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View Full Version : Do rainbows really get this big in the Park?


HuskerFlyFisher
05-13-2012, 09:30 PM
is a catch like this possible in Cataloochee Creek? The poster of this photo, on another site, claims it came out of Cat. I didn't know rainbows grew this big anywhere in the park - almost wonder if it's a lake trout transplant.

http://www.kyndoutdoors.com/fly-fishing/fly-fishing-pictures/site_pictures/full_size/fishing%20048.JPG

JNTN
05-13-2012, 10:53 PM
Wow, can't believe I remembered my password! Anyways, that is a concrete raised fish. Check out the tail, it is slap wore out...

mcfly
05-14-2012, 01:51 AM
They will never grow that big if people stick continue to stick their fingers up the gills like this chap. Why do people do this? This is fish rape by finger and should be a felony. There needs to be a website that keeps track of these registered fish finger rapists in our communities.

narcodog
05-14-2012, 09:06 AM
Maybe they were gonna eat it. Nice fish though.

NDuncan
05-14-2012, 10:52 AM
They will never grow that big if people stick continue to stick their fingers up the gills like this chap. Why do people do this? This is fish rape by finger and should be a felony. There needs to be a website that keeps track of these registered fish finger rapists in our communities.


Fish rape by finger?

Bill M.
05-16-2012, 03:52 PM
Never caught one but have seen one larger than that in LR west prong. I think it was a stocked brood fish that swam up. It did not look as thin or healthy as the one in the picture, but it was bigger.

MBB
05-16-2012, 05:33 PM
I do not think there are any wild resident rainbows that size in the Park anymore. It is either a stocker that ran up or a Lake run fish. There are some big lake run bows in the Park streams and even some nice lake run browns at certain times of the year.

No Hackle
05-16-2012, 09:28 PM
Thats a one fin wonder. Maybe someone is pulling some legs.
Lynn

Flat Fly n
05-17-2012, 02:25 PM
There used to or at least when I fished the park with some regularity big fish. I have seen three big bows, one on the Big Shoe of Abrams, two on the Little just after you turn off to go into Elkmont. The biggest fish, a brown, I actually hooked with a 6-7" native bow attached to a chartuese elk hair caddis one day! It came out from under a ledge on the Little above the terminal end of the road (back when you could drive past the houses and the road ended in a little parking lot) and swallowed my fish. It's the pool about 40 yards up from the lot, and the last time I saw it there was a tree in the middle of the pool. At the time of this fiasco, there wasn't a tree. I was wet wading and went down two pools with him before he let go. This catastrophe was witness and horse laughed at me by Andrew Betts, son of John, who we all have used his fly tying material from time to time.

I vote yes.

ifish4wildtrout
05-17-2012, 03:33 PM
I agree the tail looks like a hatchery fish. A wild bow that size should have a much bigger tail.

tnflyfisher
05-17-2012, 06:39 PM
Maybe originally as a sizable stocked fish that has lived in the stream for some time but I suspect not as a wild stream born fish... I don't think that there would be enough food to support growth to that size?? I have heard of sizable bows in Abrams but that stream can support larger than average fish. I just have a hard time believing that bows in the park get this big but what do I know... What I do know, is that I lost my largest park bow ever a few weeks ago out of a pool I never would have thought held such a fish. It's the only fish that has broken me off so far up in the mountains and was definitely a good one...:frown:

Tight Lines,

duckypaddler
05-17-2012, 06:53 PM
I lost my largest park bow ever a few weeks ago out of a pool I never would have thought held such a fish. It's the only fish that has broken me off so far up in the mountains and was definitely a good one...:frown:

Tight Lines,

Let me guess....It was 20+ inches:biggrin:

Sorry BRF - now that you outted yourself as sensitive, I had to take a shot:biggrin:. Hope your skin is getting thicker

On a serious note Grampus Jim showed me some pics of some Park Bows he caught (I believe he said the 80's) that were monsters and much bigger than I would have believed could have been there. And if my memory serves me it's fins all looked good so I doubt it was a stocker

Hugh Hartsell
05-17-2012, 08:16 PM
Fellows,
If you want to see what a 22 inch rainbow taken from Abrams Creek looks like there is one on the opening page of my website. My wife and I were fishing there about 7-8 years ago and I caught this female that was spawned out and looked a little skinny for her size. Look at the color and the fins as she is laid out just below my fly rod. I cropped the picture years ago but her tail was even with the rod butt and her head reaches on out for a distance beyond the grip. She was one of the best colored fish that I have ever seen. She is just one of many in the 18-20inch plus range that Abrams Creek has given up. Let's hope that the fish have recovered back to something close to that size since the drought damaged the streams on the Tennessee side.
Scroll down some to a brown and a rainbow side by side and click on the image to enlarge.

http://http://smokymountainflyguide.com/


Hugh

duckypaddler
05-17-2012, 09:24 PM
And I wouldn't doubt you for a second:smile:. Your credibility is beyond reproach

Glad to know about ones caught in recent years even if it was before the drought. Looks like the monsters may be plentiful in the future:biggrin:. I know the average fish I have been catching have gotten much better consistanly over the last 3 years, and I would love to see that trend continue.

Do you think that Cataloochee one could have been a tailed out natural fish, or just a stocker. Not that a picture can tell us everything.

Thanks for your input on this forum:smile:

Hugh Hartsell
05-17-2012, 10:08 PM
Ducky,
That is definitely a stocked trout and the biggest question in my mind is how it got in Cataloochee Creek?? This brings back memories of Lynn Camp Prong shady work somehow. If that is the case, it probably won't hurt any thing.
Thanks, by the way, for your confidence.
Hugh

5wt
05-17-2012, 10:51 PM
I am not sure how big rainbows get in the park but I had the pleasure of watching what appeared to be a 24"+ brown in the park this week. I am sure alot will doubt but it was an absolute monster. I watched it for 10 to 15 minutes and never made a cast because I knew I would put him down as soon as I tried. He was harassing some smaller fish. I did give him a run before I moved on to no avail. I could only dream of hooking up with that monster.

NDuncan
05-18-2012, 10:37 AM
That is definitely a stocked trout and the biggest question in my mind is how it got in Cataloochee Creek??


Maybe some stockers find their way into cataloochee creek via the stocked waters on the Pigeon River?

Not sure if this is case, but is my best guess.

tnflyfisher
05-18-2012, 11:39 AM
Let me guess....It was 20+ inches:biggrin:


I was fishing for a response like that...:biggrin:

Alas, it was not a 20"+ but it was a park trophy for sure and not to call people out but folks need to be carrying around a tape measure if you want to 'really' know how big your fish is...:biggrin:

Here is a 20"+ bow for reference... actually, might have been 20.5" as it's been a few years so don't remember exactly... and I have not seen a pic of a bow like this caught from the park. Someone please show me one if you can...
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a341/kevinlanephotography/RainbowTR.jpg


Tight Lines,

David Knapp
05-18-2012, 12:56 PM
Caught in the Park...close to 20" but not quite...(and not stream reared... :rolleyes: )

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMGP2461.jpg

There are numerous streams in the Park that host lake-run fish, both rainbows and browns. There are definitely big rainbows in the Park but true wild rainbows that size that are not lake run fish are definitely rare. I think Abrams is probably the only creek in the Park capable of producing rainbows into the 16-20" range and that only occasionally. Wild rainbows on Little River are occasionally caught to 16" or so but again, those are rare... In general, large fish like this came from hatchery supported water at some time in their past. In the case of lake-run fish they have adapted and act very "wild" in their habits but the big brood stock fish that run up from stocking points can actually be pretty easy to catch.

tnflyfisher
05-18-2012, 03:08 PM
Caught in the Park...close to 20" but not quite...(and not stream reared... :rolleyes: )

I think Abrams is probably the only creek in the Park capable of producing wild rainbows into the 16-20" range and that only occasionally.

You know that is not what I meant DK...:biggrin:

I agree with you 100% here and I would imagine that if you managed to catch one, it would truly be a park trophy to be proud of. That's why I was buggered that I lost that fish because I knew it was wild and was a big'un for the park...:frown:

Tight Lines,

Knothead
05-18-2012, 03:28 PM
Two years ago just about this time of year, a friend and I were fishing the MPLR. He played around with a brown that he said was 20+ inches long. Never could get it to take the fly.

Flat Fly n
05-18-2012, 03:31 PM
You know that is not what I meant DK...:biggrin:

I agree with you 100% here and I would imagine that if you managed to catch one, it would truly be a park trophy to be proud of. That's why I was buggered that I lost that fish because I knew it was wild and was a big'un for the park...:frown:

Tight Lines,

Don't worry, it will just haunt you the rest of your life as you had that ONE real trophy on...........just for a second! I know I still relive that moment from time to time, thinking about that huge brown in the park.

They're there, but you have to put in alot of time or get real lucky.

tnflyfisher
05-18-2012, 03:36 PM
Two years ago just about this time of year, a friend and I were fishing the MPLR. He played around with a brown that he said was 20+ inches long. Never could get it to take the fly.

That fish belongs to BRF, if you see it again, please leave it alone so he can finally bring it to hand...:biggrin: <reloading>

Might want to check the title again...;)

Tight lines,

mora521
05-19-2012, 04:27 PM
I caught a 18 and 3/4 inch rainbow in the canyon section below the falls on Abrams creek in 1986,this was before I started using a fly rod and was using stickbait on a size 10 eagle claw bait hook.In 94 I caught an 18 inch rainbow on a size 14 extended deer hair body parachute green drake that I tied using a recipe in Jack Dennis' Western Fly Tying book(still a great book all these years later).This fish was caught about 50 yds above the falls so he was not a lake run fish.

I caught a 17 inch rainbow on a 16 red humpy in Nov of 93 a couple of miles upstream from the lake on Hazel creek,I guess he could have come up from the lake,it was a very colorful fish that was heavily spotted,sort of like the ones I have seen in magazine articles about Alaskan ones called leopard rainbows.About a half hour later meet two sports with spinning rods who had a dead brown trout that was closer to 30 inches than 25 hangin on a stringer,truly a magnificent beast.

A guy that used to post here(creation bear)told me about catching a 17 in rainbow above camp 18 on the West Prong of Little river,I guess it might have come upstream after being stocked in Townsend.

The section of Cattaloochie from the park line to Waterville lake used to have some really big rainbows(and browns).I cannot imagine these fish swimming up from that nasty lake.

So,yeah I think there are rainbows that big in park waters that are wild streamborn fish.

BlueRaiderFan
05-20-2012, 07:04 PM
That fish belongs to BRF, if you see it again, please leave it alone so he can finally bring it to hand...:biggrin: <reloading>

Might want to check the title again...;)

Tight lines,

No way...that fish doesn't exist. It was 12" at best. Just ask all the guys that have never had one on in the park that size. :rolleyes:

MBB
05-21-2012, 09:45 AM
The problem with rainbows attaining large sizes is that they do not live very long, at least in the Southeast. It is my understanding that they seldom live longer than four years, while browns can live much longer and thus attain much larger sizes. So in order to have big rainbows, you really need fertile streams filled with bug life.

I understand Steve Moore, biologist for the Park, rarely shocks any rainbows over 14 inches.