View Full Version : Day Two: Oconaluftee River

07-15-2007, 09:30 PM
Hello all, back again for the second installment of shawn and craig's fly fishing adventures. We pick up right where we left off during the last episode..........

We stayed at a nice little hotel in town so we made sure and woke up in time for our free continental breakfast. Before i get started, i'd again like to make a warning about the fried corn nuggets, they can be deadly (sorry, i just had to).

Ok back to the fishing, we decided after much debate just to try the oconaluftee up above smokemont. We were on the water by about 8:00 and found a nice little stretch of water that was away from the road enough so that we couldn't hear any cars going by. We hopped in the stream to find another gorgeous smoky morning: the sunlight was sneaking down in between trees and shining down onto the river while the last remnants of fog were still clinging to the streambanks, absolutely gorgeous!


After straight fork a day earlier and it's rather steep gradient, we found the stream to be a delight to wade in. It was a pretty easy and gradual gradient, but it was steep enough to produce some good runs and pools. We still had to do plenty of rock hopping though....


Almost immediately, shawn hooked up and landed the first fish of the day on (you guessed it) a light cahill. Although no picture of this fish was taken, i did stumble across a small little guy crawling on a rock who undoubtedly this fish thought he was about to gorge himself on before shawn hooked him.


We moved on upstream a little ways only to find that i seemed to have caught whatever shawn had the day before. I was getting strikes consistently, but couldn't manage to bring any to hand. All of the strikes were on a small yellarhammer. Making matters worse, shawn managed two more to hand and was quickly showing me that he was a far superior fisherman than i was. Time and patience paid off, however, as i did manage another average smoky mountain rainbow.


Soon afterwards, i managed another nice fish, but this time it was a brown that came sliding out from underneath a rock to take my fly. This hole in particular was underneath a very dense and dark forest canopy. As you can tell by some of the pictures, it was very dark in this section of the river. It was well after 9:00 and daylight was showing no signs of infiltrating anytime soon.


As always, we continued our trek upstream fishing every nook and cranny we could find that had some current to it. This involved some creative casting such as many bow and arrow casts as well as well polished techniques, such as shawn's famous "sit down on a log and rest" tactic.


I can't make fun of his tactics too much, however, because soon afterwards he landed his own brown.


Face of an intense fly fisher, or face of a person dealing with the wrath of eating fried corn nuggets? I'll let you decide.

07-15-2007, 09:31 PM
Soon afterwards, our thoughts turned to completing our grand slam with hopes of both of us achieving our first ones on the same day. Knowing we would have to do something to achieve this, we cheated and drove way upstream and fished the upper reaches of the oconaluftee, also known as beech flats prong. We found this to be a delightful little stream that, again, with the right amount of water could be a magnificent place to go. After fishing here for about an hour, we had managed some more fish but the brookie had eluded us. We had went to all this effort to get a brook and the only thing we had managed was a few rainbows and a glorious fall on the way back.


It was an excellent little mini vacation to get away and catch some fish. Every stream that was fished was gorgeous and looked like there could be some nice fish in there. Hope everyone else got to get out and enjoy the outdoors this weekend.


07-15-2007, 09:44 PM

I missed the Grand Slam in the other direction on Saturday. Got 3 brookies and 3 rainbows but missed the brown. Caught the 6 on the upper parts of the Little Pigeon and went to Little River to try to finish off the slam but had no luck. Maybe another day.

Good fishing to you!

swipper 74
07-15-2007, 10:17 PM
Oh my gosh! I have never laughed so hard before reading a thread (this one and the other about Straight Fork)! Tears were coming out of my eyes! Can't say I didn't warn you about the corn though.

07-15-2007, 10:19 PM

I enjoyed your report and pictures as I did not make it out this weekend. I was dying to get out and try my blackbirds, but when the alarm went off early saturday morning I was enjoying my bed too much to get up and go. Later that morning I told my wife , " It's a lot easier to get up when I'm meeting Craig, as opposed to when I'm going alone." Anyway, I'm saving my new flies for our next trip. I also tied up a few more tennis ball weenies for our next trip as well. Glad you guys had a good time this weekend. Keep me posted about your upcoming schedule so we can hit the stream again.


07-16-2007, 01:27 PM
You don't have to warn me about the fried corn nuggets, they didn't bother me a bit! I was a little disappointed we didn't get the slam, though. It would have really been neat for us both to get our first slam on the same day. Oh well, i guess there is always going to be a next time.

Matt, we'll hopefully get to go sometime soon. I see that you had to tie some more tennis ball weenies up after it's succesful debut on our last trip. Maybe next time we can hit up that great brookie stream i was telling you about......bring your climbing gear!


07-19-2007, 01:54 AM
I know what you mean about missed strikes...I had 15-20 strikes on Straight Fork on Sunday, and managed 2 fish out of it.