View Full Version : Elevation and Fish

11-13-2006, 11:35 AM
Do you guys think that the elevation of the mountains affects the fish? I was just wondering. I have never fish high in the moutains. Ive benn up there. You can't here a thing with the pressure in your ears! ;) Does that and other things affect the fish or is it better fishing up there? Thanks.


11-13-2006, 11:54 AM
There are no fish above 2500 feet. ::)

The further you walk vefore starting to fish, the better the fishing will be. And if you have to climb the mountian in the first part of the hike then it will be even better. The harder it is to get to the spot, then the better the spot will be.
Up high, the fish will mostly be smaller, but there are plenty of them and they will usually eat anything that is presented as food. ;)

11-13-2006, 04:00 PM
No fish above 2500 or few fish? *

Also, just as a guage. *I have always gauged elevation by vegetation. *I had a friendly park ranger give me a tip one day, but I might run it by you guys. *Rhododendrons at 2000 ft hemlocks at 3000 ft. *Obviously, there are probably lots of exceptions, but I would think if this is true, that large stands of these plants would be a decent indication.

That being said, and assuming the rule of thumb is true. *If you see rhododendrons, fishing is OK, but might think about lower elevation. *If you see hemlock, turn around.

Some problems I have seen with this method are. *I am sure the side of the mountain or whether in a cove, or deep canyon can make a BIG difference in the elevation that the plants can grow . *For instance, it would be my guess that these plants could grow quite a bit lower on a norht face sahded by a steep canyon etc.

So that being said, what do you do with no altimeter, or GPS, and assuming you would rather fish than keep your nose buried in a topo map to figure out your actual elevation?

11-13-2006, 05:22 PM
No fish above 2500 or few fish? *

Russ was pulling your leg, he just doesn't want you fishing for his brookies.

11-13-2006, 05:39 PM
No fish above 2500 or few fish? *

Russ was pulling your leg, he just doesn't want you fishing for his brookies.

Dang it Griff ::). *I guess you think i'm lying about all the snakes, bears, mountian lions and caddy wampus' too don't ya? ;)

I've heard that some streams WAY up high are getting too acidic for trout due to acid rain. It's probably true too.

David Knapp
11-13-2006, 05:50 PM
Ah come on now, the reason all the locals fish down low is because they know there aren't fish up high... ;D If ya'll will promise not to fish up high, I'll try and get some reports from the high elevations so everyone knows how bad it really is up there....

11-13-2006, 06:37 PM
I don't think there will ever be a problem with too many people fishing up high.

Luke Warmwater
11-13-2006, 08:16 PM
I would watch out for the rattleheadedcoppermoccasins when fishing anywhere in the smoky's. They grow particularly large on the better streams. Yep they sure do, I've seen'um. ;)

11-13-2006, 10:35 PM
Speaking of snakes... I saw a few back in the spring, but nothing during the summer or recently. I fish one - two times per week and I try to go to different places regularly. My biggest concern is that I get complacent when I don't see one for a while. Anybody else notice a drop off in the snake sightings?

11-13-2006, 11:31 PM
No snakes the last trip, but a bear bigger than Bill Clinton's mama.

David Knapp
11-13-2006, 11:38 PM
I dunno what it is but I either don't see any snakes or I'm practically walking all over them. If I see one, several more are sure to appear sometime soon. The strange thing is, this is not confined to one watershed. I can go fish in NC in the morning and nearly step on a couple snakes. Then LR in the afternoon and I'm sure to see a few. Kinda makes you wonder where they are all the other times... :-/ :-? :o

11-14-2006, 09:42 AM
I didn't get to fish very much this year, we had a baby in April that put a damper on the all day fishing trips, but i've fished a lot in the Smokys over the past 5 years and i bet i've only seen half a dozen snakes. I'm sure that i've walked by a lot more than i've seen though :o

11-14-2006, 09:51 AM
:oYikes! *I saw three snakes back in the spring. *I'm confident none were poisonous, but I would have freaked if I stepped on one. *I had one swim up to within about five feet of me one day. *He just sat there and waited for me to leave.

Here's my version of something that happened to me 20 years ago. *I was fishing (spin) for Bows down in GA with my dad. *I had a few on a stringer (stockers) stuck in the ground between my legs as I stood on the edge of the water. *I looked down and there was a snake eating my fish on the stringer. *Scared the crap out of me.

Even more motivation for catch and release ;D! *I was only 15 at the time and I still remember climbing that bank like Spiderman. *It took a few minutes for me to calm down and go back for my gear.

11-14-2006, 10:11 AM
redc4man, a similar thing happened to me, except a rattlesnake had crawled into a creel I had set down on the bank while fly fishing. Needless to say, the creel and my catch stayed behind when I left.

Rog 1
11-14-2006, 12:13 PM
Always funny where those things show up...I was fishing on Tremont just below the end of the gravel road....I had come to a high rock wall on the road side of the river....there was a small ledge just under the water that would let me work my way sideways up river....about half way something made me look down and there between my feet was a snake looking up at me....all I could think of was what if it decided to crawl up my pants....everything tightened up and in a minute the thing swam across the river, crawled up on a rock and stared at me while I sped on my way.

11-14-2006, 02:48 PM
All this talk of snakes remind me, That a snak hole is usally near the water so they can get to the water easily. Also never leave a dead fish on the bank. That is a snake feast!. But be cool 8-) snakes won't bother ya if you don't bother them. Also don't do what I did, pour water in a snake hole and then darken it with a rock! Yeah the snake moved the rock! I ran till I fell and he chased me. I was being stupid then :-[


11-14-2006, 08:06 PM

Snakes never really have bothered me. If I am wading, a snake is of my least concern. Most people I have fished with mistake common watersnakes for copperheads. They usually flee as soon as they see me, but it is kinda creepy how they slither along. If I am hiking, however, I try to keep a look out. I have seen a few copperheads, always coiled-up, and one rattlesnake that was crossing a trail. As long as you don't step on one or molest it, I dont think there is much to worry about. Well, unless it crawls in your creel!

11-14-2006, 09:15 PM
come on guys--lets face it, if the old testament decrees a snake(s) taboo--and if it was indeed a snake who lied to our most basic chick,eve, back when adam was around--and if everything about them--1)their nature2)the way they crawl3)their looks,,is a turn off(I don't identify with snakes,,but these last 3 snakes characteristics is why i had trouble picking up girls in bars,while in college)and as far as I can tell ,a snake doesn't do much good---so---lets tell it like it is---most of us HATE snakes

David Knapp
11-14-2006, 10:55 PM
Most people I have fished with mistake common watersnakes for copperheads.

Now ain't that the truth. *I have seen a few copperheads in my life but never in the Smokies. *In the park, I've had plenty of people tell me to watch out for the "copperhead" just up the trail, etc. *As you said, always turns out to be a watersnake. *I've stepped over or nearly stepped on so many of those watersnakes though, I can honestly say they will give you a good scare until you realize what it is. *Some of 'em try to act all tough too... :o

Rog 1
11-15-2006, 10:08 AM
I used to think it was pretty safe to let my guard down a little while I was knee deep in that cool water.....then one fall a couple of years ago my fishin' buddy and I were working our way up Greenbrier just below the Ramsey bridge.....by buddy who was on the other side from me let out a yelp and started doing the snake dance....figured he had seen one of those water snakes until he pointed to a big timber rattler cruising down the middle of the strream....darn thing caught on a rock in mid stream between use, curled up and watched us try to get a photo of him....saw them snakes everywhere for the rest of the trip.