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jgduckhunter
09-02-2007, 09:52 PM
I finally got my first chance to fish for trout in the Smokies Sat. It was great even with no fish. I had several hits but no hook-ups. I'll do better next time. Ididn't have long to fish because my wife had me a full day of shopping planned. it was also my first visit to LRO. Byron you have a beautiful store and a very friendly wife. I was quite impressed.

jgduckhunter
09-02-2007, 10:17 PM
one thing i forgot to ask was after i tried a yellow stimulator i went to a yellow elk hair caddis what should i have done next if i had more time a nymph?

nvr2L8
09-02-2007, 10:21 PM
Duckhunter,

Where were you fishing?

ijsouth
09-02-2007, 10:46 PM
I would have tried a yellow parachute adams...we made several trips up to the mountains this summer, and it worked every time. I was up last weekend, and they definitely liked it, and a very small - #18 Mr Rapidan...last weekend, it seemed like they wanted a more subdued fly - perhaps that's changed with the rain this week.

nvr2L8
09-02-2007, 10:53 PM
ijsouth,

Parachute Adams is just what I was going to suggest to the Duckhunter. I have tried several different flies and have had the best success with the yellow PA #16. The trout do seem to shy away from the more complex flies sometimes, especially in the larger sizes.

Have not tried the Mr. Rapidan - what's it like?

jgduckhunter
09-02-2007, 11:02 PM
i'm not sure which prong it is but i was a little ways above tremont it was also the first time i had been on that road even though i've been by it several times. how far does it go after it turns to gravel and how far up can you fish?

ijsouth
09-02-2007, 11:05 PM
nvr2L8: It's very similar to an Adams - it's actually designed to imitate a March Brown, but, like an Adams, it's "neutral" enough to pass for a wide variety of flies. Its distinguishing characteristic is the yellow hackles up top, for visibility. Last weekend was the first time I've fished one in a while - the brookies and bows on Cosby seemed to want that one more than anything - it was probably because of the size I was fishing. The next day, I fished Straight Fork with the PA and did pretty well, too.

jgduckhunter: You were fishing the Middle Prong of Little River - the general area is known as Tremont. A little past the institute, the road turns to gravel. If you continue on the road, I think to the 7 mile mark or so, the road ends at a parking area - trailhead parking for the Middle Prong trail. The stream splits into its two major feeder streams at this point - Lynn Camp Prong and Thunderhead Prong. Both prongs fish very well. A portion of Lynn Camp Prong will be closed next year in an effort to restore brook trout to the stream.

I've never fished it below the gravel...and I haven't fished it since the latest stretch of dry weather. I fished it back in June, and even then the water was a bit on the warm side. I caught my first Smokies trout there at the parking area.

nvr2L8
09-02-2007, 11:25 PM
Duckhunter,

If you go up Lynn Camp Prong as ijsouth described (cross the footbridge at the top of the gravel road and go up the river to your left), you will come to a tall cascade after a relatively short walk up the trail. Above the cascade is some excellent fishing. This is the area that will be closed for brookie stocking after this year. I have also not fished this area since before the drought and don't know whether recent rains have helped this part of the river enough to make it as fishable as before. There were some pictures posted of this prong including the cascades about a week ago that were pretty sad looking. But when the water is good, this is an excellent place to fish.

So, you've got a great location and two good fly choices here, the yellow Parachute Adams and Mr. Rapidan - the latter sounds like one that I need to give a try.

Tight lines. :smile:

jgduckhunter
09-02-2007, 11:32 PM
i was only 3 or 4 hundred yards above where it switches to gravel when i parked but i fished up for a mile or so just hitting the little pools as i went. i saw alot of trout every where i fished they were very spooky for what i'm used to. i have read some stuff Byron wrote on the fishing report about wearing camo and hiding which i tried to do but i wasn't prepared for how spooky the fish really were. they sure ain't stockers

ijsouth
09-02-2007, 11:45 PM
You definitely need to be sneaky...this time of year, I try to dress in greens - definitely nothing splashy. Keep low and use the rocks when you can.

The biggest benefit for subdued clothing and a sneaky approach is the chance to get close to the fish. This in turn allows you to keep your cast as short as possible, and therefore you have more control over your fly. When I'm fishing in real close quarters, I'm really only flipping out a short length of fly line and the leader, and when the fly hits the water, I try to keep as much of the leader out of the water as possible. Drag is the primary reason for not getting strikes; if you make a drag-free presentation, you stand an excellent chance at getting a strike.

jgduckhunter
09-03-2007, 12:02 AM
do the trout get less spooky when the water is higher and if so how much higher does it get in that area i mean in normal conditions not after a big downpour or something.

ijsouth
09-03-2007, 12:07 AM
Well, I fished it a lot this past winter on our trips up there, and back then the water was fairly high and moving; however, I've only been fishing the park for about a year - and by all accounts, last winter was very dry, as was the spring for the most part. It's certainly easier to creep up the fish when they can neither see nor hear you due to the white water. Even if this was a "normal" year, the streams would probably be at their lowest right now anyway, and that makes for skitterish fish. Shadows will really put them down. I spooked a bunch last weekend, including a few really nice fish.

