View Full Version : 9/29 Greenbrier

10-01-2012, 02:17 PM
So knowing there was a good chance for some decent rain on Saturday, I headed out to the park. I was wavering between a couple of potential destinations, but since I had the whole afternoon until dark, I decided to go explore a place which I haven't really fished but one time last year, Greenbrier.

On my way out the park, it was semi cloudy, nothing too threatening looking. As I got closer to pittman center, there were a few brief showers and some steady sprinkes. By the time I got to the Ramsey trailhead, it wasn't raining, much, but it was steadily sprinking. The parking lot was reasonably full, and I parked next to a car that had a tent drying out on top of it. As I was getting rigged up, A guy came hiking down in raingear, and asked if I wanted a free tent :biggrin:. He was flying back to NY later that day and didn't have room to take it and that he had done what he wanted with it but didn't want to haul it back and also didn't want to just throw it away. So I obliged, got his email from him and told him if he ever comes back to do another week of backpacking in the GSMNP, to send me an email and I'll have his tent ready for him. Anyway, even though I am a Hammock guy, I have a pretty much brand new backpacking tent.

The had pretty much stopped when started up the trail


I hiked up to before where Ramsey Branch comes in and dropped down to the creek


At this point, the sun was kind of out and the water was crystal clear


There were quite a few leaves on some of the rocks, and some in the water, but nothing compared to what will be there in a few weeks.

I was catching LOTS of fish, a good mix of brookies and bows, all on the dry, which was an orange neversink. The down side was that while I was catching 1-2 fish per hole, they were all like this:


He was one of the bigger ones.

For the most part, the dropper was being left along, save a few chases and refusals on the part of some frustrating big brookies.

It was about this time that I came around a bend saw the familiar swinging of another angler casting. He was about two or three holes ahead of me. Had I been fishing behing someone the whole time?

Instead of moving around him, I took my time and kept fishing. When I got up to where he was, there was no sign of him and I noticed a rock cairn and the trail was very close to the creek. Maybe he headed home.

I decided after playing with both the weighted and unweighted pink weenie go with something else - a cream caddis larvae.

Very quickly I picked up this guy at the end of a run:


I snapped another picture of him just because he had such nice dark coloration:


Now I had been fishing for about an hour and a half at this point, but I quit taking pictures. Not that the story even close to ends here.

After fishing up a few holes and finally catching some better sized fish, and more frequently, it started to sprinkle. No matter, I kept fishing. About this time, my dropper snagged and broke off. No matter they were all hitting the dry anyway. I never ended up tying a dropper on again for the rest of the afternoon. About 10 min later, there was a loud clap of thunder and it started raining a little harder. So I stopped fishing and thought it would be a good time to take a break. I was just below the split of Ramsey Prong and Eagle Rocks Prong and was trying to decide a plan and ate my lunch. The thunder stopped quickly, but started POURING. The water was a little murkier and lots of leaves and rain made the water visibility go down. It also made the big fish come out to play.

Now instead of catching 4"iner after 4"iner in each cast was I catching 7, 8, 9 and 10 inch rainbows and brookies, sometimes 2 or 3 per run.

With pouring rain and on fire fishing, you can't blame me for not wanting to waste any time taking pictures! WHen the rain stopped, I kept working up Eagle Rocks PRong, not wanting to get too far up because of the chance more rain and possibility of rising water and lack of a trail out.

So I worked back down to Rasmey prong and fished up it. Caught several good sized Brookies and some dinks. THen it started pouring again, but this time I was getting cold and tired of the rain, plus it was about 6pm, so I got on the trail and hiked out and went home warmed up with a good beer and a couple of grilled trout. I know some people like them in a cornbread dinner jacket fried up, I prefer mine in a tuxedo of bacon and grilled. Yum.

On another note, Ducky - you're gonna have to show me that manway sometime....:rolleyes:

10-01-2012, 03:39 PM
Great report. Quick question, once the rain started and the fishing improved, were you still using a dry fly or were they hitting a dropper? Never fished dries in much of a rain, so just curious.

David Knapp
10-01-2012, 04:03 PM
Great report! Its amazing that those fish are always in there but often don't come out except in some rather interesting conditions. Glad you stuck with it long enough to experience such phenomenal fishing...

10-01-2012, 04:09 PM
Once it started raining, and pouring I still just stuck with the dry. It didn't stay on the water too long without being knocked under or taken. It was still visible because of the orange foam, and they were hitting it pretty fiercely, even though it was often riding just under the surface. There was no way to dress it when it got water logged, I would wring it out every so often and more frequently give it a really fast and hard false cast which helped it float a little better for a short amount of time. The rain lasted really hard for about 45 min and the fishing stayed really good for another hour of so, then the water quickly got very clear again and the big guys got spooky again.

10-01-2012, 08:39 PM
NDuncan, Thank You for the post. Not a fair weather fisherman for sure!!!


AL trout bum
10-01-2012, 08:42 PM
Cool report. Maybe I should start planning my fishing trips to coincide with rain rather than avoiding it. :biggrin:

10-01-2012, 09:23 PM
Cool report. Maybe I should start planning my fishing trips to coincide with rain rather than avoiding it. :biggrin:

I have had several days when the rain, if the air isn't too cold has been more of a blessing than a curse. I remember once it was around nov 14 and it was lightly raining and the trout on twentmile really turned on to dries even though the water temp was in the mid 40s...Of course I had rainwear and waders that day but still it was a good day for mid nov

Rog 1
10-02-2012, 05:23 PM
Rain can work wonders....one of my more memorable days was above Elkmont between the forks of the river and CS24...it was summer but the rain was steady and it was dark and cool...like you a dry just would not stay up so I put on a Leadwing Coachman and began catching fish on every cast...kept catching fish until they tore my fly all to ****...only one I had and never made that mistake again.

10-02-2012, 07:57 PM
I fished Caldwell branch at Cataloochee this last weekend. I caught a 9" brown and hooked a big brookie "that got away" both at the downstream end of swifter water as my dry fly was pulled under by the turbulence of the current. Is this common? Have others been able to catch fish on a submerged dry fly in this way?

10-02-2012, 09:39 PM
One after another this way during the pouring rain... I think they must somewhat expect a real bug to do that in those conditions