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View Full Version : A blessed day in the park....


Brownie
08-25-2013, 09:42 AM
Headed out into the park early on Saturday Morning with FloatOn hoping to catch my first Brown here since moving from PA. I have spent the last few weeks doing a lot of research on the browns in the park as they are my passion when it comes to fly fishing.

I want to thank David Knapp especially for his advice and words of wisdom in helping getting me started in my quest for a big brown from the park :smile:

We did a lot of pool jumping and scouting and occasionally wetting a line catching the odd Rainbow here and there , FloatOn caught a beautiful juvenile
Brown and was on his way to his Grand slam which I believe he will be posting about soon.

Around midday in a deep pool I found what I was looking for , hunkered down in the deepest part was a big brown that was lying motionless . As is often the case when I have fished for big Browns in PA they are very hard to entice to eat in the middle of the day when they are inactive .

I had to give him a shot though ....So first drift through my fly comes with inches of him and he turns and takes it and spits it out before I even have time to set the hook! After much cursing I start to resign myself to the fact that this fish will not be mine today as you usually only get one chance at fish like this on the first drift and then they usually close up shop.

I decided I would continue to try for him as he had gone back to the same spot and had not spooked. I changed flies several times and got some great drifts right to him but he had developed lock jaw or so it seemed. I have learned a trick for big browns passed on to me from my Fly Fishing guru in PA and that is that sometimes they want a stationary fly that they can inspect for a minute or two when they won't respond to one dead drifted.

I added a heavier shot ,cast out and slowly inched my fly down the pool until it sat motionless no more than two inches from his mouth....the fly sat there for maybe one minute and then without even moving the fish opened its mouth and sucked the fly in.

I struck and was immediately greeted with the sight of a big Brown angrily shaking its head and taking off downstream as my reel screamed as it gave line.

The fight was one of the best fights I have had from a big Brown , it went airborne four times and took me at least 4 feet into an undercut . My final thanks have to go to FloatOn for the amazing job he did netting the fish because without him it would have been nearly impossible to land the fish, thanks buddy hopefully I can do the same for you one day!

So after a few quick photos and getting the fish recovered in the water we put the tape on him and he was just over 22.5 inches , my first Brown in the Park and one I will never forget. The Smoky Mountains has welcomed me with open arms since I have arrived as have the great people I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with. I am very happy to be able to call this great place home :smile:

http://i39.tinypic.com/2rrs6k4.jpg

http://i39.tinypic.com/29xi25x.jpg

tlshealy
08-25-2013, 09:59 AM
Great story and a fantastic fish, thanks so much for posting, I have a feeling that we will hear from you again.
Tad

flyred06
08-25-2013, 10:04 AM
holy big fish batman...that is totally a awesome fish. I have seen many nice fish come from the smokies (mainly david knapp post) but have never accomplished one for myself. Do you mind posting what fly he finally took for you. Congradulations that is truly a very nice fish.

Brownie
08-25-2013, 10:10 AM
holy big fish batman...that is totally a awesome fish. I have seen many nice fish come from the smokies (mainly david knapp post) but have never accomplished one for myself. Do you mind posting what fly he finally took for you. Congradulations that is truly a very nice fish.

He refused a stonefly , a crayfish and a streamer and finally took a fly I kind of made for big browns which I call the magic medusa it is three pieces of custom dyed chenille attached to the hook so its it looks like a swarm of San Juans that fly works on Big Browns quite often for me when they refuse to take anything else :)

Brownie
08-25-2013, 10:13 AM
Great story and a fantastic fish, thanks so much for posting, I have a feeling that we will hear from you again.
Tad

Thanks Tad , I feel very privileged to have caught one so early in my quest for Big Browns in the smokies and fall is just around the corner so its a great start !

glecleir
08-25-2013, 10:31 AM
Awesome fish... congratulations! I am always amazed how some of you can spot fish in the stream. I have tried several times to sight fish for trout in the Smokies and I quickly get frustrated because I can't see anything! I have reasonable vision and good polarized sunglasses, but I have never seen a big brown like that. Is there anything you are keying in on? Once again, awesome fish and thanks for sharing.

duckypaddler
08-25-2013, 10:43 AM
Wow! Your ruined:eek:

If that location is where I think it is, a fisheries student from California who is an avid snorkeler told me about that fish. He commented on how he was always there when he snorkeled that pool. I may just have to give the front country a try sometime :biggrin:

Now how are we supposed to talk you into hiking 10+ miles to catch if your lucky a 8 or 9 inch fish:rolleyes:

BlueRaiderFan
08-25-2013, 11:07 AM
WOW! What a fish!!!

