View Full Version : Brookies in Winter?

12-04-2006, 10:58 PM
Although I'm afraid I know the answer already, are there any streams where one has a realistic chance at a brookie in cold weather? I know the headwater streams are only a few degrees removed from ice, but are there any areas which are low enough to be fishable, but still support brookies? I fished the park over Thanksgiving for the first time, and I struck out when I tried "up high", but did ok at Tremont.

I was thinking Cosby; I wanted to fish it last month, but just ran out of time.

Thanks in advance, from the bayou...

12-05-2006, 12:47 AM
I know that Brookies are active at a lower temperature than Browns or Rainbows. As a kid in Michigan, I caught Brookies with "Garden Hackle" early in the spring with Ice and Snow still on the ground. I gave my Ichthyology Texts away, so I don't off handed remember the actual water temp preferences.
If I lived closer, I would try deep nymphing in early afternoon and sunlight pools.

Those of you, who are Brookie fanatics, might want to keep temp records of some of the brookie streams. Spring locations, etc. might cause some streams to remain "warmer"in winter than others. Altitude is not the only factor! A day of hiking around with a thermometer and making some comparisons various Brookie streams might/ or might not be interesting??

Randy Sale

Hugh Hartsell
12-05-2006, 07:23 AM
ij, good morning. A couple that you might consider, and the actual water temps will tell the final story are: Indian Camp Creek(in the Cosby area) and Meigs Prong. I don't know if the road is open now(I don't think it is), but Straight Fork is also a possibility. You may not be able to drive beyond the fish hatchery. Good luck.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.

12-05-2006, 09:21 AM
Thanks for the replies...before I went on my trip last month, I checked the park's web site for road closures, and I think the road to Straight Fork was closed for the season. I saw Indian Camp Creek, too...I might try that, but how's the access there? If I go around New Year's, I'll have the kids in tow (3 girls, 2 6 year olds and one that's almost 12)...I'm sort of leery of a lot of bushwacking with them around - if it was just me, I wouldn't mind.

The good news is, we'll all be fishing - I'm getting them each an outfit for Christmas. One of the twins has really taken to it - I'm not sure about the other two. Also, don't get me wrong - I don't mind catching 'bows...there's just something special about brook trout - I can't put my finger on it.

Hugh Hartsell
12-05-2006, 09:43 AM
:) ij, the access to Indian Camp is not bad right where it comes out of the Park, but it is considered a breakin risk where you might park your car. The usual parking area is on the main highway, at a store just a short distance above where the stream crosses the main highway. The other one is back behind Yogi Bear Campground and it is isolated. Don't try that one for sure. You won't have to go very far from the store that I mentioned until you are into backcountry. If you are going to have the family with you, you might want to forget that one. I'd just try Cosby Creek.

12-05-2006, 10:34 AM
Here is another idea for you. Take an afternoon and walk up Porters creek trail in Greenbrier. It is a very easy roadbed trail along a small creek with lots of small plungepools along the way. There are alot of interesting historical features to see as well. The Whaley clan lived there during prepark era times and several rock walls and a cantilever barn and cabin can be explored. I have caught specks(brookies) in the creek several times. There is a great book called "Scavenger Hunts of the Smokies" that is available at the Sugarlands visitor center shop that is great for kids and adults and will keep them interested while your here. The water may be to cold this time of year for that creek but it is close to Gatlinburg area and is very peaceful. Have a great time wherever you go!

12-05-2006, 07:37 PM
You guys may have seen this, but here is a podcast about brookies and the GSMNP. I've had jury duty this week and have listened to it about 5 times. [smiley=angry.gif] Anyway, I found it very interesting.


12-05-2006, 10:36 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. Everything will have to be dependent on the weather; I hope to get up there around New Year's...probably the only chance to get at the trout until April - my oldest has her soccer every Saturday until the first weekend of April, so that constricts things. At this stage, I'll be happy if I can fish for anything with gills ;).

Thanks especially for the advice on Indian Camp...just looking on the map, it looks like a problem, since you have to park outside of the park.