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View Full Version : Question for Spring Browns in the park


cherokeeflyboy
03-30-2009, 10:51 AM
20 more day until I arrive in the GSMNP, April 18 - 26.

I want to do mostly brown trout (but I will be fishing for grand slam too) fishing in the park. I am planning on fishing the Cataloochee River, Deep Creek, and of course the Little River.

Do you have any area's on these rivers that you would suggest for an out-of-state fisherman?

Of these 3 creeks/rivers which one would you say would be the most productive for Browns...or is there another one that might be better?

What would you suggest for flies and tactics for the fish?

The Cataloochee is what I am favoring at this time, due to my lack of knowledge. If I drive the dirt road from Gatlinburg (where I will be staying) to the Cataloochee river how long does it take to drive?

How long to drive to Deep Creek?

Thanks for your knowledge and help in answering my questions.

PeteCz
03-30-2009, 11:12 AM
Mark, if you want to catch Browns, Straight Fork is another good alternative. If you want the best shot at catching a slam from the same stream, the upper part of Deep Creek would be your best best. Around Campsite #53, you can catch all three within relative close proximity.

The only reason why I'm willing to offer that up, is that its a very hard trip. It will take about 2hrs (if you are in good shape) to hike out from Campsite #53 back up to the Newfound Gap Rd. And the last mile is a killer.:eek:

If you don't already them, get your self the Trails Illustrated map of the Smokies (#229) and the book "Hiking Trails of the Smokies". That will help you navigate your way around the park. And use the Search feature of the forum to get more indepth information about the streams of the park. There is a lot of knowledge in here that you can't get anywhere else.

http://www.smokiesstore.org/browse.cfm/4,683.html

Another good tool is Google Maps. From Gatlinburg to Cataloochee is a haul at just under 2 hrs, depending on traffic:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=gatlinburg+tn&daddr=35.677379,-83.029861+to:cataloochee+nc&hl=en&geocode=&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=11&via=1&sll=35.621582,-83.167877&sspn=0.232752,0.4422&ie=UTF8&z=11
Gatlinburg to Upper Deep Creek Trails (off US441) is about 20-25 minutes (depending on traffic). And to Lower Deep Creek Trailhead near Bryson City its about an hour.

I would also suggest you try the West Prong of the Little Pigeon below the Chimney Tops Picnic Area as well as the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon (Greenbriar). You won't find many (any?) browns but the fishing is good and its close to Gatlinburg, as well.

Troutman
03-30-2009, 11:28 AM
Of those 3 choices of rivers, I would say Lower Deep Creek for the best chance of catching bigger and more browns. Little river second and Catallochee ,way down the list below several other smaller streams.
I helped on some fish shocking studies over there and was not impressed with the sizes or numbers.
I wouldn't drive the dirt road either unless you like washboards.
I like to throw dries in the spring like everyone else, Para adams, and Adams stimulators, but a prince nymph or tellico are good choices for nymphing anytime.

cherokeeflyboy
03-30-2009, 11:38 AM
Thanks for all the info PeteCz. I am working on getting what you have suggested for maps. How long does it take to get to Straight Fork and would that be fishing on the one-way part of the road....thanks again for your help.

cherokeeflyboy
03-30-2009, 12:42 PM
You too Troutman. Maybe the reason I choose the Cataloochee is because I have read more about that one. I guess I will rethink that one.

PeteCz
03-30-2009, 01:41 PM
Straight Fork is about an hour from G'Burg - Stick to the section that is two-way and you should have some good luck, although Browns are tougher to catch than rainbows and brookies:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Gatlinburg,+TN&daddr=35.608743,-83.223581&hl=en&geocode=&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=14&sll=35.597996,-83.232851&sspn=0.029103,0.055275&ie=UTF8&ll=35.614814,-83.209677&spn=0.029097,0.055275&t=p&z=14

Westslope
03-31-2009, 03:37 AM
Mark,

I won't claim to be an expert on brown trout in the Smokies, and I have never visited Cataloochee, but I have fished Little river and Deep creek a bit, and caught some good browns (and lost or spooked many more) in both. I would agree with Troutman that these two are among the finest for Browns in the Park (although consistently catching them is another matter...), and Deep creek probably ranks higher just because the fish see a bit less pressure than Little River (especially if you hike a ways beyond the campground access), although the biggest Browns I've seen have been in Little River.

As for flies for Browns, I've had some success with Neversink caddis on top, but more success subsurface, especially with mid-sized rubberleg stone nymphs and smaller BHPTs. I'm actually going to be making a trip to the Smokies in spring myself, in mid-April, and hopefully going after a few good Browns as well--tight lines, and let us know how you do!

Iain

hillbillydave
03-31-2009, 11:12 AM
Thanks for all the info PeteCz. I am working on getting what you have suggested for maps. How long does it take to get to Straight Fork and would that be fishing on the one-way part of the road....thanks again for your help.


Just got back from the park and fished the Straight Fork section ,the water was high and fast because of the rain but as of yesterday was coming down but still caught a few fish. This past weekend was opening day in the boundry and corn fisherman everywhere:eek:.But still caught some fish up in the park , brookies and browns . Caught all my fish on a orange elk hair caddis and brown/olive bugger .

cherokeeflyboy
03-31-2009, 08:18 PM
Just got back from the park and fished the Straight Fork section ,the water was high and fast because of the rain but as of yesterday was coming down but still caught a few fish. This past weekend was opening day in the boundry and corn fisherman everywhere:eek:.But still caught some fish up in the park , brookies and browns . Caught all my fish on a orange elk hair caddis and brown/olive bugger .

Thanks for the report hillbillydave. Looks like someone did good in the Little River over the weekend with a brown.....I can not wait to get there.