View Full Version : Elkmont 14 APR

Brian Griffing
04-15-2009, 07:52 AM
I took my dad fishing just above the campground yesterday afternoon. The last two times he has been down here to see the grandkids I've taken him to Thunderhead and Road Prong. He slowly came to the conclusion that I was trying to kill him. So this time we tried Elkmont, a short easy walk on a stream that still has car and bus sized boulders, but you don't necessarily have to scramble up and down them.
The water temperature 1/2 mile above the campground was 47-48 degrees and it was raining, misting, or drizzling about the whole time we were there. There were some bugs coming off the water, some small gray mayflies that a BWO or a small Adams would have matched, and big gray bodied mayflies that could have been matched by anything big and hairy, especially in the slightly colored and fast moving water. We couldn't find anything interested in the Adams, mosquitos, Hendricksons, pheasant tails, bead heads, or wooly worms that we threw into the stream, although we really didn't fish that hard. We decided to walk back to the truck and head downstream where the water might be warmer. We got a little above Metcalf and I pulled into a turnout above a stretch where I have found good fish in the past. By this time, the old man decided he had enough of the cold water and the rain, and wanted a cigarette and a scotch. I told him to smoke at the truck and let me hit one more run. After a frustrating wrrestling match with some rhodies, which I may not have won, but I did get my line and fly back, I managed to get to the water. I had to wade out to thigh depth to manage a decent cast from this particular spot on the bank. In fact, I had to get out to knee depth just to reach the usual bank. After getting a fish to slap at my dry, cutting off the dropper and changing flies, I was finally able to tease up a small 8 inch brown by drowning a size 16 parchute Adams. The only fish of the day, and saved a skunking.
With the water temperature a little low, the intemittent rain and the high water, the fishing was diffiucult. But I gotta say, I don't know that I have ever seen Elkmont look better. The white water, the emerald undertones of the current, the boulders that usually loom over the lower pools covered with water showering their backs. It was a great day. And while I'm sure the fishing is going to pick up with the good weather coming, I would encourage everyone to get out and see the river while it is still rolling. Its worth the trip, even if the trout don't want to cooperate.

Rog 1
04-15-2009, 08:47 AM
Great report....I cut my teeth on the waters above Elkmont campground when I was 14 and they still remain my favorite to this day....glad to hear there is water back there again....the last two years it has been hard to recognize some of my favorite stretches.

04-15-2009, 10:34 AM
This thread makes me happy and sad at the same time. I'll be up there all this weekend, and was hoping to catch a lot of fish, but now I'm hoping to catch at least one.

Carolina Boy
04-15-2009, 11:34 AM
Hey I am going to be fishing there this weekend too, we are gonna have several really nice days so it should drop out and the fish should be on the feed, should be good!

04-15-2009, 11:43 AM
The fishing should be great this weekend. The streams are really rolling right now, but in a few days should be in great fishing shape.

I went up to Tremont (just above the institute) yesterday evening and the water was impressive. I waded about 1/3 of the way out trying to cross to the other side and really started getting uncomfortable and decided against it.

Instead, I walked along the road and cast down into semi-slack areas. It was the first time I had ever tried anything like that. In fact, I always thought that was about the dumbest looking way to fish, but after catching half a dozen 8-10" rainbows, I realized that maybe I should have tried it sooner...plus I covered a lot more water...

The problem was, that when I caught a fish, I had to figure out how to steer it into a spot that I could then hop down and unhook it. After catching 5 fish on one fly I yanked the fly up into a tree. (you can see where this is going...) I had been very careful each time that I hopped down and then climbed back up the bank and onto the road, when unhooking fish. But this was a completely different situation. It was the only fly I had of this type/color/size! (I somehow managed to leave my two categorized boxes of flies at home with over 400 flies in them and brought a single canister of only 10 flies with me...brilliant). Suffice it to say that: river banks+wet felt+wet granite+mud+reaching over your head on your tiptoes = falling.

It wasn't the worst fall I ever took, but at my advancing age once the adrenalin wore off, it started to feel like I had broken both of my wrists. So I decided that I'd had enough for the day...Sometimes its easy to figure out when to quit for the day...

Its going to warm up and the streams will drop. It should be a great weekend to fish...

04-15-2009, 08:06 PM

So you were playing hooky from the FFF meeting and almost drowned. Somebody was sending you a message. LOL

In all seriousness, I hope you are okay. It looks like I'm going to push my camping out another week. The weather situation on Sunday bothers me. Are you up for a trip on Sat?