View Full Version : Smokey First Timer

04-15-2011, 01:11 PM
Iíve got a week off of school here in Massachusetts and Iím headed to the Smokey Mountains for the first time in my life. My favorite fish, by a mile, is the brook trout....... rumor has it Iíve made a great decision.

Iíll be arriving sometime Saturday 4-16 and be staying for the week. Would anyone be so kind as to set my itinerary, possibly directing me toward the obvious ďmust fishĒ rivers? I'm not looking for specific spots, I just don't want to miss the obvious.

Iíve got rods 2 thru 7, waders, a float tube, and a row-able one man pontoon craft. Iím looking for the complete Smokey experience........browns, rainbows, and brookies.....maybe even a small mouth or two........

I thank you.......in advance.


04-15-2011, 01:23 PM
Right now it's kind of hard to answer your question. There is a front that is about to blow through and we might get 1 to 2 inches of rain. So it will all depend on where gets the least rain falls :frown:

Don't really think you'll get much use out of the float tube or the pontoon. Unless you want to fish smallies in lower Little Rv (might be high).

Are you familiar with the park's stream guages?

Brookies typically caught in 3-5 elevation range, Browns in the Little Rv several miles in each direction from Elkmont or Ocona Lunftee (old spelling), and rainbows everywhere else.

I'd say a 2 or 3 wt for the Brookie streams, and a 5wt for everything else. Won't need the 7 wt in the park.

If you have computer access when down here check back and I could give you a much better idea after the rain falls:smile: Also would help to know where you are staying, etc. The Smokies are a big place.

Hope that helps,

04-15-2011, 01:28 PM
Do you have an area you will be staying in mind?

I like Elkmont as a good basecamp on the TN side. Its central location makes it easy to get to Abrams Creek/West Prong of the Little River/Little River to the west and Greenbrier/Cosby areas to the NE. Also quick access to 441 over into NC.

04-15-2011, 02:32 PM
Pick up a copy of Jim Casada's book. There are far too many "must fish" rivers in the park. JoeFred's topo maps are a great resource as well. Look for streams on the topo above ~3k feet to find the brookies.

I have had limited success finding brookies, but took advice from Jim's book and threads on this forum to find them on Road Prong near the Chimneys.

Read the free sample chapter 45 from Jim's book here:
http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com/Books/fly_fish_smokies/Casada_book_excerpts_with_TOC_web_version.pdf , and then pick the book up from Byron and Paula in the store. :biggrin:

Search the forum for "Road Prong" and pay attention to some of the markers being discussed.

Hopefully I am not giving too much away, just trying to pay it forward..

Good Luck!

04-15-2011, 03:57 PM
Just about any water will have fish. Be careful and quiet. Don't wade unless you have to and don't disturb the water or the bank. These fish are very spooky.

04-15-2011, 04:49 PM
All our fish got killed off by a big snipe hatch last year... not much fishin' going on these days ;-)

Seriously though, good advice above. Go by Little River Outfitters (skip the Orvis store, it's lame) talk to the nice folks there and pick up a dozen flies and some advice. My recommendation would also be to post up at the Elkmont Campground. Pretty accommodating, and direct access to good water.

04-15-2011, 04:56 PM
If you want an informative book of brook trout within the park check out Fly Fishing for Brook Trout in Great Smoky Mountains National Park by Ian Rutter. It can be purchased on his website. It is a fantastic little book dedicated to brook trout.

Too bad you didn't ask questions earlier. You could have improved gas mileage by leaving the "waders, a float tube, and a row-able one man pontoon craft" at the house.

04-19-2011, 10:55 AM
Started out with the Roaring Fork off the Motor Nature Trail. Caught a few brookies but there were hordes of people.

Headed up Greenbrier yesterday, went way up and caught fish all over. However, it was serious rough going.....steep ravines and impassable boulders. I was exhausted and sore this am, especially after climbing the tower at Clingman's.

Might try Oconaluftee today, close to the road and pretty mellow looking. However, the first thing that greets you at the new visitors center there is an evil loud female ranger......big time turn off to visitors.

Initial thoughts?
In the park-steep terrain, challenging, and rocky......but gorgeous.
Outside the park-tourist pandemonium, I was seriously disappointed. I was not expecting that. Was thinking I'd get a little more of the "Appalachia" country

The couple at Smokey Mtn Angler in Gatlinburg were fantastic....down home and super helpful and nice.

That's it in an iPhone typed nutshell...more later.


04-19-2011, 11:23 AM
The couple at Smokey Mtn Angler in Gatlinburg were fantastic....down home and super helpful and nice.


Sped, you are dialed in on the gems of the region: wild trout and folks like Harold and Nancy Thompson.

Thanks for your report.

04-19-2011, 04:01 PM
Sped if you are looking for an "Appalachia" country experience Gatlinburg or Cherokee are the two places you won't easily find it. Try places like Cosby, Tellico Plains, or Bryson City where the tourists don't go too much its really like a different world.

04-19-2011, 06:35 PM
I second the recommendation for Ian Rutter's book. Good stuff.

04-19-2011, 11:03 PM
Hit s few more spots today (Tues)......

Oconaluftee River
-looked great, fished it for an hour, no fish.

Walker Camp Prong? (near the road above the crazy spiral loop road)
-super nice, lots of clear pools, crystal clear water, rainbows, great on a hot day, loved it.

A stop at Little River Outfitters
-cool shop, super friendly staff...... Got a game plan for the next 24 hours....including......

Little River at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area (Also did this today)
-Floated a dry and dropper got about three hours in the soft water along the banks to no avail, bummed out a little, was looking for a brown or two.

Tomorrow???? Road Prong!!
......and possibly a little of Abrams Creek near Wet Bottom Trail at Cades Cove

I'll keep you posted....... Sped

04-20-2011, 09:06 AM
Now the Road prong will be a little challenging for sure. Your legs should be sore again, haha. I like that Walker Camp Prong up above Road Prong, I've fished that a few times. Easy access and not too bad of a crowd.

04-20-2011, 07:19 PM
Tomorrow???? Road Prong!!
......and possibly a little of Abrams Creek near Wet Bottom Trail at Cades Cove

I'll keep you posted....... Sped

Didn't see any Mass plates at Road Prong today;). I sure did look though:biggrin:. While water was up, I'd call it the highest level to still be worth fishing. 80% of usual good holes and runs wern't there, but fish were still willing on the nymph and the last hour started hitting the dry fly. I now have two fishing reports to post. Finished the day on West Prong, and got skunked there with only 2 bites. Water there was sketchy high, leading to a couple of crossings that worked out, but in hindsight it might have been better to let the water drop some more.

I guessing you already figured out that 2 streams in the Smokies is no problem, unless the two streams you are wanting to fish are Abrams (prob too high on Wet Bottoms), and Road Prong:eek:

Hope you had a good day and week!