Brownie
08-25-2013, 11:56 AM
Wow! Your ruined:eek:

If that location is where I think it is, a fisheries student from California who is an avid snorkeler told me about that fish. He commented on how he was always there when he snorkeled that pool. I may just have to give the front country a try sometime :biggrin:

Now how are we supposed to talk you into hiking 10+ miles to catch if your lucky a 8 or 9 inch fish:rolleyes:

Thanks Ducky, I am always up for a hike if the company is good and if there is a chance of catching a brown even if its 8 -9 inch fish all the better :smile:

From the people that I have spoken apparently that hole holds several big Browns but they are usually hiding in the undercut. The good thing about hooking a big brown is that they usually show you were they live by trying to go straight back there when you hook them, so I now have his address LOL.

Sandman
08-25-2013, 12:08 PM
Wow, what a great fish! Congrats man! Maybe I should follow you around!

Float On
08-25-2013, 12:11 PM
Not bad for your first brown in the park ;).

That was one exciting trip. The planets aligned for us.

As he said the day was really just intended to do some scouting work. We were just pull off hopping looking for the deep holes and I was showing him some spots that I've seen the browns spawn in the fall. We rolled around to a spot that I've seen fish in before but I honestly thought it was cause. You can see the fish but its very hard to catch them. We saw a couple of small browns and a bunch of rainbows and figured why not try to catch one. I was working the tail of the run and Brownie was up toward the top of the run. I bet we were there for about 10 minutes before Brownie realized "that isn't a log on the bottom". When he took the worm and spit it out I was for sure it was over. He kept on trying so I thought it best to quit fishing and just watch him work. Would have been my luck to catch a 6" rainbow and it run up and spook that brown. The "Magic Medusa" worked and the fight was on. A couple of times I was worried that fish would break him off in the rocks and when he went in that deep hole I just knew it was over. But then he just shot out and started jumping around. I went to grab my net but realized it to small. Brownie was working the fish and I was trying to detach his net. I had to scale down a small wall (that wall if full of snakes btw) to get to the water and I just sat and waited. The brown refused the net a few times but when he finally went in, I was relieved. I was like a kid on Christmas morning looking in that net to see what present Brownie had in that net.

Congrats to Brownie on one great fight and one very exciting day for me. I wasn't the guy on the end of the rod but I felt just as proud to be a part of it. I only had to crawl thru one snake to net it but I would have crawled thru 10 if I had to.

I say mission accomplished. Brownie caught the big brown and I ended the day with my first grand slam. I'd say its going to the first of many good trips to the park.

Brownie
08-25-2013, 12:18 PM
Thanks again FloatOn great netting skills :)

Brownie
08-25-2013, 12:21 PM
WOW! What a fish!!!

Thanks bud, how is the interviewing going?

Brownie
08-25-2013, 12:24 PM
Awesome fish... congratulations! I am always amazed how some of you can spot fish in the stream. I have tried several times to sight fish for trout in the Smokies and I quickly get frustrated because I can't see anything! I have reasonable vision and good polarized sunglasses, but I have never seen a big brown like that. Is there anything you are keying in on? Once again, awesome fish and thanks for sharing.

You just have to look at the area for a long time and let thing come into focus and then look for a tell tale sign , in this case the white of the mouth as it opened and closed, sometimes the red on a fin or the yellow of the belly. Once you start spotting fish it becomes easier as your brain starts to know what to look for, thats what I think anyway .

chechem
08-25-2013, 01:26 PM
Great fish. Absolutely beautiful, and a keeper photo.

I'd love to catch one of those in the Smokies. Thanks.

BlueRaiderFan
08-25-2013, 01:36 PM
Ah...I just recognized where you are...I can't believe you caught a fish there.

NDuncan
08-25-2013, 01:43 PM
Ah...I just recognized where you are...I can't believe you caught a fish there.

Seriously... Nice job.

ChemEAngler
08-25-2013, 06:37 PM
Ah...I just recognized where you are...I can't believe you caught a fish there.

I think the only person I have seen catch a fish from that run is Mr. Knapp. Occasionally I will stop in there and give it a go, and almost always see somebody fishing in there.

