View Full Version : Smokies Report

David Knapp
01-14-2007, 09:23 PM
I was finally able to go fishing again! The water temps were warm enough that I just had to make a run up to the park today. I stopped at LRO to pick up a bunch of hooks and a few other things I've been needing and then drove up to Lynn Camp. My cousin was with me and we hiked up a little ways and started fishing. We both caught a fish relatively quickly and I figured we were in for a good day. When we started fishing, the water was right around 49 degrees and by 2:00 was up to 51!!! Plenty of the winter stoneflies were hatching along with the usual minuscule stuff and the fish started looking up. We saw fish rising by around 11:00 and finally switched to dries and started tearing 'em up. Best flies today were a #16 Thunderhead which was close enough size and color-wise to the little stoneflies and also a yellow EHC. My cousin caught his first trout on a dry (caught his first trout on the fly rod last October...) which made the day that much better. Best of all, it is January and warm enough to wade wet!!!


Here are a few of todays fish...





We took an extended lunch break on Middle Prong along the gravel road and just enjoyed sitting by the stream. This is something I should do more often as it really adds to the day, even if we did miss the last hour of peak surface activity. All in all it was an excellent day out fishing!

01-14-2007, 09:30 PM
Sounds like a great day on the water!

When I walked outside these past few days here in Blount county, i just knew someone was going to have a great day of fishing.. ;)

Congrads and thanks for sharing the photos.


01-14-2007, 09:52 PM
You waded wet? You're a tougher man than I, but of course I have that thin bayou blood in me ;)

01-14-2007, 09:59 PM

Cool report... I love Lynn Camp. I always do really well there. Sorry I couldn't go, but I'm glad you guys had a good time. I'm going tomorrow, but I'm undecided where.


01-14-2007, 10:17 PM
Gotta love these reports on the Middle Prong/Lynn Camp....it's become the area I've sort of zeroed in on, because it's the closest to me, driving wise. I also think there's something to be said for specializing in a specific area, while occasionally mixing in other areas. That's how I fish down here; I usually launch my boat in a few areas, and get to know them pretty well.

David Knapp
01-14-2007, 10:57 PM
Ijsouth, I know what you mean about specializing in certain streams/spots. There are streams and or sections of stream that I could walk and just about tell a story on every single hole or pocket. Once you spend a lot of time on a certain piece of water, you start to figure out which holes will have rising fish even in the dead of winter, which ones contain larger fish and exactly where they feed, etc...

Kevin, good luck on fishing tomorrow. Be sure and post a report!

01-14-2007, 11:58 PM
Historically speaking, this is the coldest week of the year...and you're wet wading?? Thats awesome man. Looks like you had a great time. Nice pics and report.

01-15-2007, 12:12 AM
Just ain't nuttin purdier than a mountain trout with a bushy dry fly in its mouth! Cept maybe 40 or 50 of um.

Simply awesome..

01-15-2007, 01:49 AM
man, I should have went today! had too much to do! I was up a lynn camp last week with kevin and I caught a few on a black EHC. man I can't wait for the warm weather!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Byron Begley
01-15-2007, 06:58 PM

Glad you had a great day. When I saw you in the shop I knew you had picked the right day. Right now it's raining and cold. It's over now at least for a few days. This has been a crazy winter.


Gerry Romer
01-15-2007, 11:00 PM
Glad to hear SOMEbody had a good day :(

I went by LRO, spent way too much money again, and headed up the West Prong. The plan was to park it at the bridge and hike up towards campsite 18, hitting a few holes along the way. There were two cars in the parking lot. A hiking couple trudged out and got in one of the cars and left while I was putting on my waders (thinking I really didn't need them 'cause it was arm enough to wet wade). A pickup truck pulls in and a guy gets out with a hack saw and proceeds to cut down some walking sticks for himself and his significant other :o They made it all of about 200 yards up the primitive trail before they gave up and headed back to their truck. I passed them going in as they were coming out. For those of you who don't know this part of the West Prong, this is not a maintained trail as most of you would recognize. It's fairly rudimentary and in spots you still have to make your own way, but that's the main reason I decided to head there instead of my usual trip up the Middle Prong. I figured it'd be less crowded and even if I did encounter another ff'er, I could leapfrog around them and put some distance between us.

So I'm in about 2 1/2 feet of pretty cold water, working my way along the left bank towards the head of the pool when I hear some commotion on the trail behind me. Three hikers (complete with fanny and day packs) are taking their 2 dogs for a jaunt in the woods. They head up and over the small ridge to my left and within a matter of seconds, the two dogs are splashing in the little falls at the head of the pool I'm fishing >:( The guys call the dogs out of the water and head on up the trail - after chucking a few sticks into the stream, of course. So I wade through to the right side of the trail and head upstream hoping to leapfrog them. I find a nice little remote run and get down on my knees to sneak up on it and wet a nymph in it. The trail to the left of the stream goes into the woods away from the stream at this point, so I figure I might still be able to surprise something. Before I could get a second drift through the run, one of the hikers comes crashing through the "trail" on the right side of the stream - having obviously crossed through the stream at some point just ahead. He heads back toward the traihead only to return about 5 minutes later with yet another dog >:( >:( >:(

As he passes by, he asks, "How's it goin?" By that point I had snipped the fly off my line and was winding in the last of my line so I could just hike back out. In answer to his question I just kinda grunted, "Not so good anymore."

So I pack up the car to head over to the Middle Prong and I get about 50 yards down the road to the first curve when the clunking on the roof tells me that I did indeed leave my rod -- My brand new St. Croix Avid 3wt -- on the roof :o Fortunately, I was able to pull off and rescue it with no damage done to anything except my nerves and blood pressure.

I decided to try some lower sections of the Middle Prong - below The Institute - figuring they might be warmer and I might see some hatch activity. Wrong. Dry... wet... dry/wet... not the first hint of a take. I guess the hikers had gotten there first. About 5:30 I trudged back out and called it a day. As I was hiking back down to the car, a pickup with Hamilton County plates slowed down alongside me and asked if I'd *done any good. Told 'em I hadn't and they said they'd fished all over upstream all day with no luck.

So, yeah, I'm jealous ;) But as Byron has pointed out many times, any time you can spend even part of a day on the Middle Prong, it's a good day :)

Gerry Romer

David Knapp
01-16-2007, 12:05 AM
Gerry, you'll be glad to know that the folks that ruined things for you got a ticket from a park ranger for something or the other... :o *At least, based on the location and description of three guys and two dogs I have to assume it was them. *We ran up there late in the day to see what was happening and a nice ranger stopped by. *We were working a small hole just above the parking area when the ranger came up and said hi and then waited around to check out the other group. *What goes around comes around...I dunno what was happening, maybe because their dogs were off the leash, anyway, they sure enough got a ticket... ;D

01-16-2007, 12:41 AM
I'm glad to see that the rangers were out and doing their jobs. Dogs are supposed to be leashed in the park, right? I don't think I could have handled it as cool as you did; stuff like that sets me off. People are so inconsiderate these days - whether you're fishing or at your local grocery store.

01-16-2007, 12:50 AM
I don't think they are allowed on trails at all. *Could you imagine the mess a dog would get you into if you ran into a wild creature. *I get myself in enough trouble, I don't need any help from a dog. *Don't get me wrong I like dogs, too many variables in the park though. *On a boat in the middle of a nice lake, now that's pretty cool.

01-16-2007, 01:07 AM
I don't know if the regulations vary from park to park; I know Shenandoah up in Virginia does allow dogs, even in the designated wilderness areas, but they must be leashed at all times - no more than a 6ft leash. Needless to say, owners are encouraged to leave their pets at home.

I sort of wonder about the horses, too...no problem with horses in the park, but I wonder about having them on trails that are right next to streams. Last time I was up on the Middle Prong, you could see where some horses had torn up the dirt - possible erosion problems if there's a lot of rain.

01-16-2007, 01:51 AM
dogs are not allowed on the trails period. leashed or not. one time I took my old roomate fishing with me in the park. he had never fly fished and wanted to give it a try. he insisted he bring his dog, a weimarainer, along with us. these are an extremely hyper breed of dog. needless to say, we didn't catch any fish. but the dog had a good time!

01-16-2007, 02:07 PM
Dogs are allowed on only a couple of trails, and must be on a leash. I have seen rangers chase people down to give them a ticket. See link.