View Full Version : Thursday on Abrams
12-14-2006, 08:39 PM
Missed work and fished Abrams for the first time today. What a beautiful stream. It really is different from any of the other streams in the park. On may way up Abrams Falls Trail I ran into a couple of other fisherman and spoke to them for a few minutes. They must have thought I was crazy when I told them I planned on fishing the horseshoe (I was). Anyway, I took their advice and only fished the first section of it, then backtracked and fished my way to the parking lot.
Fishing started out ok. I caught two on a BH Tellico within the first hour. It was very foggy and cold. I kept having to dip my rod to keep the ice off of the guides. I was expecting things would pick-up, but they really didn't. I only caught a few more the rest of the day, and they were all small. I was fishing with 2 nyphs (Copper John + Tellico), and I caught every one on the Tellico. When things warmed up, I saw several fish rising but couldn't manage to catch any on my BWO. I saw some otters too. I wonder how much of an effect they have on the trout population...?
I had a great day fishing. Maybe I'll try the shoe later when the days are longer and I have someone with me. Abrams is no joke!
12-14-2006, 10:32 PM
Wow, those are gorgeous pictures. The mountains are starkly elegent, and somewhat mysterious, in Winter. It is quite an amazing contrast to how they look in the summer - they're pretty then, too, but different.
Of course, here in south Louisiana, most of our "seasons" are taken up by an extended Summer, and we don't get much in the way of Fall colors. So, we have to substitute crustaceans for the normal seasons - you know, crawfish season, shrimp season... ;)
12-14-2006, 11:46 PM
so you finally did abrams! hit me up come march/april and we'll throw some dries around the horseshoe. you know, the only place I've ever seen an otter was at abrams. at the time, I didn't even know there were otters in the park. a friend and I ran into one and were astounded at how smart it was. it kept making noises and flipping around in the water like he was in a circus or something. I swear I think he was wanting to play with us and be friendly. it was very strange for a wild animal.
Great pics. Nice being out there all by yourself, huh? Fishing while guides are icing takes determination, I admire that. Somedays it's not about the fish count or favorable conditions, you know?!
I've seen otters at Metcalf Bottoms, Tremont, Elkmont, and Newfound Gap area. They make me nervous when I'm wet wading. They're cool to watch. Always on the move. I would like to know how many fish they eat also. Maybe someone out there knows and will share any knowledge.
Merry Christmas !!!
12-15-2006, 01:43 PM
Thanks for the compliments, even though those photos don't do it justice. The coat of frost and fog made everything look black and white. *It really was kind of eerie, almost as if time was standing still.
Trevor, I'm surprised you've never seen otters on the Clinch. *I've seen them several times up above the weir dam. *They do appear to be very friendly, intelligent creatures....almost as interested in watching me fish as I am in watching them frolick in the stream. *We'll have to fish the horseshoe in the spring. *BTW, the double haul is coming along nicely.
I want to fish the horseshoe as well but I guess this is not the best time of year. How did the "backtracking" approach work? Did you hike to the horseshoe area, fish upstream, then back downstream and then back on the trail? The photos are great...........................
12-15-2006, 02:09 PM
The otters can be pretty hard on the trout. Cant imagine they would decimate the stream though. I have seen footage of one chasing a trout and they will catch any trout they want, no doubt! I remember reading a story/article of Robert Traver's where he writes about a pair of them working as a team to clean out a beaver pond; one hung at the upstream outlet and the other herded the trout in that direction. As the trout tried to flee they would be ambushed by the second otter. They are intellingent and fun to watch. They appear to be smiling. I've only seen one on Little River, thought it was a monster brown at first, chased it for about a 1/2 mile upstream, it swam through rocks and rapids like they weren't there! Then it dissappeared.
Anyway best to you,
12-15-2006, 03:12 PM
I want to fish the horseshoe as well but I guess this is not the best time of year. *How did the "backtracking" approach work? *Did you hike to the horseshoe area, fish upstream, then back downstream and then back on the trail? *The photos are great...........................
I would have much rather fished through instead of backtracking. I left the trail and fished downstream (through the big horseshoe) a pretty good ways, then hiked back up. I can't tell you how far into the shoe I was, as I'v never fished it. I was working at a good pace, and probably would have continued if I only would have known for sure where to exit the stream and get back on the trail. I wasn't going to take any more risk than I already was, being out there alone. Despite everything I've read, the fishing was best by the trail and back to the parking lot....although that was probably because the temps were a litte warmer when I fished there.
I am the risk-taker type and enjoy doing a lot of fishing alone and in remote areas. There was something about Abrams though, that had me on edge a little. I doubt I'll go back there without a buddy.
12-15-2006, 06:57 PM
I too was a risktaker, and have taken several trips around the big Horseshoe ; But since i've gotten older I find myself getting less and less assured of myself. I WONDER WHY THIS IS SO ? Just the truth please! slickrock :
12-16-2006, 09:56 AM
There are few streams as beautiful as Abram's, and I'm not sure if there are any streams that are any slicker, add to that the angle of the rocks coming up on bottom and it's about as treacherous as can be.
But still it draws ya back :).
01-01-2007, 08:22 PM
I helped with a food habits study of river otters in Abrams Creek when the otters were originally reintroduced. These critters eat primarily crayfish and some slower-moving suckers and minnows. Trout were very rare in the river otter diet, except for the one that found its way into the hatchery over in Gatlinburg. So, do not worry about the effect of river otters on trout populations, but continue to enjoy their playful antics wheneve you are lucky enough to encounter one along a stream.
River otters do seem to be doing well in most of the large streams in the Smokies.
Flat Fly n
01-02-2007, 09:55 AM
Count your blessings that you ran into those fellows. I used to give myself 5-6 hours to fish the "little shoe" and all day to fish the "big shoe". Word from a fool, never get off the river and think you can meet up with the trail out! What a mistake I and another guy made one day long ago. Even had a topo map with us, HA!
However, I was lucky enough to fish Abrams when it was posted as a "trophy creek" and only two fish were allowed to be kept. What a jewel it was.
Last year, a friend and I were fishing in Shining Rock Wilderness in NC. We thought we knew how to get out( there were three trails) but we assumed we were on one creek, and the creek had joined another river...that coupled with some folks from Sweden or somewhere assuring us that we were on the right trail to " get out". Well, their idea of " Get out" was a 3 hour hike the wrong way(for us). We ended up walking the Blue Ridge parkway half the night and sleeping on the side of the road the other half. Built a little fire to keep warm and just waited for the sun to come up before going for the car. The worst part about it was we didn't have water, and after a whole day of rock climbing, I was dehydrated something awful.
Even missed two days of work because of it - probably should have gone to the doctor or hospital or somethin' but I didn't.
owl says: lesson learned, thank you God for letting us be so close to the road. :)
01-03-2007, 03:02 AM
getting lost in the woods is pretty scary. when I was a kid my father and I were squirrel hunting around norris. it started getting dark and somehow we got off the trail. all I can remember is wondering around in thick woods in near total darkness for about 5 hours. branches constantly hitting me in the face, flat out tripping over logs, etc. we weren't necessarily lost, because we knew where we were, and the lake was nearby, but it's almost impossible to find your way around in such darkness. by the time we got home at 3 am my mother was hysterical. she was already pretty leary about an 11 year old with a gun in his hands. she was sure that I had accidentally shot my dad or something. here's some good advice that I dont heed but should: if you're out in the woods late in the day or around dark, bring a flashlight.
01-03-2007, 11:07 AM
Count your blessings that you ran into those fellows. *I used to give myself 5-6 *hours to fish the "little shoe" and all day to fish the "big shoe". *Word from a fool, never get off the river and think you can meet up with the trail out! *What a mistake I and another guy made one day long ago. *Even had a topo map with us, HA!
However, I was lucky enough to fish Abrams when it was posted as a "trophy creek" and only two fish were allowed to be kept. *What a jewel it was.
Yeah, I'm glad I ran into those guys. It was real early and I know they had their own agenda, but they probably would have stood there and talked to me all day. Just like everyone else I've met in this sport, they were true gentlemen.
How long has it been since Abrams was a "trophy creek"?
Flat Fly n
01-09-2007, 10:55 AM
Abrams Creek lost the "trophy" status when the present fisheries biologist took over the position, sometime around 1986. The agenda of save the brook trout got in the way of common sense conservation. In my opinion it is a totally different stream in trout population i.e. small fish and too few. It was great back when I knew less, cast worse, and made more mistakes than I do now.
You would think we could get ONE or TWO streams protected out of 600 miles or trout streams in the park.
A friend of mine and I did Abrams about a year ago. I'm in my 60's and he is in his late 50's. We did the "shoe". Didn't take enough water and nearly died of thirst. You can bet that won't happen again. Fishing was great but we were a pretty beat up couple of "old guys" when we got out of there just after dark. Will plan a little better the next time we try that one. Great pics.
01-11-2007, 05:37 PM
The "Trophy Stream" idea is interesting. I have read from other sources that harvesting in the park doesn't have a significant impact on the streams. I have also read that Abrams is not what it used to be. I guess there may be a correlation. I think it would be a great idea if they re-established some streams to that status.
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