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Brad O'Luftee
04-15-2009, 10:54 AM
Hey everybody. I've been lurking around this forum for a few weeks and like what I see very much.
I live at Folly Beach SC and have been crawling around the Smokys for about 30 years. I started flyfishing the GSMNP 20 years ago and have beat on much of them waters with passion and gusto. Tought my kids how to flyfish using the local method of cane pole and mono. Now my son can often outfish me and my daughter often will pull out the biggest trout of the trip. That really bugs the boy.
Although I live on a creek on the back side of our island I don't fish that much saltwater. Don't get me wrong, I do fish for reds and seatrout but I just dig mountain trout far more. Just being in a smoky mnt stream is so splendid that sometimes the fishing becomes secondary. Oh man I love it so much.
I've read some of the stories here from beginners. There's always one thing in common: the unbridled enthusiasm! I must relate to you a little story when I was still quite green(I'm only a bit less green now compared to someone like the late Mr. Carver whom I had the distinct pleasure of fishing with once on the Bradley).
I was crawling around in the Oconoluftee back in '90 and met up with an elderly and obviously well seasoned troutman. He was sitting on a rock poking through his flybox. We struck up a conversation. I asked him tens of questions and then I bent his ear with my newfound passion for flyfishin. The gentleman listened patiantly, smiling, and nodding. Finally when I stopped to catch my breath he put his hand on my shoulder and quietly said, "Son, I know what you're going through." Hehehe, I wasn't alone!
I cannot get enough of it. I dread sundown. Sometimes I'll drive up there solo for 4 or 5 days and fish 8 to 10 hours a day. Then I reluctantly drive home with sticks and moss in my hair and I can't remember what I had for meals. But I do remember every cast and drift and dimpling and taking of my fly and....
Oh man I love it soooo much....
Whoa....see?....there I go.

This Friday, 4/17, I'm picking up my son at Clemson U. and we're camping at Smokemont for a few days. He took a fly tie course and we'll be throwing his flies at them there trout in them water. There's at least one grand slam day on the menu this weekend.

Happy trails,

04-15-2009, 11:22 AM
Quite honestly, there is only one thing to say....

Son, I know what you're going through....

Enjoy your trip. The streams are up a bit right now, but hopefully with a few days of drier weather (did I actually just say that, after the last two years...), the fishing should be fantastic.

Carolina Boy
04-15-2009, 11:31 AM
Welcome man, I am from Isle of palms, but i live near Waynesville NC. I hear ya bout our mts, they are great, the luftee is up right now but should receed in a couple days I would guess friday on should be good. There is a new trophy strech near Smokemont, fished it 3 times, huge fish,not my type of fishing but fun to catch fish measuring in pounds every now and again, certainly worth if you haven't done it as it is only 7 bucks a day after you but the year long 20$ license. You ever fish the Chattoga? Hope you have a great trip, Go Gamecocks!!

Brad O'Luftee
04-15-2009, 02:24 PM
Thanks. I haven't been spring fishin in a few years. We do a family and friends camping trip in June and July every year. Late July we hike Mt. LeConte as we're grandfathered into the roll-over reservation(which will end in 2018). So I'm looking forward to spring fishin. It hasn't been that good in the summer for the past few years. We catch a fair amount but smaller in size. Is it just us? It seems that there's less 10 + inchers in them water.
Yep, I hope there's not too much water for more than one reason. I'm also hoping to wet wade midday.

CB, I fished the Chatooga once back in '90 or '91. I'd just rather be in the Smokys if I'm going to drive 5hrs. As a matter of fact the only other places I've ever trout fished other than Smokys is once each - Saluda river in Columbia SC, Yakima River in Washington state, and Chatooga. All back in the very early 90s. They were all good productive fishing and I'd do em again but I get a jones'in for the feel, smell, sights, and sounds of the smokys. I know the streams pretty well for a non local. I've worked Hazel, Deep C, Cataloochie , Abrahms, and Little River ( many many times, especially around elkmont) and other small gems. But what I know best is Bradley/Luftee system. Never fished the stocked sections around the park.
My preference is small tight streams where my Orvis One Ounce 6''6'' will pull a nice trout where most fishers won't even go into. I'm also fond of boulder hopping and probing pockets. Don't really care to fish long slick pools where your fly drifts for an eternity and you have to be soooooo quiet....shhhhhhh.... But.....I'll do it...cause I only love it a tiny bit less ;


Carolina Boy
04-15-2009, 03:37 PM
Man I fish any bit of water I can get to. I fish the park a bunch, and it is my favorite, I love the challenge. I hit tailwaters in East Tn regularly in the winter and deep summer when the park turns off, I fish saltwater for reds and trout, going to the bahamas in june for bones and whatever else i can throw a fly at. I fish the Luftee a lot after work as I am close or the streams in cataloochee, or the pigeon up high. I also kayak flyfish for bass/bream in lakes around here. Elkmont is one of my favortites, always see bears there. You guys should be on it at a perfect time, wew are pulling out of the awful drought that has killed fish and fishing the last couple years and we are sunny and 60's right now only supposed to have nice weather through Sat touching the 70's this weekend!