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View Full Version : Prepping for my first trip to the Smokies


The-Sasquatch
08-08-2013, 08:16 AM
I'm coming down in October. I'm stayin' at Smokemont, in the Oconaluftee River watershed. I'm a small stream fisherman at heart, it looks like in this watershed I'll have a lot of options w/in hiking distance from the campground. My father, who is coming with me, is a fan of "bigger" water (which is all relative I realize), so fishing the Oconaluftee appeals to him.

I've never been in the area before, so we have very little idea of what to expect! I'm not looking for spots, I'm more interested in tactics. I'm already planning to fish Bradley Forks, do the hike up to several of its tribs. In PA, our small freestone streams are still a dry fly game in October. I fish mostly w/ royal wulffs, adams, and elk hair caddis. Sometimes I trail them with PT soft hackles. Most of our major hatches are over in the Fall, with the exception of caddis a few olives on our spring creeks. Will this be a dry fly or sub surface game for the middle of October? Anything I should be absolutely prepared for?

I really appreciate this site already. If any of you are making the trek up to PA, please feel free to hit me up! I'll be glad to share any knowledge of local waters with you all.
Thanks
Squatch
PS-Should I be concerned about the spawn? Our brookies and brownies spawn in the Fall, though they usually start later in October/early November. I certainly don't want to be fishing over spawning trout.

Rog 1
08-08-2013, 08:53 AM
It can still be a dry fly game of epic proportions....weather is big factor. The flies you mentioned will all work at this time of year. There is still a terrestrial bite going on and don't be afraid to try something big...I love to fish a parachute madam X...have seen days where the trout will hit these things like a bream on a grasshopper...good luck and let us know how you do

The-Sasquatch
08-08-2013, 09:00 AM
It can still be a dry fly game of epic proportions....weather is big factor. The flies you mentioned will all work at this time of year. There is still a terrestrial bite going on and don't be afraid to try something big...I love to fish a parachute madam X...have seen days where the trout will hit these things like a bream on a grasshopper...good luck and let us know how you do

Thanks! I got no problems chucking big dries. I have some huge stimies that the Lancaster County brookies can't let alone. I'll be sure to stop in at Little River as well before setting up camp.

What is the weather like in early October down there? In our mountains, we've seen snow as early as October (though it usually melts by morning). Is this a factor down there? We expect cooler, damp conditions in PA by this point, with overnight lows dipping as low as the 30s up in the hill country.

NDuncan
08-08-2013, 01:51 PM
Thanks! I got no problems chucking big dries. I have some huge stimies that the Lancaster County brookies can't let alone. I'll be sure to stop in at Little River as well before setting up camp.

What is the weather like in early October down there? In our mountains, we've seen snow as early as October (though it usually melts by morning). Is this a factor down there? We expect cooler, damp conditions in PA by this point, with overnight lows dipping as low as the 30s up in the hill country.

The weather in October is anyone's guess. This year nothing has been normal and in October it can be snow/below freezing (actually that can start by late sept, or can be warm and summer like. I think several people can vouch for this, but orange dries are often a good bet in october

The-Sasquatch
08-08-2013, 01:56 PM
We get a BIG orange caddis up in the central PA area (October Caddis). It's like, a size 12-10. Maybe I'll chuck a couple of these around, if orange works well.

I wouldn't mind snow, I just don't want the criks to freeze up on us!

duckypaddler
08-08-2013, 02:18 PM
We get a BIG orange caddis up in the central PA area (October Caddis). It's like, a size 12-10. Maybe I'll chuck a couple of these around, if orange works well.

I wouldn't mind snow, I just don't want the criks to freeze up on us!

Orange Caddis would be perfect. Might want a few in 14:smile: I believe LRO sells an orange neversink also.

And I wouldn't worry about the creeks freezing up:rolleyes:, although if it is cooler, you better bring your nymphs:smile:

And trying to guess what the weather will be around these parts could drive one insane:eek:. All I can really tell you is that and forecast more than 48 hours out will most likely be changed every 12 hours where they will still get it wrong in the end:confused: Somewhere between 15-85 degrees air temp, and 46-59 water temp is my best guess:rolleyes:

The-Sasquatch
08-08-2013, 02:21 PM
Well at least the water will be warm. I'll be looking for flies like orange never sinks when I stop at LRO.

I'm really encouraged by the weather reports...thanks for that one, guys! Oh well. Might as well be realistic and well prepared.

David Knapp
08-08-2013, 03:17 PM
I would add BWOs to your fly list as the NC side can get some pretty good hatches of those little mayflies. All add a second (or third or w/e) to the orange caddis recommendation...

The-Sasquatch
08-08-2013, 03:54 PM
I'll have BWOs (I always do!).I did read that your fall BWOs can be heavy sometimes! I like to use BWO comparaduns, and I have a few hi-viz BWOs as well.

I"m glad no one is suggesting streamers

Brownie
08-08-2013, 08:15 PM
I'll have BWOs (I always do!).I did read that your fall BWOs can be heavy sometimes! I like to use BWO comparaduns, and I have a few hi-viz BWOs as well.

