View Full Version : Abrams Big Shoe Sunday March 12th, 2006

03-13-2006, 03:30 PM
Well, folks I got a call from my buddy Russ and we decided to do the Big Shoe and we got to the gate right at 7 am but no ranger in sight to open it. It looked like the ranger was tied up with some business down the rd but eventually the gate was opened at around 7:15 am. We got to the parking area for the trail and rigged up. Man this was going to be a good day we thought. We hiked down to the loop and got on the stream to fish at 8:30 am. I took the temp and it was a great 53 degrees. Should be a wonderful day. We started fishing with BH Prince nymphs and after about two hours I had caught four Rainbows in the 3" range. Obviously I wasn't doing it right or the fishing was just off. I noticed several duns coming off and I tried to catch em' but didn't have any luck. I tied on a Quill Gordon size 12 because I knew that around noon they will start to appear. I caught maybe two more fish in the same size range. It was tremendously difficult. The dun's were coming off everywhere but no rises to them. The fish was still in the winter mode. I then switched back to a nymph again and caught a ten inch bow and few more small rainbows for a total of eight fish for the day. It took us seven and a half hours today. My back was sore from overdoing it at the gym the other day so I was moving slowly whichy allowd my friend Russ to keep up with me ::) I'm pushing forty and he is a young fellow so I have to try to stay fit. Anyways, Russ caught maybe two fish in the 11" bracket so he did better than I. I just don't know what was wrong today. The Quill Gordons were coming around noon like I expected but the fish did not take em.

Maybe Mr. Hartsell or any other professional Smoky Mountain fisherman can explain this? I'm used to slightly better fishing on Abrams, especially this time of year. As for that other fly earlier in the morning, I still don't know if it might have been a Blue Quill or some kind of Baetis? Educate me folks?

Hugh Hartsell
03-13-2006, 04:03 PM
:) Hans, I think that right at the moment the fish are still a little sluggish from the colder water temps and most of their feeding is on nymphs. This sluggisness is going to change real quickly as those hatches become more prevalent on each stream. Stay with it and you will catch the perfect conditions on one of your upcoming trips. Thanks for the report. Tell Russ that I said , Hello.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.

03-13-2006, 04:15 PM

Yeah, my guess is the same as yours. The winter still had it's grip on the fish yesterday. We did have some strikes on the nymphs when we got them deep down. I let Russ know that you said HI. Although I don't get to fish with him that much. He is a very busy man and we get to go a couple of times each year. I'm hoping my other buddy Neal from Florida will come up this April he is another fellow crazy enough to go with me on these outings.

03-13-2006, 08:52 PM
Hello Hans,

You can't get enuff of the Big Shoe can ya ;D Hey, I got you beat I am 45 now, I think the best I can do is the Little Shoe. I just requested vaction today for the last few days of April and the first week of May so hopefully, I'll be in the smokies in the springtime. I am looking forward to it since I didn't get to do much fishing during my fall trip, and last April the snowmelt made the streams to high for fishing. I'll keep in touch and let you know if my plans work out. Have fun and save a few wild trout for me :)


03-15-2006, 01:18 PM

That time of year should be great for Abrams or anywhere else for that matter. I'll keep in touch.

03-16-2006, 09:46 AM
Just so you all know, the big shoe is pretty rough on us youngun's too ;). I had twisted my ankle the weekend before and managed to go most of the day without re-injuring it, but just when i was almost done it happened! Luckily my waders were leaking some so maybe the cool water kept the swelling down some but the next moprning it looked like i had a softball under my sock :o.
The best part of the trip for me was watching Hans trying to catch one of those flies ;D. I don't know how he didn't fall in.
The most interesting thing I saw all day was some really fresh beaver trees along the banks. That beaver was awfully hungry because he chewed through a tree that was atleast 12" in diameter.

03-16-2006, 03:49 PM
Russ, I hope your'e ankle is better. Yeah I was rusty, usually I can catch one of them flies in my hand pretty easily but not this time. Can't wait for this current cold spell to be over with, then I'm all game again.