View Full Version : Twentymile creek 11/14

11-16-2010, 10:30 AM
Went and fished Twentymile on Sunday, got there at about 12:30, the air was about 54 but the water was 44. It hadn't started raining yet and I got in pretty much right next to the parking area. On my last trip up Sam's creek, I had gotten hung up in some rhodo that I could barely reach while standing on a rock, and while trying to balance on a slick rock, untangle my leader and fly and hold my rod I managed to break the tip off my 3 wt rod. :eek: Since I haven't repaired it, I had to use my 6 wt, which isn't great for the smokies, but it works ok and is better than not fishing at all. It took me a little while to get used to casting small trout flies on it again, and I do pretty badly trying to fish a tandem rig anyway, so I just fished a lone orange stimulator. After not too long I caught this 5" bow:

I manged one more of similar size and one more that was closer to 6" that I didn't photograph because it had started to rain.

Even though it was raining, I had to take a picture of this guy, the smallest fish of the day, because you have to wonder what he was thinking, going after a bite that is so big for his mouth:

Bit off more than he can chew....

Here's one more picture of the stream before the rains came in:


I fished several areas between the ranger station and the confluence of Twentymile and Moore Springs branch, as well as some of Moore Springs Branch.

Blue Raider Fan - Along what we were discussing the other day: All but one fish was caught casting downstream, the one exception being one that I caught dabbling the fly over a boulder. Other than that, I had almost no strikes, slaps, hits, etc casting upstream, and a lot of missed fish and slaps, in addition to the four I caught fishing downstream...

11-16-2010, 03:05 PM
Where is Twentymile creek? Looks like a great place.

11-16-2010, 03:17 PM
It's on the North Carolina side of the park, at the west end. If you go over on US 129, and then turn on to NC 28 towards fontana/bryson city it's not very far down NC 28, there is a ranger station and the creek is right there emptying into Cheoah lake. Look on the Park map and it is easy to spot. The fish tend to run smaller than other watersheds, but it doesn't get much pressure at all.

here's the map link in case you don't have it:

http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/upload/GSMNP%20Backcountry%20Map.pdf (http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/upload/GSMNP%20Backcountry%20Map.pdf)

11-16-2010, 03:26 PM
The only problem is you have to fight a dragon to get to twentymile. It's not that bad though. Thanks for the report it was great I appreciate it since I am sick at home and not been able to fish in awhile. Have any theories on why you weren't catching when fishing upstream versus downstream?

11-16-2010, 03:54 PM
The dragon was great on Sunday. On the way out there, it hadn't rained yet, so it was still dry, but there was basically no traffic on it. On the way back on Sunday, it was wet but almost deserted. Aside from getting behind someone who refused to take any turn at no more than 3mph and refused to get over for 4 miles, it wasn't bad once she finally pulled over and let go on my way at normal speed. The only other time I went over there, back in June or July, I went first thing in the morning and beat the rush, but that afternoon it was pretty congested getting back. I feel like even in heavy congestion on the dragon, it is a worthwhile trip for the non-existent congestion on the stream.

As far as the downstream fishing, I could be way off base on this, but the primary reason probably had to do with my casting. I had trouble getting that 6wt to turn over flies, so i kept ending up with my fly line ahead of my fly and probably spooking the fish in the crystal clear water. But even when I was getting good casts upstream, I had few hits. Casting down stream, I had no trouble doing little flip casts with just enough slack to get a good 10 sec of drag free drift. I feel like I did a good job staying hidden both ways, but only the fish who didn't bite could tell you that for sure...

However there could be other factors too...I did notice a couple of times when I saw fish strike, the fly would float over a rock and after it passed, a fish would chase it downstream and hit it. I only got to see this a couple of times, before it started raining. I didn't any fish holding in the usual places or out feeding in open parts of the stream. They could be coaxed out from under overhanging rocks to attack a floating orange stimulator. So could it be that the rocks where I got hits had fish that were facing downstream under them? I know of at least one place where this had to be true because the rock where he came out of had no upstream view. So maybe that day more fish were looking downstream than up?

I also got a good number of hits when I let my fly drift under some low overhanging rhodo, and it would have been hard to get the fly in there casting upstream. I don't really know what the full reason here is, but when I was not having a whole lot of luck casting up, I thought about the other thread on this board and decided to test casting down, and it seemed to change the way my fishing went for the day.

11-16-2010, 05:45 PM
I stopped to fish twenty mile for the first time about a month ago on my way back from Hazel. I caught a very nice bow for that size stream that looked like it had come up from the lake. I'll post a picture if I can ever figure out how. I didn't fish up very far past the ranger station. How far up is Moore Springs branch? It seems like a great little stream.

11-16-2010, 07:30 PM
I'd have to check, but I believe Moore Springs branch is a half mile from the ranger station. (where the Twentymile loop trail begins and ends)

11-17-2010, 02:40 PM
Thanks for the information NDuncan. I really appreciate it.

I wish you good drifts!