View Full Version : Where are the big fish?

08-23-2006, 10:15 AM
Where's the best place (or places) to fish for trout in the 14" and up range? Most of what I've fished in the Smokies lately have been smaller creeks with plunge pools. Scenery is nice, and most of the fish I'm catching are 8 - 10". I'd like to be able to hook a bigger one every so often. ::)

Any ideas?

08-23-2006, 11:05 AM
Most of the fish in the park on on the small side. There are a few larger fish I'm sure but they would be rare. 8"-10" is a pretty good fish in the park from my experience. You can find bigger fish in the tailwaters such as the Clinch River below Norris dam.

08-23-2006, 04:13 PM
The best advise I have to offer is just keep trying.You can improve your chances for a larger fish when the water is a little higher and has a little more color.I have fished the mountain streams for over ten years and have only caught a few fish over 12 inches with a 16 inch brown the largest (caught in high off colored water).Enjoy the beautiful scenery and the peace and quiet and even a few 8 inch fish makes for a nice evening.

08-23-2006, 04:29 PM
Fish the lower elavation sections, use heavy nymphs or enough lead to get to the bottom. If the water is up and off color try a streamer (size 6,4,2) heavy, maybe even a sink-tip line, they take a little getting used to, but well worth the effort and always fun to learn something new about the sport.
Tight lines! Oh, I haven't caught any real monsters from the mountains, 18" is my personal best. I have seen fish as large as 26", close enough I could have touched them with my rod tip. They are there, usually in the back of a good sized pool, jammed under a rock. Fall is when the Browns are most aggressive. Another thought is to fish the streams which drain into the high elevation, deep lakes on the NC side. Browns run up in the fall, the rainbows follow them and are there through the winter, dropping back to the lakes in the spring.
Stick with it, you will find and catch them!
Tight lines,

08-26-2006, 03:14 PM
Good question. *If we knew the answer to that one, people would be watching us on those Fly Fishing shows instead of others.

I've fished the park for 8 years now and have managed only 2 fish in the 17-18" range. *Quite a few more have been 12-15". *One thing I've noticed, about 80% of those larger ones have been either during rain or shortly after a good shower. *Really heavy downpours that last a long time tend to caution me back to the truck to find a different area. *Divide the stream into 2-3 foot sections between the banks. *Try to work your way from bank to bank running your line in each section a few times without 'wearing out' a section. *Usually you will find them in the swift current, but they will suprise you and hold in other places. *Most often I will fish downstream during these conditions. *Most important rule -- *FEED LINE QUICKLY. *Don't let your fly get 30 yds downstream before you re-cast. *Maintain a manageable length of line and you will be fine. *Keep the line as tight as possible without altering your drift and be ready. *Some hits are subtle and some are like a freight train.

Let me add to this the dangers of fishing when the water is up. *It can take you out of your stance before you have time to blink. *Carry a wading staff and USE IT. *I swallowed my pride and bought one a few weeks ago and I'm stupid for not getting one sooner. *LRO has some really good ones for around 60 bucks. *Small price to pay to avoid a yard sale.

As far as where to go to find them, I don't want to sound smug when I say this but it's true, you'll find them in the water. *They could be anywhere as long as there is some deeper water for them to hide in and stay cool.

Good luck.

08-27-2006, 10:47 PM
abrams creek-start at the campgrounds--smallmouth country--fish large nymphs--keep a tight line--cast into pockets next to swift water--abrams is a classic trout stream--look for trout behind large rocks that block the current of the stream and provide a little haven for rest and feeding--your nymph needs to go to the floor of the stream--bring it to the surface slowly--you will get most strikes as the nymph rises to the surface.have caught several 15 inchrainbows out of abrams--they say there are many 22' + rainbows and browns to be caught out of this beautiful stream--there is something about thiis stream that will get to you--it offers a chance to catch large trout,it flows swift then slow,the trout live on pocket water,near riffles,and in deep pools--the deep pools hold the large trout,if you can figure out how to fish nymphs or crayfish (flys) deep,on the bottom,then you will catch big time trout--Abrams is a relatively young stream--the water is nutrient rich for fish--there is no other stream like abrams in the park---abrams is a stream that flows water over siltty rocks--they are slick--makes wading tough--don't feel bad if you take a dip--the stream is forgiving--it snakes into the heart of the park--ending and starting at abrams falls.