View Full Version : Big Snowbird Flies?
08-21-2010, 08:32 PM
Hi fellow fly addicts.
I'm headed down your way end of Sept. on vacation and will be staying on Big Snowbird for a few days. I'll be fishing there and some other streams in the area, yet to be determined.
Any tips on flies to bring along would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for any advice & suggestions.
08-22-2010, 08:53 AM
Your best bet is to have a plan and an agenda for the streams and tail-waters you plan on fishing. Then, search them on this message board. Each freestone stream and tail-water in East Tennessee can be completely different on any given day and time of the year. I wish I could be more helpful.
08-22-2010, 09:20 AM
Apache Trout--By all means devote some attention to Big Snowbird, and if at all possible make it a point to spend one full day that involves a hike from Junction (the end of the Forest Service road along Big Snowbird) up to the head of Mouse Knob Falls (roughly three miles of easy going). Once there you are in specks (only) country. I also like the section of Big Snowbird between Junction and Sassafras Creek, a good , solid day's fishing.
I wouldn't spend much time on Big Santeetlah. It has always been slow in September and otters have really impacted the stream's trout population.
An hour's drive will take you to Twentymile Creek in the Park, a stream well worth checking out.
If water flows and rains continue to be good, don't overlook West Buffalo Creek, which is close to Big Snowbird.
Just over the mountain to Topton and down the road is the Nantahala River, a tailwater you can actually fish when the water is "on" (and I prefer it then). If you fish it with the water off, think the smallest midges you've ever seen and then go smaller (size 28 to 32).
On the freestone streams, attractor patterns of various kinds, caddis, Parachute Male Adams, terrestrials, and Orange or Yellow Palmers will all serve you well. Good nymphs are Prince, Tellico, and Copper John.
Beyond that, as Madison Boats says, do some research on this forum. I don't remember anyone mentioning West Buffalo (it's a small stream) but there's lots of stuff on Big Snowbird.
08-22-2010, 10:42 AM
Thank you for the responses. Much appreciated.
Jim, I plan on getting your book this week through LRO. Also getting some traditional Smoky Mountain flies from LRO: Thunderhead, Yellarhammers, etc...
I have a pretty good selection of standard dries, nymphs & terrestrials, just looking for some specific flies for the area to bring along for the time of year. Thank you for your recommendations.
One thing I really enjoy doing during part of my travels is trying out flies that work well in other parts of the country & world for that matter and testing them on new waters.
For the most part, I'll stick with standard & local patterns for the stream I'm fishing but will try some things the fish may have never seen during some of the trip. Some things work and others don't but it's a great learning experience. I love it when I come across a successful surprise!
For example, I have a good selection of Fran Betters flies: Ausable Bombers & Wulffs, Haystacks & Usuals that will see some time on the water in Smoky Mountain country. I also have some obscure Maine streamers I will throw.
I like to throw some of my streamer creations as well. My "Officer Max" streamer, named after my dad, always makes an appearance on every trip.
My good friend BRK TRT on forums around the east coast, also from CT, has had success with flies he trades with a Japanese angler. Our CT wild browns & native brookies love those Japanese flies. Also, I recently turned BRK TRT onto the "Thunderhead" of which he tied a good number & some variations that will be seeing time on New England wild trout streams this fall. BRK TRT is a wonderful fly tier, his Maine streamers are works of art.
As far as streams go, I'll use this forum in my researching. It is an immense help & wonderful resource for someone coming from another part of the country. The contributions everyone make are invaluable. I thank LRO for making it available.
I'm a small stream guy at heart. I love exploring branches, creeks, brooks & runs as much as possible. As this is a vacation with my wife and she is not a hiker, I'll do the best I can. She likes to sit on the porch with a good book while I head off into the wild. Which is OK by me. :-) She worries when I'm gone too long, so like I said, I'll do the best I can when it comes to exploring.
I look forward to getting your book Jim. The advice you've given me already will save me time and will steer me towards more productive water. I thank you for that.
Anyone else feel free to chime in and know that all responses are greatly appreciated.
08-22-2010, 01:33 PM
Apache Trout--You won't go much wrong with any of the patterns you mention. In freestone streams in the Smokies, to an appreciable degree, it's more a matter of presentation than pattern.
