View Full Version : Road Prong Report

08-12-2007, 09:20 AM
Met up with my buddy Neal White (pineman) today. It was a beautiful morning and I had to stop by LRO on my way in to the park. I got to the trail head a little early and checked the water temp it was 63 at the bridge. Neal showed up and we began fishing at the trail head. I almost immediately spotted wet tracks from another fisherman. It's usually a bad sign but we decided to fish it anyway and we managed to pick up about a dozen brookies between us in three hours.

We decided to break for lunch and head down to the main river (West Prong of Little P) in the afternoon. We fished at the picnic area for about two hours between 5 pm and 7 pm. The water temp was 64 down there. Caught a couple of brookies and some bows. The fish was hiding in whatever hole they could find. The water temps are ok, but we need rain real bad. The water level is getting critical.

Neal's Brookie

Neal White on Road Prong (pineman)

08-12-2007, 09:46 AM
Hans, did you all hike up to near the intersection of the Road Prong Trail and the Chimney Tops trail? If so, I'm sorry. I was the wet booted fisherman ahead of you. I started in on the last bridge on the Chimney Tops Trail at about 11am and took out before the big waterfall, just before the bridge on Road Prong about 3:30p.

When I started at 11am, the water was 62, although I don't have a digital thermometer, so there is at least a +/- 2 degree range. When I left, the water was at 63. The air temp was between 62 and 75 all day down along the stream/trail.

I hiked in from up above and tried fishing a few spots on the way out, above the bridge, but was quickly gassed from the uphill hike and didn't fish much of it. The spot from the Waterfall to the Bridge looks interesting. I may try that again sometime.

Sorry to fish in front of you. Hopefully the fish weren't too spooked when you came through. I was amazed at how often there were pools that 3-5 fish could be caught out of, without spooking the other fish. The water is very, very low. We need some rain.

08-12-2007, 02:39 PM
yep we were behind you. Fishing was actually ok anyway. It would have been great with normal water levels but under the circumstances it was not too bad.

We stopped at the second bridge at about 4 pm or so. It was amazing how the air temp was so much cooler at the Road prong area compare to around the picnic area.

Did you notice how badly the hemlocks are dying? I saw that white adelgid stuff all over. That's going to kill our streams when there's no canopy to shield the water from the sun. I'm praying that the hemlocks can come back but it doesn't look good.

08-12-2007, 09:16 PM
I didn't notice the white adelgid in the Hemlocks. Was it everywhere or just near the bridge/trailhead? Its amazing how much the plant life changes from there up to Clingmans Dome Rd. At the top its mostly a pine forest and in a few areas in between, there are huge expanses of ferns and mosses all across the hillside.

Something that I did see that looked very alarming up high, was at the point the trail passes back and forth across the stream (trickle really). The stream at that point was covered in a heavy orange silt. There were a few very pathetic looking brookies at that point, but I have no idea how they could survive. And I couldn't tell where the orange silt was coming from. It covered the stream bed for about 100 yds and none of the bank areas looked orange, so it must have come from some underground location, into the stream. Up above it, it was fine again, but along and through the path crossing area, it looked very bad.

I didn't recognize the pool from your picture, it must have been close to where you all entered the stream (if the timestamp is correct). I started at 11am, and if my footprints where still wet, you must have been close behind. [edit: forget the previous comment, I actually know exactly the pool that Neal is standing in. I caught a 9" brookie - The largest of the day for me from about where his left boot is. I actually caught 3 or 4 from that pool, but I never waded into it - I stayed back behind the large rock on the left]

Let me know if you all head-up that way again (after we get rain, of course). I'd enjoy the company. I'd like to fish up into the canyon above the Chimney Tops Picnic Area, as well, but would rather not do it on my own, either. Send me an e-mail: at pczorno[at]us(dot)ibm(dot)com.

Anyone who's interested in half crazy backcountry fishing send me an e-mail. I don't think I can do 8-12 hrs of rock climbing/crawling like some of the younger guys on the message board (you all know who you are...I did say "half" crazy), but I prefer fishing in places that most other folks don't go to very often (like the upper parts of the WP of LP, etc), that are not very smart to do on your own...

08-13-2007, 08:11 AM

That was a beautiful Brookie. Glad you had a good day.

08-13-2007, 04:01 PM
that "orange silt" is a leaching from the acidic iron ore in the area. it has a name, begins with an "a" but is escaping me right now. it does kill aquatic life.

08-13-2007, 04:46 PM
I know 2 names for it: yellow boy and acid mine drainage. Maybe AMD is the term you were looking for, even though I don't think that area was mined. You mostly get it when the rocks are disturbed (like road construction), but it sometimes occurs naturally in lime-poor areas (like most of the Smokies). And you are right; it is no good for aquatic life. Some rivers, like the West Fork of the Obey River, are completely dead for many miles from it.

08-13-2007, 04:59 PM
anakeesta....that's the name

08-13-2007, 07:20 PM
We fished from about 11:45 until 4 pm or so. We took out before the first bridge. The brookie by the way was taken out of that nice hole where you caught some. Neal got him on the second cast. I think he missed him first time. The fish was about 7 inches not too bad. I'm not planning any mountain fishing until we get some rain. I'll let you know. I will definitely visit a few spots this fall. Can't wait until everything cools off.

08-13-2007, 08:19 PM
The reddish-orange-brown is leaching that comes from manganese that occurs in the areas of iron ore.