I"m glad no one is suggesting streamers

Brown trout always like a nice streamer , you know that :) I will certainly be throwing some for Browns later in the fall.

chechem
08-09-2013, 07:49 AM
First time in the Smokies can be challenging. First, you should stop by the local fly shop (Little River is best) and ask for suggestions that are working that week. Guessing about flies for that month this far in advance is entertaining, but not serious. Temperatures and rain can vary widely during October, as can fishing success.

Best of luck. Let us know, and take photos.

The-Sasquatch
08-09-2013, 08:38 AM
You're right, it's definitely speculative, but you can still get a general idea. I mean, I'm not going to get down there and find myself in the middle of an epic sulpher hatch and be completely unprepared for it. It's the same for PA. I can't predict for sure what's going to be coming off in October, but I can usually tell you what is likely hatching, and what won't be hatching. I'm pretty sure there won't be any green drakes on Penn's in October hahaha! It's good to get an idea of a few patterns that I can tie up ahead of time, and then suppliment it with what I need at LRO when I get down there. That's kind of the plan.

Who am I kidding!? I usually fish the "Royal Wulff Hatch" all year anyway! I'm a firm believer in the idea that it ain't about what you're throwing, it's about how you're throwing it....most times (or, sometimes? Many times? Not always!)

Anyway, the plan is to DEFINITELY stop at LRO when we first arrive, and get any last minute flies/equipment that we might need. I wouldn't join a store's website, take all the info, and then not buy anything. That's like going into Borders, reading a novel, and then walk out w/out buying it!

After that, it looks like an amazing drive through the park to our campsite in Smokemont.

The-Sasquatch
08-09-2013, 10:37 AM
By the way, I came across this little gem while looking up October caddis patterns this morning. I'm digging the use of foam. I usually just tye mine in an EHC pattern w/ orange dubbing and white CDC as underwings, but I may try some of the orange foam types.

http://www.flytyer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2976

Streamhound
08-09-2013, 12:17 PM
Hey Squatch
do you know of any/some trout streams in the Butler area? I don't want secret spots. I just want to know if I should pack a fly rod next time work sends me into that area? I have been in once this year for 3 days and it looks like I will have to go back in 2014.

thanks

The-Sasquatch
08-09-2013, 12:37 PM
Unfortunately, I don't know the western part of PA very well. I have a friend who calls that section of the state, "Trout Purgatory". Not much going on as far as wild trout. If you go in the late Fall or winter, you're only an hour and a half from Erie. You can chase steelhead.

Float On
08-09-2013, 05:20 PM
And trying to guess what the weather will be around these parts could drive one insane:eek:. All I can really tell you is that and forecast more than 48 hours out will most likely be changed every 12 hours where they will still get it wrong in the end:confused: Somewhere between 15-85 degrees air temp, and 46-59 water temp is my best guess:rolleyes:

Between 15-85, made me laugh. I dont know why the local weatherman doesnt just say that. But your right, hard to tell what the weather might do around here.

The-Sasquatch
08-09-2013, 09:41 PM
The more I hear about the weather, the more I think I'm just planning a trip to north-central PA haha! I was hoping the South brought a little more stability than the North-East...guess not! It's all part of the fun though, right?

buzzmcmanus
08-09-2013, 10:02 PM
I wouldn't worry about the weather in early October. I just looked back through one of my old reports and on October 14th, I was still wet wading and wearing nothing more than a long sleeve fishing shirt.

buzzmcmanus
08-10-2013, 07:31 AM
Average high for October is 72
Average low for October is 46

The first part of the month will be even higher.

The-Sasquatch
08-10-2013, 07:46 AM
I also hear it's one of the drier times of years in the Smokies. It really does sound like NCPA.

It's a nice, sunny morning here in Lancaster. I'm going after brook trout!

BlueRaiderFan
08-10-2013, 12:29 PM
Be sure to visit the Cherokee Rez and Casino. There are a lot of tourist traps but a few things worth seeing. There is a really good home made candy shop on the left as you come into town. There is a good steak house but I can't remember the name of it and a nice craft shop that has the real thing in it: Hand made bows and pottery by Native Americans. Not all Cherokee but still really cool stuff. Sorry I can't remember the names of these places...it's been a while since I was over there.

yonder
08-10-2013, 07:03 PM
Sas..........October is my favorite month for the Smoky's........Royal Wulffs.....Elk hair caddis........anything orange.......and especially, Bradley's Fork.......the further you go up the easily hiked trail, the better.......I usually spend the third or fourth week of October around the same area......don't worry about the weather.....you will be fine......also......Deep Creek is above Bryson City.......and is worthy of checking out.....Let me know when you will be in town.......If I am able to be in the same area......I will be glad to put you and your father on some native fish.........:smile:

The-Sasquatch
09-03-2013, 09:34 PM
I'll be down Oct. 10th-13th. Columbus Day weekend. One thing...what in God's green goodness will the crowds be like, and how can I avoid them!?

The more I read about the Luftee, the more I want to try it.