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flyguys
11-14-2009, 07:49 PM
:smile:Just curious, We have seen a lot of talk about stream size and elevation. In your opinion, what would be considered a small or medium to larger stream. What about elevation? How high is high? We are somewhat familiar with greenbriar, elkmont, thunderhead above the first footbridge past the parking area. metcalf bottom, chimney tops. We were just curious as to what we should consider looking at when you guys start talking about low elevation, small versus larger streams. any info would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks a bunch, flyguys.

nvr2L8
11-14-2009, 08:43 PM
My interpretation of your question for the Smokies.

High elevation - anything over 3,000 ft. In the area of Chimney's trailhead and above qualifies.

Large river: East Prong of Little River (ironic), Abrams Creek, probably West Prong of the Little Pigeon
Medium river: Middle Prong of Little River
Small river: Road Prong, Thunderhead, West Prong of Little River, Laurel Creek, Anthony's Creek

My 2 cents.

flyguys
11-14-2009, 09:09 PM
thanks charlie b!!

JoeFred
11-20-2009, 07:17 AM
flyguys... I agree with Charlie's examples. In addition, Park flyfishing books classify numerous streams by size as well as room (or lack of it) for casting. Some of the maps at www.smokystreams.com/freebies (http://www.smokystreams.com/freebies) show points at which streams are at 2000, 3000, 4000, etc. feet elevation. USGS quadrangle maps (http://www.dlia.org/atbi/science/park_quad_maps.shtml) show more topo detail.

JF

flyred06
11-20-2009, 08:18 AM
Two books that come to mind are Flyfishing guide to the graet smoky mountans and smoky mountains trout fishing guide. Both books are by Don Kirk. They list streams and lakes by fishing quality, size and accessibility. I believe LRO carries these books or could at least get them for you. Me not liveing up there these books help me when I am wanting to plan a trip SO I know what to expect instead of just getting there and riding around looking for accessibly water, and what to bring in relations to what size stream I might be fishing. JIm cascada has a new book out and my wife bought it for me and put it up till christmas. I have not got to read it yet but that might be another great resource.

flyguys
11-20-2009, 08:28 AM
Thanks joefred and flyred! Not wanting to be a bother, but being a newbie to mountain trout fishing I'm trying to get my hands on as much info as possible. The smokystreams maps are awesome by the way, a lot of information to set around and look at while passing a cold west tn night! Can't wait for a spring or summer trip. Thanks guys! flyguys.

JoeFred
11-20-2009, 08:44 AM
... JIm cascada has a new book out and my wife bought it for me and put it up till christmas. I have not got to read it yet but that might be another great resource.

flyred, she what!!?? She put it up till Christmas!?!?!? Talk about the gift of being longsuffering!!:smile:

JF

JoeFred
11-20-2009, 09:29 AM
Thanks joefred and flyred! Not wanting to be a bother, but being a newbie to mountain trout fishing I'm trying to get my hands on as much info as possible. The smokystreams maps are awesome by the way, a lot of information to set around and look at while passing a cold west tn night! Can't wait for a spring or summer trip. Thanks guys! flyguys.

Not a bother at all, flyguys. Not sure how far west you're located, but H. Lea Lawrence's 1998 book, The Fly Fisherman's guide to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is available at the Memphis Central Library (http://www.memphislibrary.org/)and the Cordova branch (call number 799.175709 L421f). Jackson library might be an option. If you look into this, ask the librarian to add Jim Casada's book, Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: An Insiderís Guide to a Pursuit of Passion, by High Country Press. ISBN 978-1-935342-08-3.

JF

Rog 1
11-20-2009, 10:14 AM
Another good book is Ian Rutters book...go to amazon.com and type in his name...its the fishing companion to the smoky mountains....he addresses the park by section with maps and discription of the streams....you can get a good used copy for $11

flyred06
11-20-2009, 10:51 AM
flyred, she what!!?? She put it up till Christmas!?!?!? Talk about the gift of being longsuffering!!:smile:




Joefred not only did she do that but she bought me a new sage rod from LRO and has put it up untill christmas. She also bought me some nice new underarmor gear and guess what its under the tree. I thank god for a good wife..............but man she know how to make a guy suffer.

flyred06
11-20-2009, 11:00 AM
Flyguys don't worry about being a bother. Thats why we all get on here to ask questions and to learn from each other. I think you had a very valuable question and the answers you got helped me to remember IAN RUTTERS book that I had forgot to pick up. So your question even helped me.

flyguys
11-20-2009, 01:36 PM
Thanks guys, I have the Lawrence book and the Rutter book, both full of info. Can't wait to get Mr. Casadas book and learn even more on the art of flyfishing! Looks like it could be in the works for Christmas!! flyguys.

Jim Casada
11-20-2009, 07:17 PM
flyguys--I haven't read the other postings in reply, and that's intentional. I'll look to see what others think after I respond.
On size, I consider widths of 15-25 feet medium-sized and anything above that a large stream (by Smokies' standards).
As for elevation, the magic number for me is 3500 feet. Above that I consider a stream to be high elevation, and the number is also a pretty good arbitrary figure for where you'll likely begin to find specks. Obviously that's a generalization, but it covers a lot of situations. Jim Casada

flyguys
11-21-2009, 07:42 AM
Mr. Casada, Thanks for the information! I'm sure it will come in handy on my next trip to the smokies. Thanks, flyguys.

tlshealy
11-21-2009, 09:27 PM
I was talking to Ian Rutter last year at the fly fishing show in Cincinnati, and he said that 2400' was kind of the magic level for trout in the smokies, from there on up you can usually catch trout in the summer. I would keep an altimeter in my car and would usually not fish a stream until I was above that level. You don't realize how much elevation you gain when driving into Greenbrier, about 1000' at the entrance, about 1800' at porters creek, about 2500' at Ramsey trailhead, and about 4500' at the cascades.
Tad

flyguys
11-21-2009, 09:44 PM
tlshealy, An altimeter in the car, huh? Never would have thought of that one. Makes sense though. Anything (legal) that can swing the odds in my favor, I'm all for it!:biggrin:

Jim Casada
11-22-2009, 10:14 AM
Tad--Although Ian is a very knowledgable, astute, and observant angler, I would have to disagree sharply with hiss 2400-foot elevation statement. I'll give several examples, and I checked maps just to be sure. You are way above Bradley Fork's juncture with Luftee before your reach 2400 feet, and above Chasteen Creek on Bradley Fork before attainting that elevation. Lower Deep Creek is full of fish at all seasons and well below 2400 feet in elevation, and indeed the same holds true for the lower end (sometimes several miles) of almost every major stream on the N. C. side of the Park--Noland, Forney, Hazel, Eagle, and Twentymile Creeks. You can catch trout from the mouth right on upstream in all of them, even at the peak of summer heat. I think it's more a matter of flow, oxygenation, and other factors than merely elevation. Indeed, I think a strong argument could be made for expanded areas suitable for trout (and reduced ones for smallmouth) in Park streams over the past 50 years. The explanation is simple--once open areas where there were old fields now have ample overhead canopy. In truth, you'll find wild trout, even in the hottest days of summer, in almost all Park waters except lower Abrams Creek and maybe the lower Park reaches of Little River (though there are some browns in the deeper holes and 'bows in riffles in the latter). In short, my feeling is that if you are fishing almost anywhere inside the Park you are in trout territory. Jim Casada

Rebelsoul
11-22-2009, 11:11 AM
Jim,
I think I've read this in your book somewhere,do most all of the year round park creeks hold trout,even the small creeks?
I know that the fish would be very small in a small creek,but have wondered about the creeks that don't show up on maps as fishable.
Rick

Jim Casada
11-22-2009, 02:10 PM
Rick--I think virtually every little creek in the Park with any size at all holds trout. There are a few exceptions. Lower Abrams Creek is too warm and possibly lower Little River a portion of the year, and there are a few streams which are apparently too acidic to be suitable habitat. Personal observations, observations by my brother, and considerable research by Bobby Kilby has turned up a few such streams. I suspect the Park fisheries biologists know of others. But I have constantly been amazed, over all my life, at the places where you can find trout--sometimes three- or four-inchers in tiny branches. Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

JoeFred
11-22-2009, 09:25 PM
Not as a way to promote competition among us, but rather with the waters and what it takes to experience them, I've been trying to come up with a way to register current day reports by trusted anglers/hikers who have caught/seen trout in the small Park streams. I could record the sightings on my web site, but refuse to do so in a manner that would call undue attention to the individual or take unfair advantage of information gained from this great message board. And...no. I'm not talking about revealing "honey holes." Just the stream name, possibly citing, when deemed necessary, confluences of other steams. For example, "Little Jonas Creek above its confluence with Yanu Branch." Feel free to comment or shoot holes in this. Just please don't shoot me.:smile:

