View Full Version : Interesting day today

06-30-2007, 08:29 PM
Hello, met up with scflyfisher this morning and headed out to a remote area in sw nc (i know it's not smokies but it's close enough, very close actually) i have been eyeing for awhile now. I've never heard of anyone fishing the area, so information was scarce, but i was armed with a map and determination so we were good to go. We made it to the parking area and geared up at about 8 15 this morning, with the idea of a mile or so hike to get to water. We walked in a ways and crossed a creek and things didn't look good, the water was so shallow and looked as if it had no current at all and there was a distinct "dingy" tent to the water. This amazed me because we were up at around 4000', but there was just no gradient at all to the stream. We walked a little further and came to the stream that i had planned on fishing only to find that it looked like the other one. After continuing to walk upstream a little ways and only finding the same thing, matt and i agreed to walk back a good ways and then go take a trail that follows the river that was formed when the two creeks joined. After walking up a strenuous hill that was never ending and a mile or so later, we crossed the creek and found this more to our liking. The only problem was that upstream was still slow and nasty looking and downstream looked dangerous, with water sliding down rocks from deep pool to deep pool.

After assessing the situation and going down the side trail from **** that was straight uphill and turning around, we decided to continue our trek downstream in hopes of finding another spot where we could access the stream. We hiked another half mile or so downstream and came across a small path that lead down hill, by this time it was about 10 30! We made it to the river and found some nice looking water, the only problem now was that we were in the middle of a gorge and again, we couldn't go upstream or downstream because of waterfalls.


At this point, i think we were both just a tad frustrated for putting in all this effort and tired as well, it was a very strenuous hike. We sat down on a log and had a snack and some water. While doing so, we noticed a small fish hit the top of the water on multiple occasions. I convinced matt to rig up his rod and fish the two holes that we could fish from our spot and he did, tieing on a small ehc. In the first hole, no fish were caught, but stepping onto another huge rock to access the other hole produced a couple small brookies, matt's first! Congratulations!


A couple small fish were caught and matt decided it was time to try to go nymph fishing with a large nymph in these holes, a good choice! He tied on a large prince nymph and proceeded to high stick these pools. This was the ticket! He immediately got strikes and some fish letting the prince nymph run deep. Standing on this rock and high sticking was deadly.


After a couple casts didn't produce any more fish, matt slowly picked up his prince nymph only to have it nailed by a nice fish. The fish put quite the bend in his rod and it came to the top, only to reveal itself as a beautiful trophy brook trout!!!! This fish proved to fool us, however, as he came off after thrashing around at the top of the water a few times. This fish was, by far, the biggest wild brook trout i have ever seen, every bit of 12". After a moment of disgust, matt soldiered on and tried again. Persistence paid off, as out of the same hole he pulled another solid fish out, about a 9" brookie.


This one deserved a glamour shot.


A few more casts were made with a couple smaller fish, but nothing like earlier. We now found ourselves in the predicament of what to do. In a short time span, matt had caught over 10 fish and had numerous more strikes in just two holes, however we were really trapped and couldn't go anywhere. We pulled out the map and looked into what it would look like if we went downstream and find a place to get in, only to find the topo lines even tighter and closer together in an area called the devils elbow. That didn't sound like a place we needed to go, plus it was getting cloudy and we were in a gorge, so we just decided to hike back out to the car and then go back to a stream that we know and fish for a couple hours. On our way out, the trail really kicked our butts. It was 10-15 degrees hotter than when we walked in and some blisters had started to show up.

We made it, however, and drove back to the other stream. No pictures to report from there, but we did manage some fish although the water was extremely low. I did most of the fishing here since matt did all of the fishing at the other place while i took pictures. I managed a couple browns and several rainbows in about 2 hours.

All in all, the day turned into a lot of hiking and a little fishing, opposite of what we had planned. It was good, though, as we got to get out and get some excercise in and matt caught his first wild brook trout! I think i have him hooked now.......


06-30-2007, 09:13 PM
Pretty fish...any day that has brookies in it is a great day in my book, no matter how much hiking is involved. I would wager that the stream will be a little more fishable with a bit more rain - those slow sections won't be so stagnant.

