View Full Version : Chimneys Report 8/24

08-24-2008, 09:32 PM
Had to come to Knoxville for business this week, so I decided to come one day early and spend an afternoon in the Smokys. I went by LRO on my way to the park. The folks there were great as always.

I have fished the park several times, but have never caught a brookie so I was on a mission today! I went up to the Chimneys picnic area and fished up stream for about 3 hours. Talk about tough fishing...low water, skittish fish and lots of boulders to climb over.

I hate to sound corny, but since my first trip to the Smoky 3 years ago, I have been dreaming of catching a wild brookie. Well I am proud to say that my mission is accomplished. I caught 3 tiny brookies (3-4 inches) and 10 rainbows. Most of the rainbows were small with the biggest going about 8 inches. I stuck one good size brookie that would have been 8 inches or so, but he spit the fly.

As mentioned earlier, fishing was tough. I tried several different flies, but the most effective were an orange palmer and BHPT dropper.

08-24-2008, 10:01 PM

You hit what, in my opinion, is some of the best fishing in the park, especially in conditions like these. While the water is thin, the constant change in elevation on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon means there are still nice pools to fish. The water temps are usually 10 degrees or more cooler than in Little River and the gorge where you fished isn't nearly as crowded simply because it means a real commitment of time and energy to get in and fish it well. If you caught brookies on top of all that, it's gravy.

Glad to have you on our end of the state if only for a single "extra day" for fishing. Hurry back.

08-25-2008, 05:45 AM
Hopefully we'll get some rain this week, you think that area is good in low water wait until there's a decent amount in there........

Congratulations on your first brookie, you're fly fishing life has officially changed.

08-25-2008, 07:55 AM
Talk about sore! I woke up this morning sore in places I did not know I had muscles. That is a tough climb and even tougher trip back down. Felt boots + dry rock = painful next morning. I am going to have to check out those aquastealth soles. I am too old to be falling my way down the mountain.

All this pain was worth it!

08-25-2008, 09:27 AM
Hello MickinMS,

Charlie is right about that section of the WPLP, there are usually always some deeper pools and runs even during lower water conditions. I haven't fished that water for almost 3 weeks. The last time I was there the water was pretty high for summer after getting several inches of rain 2 days before I fished. I guess that shows how quickly things can change when we're in a drought condition and we have no significant amount of rainfall for several weeks.

The "Gorge" is a neat place. I have been fishing it several times a year for a little over ten years and I have rarely seen another fisherman, sometimes some tourists hanging out with there children in the cool, clear water. I had my best fishing day (#'s of fish) in the "Gorge" on the last day of June this year. The water was pretty low then, especially up close to the Chimney Tops trailhead. Caught around 40 fish ranging from 4 to 9 ".

I see your from the Memphis area MickinMS. I lived near Henderson, TN for a little over a year before moving to East TN. I miss going to Beal St. and listening to some excellent blues music and soaking up a few suds.


08-25-2008, 09:30 AM
You may want to look into the aquastealth soles carefully before you purchase them. My uncle bought some and weren't real impressed with their in-stream performance, he said they were nothing like felt. Just something to think about.

08-25-2008, 10:08 AM

I have been curious about the Aquastealth soles as well since I own two pairs of Korkers wading boots. I just didn't see how they would grip as well as good felt on the slick rocks of the Smokies.

On another note Craig, have you ever fished Bumgardner Bend on Deep Creek. I intended to to fish the Bend two weekends ago while visiting Deep Creek, but I ran into three guys who were fishing that stretch. I ended up hiking upstream past the Bend untill the stream comes back to the trail and fished from there to almost campsite 59. There was some really nice water up there even during these drought conditions. I am curious as to how long it would take to fish to fish the Bend solo.



08-25-2008, 10:29 AM
Is Aquastealth a rubber-soled boot, like what Daniel described in the fishing report today? Just curious - I could see a day that they could become the standard, in an effort to eliminate the spread of these pests. It is sort of like what has happened in golf - soft spikes came out, and pretty soon just about every course you go to has a "soft spikes only" policy, to avoid chewing up the greens...the only ones wearing metal now are some of the pros on tour - I don't think you can even buy the old metal spikes in a store.

Rog 1
08-25-2008, 11:06 AM
Aquastealth is a rubber developed for rock climbers....first boots I found it on were from LLBean....I went with these soles since I do a lot of hiking before and after fishing and found that they do better on the trails than felt....I have fished both and have slipped in both....I do know that going from the water to a dry rock these things make you feel like spider man....I am into my second pair and when these eventually wear out will get a third....

08-25-2008, 12:01 PM
Thanks...perhaps they'll come up with some sort of way to attach felt soles, as an option...that way, if you wanted to be ultra-cautious, you could have one set for one area, another set for the park, etc...in fact, isn't there already a boot out there with detachable felt soles? Anyway, that would be the ultimate solution.

I just bought some hiking boots; I would prefer to have just one boot, and simply snap on the felt when I got there.

08-25-2008, 12:38 PM
I like the idea behind the rubber soled boots and am very interested to see what the new year's offerings will bring. Having not actually worn them myself, i can't say for sure, but my uncle didn't really care for them as we was having a harder time than normal traversing the streambed. Like i said, i think it's a great idea and hopefully these new products will make them perform better in the stream while retaining it's great on-the-trail qualities.


I have fished about half of the bend. We fished there earlier this year when the water was in good shape from a rainy period we had. We walked up until we came to a impassable spot. It was straight up on both sides of the stream and we had to go instream but it was a really deep and fast section so we decided to turn around. Honestly, the fishing in that section was no different than the rest of the creek, sure was pretty scenery though.

Rog 1
08-25-2008, 12:39 PM
Korkers have wading boots with interchangeable soles....walk in and then change to felt....I also have a pair of Simms Keen waders that have a rubber sole around the edges with a felt surface on the inner sections....I have also fished with people who will hike in with a day pack with their wading boots and change out....but then what you carry in you have to carry out and when you get as old as I am every ounce counts on that trip out....

08-25-2008, 01:47 PM
IJ, Korkers are the way to go. The interchangeable sole concept is great. I was worried about how they would perform in the WPLP Gorge, boulder hopping and they have been great. Changing out the soles is a snap and its much easier to clean the felts (and keep them clean).

Mickin, Next time you make it up this way, keep driving past the Picnic Area to the "Nature Exhibit" parking area and hike down to the stream from there. Fish until you hear all the yahoos honking their horns and then hike up to the street and walk back down to your car. Its much easier than boulder hooping downstream.

08-25-2008, 02:03 PM

I have had a pair of Wetlands Korker wading shoes for several years, but really didn't use them much till this season. I have been pretty happy with them so far. I like to do a fair amount of hiking/fishing and they are well-suited for that. They come standard with a pair of hiking (cleated) soles and a pair of felt soles. You simply slide and snapped the sole in and attach the velcro strap and your in business. They fit my narrow foot very well, there lightweight and feel like a pair of hiking boots when your trekking. I just bought a "close out" pair of Outfitter model Korkers boots since I liked the Wetland boots. Most people like to get the new model stuff, but I am cheap, poor, whatever, so I got a good deal on the discontinued model. To me, it's a lot better than hiking several miles or more in felt soles, or carrying an extra pair of boots. I plan on using the Outfiitter boots on overnighters or weekend backcountry camping/fishing trips so I don't have to carry a pair of wading boots in my pack.


08-25-2008, 02:08 PM
Thanks, y'all for the input...I think I might go the corkers route when my current pair of boots wears out....of course, that might be a while, because I'm not up there fishing every week. Also, for the most part, most of the streams we fish only involve short hikes at the most, but that might be changing; I really want to get into the backcountry and explore a bit, and when you start hiking more than a little bit, the felt soles aren't made for that.

I was in our local Academy store down here Saturday...had to get a bunch of soccer gear for my oldest, etc...and we ended up getting an inexpensive pair of hiking boots each. I might get some for her younger sisters down the line, but there's no point in doing that right now - they won't be back in the mountains until next spring, and they're growing right now...might as well wait a bit there.

08-25-2008, 07:02 PM

Another option on the gorge is to give a shout before you come up next time, get a partner and take two cars, one for the trip back by the road. There's one of us that is almost always up for a trip up there.

08-25-2008, 07:20 PM

The only problem with the two-car method is that you miss the experience of walking through the tunnel while vehicles are doing the Smokies tradition of honking their horn hard and long. This is always completes a day in the Gorge with a flourish. Myself, I always walk the the ledge since I have inherent mistrust of people driving large metal objects close to my fragile body, LOL. If you go with Hans, he likes to live dangerously and he walks inside the line, level with traffic, while brandishing a small flashlight to keep the large moving objects away. He thinks he is Luke Skywalker wielding a light sabre, LOL.

Just a word of caution if you decide to fish the WPLP gorge with the Tennessee Swede.


08-25-2008, 07:26 PM

I'm with you. I walked the tunnel (on the ledge) just last Friday after my trip up the gorge. The first time I came up from the gorge and found myself on the upper side of the tunnel, I nearly freaked because I had never noticed the ledge. I wasn't sure just how I was going to get on the other side.

Yeah, it's always a challenge keeping your composure with the cars coming through and honking. Nothing like a little excitement at the end of a long day fishing.:biggrin:

Gerry Romer
08-25-2008, 09:36 PM
I'm pretty sure the new Korkers models offer rubber lug soles, felt soles, studded felt soles, and soles with aquastealth rubber. Something worth looking into! The older models didn't offer the aquastealth.


08-25-2008, 09:58 PM
Geez, I can't imagine walking through that tunnel...it's bad enough driving through it, only to have some idiot honk...makes my skin crawl.

08-25-2008, 10:07 PM
It's not too bad if you walk the ledge, but you wouldn't wanna slip and fall. Could be a very bad situation. I used to walk around the side, over the top and come out the other side, but it's a bit of a climb after you've been fishing the Gorge all day. I just have to resist yelling obscenities at the horn honkers while making my way through on the ledge.


08-25-2008, 10:15 PM
A young lady from work happened to drive by in a car the first time I walked the ledge through the tunnel last summer. Couldn't tell whether her shock at asking me about it on Monday was a reflection of being impressed with my bravery or appalled at my stupidity. I'll settle for impressed and sleep well tonight.

08-26-2008, 06:50 AM
For what it's worth, I got my first pair of Aquastealth boots (Beans) for Christmas last year as a backup to my felt Simms Freestones. My backups have quickly become my primary boots. I really like the way they feel, and they seem much more stable on the rock snot in the Clinch. I expected not to like them but have been pleasantly surprised. YMMV.

08-26-2008, 05:57 PM

I think I will take Pete's advice next time. I am still sore!!!! NVR2L8, thanks for the offer. I am definetly going to have to get in better shape before I try that again.


08-29-2008, 11:12 AM

I would like to have more services from ur side

Kevin Smith.


09-05-2008, 06:16 PM
Another alternative on the Gorge is to go early, park at the Chimney Tops Trailhead and walk through the tunnel (on the ledge - not like Luke Skywalker:eek:) in the morning when traffic is lighter (and fewer people are honking). Then walk down to the Nature Exhibit and fish back up to the bridges.

A young lady from work happened to drive by in a car the first time I walked the ledge through the tunnel last summer. Couldn't tell whether her shock at asking me about it on Monday was a reflection of being impressed with my bravery or appalled at my stupidity. I'll settle for impressed and sleep well tonight.

Charlie, that's funny

09-05-2008, 08:42 PM
Back from Colorado? If so, where's that report?