View Full Version : Humbled on the Oconaluftee and Bradley Fork

08-18-2011, 08:36 AM
Tuesday, I fished the Oconaluftee for about 6 hours. I only managed to land 10 small trout, the largest being an 8 inch rainbow. Catch ratio of browns to rainbows was about 50/50.

The water was lower than when I was there in October and the catching was much tougher. I tried a variety of flies, but the most successful patterns were a dry/dropper combo of a foam winged caddis with a BH green weenie dropper. I did catch a fish or two on a standard BH hair's ear nymph and also on a bushy Adams type dry.

Wednesday, I fished Bradley Fork from Smokemont up to Chasteen. The water was pretty low and I only managed 4 small trout, 2 browns and 2 rainbows.

I threw just about every pattern imaginable, with the weenie catching all 4 trout. There were fish in the runs, but the water was so low I had a hard time not spooking the fish. The fish caught were all out of the deeper holes, which were few and far between.

Both days, I did have a lot of strikes and rises, but the fish did not seem very aggressive, mostly just smacking at the dry. I did miss a few hooksets. I did have a pretty nice brown take the green weenie at Bradley Fork, I was not paying attention and failed to set the hook quickly enough. When I did set the hook, he was there for a second and I saw him come up, he was at least 12 inches. :frown:

I talked to 3 others anglers, all pretty much had the same luck as me over the past few days.

On Monday, I fished a Pisgah National Forest stream that was so low, it was barely a trickle. I landed 10 decent trout in just under 2 hours. I want to blame my poor performance in the GSMNP on low water or the recent waether changes, but I am thinking my skills are lacking for catching GSMNP trout.

Any advice or feedback is welcome. Sorry, I took no pics on the trip.

08-18-2011, 11:09 AM
Fishing is tough in August and even worse when the water is below normal August levels. I do not think it is you. You say you saw three other fisherman on Bradley, how many fisherman did you see on the Pisgah stream? I will guess none. In my opinion, the Park streams are pounded. I would guess that the problem was warm, low water and trout that see a lot of fisherman. Those conditions would be tough on all fisherman.

I fish the Park, but not becaue the fishing is great. I almost always do much better in Pisgah.

08-18-2011, 11:19 AM
If I lived near Pigsah, Natahala, Cherokee etc I would defenitely fish those areas before the GSMNP. You are lucky to live somewhere you have those options. Sorry about your bad day though.

08-18-2011, 02:37 PM
The luftee in August is a tough one. My last few times out in the warmer weather in that area, I have had similar results. Lazy strikes by fish in low, clear water. I don't think you are doing anything wrong (unless we both are :P), the fishing this time of year in the park just seems to be that way. It's going to cool down and the fishing is going to pick up real soon though. Getting into September, I can't wait!

08-18-2011, 04:19 PM
I guess you have a good point about the pressure those streams get as compared to many Pisgah streams. I still love the park and I did have fun on my trip.

Thanks guys.

08-19-2011, 12:44 AM
My guess is the low water. Did you scale down to 6 or 7x?

I fish mostly small streams and have found myself using 7x much more than the past. Maybe it just took me a little to get out of my comfort zone.

We were pounded with some rain tonight in Gburg and by the looks of radar...its getting hit up top...Hopefully that will help the flow for tomorrow.

Great report.....