View Full Version : Smallmouth in the Smokys

06-26-2007, 09:58 PM
Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum, and fly fishing in the Smokys. Have visited for years to photograph, but this year its time to fish.
I've fly fished on and off most of my life, so I don't have any problems with gear and such, but I would appreciate your thoughts on a few things.

My wife and I are tent camping at Elkmont the week of July 4th, and I'm sure that with the low water levels and the heat, this is not going to be the best time to fish. Especially since it's been such a dry year.
Anyway, my wife is going to fly fish as well and I want her to catch a fish or two. Of course I would like to catch a few myself.

So, I was thinking that we might have better luck fishing for smallmouth bass and rockbass in the lower elevations rather than for the trout.

Iv'e fished all my life and understand about the etiquitte thing and I know from experience that the smallies can definitely stretch your string.

Any thoughts on my idea, suggestions where to fish, surefire flies?

Sorry so long a post, and thanks for a great place to hang out.

Doyle C.

06-26-2007, 10:05 PM

I wouldn't overlook the water right where your camping. Even if the water is low, it can still be productive. I would go by LRO and pick up some green weenies and barbie bugs. Fish them in the fast water if it is low when your there. They're great flies fished with or w/out some split shot. The trick will be finding some open water around the holiday. Hiking up the trail at Elkmont may give you a chance for some privacy, and I'd be surprised if you didn't get a few bites on the above mentioned flies. It will also be better to fish early or late before the sun gets high in the sky. I'm sure there will be some people on here to give you some smallie advice, but I would have a hard time staying where you'll be and not fishing in that area.


David Knapp
06-26-2007, 10:28 PM
The trout can still be caught and not necessarily all that hard to catch either... Check with LRO as to what nymphs have been hot lately and find the faster water and work the seams and you'll find plenty of trout. Stay higher up where the water is cooler so as not to stress the fish too much... If you get a thunderstorm that stains the water, buy as many green weenies as you can and go fishing...;)

06-26-2007, 10:33 PM

Thanks for your reply. Your right, Elkmont is beautiful. We camped there last year for a couple of nights and I managed to get one afternoon of fishing in there not far from camp. But, I didn't catch anything.

Why fish in the fast water and what size flies?

We will stop in LRO. Always do when I'm visiting.

Thanks again.


06-27-2007, 09:04 AM

As the water warms up it carries less dissolved. The trout hang out in the riffles more, b/c there will be more dissolved oxygen there than the calm slow moving water. Also, the trout will feel safer in the riffles where they cannot be spotted by predators as easy as the calm water. Plateau Angler is right about the thunderstorm thing. If the water gets dirty a green weenie might be awesome. I'm not sure that fly size is the most important thing right now. I would fish nymphs anywhere from 12-18. The nymphs that I would take would be Prince's, Pheasant Tails and Tellico's. I would take stimulators and parachute adams for dries in 12-16. I personally like to fish beetles there this time of year.

I just like to keep my fly box as simple as possible. I have learned over the years that with the above mentioned flies, I can almost always catch a few fish in the park. I'm not an expert, so I never have 20 fish days on the Little river, but if I make good approaches and good drifts, I don't feel like the fish are incredibly picky about what type of fly drifts by. I used to take so many flies I would sit on the bank not able to decide what the heck to tie on, and I would end up switching flies cosntantly. For me the "Keep it simple" method is best.

To recap:

Prince, Pheasant Tails, Tellico's 12-18
Stimulators, Parachute Adams, Beetles 12-16
Green weenies(I think there is only one size)


06-27-2007, 10:47 PM
is barbie blonde like paula ?

Rog 1
06-28-2007, 09:02 AM
Get up early one morning and fish between the bridges up through the campground....there are some nice fish in there especially just above the main bridge.....also, once the tube hatch stops the last half hour of light can really get interesting.....