View Full Version : In Search of a December Fish

12-30-2010, 11:02 AM
I was determined to at least give a valiant try for a December fish but, alas, didn't have the same fortune as Grannyknot. But I had a great day in the Smokies and loved seeing our mountains covered in snow for a change (without all the roads being closed). I headed for Cades Cove to try out Spring Creek and had to stop along the way to take a picture of the West Prong. Just gorgeous.
The trip around the cove loop was slow as folks stopped in the middle of the road to point at deer (despite the signs telling them not to). Here are some shots of our beautiful cove.
Crossing the Spring Creek bridge, these guys were off grazing in the woods.

I made it to the Abrams Falls trailhead around noon and headed up Spring Creek. I tried a couple of kinds of nymphs but had no takers. Along the way I saw an otter swim right by the bank under water. Would have expected a beaver but this guy had a small tail not the flat tail of a beaver. Right after the otter passed, several small dark shapes swam by in pursuit; I'm assuming it was the otterettes.

Well, I did manage to see some trout, a whole passle of them as a matter of fact. Within a rock's throw of the bridge up at the loop road, there was a section of stream not 6 feet square that held at least 15 trout including the biggest rainbow I have ever seen in the Smokies. This little tribe was just on the other side of a stump coming out of the water and under an over-hanging shrub. No matter what angle I tried, I couldn't get a nymph down to where they would consider it. Guess I need some lessons from 2weight on this.

Leaving the cove was the usual bumper-to-bumper affair for as far ahead as you could see. Not far past the mill, I passed a guy jogging around the loop in the snow (there's more to say about that but I'll pass). He passed me later as we were standing still in traffic. After a couple more leapfrogs, I managed to beat him out of the cove by about 300 yards. So, while you're sitting in traffic listening to Patty Loveless, there's not much to do but just chill out and enjoy the scenery. A couple more pics on the way out.


So, even though the fish wouldn't cooperate, I had a great day in the mountains. I'll just start a new streak later and for now just be thankful to have such a beautiful place in our back yard.

Happy New Year and tight lines to all.

12-30-2010, 12:23 PM
Thanks for taking me on the trip with you. I enjoyed the read.

12-30-2010, 12:44 PM
Beautiful pics Charlie and great report. Amazing it's that crowded in the Cove. I like it back there, but I can't deal with the long wait getting out of there. I wish there was a shortcut to fish Abrams, in and out, but I guess it would get hammered as well.


12-30-2010, 02:33 PM
In less than a week the crowds will be gone again and the cove will be left to us for a couple months. what size flies did you use in the spring creek section? I used some pretty small stuff when I went. In the shallow slow water of the small creek anything over a size 16 just looks too big, well to me at least..

12-30-2010, 05:48 PM
The wife and I headed up that way yesterday. We were going to go up toward Tremont and I wished we would have. The loop road was crazy! All of the cut throughs were closed so there was no escaping. It took us around 2 hours and 15 minutes. We saw tons of deer and people from FL, AL & MS. Also saw the runner in the orange vest. It would be awesome to be running in such a beautiful area and sucking exhaust fumes the entire run.

12-30-2010, 05:55 PM
A few from our time on the loop.





12-30-2010, 08:58 PM
2weight, My nymphs may have been too big. Thanks for the tip - I'll keep it in mind next time.