View Full Version : Little Horshoe - Abrams Creek?

04-23-2009, 08:49 AM
OK guys and gals, I fish the big shoe on Abrams Creek nearly every spring. This year I am thinking of trying the little shoe. I have never fished it before. I have hiked to the falls, but I am wondering how to get into the stream above the falls, Is there an obvious path that leads to the stream. Also curious as to what the stream is like in there, will it be similiar conditions to the big shoe? I am a little concerned that the water may still be a little high and pushy. For those who have been there before what do you think, Big Shoe or Little Shoe?

Thanks, Mike

04-23-2009, 10:02 AM

Definitely the baby shoe. In my opinion, it's better fishing and it won't take as long. Count on 4-5 hours and yes it's slick but not too bad. You can access it right above the falls. There's a steep descent down from the trail. Don't go all the way down to the falls.

Good Luck,

04-23-2009, 02:06 PM
Thanks Hans,

Short Notice, wanna fish the baby shoe tomorrow?


04-23-2009, 04:21 PM

I wish I could, leaving for a car camping trip tomorrow night and coming back Sunday.

Don't forget to fish the straight stretch trailside between the two shoes. It's sometimes better fishing than the "shoes".

I wish you well,

It looks like I'm heading up your way on the weekend of May 9 and 10th. Possibly a camping trip or at least a full day on Saturday, pending generation schedule. I'll keep you posted.


04-23-2009, 09:22 PM
Hey Hans,

Maybe we will get together for a smokies stream one of these days. Hope you enjoy your camping trip. Let me know more about your trip up this way. I would love to get up with you, but that one you have planned is Mother's Day weekend and between taking care of my wife, her mom and my mom for Mother's Day I don't see much fishing on that weekend.


04-23-2009, 11:14 PM
Did the little shoe last year. Accessed by climbing up from the fall pool.

Gentlemen, the shoes are all yours. Heart breakingly pretty there but, They are too darn aggravating for me.

04-27-2009, 09:01 AM
Well, I did make it to the Little Shoe on Friday, but I have been too busy to give a report since then. Actually, I don't have too much to report. My Dad doesn't fly fish but he went with me last spring through the Big Shoe and so he decided he might as well see the Little Shoe as well. We arrived at the trailhead parking lot at about 10:30 ate a quick bite and headed for the falls. I counted 6 fisherman along the way including 2 that I could see from the ridge working there way into the Big Shoe. Since we were going to be so close to the falls and neither one of us had been to the falls in several years we decided to take a look....here's Dad taking a close look

Back up the trail and down to the creek just above the falls a little before noonhttp://i478.photobucket.com/albums/rr146/MtnMike-photos/IMGP0367.jpg

This was my first time in the Baby Shoe I checked the water temperature, a perfect 56 degrees, and started up the creek with my hopes high. I started out with my standard fly a size 16 Parachute Adams. I also tried size 16 Mr. Rapidan another one of my favorite flies. But no trout were rising. I wasn't discouraged yet, because I have seen this before on Abrams. One of the reasons I decided to fish Abrams instead of another stream in the park was Hugh's reminder about the Green Drakes. I have never seen the Green Drake hatch and more than anything else I wanted to see it happen. Well, all I can say is they do existhttp://i478.photobucket.com/albums/rr146/MtnMike-photos/IMGP0369.jpg

Sometimes I think I enjoy the bugs as much as the fish, I was hoping to get some good pictures of this hatch but they just weren't thick enough to get a bunch in the air at once and the individuals were too anxious to test their new wings to sit still for long, but they are big, here is the real thing with a size 10 or 12 imitation

This hatch started around 12:30 and lasted till about 2:00, while they weren't thick there was enough of them that the trout should have taken notice. I sit down in a beautiful spot and watched for 15-30 minutes with Drakes coming off, never saw a single trout rise. Just wasn't going to be a dry fly day. I persisted for a while and finally gave in and tied on something to go deep

I still didn't do great, but did catch a trout. Didn't realize at the time that the picture wasn't very good, but I didn't take any more because I didn't catch anything any bigger

Sometimes I think Abrams just fishes tough. The creek was a little higher than I am used to and it was going to force you to fish subsurface if you wanted to catch fish. I was there as much for the exploration with my dad as I was for the fishing and we had a great day. The drive out of the cove was more pleasant than the drive in as I wasn't in such a big hurry.


04-27-2009, 09:29 AM
I was on Abrams Thursday, watched a LOT fof Green Drakes come off. My wife walked along the edge of stream and birded. Neither of us saw ONE rise all day!! There is something sick when you can watch those big flies come off and float over fish with no rises. I caught 6 fish using a beadhead March Brown nymph dredging the bottom. On Tuesday I watched March Browns come off at Metcalf's float the whole distance of picnic area unharassed!

Mtnmike- I too use a Mr. Rapidan as my GO TO Fly in April and early May.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

David Knapp
04-27-2009, 11:07 AM
Wonder if the drought hurt the fish population on Abrams more than other park streams? The elevation isn't high and as low as the water got last summer, the spring influence would have been minimal except in the far upper reaches... That stream hasn't fished very well in my opinion for the last few years. Wet years with plenty of water are always good on this stream so hopefully we'll get a few of those in a row to bring Abrams back to its old self...

04-27-2009, 11:16 AM
My personal opinion is that it hasn't fished well since the trophy water status came off years ago. After last week,(see reply above), I dno't know if it is worth fishing. I was slipping and sliding all over the place with good felts on also. Beautiful water, I love to fish it but is the "danger" to fish ratio worth it! Has anyone caught a brown there, I used to see huge lunker brownies in there.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

04-27-2009, 11:38 AM

Byron reported a while back that they don't turn up any browns any more above the falls when they shock. I haven't heard any theories as to what happened to them.


04-27-2009, 12:44 PM
I did talk with a NPS trail crew who claim they saw otters eating browns. I can't see how otters would completely eliminate Browns though! I saw enough large Browns in the 70's and early 80's(?) to know they had enough fish to spawn. Wonder if they got some disease specific to them and not bow's- I don't know of any.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

04-27-2009, 10:56 PM
Hey everyone,
I recently made a trip up to the Smokies in early March for spring break and fished both shoes. The big first, then the next day the little shoe (didn't really know it was called the "little shoe", but then again I'm not from the Smokies). I found the little shoe to be better just in the fact that it is still "very slick" it was not nearly as slick as the big shoe. I actually had a fall, with good felts on, at the big shoe. Luckily I was at the end of it because I hurt my leg pretty bad. The trek back to the car wasn't easy and I was pretty sore for the next few days. To me the fishing was about the same to me. I caught about the same number and size of fish both days. To sum it up, I can say that I've fished the big shoe, but from now on I will leave that one alone and go with the little shoe. It seems much safer. I also did not see or catch any browns at either shoes... Just rainbows, but that was ok for me.

Micah Sawyer

04-28-2009, 10:02 AM

That is the slickest place I have ever fished in my life. I nearly fell several times and my brother did go completely under after sliding about 10 feet and then off a ledge.

I have always thought about taking an inter tube and a pump to just float out to lower Abrams creek...:biggrin:

04-28-2009, 10:29 AM
Wow that sounds like a pretty nasty fall. I wonder why Abrams Creek is so slick?

Taking a tube sounds like it would be fun to try...:biggrin: