View Full Version : Mid May Trip

04-30-2011, 06:20 PM
After several trips to the Smokies with no luck--well, *one* "luck":


(and this guy was complete luck-- I had my rod between my knees with the nymph flailing in the current downstream as I sipped some tea), my "luck" finally improved. I caught my first brookie (he wanted that stimulator, too):


and released him (he hung out right by my feet for a few minutes and then swam off):


My first brookie also became my first grand slam (no more pics-- my camera ended up in the water right where the brookie was. I *meant* to put it back in the case...).

So, when one of my friends called me yesterday and asked if I was interested in going back, I told him I could be there in just over 12 hours. We decided two weeks from now would be more realistic-- and are thinking about going back to one of the Fontana streams. Anyone have any recent reports for this area, or any insights as to a specific stream this time of year? I'm kind of partial to Eagle; but have only been to Forney once-- and have never been to Hazel or Noland. How crowded would Hazel be this time of year? It would be on a weekend.

We are still pretty open at this point; so if anyone has some ideas or even different suggestions, please let me know. Thanks...

04-30-2011, 09:32 PM
I will bet the farm that Hazel Creek will be packed. I'd look at one of the others.

05-01-2011, 10:47 AM
Crockett & Mundele are up at Noland camping right now, they might be able to give some insight:smile:.

While I barely know the streams out of Fontana, I would follow GM77 advice about skipping Hazel if you want some solitude.

I did lower Forney and it wasn't great. Could have been the high water that day, but I think locals boating in give the lower portion of the stream alot of fishing pressure. I think, except for Hazel, finding a campsite out of range of "car campers" in boats, several miles upstream will lead to a great trip. Again, my knowlegde of this side of the park is pretty limited, and others may be able to give you better info, but since your responses to this post were few, I thought I would throw in what little I know:rolleyes:

05-01-2011, 01:15 PM
Yeah, I kind of thought that Hazel would be pretty crowded this time of year. On my one trip to Forney, the fishing was pretty slow; but it was cold and even dumped some snow on us-- so I was planning on blaming that one on the weather. My first (and most successful) fishing trip to the Park was in May at Eagle; so CS89 is definitely something we're considering. But, I'm a little concerned about those crossings as we (potentially) have some youngsters going with us. I never hear anything about Noland and just figured that the easier access afforded by the road would mean more crowds.

I've never been to Raven Fork either; and am interested in checking it out for the seclusion and scenic factors-- am I correct in assuming that this would be a good time of year for fishing there? (Am willing to trade a water-logged Nikon for someone to carry a pack up the Hyatt Ridge Trail...)

05-01-2011, 03:50 PM
I was supposed to camp at 47 last night, but got no sleep the night before, and that with my bad acid reflux caused me to start getting sick. I had my friend (maintains 47 for the park) drop me off at Oconaluftee, and called my wife to come & pick me up. My buddy then took my car and should be back in a few hours. When I get it back, I'll find out how the fishing was:smile:.

While waiting the 3 hours for my wife to show up, I fished behind the visitor center for an hour. One bump, one strike, no fish:frown:. Water was shallow & wide making it almost impossible not to spook them. I'll be sticking with the smaller streams. I did run into Crockett & Mundele and their kids heading to Noland.

It was also the first look of low water atop the park. The leaves are out and the water levels are dropping.

I just can't seem to get to Raven Fork this year. I have tried 4 times already and haven't pulled it off yet:mad: I guess I'll just keep trying:smile:

05-01-2011, 05:50 PM
Bummer dp! Hopefully some rest and some Tagamet will have you back in fishing form.

I'm certainly interested in hearing a bit more about how Raven and/or Noland is fishing. Do you like upstream or downstream from CS47 on Raven or the trailside section of Enloe Creek? All I ever hear is how rugged it is back there; but I don't really know any fishing specifics. I would think anyone going for the Little Niagara area would start from McGee Spring.

Thanks for the note about the water levels. I'd say Eagle is still a good possibility for our trip. The last time I was there, the water was quite deep and swift on all of those fords.

05-01-2011, 09:34 PM
Fishing was great. Nymphs in the morning & dries in the afternoon. He said he even lost a huge trophy one than swam 40 feet and made good use of a log to get free:eek:

I thought it was ambitious to even get on the Left Fork. Little Niagra? I hope you know what you would be getting into. Maybe if you got to 3 forks really early, or just camped somewhere up Left Fork. I have only heard of 3 people ever being there, and all of them were "hardcore" to say the least. I'm sure it would be paradise though. I may just be stupid enough to follow you:rolleyes:

If you want to fish downstream of 47 my advice would be to walk down Enloe streambed, then fish up to 47. There are a few trails down from the campsite, but they end pretty quickly and several of the rapids are really hard to get upstream, and would be extremely sketchy to hike down without ropes & gear, or a tangle with some REALLY bad Rhodo:eek: Below that it's best to access from the reservation, which unless you know a landowner, is not the best idea as you will have walk past "tribal water" with fishing gear that could be confiscated and I'm sure they would fine you heftily.

BTW my buddy fished all day yesterday and only made it about a mile above the campsite, and he is at the peak of fitness

05-02-2011, 08:36 AM
Mundele and I did run into Duckypaddler at the Oconoluftee visitor center. DP was in camo over by the river when we came up. Noland was a fun trip but the fishing was a bit slow Mundele caught 3 or 4 small bows and I got skunked although I didn't fish very much. We ran into another LRO forum member just down from cs 65 Owl Jones. He was a nice guy out fishing with a few others. cs 65 had picnic tables which was real nice and we had a fire and cooked hot dogs. Had something that sounded big scooting around in the woods above us for a couple of hours so that was exciting.

05-02-2011, 06:30 PM
Thanks dp, I'm learning some new specifics already. I thought that Three Forks was the same area as the confluence of Little Niagara and Raven Fork. From looking at the map and hearing about how rugged it is back there, I often wondered how people made it up that far. So, where is the Three Forks area? I don't think we're going to make it to Raven Fork this trip-- my friends are leaning towards Eagle or Forney-- but it would be nice to know for future reference.

Thanks for the report on Noland, Crockett. If we go to Forney, I will probably have a morning to fish Noland while I wait on my friends to arrive. I think they are leaning towards Forney, while I'm probably leaning towards Eagle. Eagle just seemed a little bigger and easier to fish to me. I'm not sure which one would be the most crowded this time of year.

There's nothing like something big sounding trampling around in the woods at night to get the adrenaline flowing. Do you think it could have been a hog? I've had several encounters with them lately-- both in the Smokies and closer to my neck of the woods.