Those fish are a bit on the dark side...it's amazing how much variation you see in color, etc from stream to stream, and even from pool to pool.

06-30-2007, 10:02 PM
Well everybody, it was another great day spent with Craig wandering around in some new areas and catching a few fish was a bonus. It was great getting to catch my first true native brook trout. I was amazed at the willingness of these fish to attach a #8 BH Prince. Some of the fish eating the giant nymph were only about 5 inches long. Seemed like everytime I got it down to the bottom and then raised it very slowly they hit it on the rise aggresively. I just wish we could have found some manageable water on this stream, b/c it had potential to be a huge day based on what we saw from the small area I fished. I probably had 15 strikes in a matter of 20 minutes.

Afterwards we went to Avery creek, since it is easy access, and Craig had never fished it. Craig tied on Hugh's Smoky Mountain Blackbird, and man was I impressed with what I saw. He was fishing all the areas I normally fish on Avery and was getting more strikes than I normally do, and I 100% believe it was the fly. That's not to take anything away from Craig's ability, he was doing everything you need to do, that fly is just awesome. I think I need to order a few from Hugh after today. The key on Avery seemed to be finding deep water. Every hole that had some better depth was producing fish

By the way, I don't know if anyone noticed my neoprene wading socks in the picture of me on top of the big rock in Craig's post. Thats the new trend I'm trying to start, wearing wading socks up my legs instead of rolled down over my boots. I'm glad Craig was able to get that documented. An awesome day on the water, we managed the team Grand Slam, and my first brookie.
Enjoyed it Craig.

Craig caught 2 nice browns out of this hole on back to back casts. Right in the deep water behind the flat rock in the middle.
3 words: Smoky Mountain Blackbird!

This was the first brown that came out of the hole above. I didn't get a picture of the second brown, but it was approx. the same size.

I think the brown was still enjoying the Blackbird hanging out of his mouth. This is a very respectable fish for Avery creek.


David Knapp
06-30-2007, 10:24 PM
Good work guys! Those are some nice looking fish and that first stream looks great, too bad it was so hard to navigate.

06-30-2007, 10:45 PM
Yes i wish we could have fished that first stream a little more. We just didn't feel comfortable, especially with the possibility of severe storms with heavy rain. The streambed looked like it could hold alot of water and we probably would have been in deep trouble had a heavy rain came. I may try and go back sometime, but i need to do some more research and see what i can come up with. Well, i'm heading off to bed to give my legs some rest, all the energy is gone from them.


07-01-2007, 01:05 AM
for what it's worth, I noticed your socks, and I laughed when I saw it because the other day I flipped mine up just like that and considered just wearing them that way. its probably a good way to avoid poison ivy and bug bites.

by the way, either of you guys ever want to get together and fish the TN side over here, let me know. I go just about every weekend.

07-01-2007, 06:34 AM
I would love to, but unfortunately it takes me a good haul to get over there. I probably couldn't do it without camping or something. Matt lives a bit closer, but i know that for the most part, it would take me about 4 hours to get to the tn side. I think, however, that i can get to cosby in 3, which is doable for a day trip. 3 hours is about the most i want to do on a day trip, by the time i wake up at 4 or so and drive all teh way out there, fish all day, and then drive back, i'm absolutely whooped by the time i get home. We might be able to work something out, though. I, too, go about every weekend and am also in the planning stages of maybe a smokies trip next saturday.


07-01-2007, 08:35 AM

Thats exactly the reason I left my socks up to. It was nice on the trail not haveing to get my legs wacked by briars, and it helped with the bugs as well. My inlaws have a cabin in townsend, so next time I'm gonna be there, I let you know and we can try to get together and fish. I enjoy meeting and fishing with people on this board.


Hugh Hartsell
07-01-2007, 08:43 AM
Guys, I just want to thank all of you for the magazine quality reports and pictures that you are continually giving to all the members. You help everyone to feel like they have been on a backcountry trip and you give us a visual peek at what the mountain streams of Tenn. and N.C. look like. Everyone hopes to see those streams back to a normal level real soon and thank you for again for showing your great love and passion when you share the personal reports.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.

old tom
07-01-2007, 09:07 AM
Your post makes for some fun reading when you've been there... and had much the same experience. The hints were good - location, elevation, water color, hiking conditions, brookies - then you sealed it by mentioning the name of the area you decided not to go to. I've fished the area twice and not real sure it was worth the effort.

07-01-2007, 09:35 AM
I figured that anyone that had been there would know where it was by mention of the devils elbow! If you don't mind, email me at mtnman2888@yahoo.com, i would like to talk to you about that area, and maybe a few more around there.....

The terrain was rough and risky, but i think that if you could find an area where it wasn't quite so bad it may be worth it. That's just my opinion, though. No matter, i enjoyed getting out with matt and hiking back in a good ways and exploring new places all in the name of great trout fishing. I really like to get off in the backcountry and try out new places.

By the way hugh, once again the blackbird pulled through. I think i finally convinced matt to order a batch from you!


07-01-2007, 01:28 PM
I've never been there, but I did a bit of online research, and now I understand why you found stream conditions a bit on the slow side in spots...sounds like a neat, unusual area. I have an annual NC nonresident license; I might have to check out some of these areas outside of the Park, although it's tough to tear myself away from there, given the limited time I have to fish when I'm able to make it up there.

07-01-2007, 02:07 PM

I caught my first brookie on Friday on the stretch of river between the Chimneys picnic area and the Chimney's trailhead. Actually caught two up there. They are indeed a beautiful little fish. Didn't have a camera so don't have pictures to show but it was definitely a treat.

Congrats from another brookie newbie.

07-01-2007, 02:20 PM

Thanks a lot, it was very exciting getting a few brookies for the first time. I actually fished the area you did about a year ago on my way back to SC one weekend hoping to catch my first brookie there, but all I caught was bows. What a beautiful stretch of water that is.


07-01-2007, 03:26 PM
Man MT,
Nice, the water there is always a little stained. It's gets it's color from tannic acid. The brookies can run a little larger there due to their genetics, somehow some northern stain brookies got in the wood pile;)

07-02-2007, 07:40 AM
Great report guys. I love that area out there. Its funny you mentioned blisters on your feet because I decided to take a side path out there one time and found out real quick how bad of a idea that was. As for the water color its always tea colored, very unusual looking I might add. There is a report from a WCU biologist on every stream in that watershed and the origin of all the brookies. I was very surprised that some of them are Northern-Southern strain. The most of them are pure southern strain but there are a few mixed areas. SCflyfisher you being from Greenville made this a close trip I am assuming. Anyways great report and anytime you guys want another fishing partner just let me know.

07-02-2007, 08:48 AM

We'll have to try to get together with you on a trip sometime. The more the merrier in my mind. It isn't too bad of a drive for me. From my driveway to where we parked was approx. 1hr. 45 min. For a long time all I fished in N.C. was the Davidson and Avery creek, and I can get to those in about 1 hr. 10 min. which is very nice. Unfortunately Craig has a much longer drive than I do to get to these places. Thankfully he is an early morning person and doesn't mind getting up extremely early to meet at these places.


Rog 1
07-02-2007, 11:27 AM
That stretch of water above the picnic area has some great water....not the place to be in high water conditions....and you are right, once you commit to that stretch it is hard to get out to the road.....the few times I have tried to get back to the road literally had to pull myself up using trees and shrubs for handholds.....usually the only hint of civilization is the occasional sniff of burning brake pads from the flatlanders....

07-02-2007, 01:14 PM
Yes it does take me a good while to get to that area and i usually leave before 5 in the morning, but it's nothing a big ol' cup of coffee can't fix! I'm actually pretty wired on the way to fishing with excitement, most of the time it's the trip home where i get tired. I can't complain too much, however, because i get to go fishing about every weekend. Whenever i want really.

WNCfly, yeah we'll have to go sometime. My email address is on this thread somewhere, i think, so just shoot me an email and we can plan something. I'm with matt, the more the merrier. Besides, it's always a good idea to have at least one, if not more, person tag along when doing some hike-in fishing.