Congratulations on a wonderful specimen.

Brownie
08-25-2013, 09:03 PM
Thanks for the congrats everyone you are a great group of guys and look forward to fishing with more of you in the future.Feel free to let me know if you are going out on the look out for browns this fall it's always great to fish with people of like minds :smile:

BlueRaiderFan
08-25-2013, 09:32 PM
I think the only person I have seen catch a fish from that run is Mr. Knapp. Occasionally I will stop in there and give it a go, and almost always see somebody fishing in there.

Congratulations on a wonderful specimen.

I've seen em holdin' there and just shook my head and walked on. I'm really not much of a fisherman. I do like to walk in nature though.

David Knapp
08-26-2013, 09:52 AM
Great fish and awesome story to go along with it! Looking forward to hearing about many more of your adventures in the Park. :cool:

Bran
08-26-2013, 10:01 AM
Congrats Brownie!! Very nice fish, I'm envious big time. It took me about 4 years fly fishing before I caught my first Brown. Since then I've caught a few, mostly in NC, but the largest has been about 12 inches. They are beautiful fish but I just haven't figured out how to fish for them. The few I've caught were pretty well luck while fishing for Bows.

No Hackle
08-26-2013, 10:41 AM
WOW!!!!! Really nice fish and the ones in that particular have phd's. Sometimes you just have to show them something a little different.
Lynn

Rog 1
08-26-2013, 10:54 AM
Don't think there are too many "regulars" on here that don't recognize that spot...I believe another large brown was hooked in that water last fall...always people fishing there but not too many know what they are doing...as with most large pools of water up there if you take the time and are patience you will spot the fish....then the hard part is getting them to take something after they have seen it all day after day....great fish...now you can retire since you wont probably get anything bigger up there.

Brownie
08-26-2013, 06:54 PM
Thanks guys I appreciate all the kind words, and I am sure there are bigger ones in the Little River and I will happily devote my time looking for them, a lot of the big ones in PA have PHD's so I have learnt a few tricks from my guru up there who has caught more big browns than I will ever catch in my life :cool:

bigsur
08-26-2013, 10:35 PM
Nice fish dude, just got back from NC coast last night and saw this on Sunday. I think it made me drive a little faster! I think you and Breck hold this summer's record so far.;-)

Breck
08-26-2013, 11:08 PM
Brownie,

Appears that you are acclimating quite fine my friend. Not having fished the park as much as you, I believe that is a trophy fish as bigsur has stated.

The stealth and determination required to catch that fish is admirable and respected by me my friend!!!

Thank You,

Breck

Brownie
08-27-2013, 01:14 PM
Brownie,

Appears that you are acclimating quite fine my friend. Not having fished the park as much as you, I believe that is a trophy fish as bigsur has stated.

The stealth and determination required to catch that fish is admirable and respected by me my friend!!!

Thank You,

Breck

Thanks Breck, still looking forward to fishing with you and don't forget to holler at me for that Charity thing.

Brownie
08-27-2013, 01:17 PM
Nice fish dude, just got back from NC coast last night and saw this on Sunday. I think it made me drive a little faster! I think you and Breck hold this summer's record so far.;-)

Thanks bud,were you fishing on the NC coast, if so how did you make out?

bigsur
08-28-2013, 12:53 PM
Thanks bud,were you fishing on the NC coast, if so how did you make out?


Yes I make at least one annual trip each year for around 8-9 days, I kinda grew up and spent a lot of time on the NC coast area and later had business that kept me going to the area. I surf fish hard core for flounder, will post some shots once I get settled back in , just got home and back to work Monday. I want to fly fish down there but have a tendacy to go with what I know, and do traditional surf casting with 7ft and 9ft surf rods. I tend to target flounder, kinda like trout you can cast and hope for the best or learn to work a grid and hone in on them. A former charter boat captain and his wife have just opened in March, a small flyshop in Atlantic Beach NC, so I stopped in and bought some flys that a guy up north sells them, they were designed to use to target stripers and big stuff up north. Thought they looked cool and would maybe work on some large tailwaters around here I'll post some pics of those later with some flounder shots. These folks are like Byron, Paula, and Daniel super nice locals who love the sport and are now doing estuary and ocean guided trips, including fly fishing for sharks (yikes!), reds, and whatever else is running. This is the Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle area, literally an island with the state port on one end with a jetty and Emerald Isle on the other with miles of surf and piers and back bay areas behind it. It's all about boats, fishing, surf and every kind of seafood available, family oriented and no roller coaster in sight! As far as your fish the first thing I said was the acrynom for the beach down there they use for marketing the Southern Outer Banks (SOBX)! :biggrin:

Brownie
08-28-2013, 02:38 PM
Yes I make at least one annual trip each year for around 8-9 days, I kinda grew up and spent a lot of time on the NC coast area and later had business that kept me going to the area. I surf fish hard core for flounder, will post some shots once I get settled back in , just got home and back to work Monday. I want to fly fish down there but have a tendacy to go with what I know, and do traditional surf casting with 7ft and 9ft surf rods. I tend to target flounder, kinda like trout you can cast and hope for the best or learn to work a grid and hone in on them. A former charter boat captain and his wife have just opened in March, a small flyshop in Atlantic Beach NC, so I stopped in and bought some flys that a guy up north sells them, they were designed to use to target stripers and big stuff up north. Thought they looked cool and would maybe work on some large tailwaters around here I'll post some pics of those later with some flounder shots. These folks are like Byron, Paula, and Daniel super nice locals who love the sport and are now doing estuary and ocean guided trips, including fly fishing for sharks (yikes!), reds, and whatever else is running. This is the Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle area, literally an island with the state port on one end with a jetty and Emerald Isle on the other with miles of surf and piers and back bay areas behind it. It's all about boats, fishing, surf and every kind of seafood available, family oriented and no roller coaster in sight! As far as your fish the first thing I said was the acrynom for the beach down there they use for marketing the Southern Outer Banks (SOBX)! :biggrin:

LOL SOunds like a great time!

Joe Congleton
08-29-2013, 06:56 AM
welcome to Tennnessee...Little River holds a significant number of large brown trout. If you like New Zealand style spotting and stalking large fish in very public places , well, you will love some of the larger Park streams. Some years ago I wrote a piece on Little River for the Trout Unlimited book "100 Best Streams in AmeICA." That piece described the pursuit of one of those "tanks" that hide in plain sight all along the road. It can be addictive. For many years l was blessed to have a cabin in Elkmont. I had the chance to spend dawns and dusks in some good water. I would often spend hours sitting out one of the big boys. If you have the patience (and it looks like you do!) it can be very rewarding. Frankly though the tourist interference got to be a real pain for me and l have since ventured elsewhere to chase big boys.

Brownie
08-29-2013, 09:57 AM
welcome to Tennnessee...Little River holds a significant number of large brown trout. If you like New Zealand style spotting and stalking large fish in very public places , well, you will love some of the larger Park streams. Some years ago I wrote a piece on Little River for the Trout Unlimited book "100 Best Streams in AmeICA." That piece described the pursuit of one of those "tanks" that hide in plain sight all along the road. It can be addictive. For many years l was blessed to have a cabin in Elkmont. I had the chance to spend dawns and dusks in some good water. I would often spend hours sitting out one of the big boys. If you have the patience (and it looks like you do!) it can be very rewarding. Frankly though the tourist interference got to be a real pain for me and l have since ventured elsewhere to chase big boys.

Thanks for the welcome Joe the roadside stretch is the only place I know of so far that holds the big boys so that is where I will be concentrating until other opportunities arrive :smile:

I love stalking and would happily spend hours locking horns with a big one, I must admit being able to do it in a bit more solitude would be nice.

Rog 1
08-29-2013, 10:05 AM
I can remember when there were no browns anywhere in the park....there used to be a lot of large rainbows that you could stalk like you are doing in some of the larger waters...WPLP used to be a Sportsman's Stream requiring anything under 16 inches to be released....used to be able to see some nice trout over there....there are some big browns away from the car traffic...just have to walk a couple of miles upstream from where you were...have seen some up there that will make you stop and catch your breath....

Brownie
08-29-2013, 10:49 AM
I can remember when there were no browns anywhere in the park....there used to be a lot of large rainbows that you could stalk like you are doing in some of the larger waters...WPLP used to be a Sportsman's Stream requiring anything under 16 inches to be released....used to be able to see some nice trout over there....there are some big browns away from the car traffic...just have to walk a couple of miles upstream from where you were...have seen some up there that will make you stop and catch your breath....

Thanks Rob appreciate it , I know I will eventually start hiking upstream :smile: