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View Full Version : First Time Fishing in The Smokies


KingfisherB
10-06-2009, 11:08 PM
Well, after 3 trips up to the mountains (from New Orleans) and a couple visits to LRO for inspiration, My wife, brother-in-law, and I will be making our way up to the smokies the week of October 20-25. They want to hike and see the foliage (as do I) but I would also like to try my hand at fishing. I just started flyfishing last year, mostly in small ponds in local parks (read: no moving water at all (I don't even know what a drift is :eek: )). I have a 7'6" 3wt, which I figure is pretty good for fishing the park (Also have an 8wt for saltwater, but it has yet to get a bend in it :frown: ).

We will be staying in Townsend (Whisper Wind Cabins)and probably go as far as Greenbriar (I think we are hiking Ramsey Cascades). So on to the questions:

1 - Good places close by to try and land my first Smokies fish.

2- I am assuming waders are necessary (I don't own any as of now) are there any placesto fish from the bank or should I convince my wife that I need them (Argument: "Hey Hun, I was thinking about getting into duck hunting so they could serve double duty")

3- What flies to use?

4- What licenses? I am sure I will hit LRO the first day to get all the requirements, flies, and maybe a map.

5- I usually use straight 4 or 6 pound mono for leader/tippet (bream don't particularly care - I could probably use 20lb.). What is normal for the Park for leaders and tippets.

I am sure I will have more as the time approaches. Any other nuggets of info would be great.

Thanks in advance, ya'll. I can't wait, I've never been in the fall andcan't wait to see the colors - Also, I really enjoy birding, so hopefully I can get a little of that in.

Brian

flynut
10-07-2009, 01:51 AM
I was in the park in June and was able to bring a rod along on the Ramsey Cascades hike I did with my parents (who don't fish) and I was able to stop a couple places along the way up to catch a few brookies. It's a long hike though, so I'd recommend bringing your rod case, slinging it over your shoulder and stringing it up only when you want to fish. As for flies, I'll let the guys who are more familiar with the current patterns answer that one. Have fun!

jross
10-07-2009, 07:45 AM
I'll trade you!!! I'll show you what I know about the trout if you take me for a duck hunt!:biggrin: nah,I'd never get to Louisiana.... anyway, go to a bass pro or some place like that and buy the cheap, "breathable", stocking foot waders (not rubber). I bought mine for like 50 bucks and I wear 'em for both early season ducks and trout.
Seriously though, I will be down that weekend...maybe I'll see you on the water....for now I'll let others fill in the rest...

Jim Casada
10-07-2009, 08:52 AM
Well, after 3 trips up to the mountains (from New Orleans) and a couple visits to LRO for inspiration, My wife, brother-in-law, and I will be making our way up to the smokies the week of October 20-25. They want to hike and see the foliage (as do I) but I would also like to try my hand at fishing. I just started flyfishing last year, mostly in small ponds in local parks (read: no moving water at all (I don't even know what a drift is :eek: )). I have a 7'6" 3wt, which I figure is pretty good for fishing the park (Also have an 8wt for saltwater, but it has yet to get a bend in it :frown: ).

We will be staying in Townsend (Whisper Wind Cabins)and probably go as far as Greenbriar (I think we are hiking Ramsey Cascades). So on to the questions:

1 - Good places close by to try and land my first Smokies fish.

2- I am assuming waders are necessary (I don't own any as of now) are there any placesto fish from the bank or should I convince my wife that I need them (Argument: "Hey Hun, I was thinking about getting into duck hunting so they could serve double duty")

3- What flies to use?

4- What licenses? I am sure I will hit LRO the first day to get all the requirements, flies, and maybe a map.

5- I usually use straight 4 or 6 pound mono for leader/tippet (bream don't particularly care - I could probably use 20lb.). What is normal for the Park for leaders and tippets.

I am sure I will have more as the time approaches. Any other nuggets of info would be great.

Thanks in advance, ya'll. I can't wait, I've never been in the fall andcan't wait to see the colors - Also, I really enjoy birding, so hopefully I can get a little of that in.

Brian
KingfisherB--Going on my Grandpa Joe's adage which ran "He who tooteth not his own horn shall not hear horns a-tooting," I'll humbly suggest my recently published book "Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: An Insider's Guide to a Pursuit of Passion," has answers to all the questions you raise. It's available through my web site or Little River Outfitters. Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

JoeFred
10-07-2009, 08:26 PM
Well, after 3 trips up to the mountains (from New Orleans) and a couple visits to LRO for inspiration, ...

2- I am assuming waders are necessary (I don't own any as of now) are there any placesto fish from the bank or should I convince my wife that I need them ...
Brian

Brian, I recommended waders. BTW in addition to supplying inspiration, LRO has a nice lookin' closeout deal on Chota Abrams Creek Mens Stocking Foot Wader.

http://littleriveroutfitters.com/store/home.php

Enjoy your trip.

JF

cag215
10-07-2009, 09:45 PM
Please add to your list.

6- (felt bottom) wading boots...you WILL slip and can break mutiple bones and body parts if you try walking along or in the streams without wading boots.

Brook Fan
10-07-2009, 10:09 PM
You can see suggested flies to use on LRO's website and once in Towsend I'm sure LRO will show you a few to use. Keep reading the message board before you go and you will pick up a few flies here as well.

Above all though
Relax, Be paitent, and admire the beauty of the stream. The fish is the bonus the treasure is the beauty of the surroundings.

BlueRaiderFan
10-08-2009, 06:17 AM
Brian,

First of all let me say: I am the worst Smoky Mnt. fisherman on this board. But, I did want to share the little that I have come to know and that is; Do NOT EVER wade in the middle of the river/stream if you can help it. If you can hide behind something, do it. A tree, a rock, whatever you can find to get behind, coupled with a LOT of stealth (being quiet) goes a long way. I had tried several times and gotten nowhere because I was too noisy and too noticable. I've had some success since I started doing these things. You probably already knew this, but just in case. Hope it helps.

Dwayne

Rebelsoul
10-08-2009, 11:23 AM
Yeah...spooking trout is far easier than I ever knew,and I'm a wader from way back....it's just they are spooky fish....more so than other types.
And Blue Raider....you ain't the worst fisherman by far,I'll bet I could give you a good run for those honors,and the older I get the clumsier I am...so felt soled shoes are going to help me on my next trip....next trip...get it...:redface:

BlueRaiderFan
10-08-2009, 12:10 PM
We'll call it a "tie" :biggrin:

rivergal
10-08-2009, 02:04 PM
I'll be the tie breaker. I am the worst and clumsiest caster on the river.
What I hate most about wading in the park is your left foot will be firmly planted in 6 inches of water, and your right foot will step into a 3 foot deep hole. Ever notice how hard river rocks are when you fall on one?

BlueRaiderFan
10-08-2009, 02:15 PM
I do have trouble staying balanced. Found out the hard way that my felt soles aren't a guarantee on every single rock.

Rog 1
10-08-2009, 02:55 PM
Not to start a debate her but my buddy and I fished all last week in boots with the stealth rubber soles without a slip between us....can't say the same about the last time I took out my felt soles.

BlueRaiderFan
10-08-2009, 03:12 PM
Interesting. I'll have to check into those.

KingfisherB
10-08-2009, 10:44 PM
Thanks for all the help guys. So waders are necessary, I have a pair of La Grange 18" rubber boots, can I wear these with stockingfoot waders or are felt soled boots required?? I'll be stopping by LRO so they can help with flies and odds and ends.

To let ya'll know we will be hiking Lecaonte via Alum Cave Bluffs and the chimney tops. Any place near these trailheads with high percentage of probability for catching??

As far as clumsy un elegant fishing goes I don't know if I can be beat - just standing on a flat bank, not a tree in sight, I can always seem to get my line caught around my shoelaces, or legs, or the grass somehow. And it always seems to be right when i need to shoot the line to a rising bass - oh well - can't wait to be in the mountains. We had record highs the past few days - mid-90s with close to %100 humidity.

BlueRaiderFan
10-09-2009, 07:27 AM
I don't think any sole is specifically "required." You will find it VERY easy to get your line caught up in trees, branches, blades of grass, etc etc etc, I recommend roll casting a lot of making very short casts. Check out your back cast before you make a cast at all.

jross
10-09-2009, 09:45 AM
rubber and slick rocks are a terrible combo. If you slip on most other banks, you fall in soft mud. Not so with these stream banks! If you get stocking foot waders, you'll need wading boots. I've had three different pairs. An old pair of hiking boots I "modified" and a cheap pair from bass pro, that fell apart but gave amazing ankle support/protection. Now I have a pair of corkers from LRO, they're nice.

when I first started out I had my neoprene boot foots, I slipped and staggered all over the place. I'm sure I scared every fish around. Moral of the story...Getting out in the water offers way more opportunities, BUT if offers more dangers an increases the likely hood you'll spook many fish.

Rog 1
10-09-2009, 03:53 PM
At the Chimney Tops you will hike along the Road Prong...search that topic here and you will read all you know....above the Chimney Tops trailhead, Walker's Camp Prong runs along the road to and above Alum Cave trailhead....small water but carries a high liklihood of catching some fish...no boot comes with any non-slip guarantee...this time of year you have got to keep an eye out for the fallen leaves....they can never be trusted on any rock and under water they have a habit of covering up holes and obstacles which can easily lead to a fall...unless the weather takes a drastic turn for cold you can still get by in a pair of fishing pants and just some boots, especially in the smaller streams where you are not constantly in the water....I have fished from mid-April thru to late October and even into November without ever having donned a pair of waders.

KingfisherB
10-12-2009, 10:25 PM
Thanks again for all the help guys. We planned this trip just recently and it doesn't look like waders and felt soled boots are in the cards (it would have to come out of the canoe/kayak/pirogue fund). So it looks like bank fishing (not sure if thats an option) or like Rog 1 said, just working with what I've got. Rog, when you say fishing pants are you talking about the very light "fishing shirt style" fabric. Also, I have some really nice Merrel Aquasport trail shoes and some non-absorbent neoprene socks that might work for quick jaunts into the stream and back out.

So I guess what I'm looking for are suggestions for bank fishing if available, or small streams with not much water that 18" boots would work in, or streams that are traditionally not as cold that i could wear my trail shoes in.

Sorry about all the stipulations, but I want to try my hand - I'll start a Smokies Fishing Gear fund for next trip.

Brian

Mundele
10-13-2009, 12:01 AM
Well a friend and I backpacked and fished last weekend (only fished on Saturday) and we both wet-waded. It's getting cooler but you could probably wet-wade a bit longer. your feet get numb pretty quickly. Don't let a little think like comfort stand in the way of fishing :)

As a side note it was by far my best day fishing in the park ever. Caught 25. I was really careful about presentation, and I wore drab and camoflauge clothing. My older raincoat was red (and it was all I had). I think that affected my fishing some. I got a camo one before this trip... That or I was just luckier this time

----Matt