JF

Jim Casada
11-23-2009, 08:59 AM
JoeFred--That's a really interesting concept, a sort of multi-angler diary. If carefully maintained over time, it could be highly revealing. Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

JoeFred
11-23-2009, 09:36 PM
Here's one way to record the finds. The thought would be to record only the first report of a species caught on a particular stream. (Maybe five+ years out, could replace with more recent catches.) The image simulates what could be added to the Oconaluftee River system (http://www.smokystreams.com/systems/oconaluftee/index.htm) page, for example.
http://www.smokystreams.com/assets/stream_list_demo_lro.jpg (http://www.smokystreams.com/systems/oconaluftee/index.htm)

Jim Casada
11-24-2009, 09:05 AM
JoeFred--I assume you would have a way to include other species as catches were reported. As your example shows, there are many streams in the Park which don't appear in any books covering fishing. A goodly number of these hold trout, although in many cases they are tiny three-inchers. I'll give one example. Several times over the years I've caught tiny trout in Bumgardner Branch, a tiny feeder of Deep Creek. Most came at the point where a footlog spans the rivulet (used to be just a footpath without the footlog) and leaves a bit of space to get a fly in the water. Yet from the standpoint of viable fishing it is a non-starter. There are scores of little streams of a similar nature. Do you cover them?
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

silvercreek
11-24-2009, 09:15 AM
JoeFred, great idea. Regards, Silvercreek

JoeFred
11-24-2009, 02:06 PM
...There are scores of little streams of a similar nature. Do you cover them?
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Jim, my listings, by drainage system (links below), cover all streams named on the USGS quad maps I use. My maps show those plus locations of others for which I have not discovered names.

Little River (http://www.smokystreams.com/downloads/assets/littleriver_basic.jpg) (120+ named streams)
Little Pigeon (http://www.smokystreams.com/downloads/assets/littlepigeonriver_basic.jpg) (90+)
Oconaluftee (http://www.smokystreams.com/downloads/assets/oconalufteeriver_basic.jpg) (100+)
Tuckasegee (http://www.smokystreams.com/downloads/assets/tuckasegeeriver_basic.jpg) (70+)
Pigeon River (http://www.smokystreams.com/downloads/assets/pigeonriver_basic.jpg) (100+
Western Creeks (190+)
There is also an index of streams by system on the site that be useful to some.

Jim Casada
11-24-2009, 06:13 PM
JoeFred--At least a few of the nameless streams hold trout. Of course they are, like the named example I mentioned in a previous post, tiny and pretty close to meaningless when it comes to fishing. Still, folks like the amazing Bobby Kilby, who is still busy adding streams to his list, find them interesting.
Another intersting aspect of this is that there are some larger streams, or at least portions of them, which hold few if any fish. The Park fisheries biologists could help with this more than me, but one example which comes to mind from the past is Alum Cave Bluffs Creek. The flood there in 1951 left it completely fishless for many years, and it is basically marginal to the present thanks to high acidity. Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

JoeFred
12-05-2009, 12:35 PM
:smile:...what would be considered a small or medium to larger stream?..... flyguys.

I have added a stream size for the over 700 named streams in the Park. The classifications are somewhat subjective. Those I called Large, Medium and Small are those I've either visited or classified as such based on books I have. Some of those dubbed "Tiny" is due to lack of information to the contrary. I would be happy to hear from anyone wishing to have me upgrade a stream size.

To view the tables with the sizes, select one of the watersheds from the Systems page (http://www.smokystreams.com/systems/index.htm). If you do not know which system a particular stream is part of, locate it on master list on the Home page (http://www.smokystreams.com/) and click the system link shown.

flyguys
12-08-2009, 04:26 PM
Joefred, thanks for the system link that was posted!! A lot of info to take in on a cold winter night!! It seems i'll be busy for hour upon hours! flyguys.

Jim Casada
12-08-2009, 05:27 PM
JoeFred--Very impressive stuff. I don't always agree with your size ratings (for example, I'd deem Kanati Fork as small rather than tiny--it's fishable for better than a mile) but as you say, they have to be subjective. Ultimately, looking at this from a fisherman's perspective, my interest is primarily in knowing which streams do and do not hold trout. I don't mention any in my book which don't, but by the same token I know there are some small ones holding trout I fail to cover. You've undertaken a massive and ongoing task, as I'm sure you know, and I guess in one sense it is a task which will be never ending. Sort of a similar situation to what Horace Kephart wrote about the outdoors in general--"In the school of the outdoors there is no graduation day."

