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David Knapp
03-25-2012, 11:37 PM
Blog updated now with full report (http://thetroutzone.blogspot.com/2012/03/crazy-trip-little-river-report.html)and more pictures.

I spent the last couple of days on Little River and camping at Elkmont. The fishing was excellent but a bit strange. It took a while to get things really dialed in but then the fishing was very good.

All fish the last two days were caught on a dry/dropper rig. Yesterday the majority of the fish took the dropper while today they had a definite preference for the dry. Today I finally just took off the dropper and fished the #12 Parachute Adams exclusively. The hatch situation was quite complex, but thankfully the fish weren't picky. I saw Quill Gordon duns and spinners (way up the trail), Blue Quills, a March Brown or two, brown stoneflies, yellow stoneflies, caddis, and lots of midges.

Yesterday I had three interesting experiences. The first was catching a brookie much lower on Little River than I have ever caught one before. It must be a result of all the high water we have had this past winter. It was probably half a mile lower than the previous "low" spot I had caught one in previously. Notice the bite marks on its back...must be a big brown around somewhere...

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2733.jpg

Another one was catching two trout at once. I've never done that in the Smokies (in fact don't think I've done it on trout before) although as often as I use two flies it seems like it should have happened before now.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2750.jpg

The third thing that happened was the most interesting in my opinion. I had a big brown come out to try and eat a little rainbow I had just hooked. Right as it was closing for the kill, the trailing dropper snagged it. Somewhere in the ensuing chaos the little 'bow escaped. I can now say that I legitimately hooked a small fish but when I landed it a big brown was on the other end of the line...not exactly fair caught but it was there... :eek:

Here's a picture of the brown...

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2854.jpg


Here are a few more pictures from the past couple of days...more pictures to come on my blog as well as a better writeup once I have some time to digest the trip...

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2798.jpg


http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2966.jpg


http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2914.jpg


http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2817.jpg


http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2813.jpg


http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2836.jpg

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMG_2898.jpg

BlueRaiderFan
03-26-2012, 12:21 AM
..........

Grannyknot
03-26-2012, 08:11 AM
Great pictures David. How much rain did you end up getting up there?

David Knapp
03-26-2012, 08:29 AM
Great pictures David. How much rain did you end up getting up there?

Not very much during the day except Saturday evening probably about 6:30 it started raining and poured for an hour or two and then off and on throughout the night. Must not have been as heavy as it seemed though cause the water was clear Sunday morning...

Grannyknot
03-26-2012, 09:12 AM
Not very much during the day except Saturday evening probably about 6:30 it started raining and poured for an hour or two and then off and on throughout the night. Must not have been as heavy as it seemed though cause the water was clear Sunday morning...

Now I'm starting to feel stupid for not coming up this weekend.

David Knapp
03-26-2012, 09:48 AM
Now I'm starting to feel stupid for not coming up this weekend.

Did I mention the epic fishing? Hahaha, don't feel bad. I almost did not come and honestly didn't expect the fishing to be that great...I got really lucky that it didn't pour on me while I was up the trail...

MadisonBoats
03-26-2012, 10:01 AM
Very nice pictures David and excellent write-up as usual.:smile:

Mundele
03-26-2012, 11:23 AM
Wow... sounds like you had a great weekend. That "olive brown" icedub nymph looks familiar :)

David Knapp
03-26-2012, 12:33 PM
Thanks Shawn!

Mundele, I've been known to tie that pattern before...:biggrin: Not sure why though cause it doesn't work very well...:rolleyes:

GrouseMan77
03-26-2012, 03:06 PM
Really nice report David. I'm planning to go Wednesday...you on spring break?

AKSkim
03-26-2012, 03:18 PM
Very nice report David.

I am not one who is into fish p.o.r.n. , but I have to say those photos of the streams are outstanding.

I really liked that low level shot, I am going to have to give that a try.

I always look for high vantage spots, or eye level photos.

Like I said, I am going to have to give that low angle a try.

David Knapp
03-26-2012, 05:45 PM
Jason, already had spring break so unfortunately I'm working all week. Have fun if you get out there. The dogwoods are starting to bloom so Hendricksons should be starting anytime now...

AKSkim, thanks for the kind words. I like playing with perspective on shots and the low angle is one of my favorites. Enjoy trying out some different angles! :smile:

ChemEAngler
03-26-2012, 09:22 PM
Fantastic as usual David.

I really thought I was going to be able to come join you on Saturday, but as usual "honey do's" took priority. I was going to call and see if you got rained out, but realized that you don't get rained out.

Kinda like Chuck Norris, you tell the river when it can get too muddy and the fish when to bite. :biggrin:

I plan to make up for it by hitting the mountains on Thursday afternoon.

David Knapp
03-27-2012, 10:14 AM
Travis, I was honestly kind of hoping for a little more rain and higher water because I wanted to chase some big browns. In the end though I'm glad the water stayed at a fishable level. The fishing I did was quite enjoyable and probably worth skipping on the big browns... You should have a good time on Thursday. Shoot me an email or give me a call and I can give you a tip on some flies...

David Knapp
03-27-2012, 08:08 PM
BlueRaiderFan, I think you said something about being up there in late April but not sure 'cause something happened to your post. Anyways, you should be there at a prime time. I'm hoping to get back up during mid April. If it stays warm you might be seeing some of the first early summer hatches by late April. If I was you I would be excited about getting up there for as long as you mentioned...

BlueRaiderFan
03-28-2012, 12:00 PM
David,

Yeah, I kind of turned a thread about you into a thread about me (I'm good at that), so I deleted it. ;) Thanks for the encouragement. I'm looking forward to fishing a few streams I haven't yet. I have a ton of fun just along the roads so getting off of them much at all will be nice.

DarrinG
03-28-2012, 12:04 PM
Nice report..and beautiful fish. Nice brown too!

flyman
03-28-2012, 01:52 PM
I could catch all them fish too if I got to fish as much as you:biggrin: Nice photos and report David:smile:

David Knapp
03-28-2012, 02:10 PM
David,

Yeah, I kind of turned a thread about you into a thread about me (I'm good at that), so I deleted it. ;) Thanks for the encouragement. I'm looking forward to fishing a few streams I haven't yet. I have a ton of fun just along the roads so getting off of them much at all will be nice.

No worries man! Will you be hiking in a lot then?

David Knapp
03-28-2012, 02:14 PM
DarrinG, thanks! I was pretty excited about that brown even though it was not exactly a legitimate catch...

Flyman, I'm always glad to get out as much as I do. If I was fishing behind you I wouldn't see any fish so its good that I'm not on the water at the same time as you... :biggrin: Isn't it about time that you go catch some of those big browns over on the D again? I want to see some pictures!

BlueRaiderFan
03-28-2012, 04:21 PM
No worries man! Will you be hiking in a lot then?

Compared to you, probably not. Still have some issues with compressed discs in my back, but I do plan on hitting Sam's or at least the stream on the trail to it (Don't know all the streams yet, not even close). Looking at Walker Camp...WPLP across from Sugarlands...maybe even go over and hit Bradley Fork down the trail a mile or so...also thinking of the E. Prong where it leaves the road going toward Cades Cove...just wherever that is not right on the road really. I am going to be hitting a few big holes that I know of and trying to get a large trout to hand. I didn't understand why you advocated 4X tippet until last fall when I got that big one on...just wish I hadn't panicked and pulled him against current instead of with current...he would have been my largest in the park by far. Anyway, if you get bored drop by. I'll have some smores and probably something decent to eat (hotdogs, burgers etc). I'm in a red jeep cherokee laredo with dark tinted windows. That's open to everyone on the board. I'll be at Elkmont unless they are full and then I think I'll head to Cades Cove (April 21-30). Take care and thanks again.

David Knapp
03-28-2012, 04:31 PM
If you are specifically targetting big browns, use as heavy of a tippet as your fly can handle. If throwing streamers, don't fish anything lighter than 2x. Big nymphs, 3x... 4x and 5x are only when using standard sized trout flies which are sometimes the best way to get a big one to bite. I do know of some big fish caught this spring on 6x but you must be extremely careful using something this light.

BlueRaiderFan
03-28-2012, 06:07 PM
Thanks for that! I was just going to use 4X...glad you clued me in as I don't want to lose another one (notice I can't stop talking about it? :biggrin: ). I'll have to stop by LRO and pick a couple of 3X leaders and a spool of tippet up. I think 4X is my heaviest right now. Hopefully I have a nice one to post later. Other than hittinng a few holes that I know about I should be more off road that I am usually. I do plan on hitting by the road at Tremont as I love that stretch but that's about it along the road.

ifish4wildtrout
03-28-2012, 08:59 PM
Very nice.

Rob Johnson
03-28-2012, 10:54 PM
Good job dude. Can you tell us more about the olive ice dub nymph thing? I haven't heard of that one, but will totally understand if it is a secret. Will it work in late April?

David Knapp
03-29-2012, 10:03 AM
Thanks guys! Rob, the key is that the pattern represents a caddis pupa. Very few people fish any caddis patterns other than an EHC or CDC and Elk... Caddis are quite prevalent in Smokies streams and well worth fishing. If you would like more information on the pattern, feel free to email me... :cool: