View Full Version : West Prong Little River 6-3

06-03-2007, 09:30 PM
Hiked the West Prong Trail for the first time today to campsite #18. There was some rain overnight in the area, but the trail was in great shape. Its a little over 2 miles (about a 50 minute hike) from the parking lot to campsite #18. The first mile is a pretty decent ascent, but quite manageable.

I hiked to down below the campsite and fished upstream for about 4 hours in the most technically demanding stream I have ever attempted. The stream was rarely more than about 10-12ft wide and was even 3-4 ft wide in a few spots. The water was very low and very clear. There are Rhodies everywhere and lots of downed trees and vegetation. It was awesome! Somehow I only lost one fly the whole time. I was constantly getting snagged on branches and grasses, but thanks to the Pitzen knot (Thanks Hugh), I was able to locate and free my flies almost everytime. It was frustrating at times, but as the day wore on I was able to figure out how to avoid the snags before casting (I kept telling myself - always look and think before casting).

The campsite had only two tents when I arrived and both had left by 11am when I fished up and through. I managed to catch about a dozen rainbows in the 6-9" range and probably missed at least that many more. All of the fish came on the section above the campground which probably doesn't get much attention. I caught most of them on an #14 Adams. I caught a few on a Parachute, but once I switched to the normal Adams I started getting more strikes and hookups. I probably could have caught quite a few more but I only had two #14 Adams with me. One ended up breaking off on a rock after a strong downstream run by a nice 'bow, and the other was frayed from numerous hookups and became unserviceable. I tried several yellow bodied flies but the fish on the West Prong seemed uninterested (today), its amazing the differences from stream to stream inside the park.

At about 2:30pm the thunder started getting louder so I decided to call it a day and head back. The hike back was almost as strenuous, especially in the rain, but I didn't see a soul from 10:30am until 4pm, so it was quite relaxing. It is a really beautiful stream. Its a good hike to get there and the stream is nowhere near as prolific as many of the others in the park, so hopefully it will continue to stay beautiful, undisturbed and peaceful.

Here is a nice article about the trail:

We received lots of rain in Maryville today so hopefully things will continue to improve.

06-03-2007, 09:45 PM
Did that stretch in the mid nineties. It's a nice place. I remember how small and low the water was at that time. I believe it was during our drought in the nineties. I would love to fish that stretch when we are having better water levels. Thanks for reminding me about a nice spot.

Paula Begley
06-03-2007, 10:22 PM
Byron and I have spent a lot of time at campsite 18. We love that place!

We have hiked in many times from both the Tremont side and the Bote Mountain trail. Wow, we have to go back! Soon!

Great post!


David Knapp
06-04-2007, 02:27 PM
Great report! I haven't fished that far up the West Prong yet but will sometime. I know what you mean about looking before casting. Even on larger Smokies streams I try and remember to see whats behind me. I've paid my dues to the trees often enough that I should know to look every time but I don't always...:rolleyes: