View Full Version : last weekend in september
09-03-2007, 07:24 PM
I'll be in the smokies the last weekend in september.Can anybody give me a headsup on what flies to bring with me?I usually come two or three times a year fishing but never this late in the year.I usually fish around the start of the park from gatlinburg, and around greenbriar.Can anybody tell me anymore easy places to fish?
09-03-2007, 09:03 PM
Good question - I would think anything tending to the light side would be ok, like a yellow parachute Adams. You might have to keep them on the small side, if the water is low and the fish are a bit skitterish.
Greenbriar will probably be good...the West Prong of the Little Pigeon ought to be good as well, and if you want brookies, Cosby is really good. Of course, everything is predicated on the weather - hopefully, the mountains will continue to get some showers.
09-03-2007, 09:57 PM
Just about anything yellow should still be good. And terrestrials... don't forget ants and hoppers hoppers because they should still be working... especially ants. But I'd also pack a few orange stimulators. You'll be at a transition time. as we get more into fall, orange will begin to replace yellow as the go to color for the Smokies. Try a size 14 orange stimulator with a size 16 BHPT dropped off the bend or a size 14 or 16 Tellico dropped off the bend.
Good luck!! Let us know how it goes...
09-03-2007, 10:16 PM
Orange, huh? I'll have to remember that. I would like to get up there sometime in October, since I haven't fished the Smokies during peak fall time; I started last November, over Thanksgiving, but the leaves were already long gone by then.
09-03-2007, 10:45 PM
Lemme know when you're headed up. Like to meet up with you and the girls. I've been meaning to tell you how much I admire your dedication to this area. I made my first trip to the Florida panhandle this summer and I now have a real appreciation for the amount of road time you've been clocking. I honestly don't know how you do it!?
09-03-2007, 11:13 PM
Halloween!!! I think is what thats all about...the fish celebrating the holiday! It works so well, its scary! Excuse the pun...It is a really good pattern in the month of Late Sept. thru the last of October while the leaves turn and fall!
09-03-2007, 11:30 PM
Thanks Gerry...I sure will, if we're able to make it up. It's tough once school and extra-curriculars sink their hooks into them, but if the conditions are ok, we're going to try, because otherwise I doubt we'll be up until after Easter.
I've always loved the mountains; while my family has been in the New Orleans area since circa 1845, I was actually born in Washington D.C. (a fact I don't normally like to broadcast). Anyway, when I was little, we used to drive to SNP all the time on weekends - I always loved the sight of the Blue Ridge rising in the distance. Anyway, even though my dad and I used to go fishing quite often, we never fished the streams there. My dad's office moved down to the gulf coast, so he got to go home, and I got into the various types of fishing down here, both fresh and salt water. Fast-forward to last year, when I was planning a trip back up to Virginia. For some reason, I decided to buy a fly rod and try the fishing. Two 6 inch brook trout later, and I was hopelessly hooked. I started fishing the Smokies, primarily because they are a lot closer to home than northern Virginia. Now, I've come to enjoy the Smokies even more, because of the variety - SNP is almost entirely a brook trout fishery, but in the Smokies you can never be totally sure what you might catch. There's more variety in the streams themselves, too - from fairly big water to the small headwater streams. I like the small streams best - it reminds me of when I was a kid, bushwacking through swamps near where I lived. I fished Cosby last Saturday, intending on just an hour or two - I ended up spending almost 6 hours there...just totally lost track of time, and loved it.
As for the drive...I'm sick - I actually enjoy driving ;). Seriously, it isn't that bad...it seems like the longest stretch is driving through the piney woods of southeast Mississippi. Once I get into Alabama, the time seems to go by quicker.
I could go on and on, but I really love those mountains...now, I own a small piece of them - amazing what some colorful little fish can do....
09-03-2007, 11:50 PM
Gerry....if you want to shoot me an email:
09-05-2007, 07:48 PM
I probably have fished the west prong and cosby,but I can't remember excacully where they are located can someone tell me how to get to them?
09-05-2007, 08:04 PM
The West Prong of the Little Pigeon is easy - it runs right along the road (Newfound Gap road, or U.S. 441, although it is usually out of sight in the park), from Gatlinburg all the way to its start at the Chimneys trailhead. You can park at one of the turnouts - look for the "quiet walkways" - they lead down to the stream. It is a gorgeous stream, but it will wear you out - a bunch of huge boulders, and they tend to be slick.
Cosby Creek flows out of the park into the little community of Cosby, Tennessee. Head east on U.S. 321 out of Gatlinburg - about a 20-30 minute drive. When you get to the junction with Tennessee 32 (post office on your right), take a right. In about a mile and a half, on your right, you'll see the road leading into the park for the Cosby campground. Drive into the park, and in a couple of miles you'll see a large parking area/picnic area on your left. You can park and start fishing right there, or you hike upstream a ways to the Mt Cammerer/Low Gap trail junctions, and fish there. You can also fish lower down on Cosby, right before it leaves the park...down low, you'll probably catch only rainbows - from the picnic area on up, is mostly brookies.
09-05-2007, 08:31 PM
Thanks man I have fished the west prong a number of times but never cosby.What about tremont?Or abrams?
09-05-2007, 08:31 PM
Wife and I coming the 16th of September. We'll take advantage of the valuable information imparted to others in this thread. Has anyone a guess as to whether wet-wading will be OK, or should we bring waders? Been watching the pictures everyone has been posting, and if it doesn't rain, maybe knee boots will be sufficient.