If you like small streams, and I certainly do, fish some of West Buffalo and maybe check out Squally and Sassafras Creeks, or even Wright Creek or Long Branch, in Graham County. Look at a good map and it's pretty easy how to figure out how to get to them.
Incidentally, since you've ordered my book and I mentioned Twentymile Creek in my previous post, there's a chapter on it in the book.
08-22-2010, 06:18 PM
Thank you for all your help. Funny, all the streams you mentioned are on my possible to do list. Great minds think a like. ;-)
One other I have my eye on is John's Branch.
We have very few wild rainbows in CT so I'm really looking forward to catching one on my trip.
I understand many of these streams are well known but I'm always hesitant to mention names in forums. I want to be respectful of the waters you guys fish in NC, hence my reluctance to mention names.
I belong to other forums and never mention exact locations of pools, runs etc... on the streams I fish. Talking in general terms, stream & river names, I've never had a problem with as long as they are well known.
In CT we have 9 designated wild trout streams with single barbless artificial regulations. They are all in the DEP fishing guide. There are many others though that are not listed. Those we tend not to mention in open forums for their protection.
Lastly, I would like to extend to all on this board an invitation, if any of you are ever up fishing in CT or anywhere in New England feel free to contact me. I'll do my best to steer you in the right direction. For a small state we do have some nice streams.
Thank you again and I look forward to any and all advice,
If you run out of fishing the mentioned streams you could go over to Slickrock Creek and try fishing it. (Brown Trout) Next month try dries with some yellow or orange.It is a walk in and out but a beautiful creek.
08-23-2010, 09:05 AM
Thanks WRN. I'll check that one out.
08-23-2010, 08:52 PM
If the water is cloudy or muddy try a wooly bugger. I've had success with black on the Nantahala.This is my first post I hope it works.
08-23-2010, 09:15 PM
Thanks Snowbird Fly.
Your screen name is very appropriate to this thread. :-)
So many streams I want to check out. 4 days not nearly enough.
Looks like I'll be making some more trips in the years ahead.
This first trip to the Smoky Mountains is going to be memorable for certain.
Looking forward to it.
09-01-2010, 09:19 PM
Just received my order from LRO. Your book looks great! Can't wait to sit down and check it out.
Also got Lowe's Fly Pattern Guide, another neat book.
3 weeks to go.....
09-01-2010, 10:23 PM
I just thought of another small stream you might like. Little Santeetlah Creek runs thru Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. You can start fishing at the turn off of the main road and fish to the Run a Round(the parking lot where the trail to the forest begins). If you go above the parking lot it"s what we locals call a "laurel thicket" . Mostly small bows and an occasional brown. Bob Creek and Sand Creek on Big Santeetlah could be good too. There on the way to Johns Branch and there should be signs with the creek names on them unless someone has pulled then up. This happens here frequently. Good Luck
09-02-2010, 07:40 AM
Apache Trout--Roger Lowe is, like me, a son of the Smokies. He grew up in Waynesville, learned at least some of his fly-tying skills from the late Bennie Joe Craig (although I suspect he mostly taught himself), and has fished mountain streams all his life. He also compiled a little pattern guidebook which is most useful, although it's possible it is out of print.
09-02-2010, 07:46 AM
A. T. (and snowbird fly)--Here are even more suggestions, although I suspect you have begun to get the message--Graham County is a mighty fine base of trout-fishing operations.
1. Squally Creek
2. Long Creek
3. Sassafrass Creek (feeds Big Snowbird three miles above Junction)
4. Tululah River including right in town
5. Wright Creek
09-02-2010, 09:41 AM
Thanks Jim & Snowbird!
Now I'm thinking about an early spring trip as well. :-)
09-03-2010, 11:16 AM
Apache Trout, look under the "Trout Fishing in other States" heading. There is a quite a lengthy thread for Snowbird, it has been on this board since 07 or 08. Attractor patterns will work on Big Snowbird. The stream is full of Golden Stones (16's-6's). Hope you enjoy your stay and if you see an old blue Grand Wagoneer, stop and say hello.
09-07-2010, 12:25 AM
Will do John, Thanks.
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