Flying Trout
09-03-2007, 12:14 AM
I will fish ripples a lot of time with a high riding fly for this reason. When the water is flowing slower and clearer as it is now it does not allow for as many mistakes. When I'm fishing the ripples you get a little room for mistakes. ijsouth is very correct in talking about the amount of line in the water. I try to avoid having any of my fly line in the water and as little of leader and tippet as possible.

jgduckhunter
09-03-2007, 12:19 AM
how far up does it become wild trout only. i assume that was what i was seeing but they stock farther down don't they? also what size do the wild ones get up to when they are considered a good fish

ijsouth
09-03-2007, 12:31 AM
Everywhere within the park is wild trout; some stockers move into the park from outside, and indeed that is how the park got browns in the first place, but no stocking takes place within the park, and hasn't since the 70s. While I'm no expert, I think I can safely say that I haven't caught any stockers in the park. I like that - it makes me feel like I'm really fishing, instead of just "harvesting" what amounts to a farmed animal. The sense of accomplishment is so much greater, even if the size isn't.

As for size, anything over 6 inches is a nice wild fish for me. The best I've done so far is a 10 inch rainbow, along with a couple of browns in the 8-9 inch range. There are a lot of fishermen on this board with a lot more experience than I, who have caught some truly large fish - there are some large brown trout in the larger streams. I've never fished Abrams (with three kids, I've shied away from it due to its reputation as a VERY slick stream) - it is probably the best stream for getting a rainbow over 12 inches, due to its increased fertility. Generally, the lower the stream, the bigger it is, and the fertility is increased - hence, bigger fish. I tend to fish the smaller streams, and I love going for the brookies, so I catch a lot of smaller fish. Keep in mind that the Smokies are primarily a small trout fishery; the waters are not very fertile, tend to run on the acidic side, and therefore the fish just don't have as much to eat. Couple that with the fact that life in these freestone streams is tough, and the average life span is rather short - under 5 years. With the exception of the big brown trout, these fish just don't have very long to get big. However, these fish make up for it with their colors and their "stream smarts".

jgduckhunter
09-03-2007, 12:41 AM
i agree with your opinion on wild trout, but i can't make some of my friends understand i would rather try to catch a 6 in. fish when i know i can go catch 15 or 16 in fish. that was only the second time i have got to fish for wild trout but i loved both times i have done it . i have caught trout below center hill dam that i know have been released a long time but it still isn't the same. what you were saying about keeping all the line possible off the water i think i did pretty good on that part but i was using 4x tippet and wishing i had 6x. i've never had the need to go that small before but as soon as i left i got some.

ijsouth
09-03-2007, 12:56 AM
I generally stay in the 5x-6x range; I've read a lot of opinions to the effect that you really don't have to go that light normally, but again, I fish a lot of small waters where the fish can be very skitterish, particularly now. I was using 7x last weekend. The one big advantage of the heavier stuff is getting flies out of trees, etc - rhododendron is particularly tough.

nvr2L8
09-03-2007, 10:03 AM
I have gone almost exclusively to 6X tippet at the end, particularly with the water low and clear and have caught fish regularly. Maybe I could catch a few more with 7X but 6X is about as fine as I care to work with. Tough enough tying on a fly like a PA with all the fuzz around the top with 6X. As to clothes, my standard garb is green paints, brown shirt. That's as close to camo as you really need.

DH, don't let the guys convince you that size matters. Unless you're depending on the fish you catch for food, the sport of the small ones and their fight/ounce is quite enough fun for anyone. I like the analogy to farm animals - never thought of it that way but what's the sport in that?

pineman19
09-03-2007, 10:27 AM
Hello Duckhunter,

If your willing to walk a few miles try the Upper Lynn Camp Prong above the junction with Panther Creek. It's a very pretty area, not to many fisherman are up that high, and there are some willing fish. Lynn Camp is one of my favorite streams, I hope the brookie restoration goes well since I have never had a bad day on this stream.

Enjoy,

Neal

David Knapp
09-03-2007, 11:32 AM
Try a #14 Tellico nymph and fish around the fastest water (and adjacent pockets and slow spots) you can find...the fish will respond!