View Full Version : alum cave and chimneys 10-7-10 (pic heavy cause i know you like it)

10-11-2010, 10:09 PM
UT was on fall break so i decided to head to the mountains on the hunt for brook trout...im new to the smokys thing so i usually only fish treemont and catch bows....after reading this board i decided to go up 441 to the Alum cave pull off for ease of access and high elevation for brooks (prob should have gone higher)

I got on the water about (9:30 -10 and the parking lot was packed out but only saw one other person fishing right at the trail head. Started with a #16 yellow stimulator with some flash and a #14 BHPT. Quickly lost the BHPT and decided to stick it out with the yellow stimi as the sun was coming up and i figured bugs would be out. Started slow and eventually hooked up and caught a few. They were all located in pools. I assumed the runs would be more productive but this was not the case. Here are some pics of the first little bows i caught and a hole which i caught them in. It was funny i noticed a brance with some line tangles on it. Being the environmentally friendly fly fisherman i am i decide to clean it off....found a rooster tail, orange Stimi, and 3 assorted nymphs (all fresh no rust)

hole i caught 2 bows in (in 2 cast) :eek:

and is one of the bows

It got to be about 1 and the fishing was slow so i made the decision to move down stream to the Chimney's picnic area because i had heard there would be some good boulder hoping and pools! as i was walking back i got stoped by a park ranger who was doing and angler survey and wassent suprised i was having a slow day. He said that the area around the alum cave trail head had acidic water? has anyone heard of this? He also said i should be in the brooks but i guess i just need to get off the beaten path. Over all a very positive experience with a ranger

When i got to the chimneys i moved up stream from the back of the parking area. This was not for the faint of heart. i had the thought once or twice that if i were to fall......well i just wont go there, but the fishing was excellent! every large poole yielded a solid strike though my hook setting skills are still on the novice side. The yellow stimi was BIG MONEY! i eventually tied on a #18 copper jon and caught one on that. Eventually lost the rig late in the day and bad cast:mad: I decided to try something new as it was getting late in the day (past 4PM) so tied on a adams and fished my way back to the car...It was slower on the way down as expected but i did manage one great fish! it was about 10" my GSM record:eek: I only caught bows but still a very very good day in the mountains. Here are some pics.

Here is a pool that yielded some good hits(the water was very clear)

here is one of the bows:

Here is my trophy fish:biggrin:
Here he is recovering (i only had him out of the water for a few seconds and he ended up ok no worries)

Here is the pic of the day! my new current wallpaper

and here is a panorama of the rocks i had to climb to get to the pools....the picture dosent do it justice....it was harry!

10-11-2010, 10:58 PM
Great report Bigmax,

The Alum Creek area was affected by the building of the Newfound Gap Road. The anakeesta rock in that area was disturbed and seeped acid into the watershed. I have never fished that area, just Walkers Camp above the Chimneys trailhead.

The WPLP around the picnic area is some of the toughest wading on the stream IMO, to me the wading overall becomes easier once you enter the Gorge. Nice looking bows, you're off to a great start in fishing the Smokies!


10-11-2010, 11:22 PM
Thanks for the report and pics., looks as if you had a great day in the mountains.

10-13-2010, 03:13 AM
Yep. A little higher. Nice photos!

10-14-2010, 12:50 PM
Cool pix, looks like a nice trip.

10-14-2010, 02:13 PM
Great post and loved the pics. Wishing I was in the mountains.

10-15-2010, 04:40 PM
The fly in the top two pictures, is that of your own creation or one you bought. It caught my eye and looks real fishey.

10-16-2010, 05:02 PM
its a 16 yellow stimulator from LRO with some flashy stuff on it...i like the flas when im fishing in a sunny pool...feel like it gives me the edge (prob just in my head though)

10-16-2010, 05:06 PM
the pic with the trout in my hand has the copper john tangled up with the stimulator....

11-06-2010, 02:07 AM
"I only caught bows but still a very very good day in the mountains."

there are brooks as low as the 1st bridge at the Chimneys trailhead that i've caught before. I've also caught several between the Chimneys trailhead and the alum cave trailhead, but when I fish it I usually begin where the road crosses over the river before the alum cave t.h.

I made the mistake of fishing from the picnic area to the trailhead alone one time, caught several fish in the 10-14" range, after the SPRINT through the tunnel I vowed to never fish it alone again. Funny story though: about 1/4 mile from the trailhead i spooked a couple hippies bathing in the river:redface:, after a quick--VERY quick conversation I skipped some nice looking holes in an attempt to flee. After I got into cell service I phoned mom (a park service employee) and told her about my run-in with the friendly (but smelly) hippies thinking they may be hiding out...turns out they were digging ginseng and had several pounds of the expensive root in their posession when they were confronted by rangers:eek:! But I believe i ended the day having caught and released over 20 rainbows, the next time I fished that section in its entirety was with a boy armed with a roostertail...needless to say I had a less than productive day! It was still an awesome adventure though!!

11-06-2010, 02:22 PM
There are brookies at a lot lower elevation on this watershed than previously suggested. They might not be in high density but you can catch them as low as Cambell's overlook at barely 2000 ft.

11-06-2010, 06:59 PM
Great report and great photos! I especially likedd the picture of the clear pool. Places like that make me come back to the park. Wish I lived closer. The seventh picture- is that a bridge or something at the top? Just curious.

11-08-2010, 11:42 AM
Yes, I've caught several Brookies on Walker just above the confluence of Road Prong mixed right in w/ 'bows. Caught them out of the same pools.

11-08-2010, 11:35 PM
if you're walking down rd prong and through the confluence pool you'll see a shady hole on the right (road side) with a tree/bush (i forget) hanging over it. i caught this brute from there.
i was so worried i'd drop it i jolted back to the trail to snap a pic before releasing it.

11-08-2010, 11:52 PM
Nice looking spec nocona. I'll to give Road Prong a try next year, haven't fished it for over 3 years..


11-09-2010, 12:56 AM
thanks, wish i had a waterproof camera so i could quit relying on cell phone pics! I've always loved specs and would rather catch 1 all day than to catch 10 rainbows. I finally got around to rd prong for the 1st time just this fall, nearly every spec i pulled out was big and beautiful. since then i've fished it maybe 3 times and pulled out all rainbows (didn't go real high for lack of time)

11-09-2010, 08:55 AM
the 7th pic is taken from the the top of the first series of boulders you must climb to get out of the picnic area, no bridge just big rocks