 fish each day (not the numbers that some of the regulars catch, but a fair amount of fun for an outing, and enough for me to be happy about my effort). I still have a lot to learn, and there are still lots of days that I only catch 3 or 4, but it takes time and persistence for these streams to give up their secrets.

My advice would be to get some Smoky Mtn Blackbird Soft Hackles from Hugh. Someone had a link to his site above, and learn how to use a Softhackle, in addition to Dries and Nymphs (I've had it save many a day that were starting to look fishless). You should also use a dropper/dry technique to double your odds if you are not already doing it.

And remember it IS Summer and the LR is low right now. I was up Tremont the other day and the water is low, slow and warming (66 degrees at 8p on 7.16.08). The fish are just trying to survive in many spots, so you may not find them interested in anything. You might try to fish up somewhere high for Brookies or over in the Little Pigeon drainage, it seems to be doing better.

But most of all, don't give up. Its not just about catching fish. If it was, there are a whole bunch of places you could go to increase your odds of catching...

ALflygirl
07-18-2008, 10:41 AM
That's the thing to remember ALflygirl, if you can see them, they have already seen you.

Yeah Kytroutman...that's why I prefer a good riffle to hide my lack of stealthiness!!! ;)

Gerry Romer
07-18-2008, 12:15 PM
Here's a closeup of the infamous SMBBSH from Hugh Hartsell's website.

http://www.smokymountainflyguide.com/images/dryflies/Smoky%20Mountain%20Blackbird%20Softhackle.jpg (http://www.smokymountainflyguide.com/images/dryflies/Smoky%20Mountain%20Blackbird%20Softhackle.jpg)

As noted above, it's a killer pattern for the Smokies.

Gerry

BlueRaiderFan
07-18-2008, 04:48 PM
Yeah, I'm going to have to hook up with ol' Hugh. I'm getting tired of hiking (Yes, I meant hiking because I'm obviously not fishing).

heyski
07-18-2008, 08:52 PM
...I think these particular fish don't like me. It's personal at this point.


Well if it's personal then use a shotgun, not a fly rod. :eek: :smile:

Plunker
07-18-2008, 08:57 PM
[tnt]~*

Gotta watch out for the flying rocks though:biggrin:

BlueRaiderFan
07-18-2008, 10:27 PM
Well if it's personal then use a shotgun, not a fly rod. :eek: :smile:

Don't tempt me. I'm seriously considering dynamite.:mad:

BlueRaiderFan
07-18-2008, 10:31 PM
[tnt]~*

Gotta watch out for the flying rocks though:biggrin:


That or C4.

mora521
07-18-2008, 10:59 PM
Endeavor to persevere:smile:

cardfly
07-18-2008, 11:40 PM
Had a friend that went the dynamite route once.

Lefty doesn't fish much anymore.....:eek:

Plunker
07-19-2008, 08:01 AM
Though I never saw anyone using dynamite...
I did see my Grandfather use the old wind up "telephone" in a few farm ponds, he would then go and sell his catch out the back of his truck.

There seemed to always be a lot of grain on the ground when we went Dove hunting too....hmmmm I'm beginning to see a pattern forming here...:cool:

Barbara
07-20-2008, 01:44 PM
When I was a little kid, a guy stopped by the farm asking for Dad's vote in the upcoming election for constable, magistrate, something...He had no right hand. My brother and I couldn't stop staring. My Dad told us he blew it off dynamiting for fish on the Kentucky River. Later my Dad was dynamiting a rocky area to build a cattle shute. I told him not to, he'd never be able to fish again. He laughed a lot at that, then blew up about 5 feet of ground/rock/etc with 1/2 stick of TNT. Very impressive to a kid. The Fourth of July always seemed a little tame after that.

Fly_Man_Bill
07-20-2008, 02:31 PM
Never seen anyone use TNT but some have tryed M-80s. I have been told they work pretty good. All joking aside just hang in there. Fly fishing is like other sports the more you do it the better you get. It took me a long time to catch a fish in the park with a fly rod and flies. I still remember that day. It was a small Rainbow hooked on a Male Adam on the left prong of Greenbrair.

May God Bless You...

Bill

BlueRaiderFan
07-20-2008, 02:42 PM
Bill,

Thanks for the encouragement. I will give it another try in the Fall once it cools off and the river level is up.

BRF

caught 108
07-20-2008, 03:38 PM
Blue Raider Fan I myself have had those fishless days especially this time of the year when the water is bad low sometimes they just want bite.I believe you will do better next time and wish you good luck. Sincerly caught 108

BlueRaiderFan
07-20-2008, 04:44 PM
C108, Thanks. It couldn't get any worse:biggrin: I think the Caney Fork has spoiled me!:biggrin:

Gerry Romer
07-20-2008, 06:28 PM
I will give it another try in the Fall once it cools off and the river level is up.


Chicken!!

If you stick with it and get yourself one of these skittish mountain trout in skinny water, you'll be hooked on mountain trout for life!!

They're there... trust me.

knucklehead
07-20-2008, 11:28 PM
went up to tremont on Saturday and skunked. except for suckers. tried dries, nymphs and various combinations. i'm still seeing good sized(6 or 8 ) stone flies crawling around the rocks up there and plenty of nymph exoskeletons(6 or 8 as well). this has been the first year i've had multiple trips into the park and caught fish. for years, just catching ONE was deemed a miracle. after eons of practice i've finally had multiple trips with multiple fish. stealth and just going have helped.
also, saw my first smokies smallmouth at tremont. up past where the pavement ends. about 14 or 15 inches in open, slow water along with several nice sized trout. in the middle of the day! bright sun and hot. weird. i fished above them from a ledge and they never budged, except the bass who took off for a shaded rock.

BlueRaiderFan
07-21-2008, 07:08 AM
Chicken!!

If you stick with it and get yourself one of these skittish mountain trout in skinny water, you'll be hooked on mountain trout for life!!

They're there... trust me.

Oh I'm hooked, but at around $300 in gas, food and lodging, I think I'll wait until the fishing is better.;)

BlueRaiderFan
07-21-2008, 07:11 AM
went up to tremont on Saturday and skunked. except for suckers. tried dries, nymphs and various combinations. i'm still seeing good sized(6 or 8 ) stone flies crawling around the rocks up there and plenty of nymph exoskeletons(6 or 8 as well). this has been the first year i've had multiple trips into the park and caught fish. for years, just catching ONE was deemed a miracle. after eons of practice i've finally had multiple trips with multiple fish. stealth and just going have helped.
also, saw my first smokies smallmouth at tremont. up past where the pavement ends. about 14 or 15 inches in open, slow water along with several nice sized trout. in the middle of the day! bright sun and hot. weird. i fished above them from a ledge and they never budged, except the bass who took off for a shaded rock.

Glad to know that even and expereinced angler can get skunked.