View Full Version : West Prong anyone?

08-04-2007, 02:32 AM
Whats the scoop on the West Prong of the Little River. Im thinkin about taking my dad there, just to give him a little back country feel but not to far from security of the Middle Prong, in case things dont go right. Ian Rutters and Lea Lawrence's book says one thing about the stream while a book by Jimmy Jacobs sais fishing is only fair. Any first hand experiences?

08-04-2007, 03:16 AM
I've only fished it once, and that was for about an hour the last time I was up there. I had a couple of misses, then my largest wild trout - a nice 10 inch 'bow. It's a beautiful stream - EXTREMELY clear water, at least when we were there a few weeks ago. It is filled with huge boulders, and it can wear you out in a hurry climbing over them - one big plunge pool after another. From what I've seen, it's an excellent stream, and I don't think it gets that much fishing pressure, despite running right next to the major traffic artery of the park.

I have all three books, and I know what you mean about the difference in opinions. I would definitely give that stream a try.

08-04-2007, 03:18 AM
Oops...my mistake - I thought you were talking about the West Prong of the Little Pigeon river.....from what I've read, West Prong of Little River is very underrated. I've never fished it, but everything I've read says it's full of small, but willing 'bows. Again, sorry for not reading your post more carefully - I probably need more sleep ;)

08-04-2007, 01:12 PM
And I thought I was up late surfing the message board, still thanks for the information on the WP of the Little Pigeon, I have been reading about it as well. Shoot, im open to any information about any stream ;-)

08-05-2007, 07:58 AM
I have only fished it a few times (3), and I've had a wide range of outcomes.

In the late spring I hiked into campsite#18 and fished for about two hours and caught quite a few little rainbows. The water temp was great and the water flow was good. There was nobody there and the hike in, isn't too bad.

I've fished two other times in the summer, when the water was lower and the temp was up and I didn't catch a thing (once off the rd to Cades Cove and the other time from campsite #18.)

If you wait until the Fall, or if we have a week of rain and lower temps, you could give it a shot. Its a lower elevation stream (1600' at #18, if I remember right) so it is susceptible to heat more than others.

But it is a nice little hike and the fishing can be good with the right conditions. I would fish above the campsite. Use a Parachute Adams and you should do well, but wear dark and use stealth! The water is usually very clear.

08-05-2007, 09:48 PM
Fished in and above the Chimney Tops Picnic Area yesterday (55 minute drive from Maryville - with no traffic). Was the first car in the parking area at 8am and the water was a nice 61 degrees. Caught a few 8" rainbows right above the bridge and started working up the stream catching a few more fish before the crowds of picnicers arrived, screaming and yelling and throwing rocks. So I hiked up the trail and started fishing the Gorge above. Caught about 10 more fish, all rainbows except for one really nice 8" brookie. All of them were on either a #14 PA or a #16 Olive EHC (ran out of yellow flies). The new TFO 3wt overlined with 4wt line was nice on some of the small pools (Thanks LRO...of course I had to pay for it, but thanks for having it...)

Hiked back down into the masses at the picnic area. Every table and parking spot was crammed full. Everyone enjoying the wilderness...

The stream was in great shape, but the weather looks to have changed into full Summer mode. May have to skip the park for a few weeks...If I can wait that long:eek:

08-06-2007, 03:40 AM
We were right above you, fishing the Road Prong for a short stretch - we didn't hike very far in. It was the first time my daughter and I "performed" in front of an audience - interesting to say the least. I caught a couple of pretty brookies, and my daughter a tiny bow. There was one pool where I was able to get several hits, but a branch prevented me from getting a good hook set.

That was my first experience with the Road Prong - it's a very pretty stream, and it didn't take us long to lose the crowds.

08-06-2007, 08:31 AM
IJ, I thought you ran out of vacation?

Tell me you didn't drive up just for the weekend? (I guess that's a rhetorical question....)

Did you fish right from the Chimney Tops trailhead (right below the parking area) or did you hike up to the Road Prong trail?

08-06-2007, 09:43 AM
Ok...answers in order:

1. Yes, just for the weekend - however, it wasn't just to fish. I'm looking at some land in the area, and I wanted to take a look at some of it. Of course, I happened to pack my gear as well ;).

2. We hiked up from the trailhead a bit, to the third bridge; I had planned to go all the way to the split with Road Prong trail, but decided with the limited time we had to go ahead and fish. We fished a short stretch, all the way up to a pretty good sized waterfall - very pretty water.

We later moved down the West Prong and fished a bit; I picked up a bow and another small brookie, which was a bit of a surprise, given the elevation.

08-06-2007, 12:01 PM
ijsouth: I have caught Brookies as far down as Cambell Overlook. That's 3 miles plus downstream from the picnic area.

08-06-2007, 01:07 PM
Well, we were just above that, so that would make sense...everything you read in the books, though, says to go higher...definitely no complaints - I'm glad to see brookies and bows co-existing.

08-06-2007, 08:35 PM
The area you're talking about has become my favorite place to fish over the last few weeks. Water has been good all summer and I've caught a nice mix of bows and brooks. #16 PA (yellow and standard) has been my weapon of choice and it's worked well up through there. Beautiful river and lots of fun hopping the rocks all the way up past the Chimney Tops trailhead.

Hope to see you up there (need nametags that say "Hi, my name is LRO Handle").

08-06-2007, 09:10 PM
Charlie, I drive a 92 Ford Explorer (gold colored...sort of...at least it was a decade ago!). If you see me say hello, I'd prefer to share the stream and not worry about sliding off a rock and cracking my noggin'...

Its a great place and its closer to Maryville than I thought it was.

08-06-2007, 09:43 PM
I'm normally up there on Fridays (scheduled day off). If you ever plan on going up on a Friday, drop me a line on my email and we can hook up ahead of time - the company would be welcome. I drive a blue Xterra. If you just happen to be up that way, come on down - the company is welcome.