I do have a couple of thoughts. I wonder if the Park fisheries biologists have a listing of which streams hold trout (or rather, which streams they know to hold them). They have a map showing where they know there are populations of specks and graciously let me use that in my book, but I'm wondering if maybe they have it for other species as well. Of course, the smallest and highest streams tend to be the ones holding mountain trout.

At some point I'll try to find some time to go through, stream by stream, at least for those drainages I know best, and check your size classification. I suspect most ones I might question would be the break between small and tiny. There have to be many hundreds, if not thousands, of branches in the Park.

Anyway, kudos on the fine work and here's one vote for your continuing what I know has to be laborious and time-consuming. Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

JoeFred
12-09-2009, 12:02 AM
Thanks, Jim & flyguys--

Jim, I agree with you regarding Kanati Fork and have "upsized" it. I welcome your suggestions for others.

As soon as I can get the other two system maps done, I too want to devote much of my time to identifying and publicizing remote access streams that hold trout. I plan to follow up on Park fisheries resources. Also, and ideally, I would like to facilitate interested fellow anglers logging fish on the "back of beyond" streams. To that end I've just now launched a new page at smokystreams.com/bob. There are protocol issues to work through before soliciting input, however, since in some circles, simply divulging the stream name is considered a "contentious" matter.

Jim Casada
12-09-2009, 09:22 AM
JoeFred--I like the idea and will be keenly interested in seeing where it goes. As for the issue of revealing streams, I used to agonize about that on a fairly regular basis. Even today, I won't highlight a fine stream which can't stand a lot of pressure when writing for a national magazine. However, I've gradually come to the conclusion that they don't belong to me, although I guess you could make a staunch argument that the process of discovery does belong to me (or to others who go to the trouble to do the research, bushwhacking, and exploration to find such special places). That being duly recognized, most of these small, remote streams will always be protected by two considerations--first, the fact that they are back of beyond and require considerable effort and time to reach and second, only a small segment of the angling population is drawn to small streams because they are typically quite difficult to fish.

In other words, I see no problems whatsoever with listing them.

Jim Casada

www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

JoeFred
12-15-2009, 05:38 PM
The "Back of Beyond" (http://www.smokystreams.com/bob) streams web page now has a form for submitting requests to log trips to the remote waters. There are certain to be some bugs that will have to be worked out, but please give it a look see.

Jim Casada
12-15-2009, 06:40 PM
JoeFred--I submitted a sample entry and you can see if it goes through. I had a bit of trouble navigating the list of streams and wonder if you should remove the requirement to enter one's favorite forum. Folks might not recall the site address and will just quit at that point. Just a thought, especially since I'm not sure of the value for that particular info (although there may be something I'm missing, since I'm not exactly cutting edge on such things). Anyway, keep at it and I feel, over time, this could be really interesting. As you may know, Bobby Kilby has been doing something like this, in a one-man quest, for many years. Jim Casada

JoeFred
12-15-2009, 07:12 PM
Good points, Jim. I dropped the forum address requirement and added a drop list of three forums in the region I am aware of, with people having the option of adding others using the comments field. We need some filtering of what will inevitably be submissions by imposters.

I'll look at navigation improvements.

Thank you for contributing. Now if we can only get Bobby to pitch in. ;)

JF

silvercreek
12-15-2009, 07:55 PM
Wow! What an incredible piece of work. Wish you much success. Regards, Silvercreek

JoeFred
12-17-2009, 11:25 PM
Thanks very much, Silvercreek. I posted a formal annoucement at

http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13301

JF

JoeFred
01-02-2010, 12:30 AM
...
At some point I'll try to find some time to go through, stream by stream, at least for those drainages I know best, and check your size classification. I suspect most ones I might question would be the break between small and tiny. There have to be many hundreds, if not thousands, of branches in the Park.
...


I have since redesignated a few of the "T" (Tiny) streams as "VS" (Very Small) and all the rest as "U" for Uncategorized thusfar. Over time, I hope to determine the size of a number of them. Everyone's input is most welcome.

JF