09-05-2007, 09:37 PM
So far I have not used waders at all and it has been very comfortable. Depending on where you're fishing, you can stay on the rocks most of the time. Actually, the only wading I have done is to get to another part of the stream. With the water temps above 60, there is really no need for the waders and I wouldn't expect to change that much in the next week and a half. Felt-soled boots a must - waders purely optional.
09-05-2007, 11:04 PM
Thanks man I have fished the west prong a number of times but never cosby.What about tremont?Or abrams?
Tremont is easy to get to...just enter the park at the Townsend entrance, hang a right at the "Y", as if you were going towards Cades Cove, then shortly, on your left, you will see the Middle Prong of Little River, followed by a road (you'll see a sign for the Smoky Mountain Institute). Take the left on the road - you're now in the Tremont area. I think most people would recommend driving at least until the road changes to gravel, at least during the time of year you're going to be fishing. You can fish along the road, or you can keep going until you reach the end of the road - the trailhead for the Middle Prong trail. There, you will see the confluence of Thunderhead Prong and Lynn Camp Prong - the Middle Prong trail goes up Lynn Camp Prong. The warmer it might be, the higher I would go. Tremont is a really nice area - it has been hurting lately with the lack of rain, but hopefully by then it will be back up to a nice level. Mostly rainbows, with a chance for a brown increasing the lower you go. Brookies are far upstream on Lynn Camp.
I've never fished Abrams - as far as I know, the easiest access is to go to Cades Cove and get on the loop. At the far end of the loop is the Abrams Falls trailhead. You can also get to Abrams from outside of the park, off of U.S. 129 via Happy Valley, but I think it's quite a slog to get to the fishable water this time of year from that direction. I would like to try Abrams sometime, because it definitely has larger fish than probably any other stream in the park. However, everything I've read and heard about Abrams warns of the slick, dangerous conditions; it's pretty much a given that you will fall, and probably many times. Abrams is richer than the typical Smokies freestone stream, because much of its headwater flow is underground, beneath Cades Cove; passing through the limestone beneath the cove increases the pH, and therefore the fertility of the water. When it emerges from the end of the cove, the streambed supports more aquatic life, including algae covering the rocks. I have three kids who are usually fishing with me, and two of them are still quite young - Abrams is just a bit out of my comfort zone with them in tow. Like I said, though...I would like to try it sometime, because that increased fertility leads to increased insect life, and therefore more food for the trout, and thus bigger fish.
09-06-2007, 08:36 AM
I have fished the park the first week in October for the last 30+ years and have wet waded without problems.....every once in a while early mornings might get a little nippy....have traditionally fished in shorts but have found that the nylon fishing pants are the key.....light, quick drying and keep the bugs and briars at bay.....enjoy and let us know how you found the water.
09-06-2007, 07:30 PM
Thank you, Charlie and Rog, both. I will try to find those pants. My wife says she wants something besides skin, to protect her legs. We used to buy fishing clothes at LRO, but since they've dropped clothing and millinery, who in area would have the pants?
09-06-2007, 07:51 PM
If you are coming through Maryville, try Little River Trading Company. It is on the right about a half mile past Blount Memorial Hospital. I have two pairs of nylon pants with the zip off legs that I bought there and they are great to fish in and comfortable as just all around casual wear.
09-07-2007, 08:50 AM
That's great to know, Charlie. I do thank you for your kindness. We are coming through Knoxville, from Ky., but due to the Rod Show in PF, will be coming through Maryville, so this is indeed perfect news. We'll stop there on the way. We used to fish in October, (around the 14th) because we always returned on our anniversay, but the water was often numbing cold and often very low, so we began moving up the dates. We've been trying to come since June, but Byron kept saying, "You're retired?, put it off and wait." Trouble is, the whole summer went by, and we don't want it to be a whole year that goes by. The Cumberland in KY was/is in dire straits due to the work on the dam, so we were hoping for Tenn to provide a respite, but it's been bad everywhere. We spoke to people in Vermont, and they too, had a dry summer with low water. I'll let you know what we found on the pants. I hate wearing waders. If you have never read Fishless Days/ Angling Nights by Sparse Gray Hackle, I'll send you a copy. The chapters on waders will make you laugh and feel good. Let me know if you've read it, and send me your address. I never bought the neoprene kind, but they are now out of style, and the three pair I have, both stocking foot and booted, are bulky and confining, but my wife says they protect her shins and legs. She has pretty legs, so I'm all for it. OTOH, my legs tend to scare fish and small children, so scratches and bug bites don't detract from my beauty. Yet, one May we were fishing in Greenbriar near Cosby, in the primitive area near the Ranger cabin, and were driven out by snakes. They were everywhere. We saw more in a 50 yard area than we've seen in all our days astream combined. I'm gonna buy me a pair ot two of the nylon fishing pants anyway, cause I like the ideas you put forth about them. I will call LRTC today to make sure they have Ladies sizes. Kay is small (size 6) so it's often hard to find things to fit. Let me know about SGH's book.
09-07-2007, 09:33 AM
Sometimes you can find these zip off pants at Wally World and at Bass Pro Shops for sure.....we went to these mainly to protect ourselves from a particularly viral blood sucking midge that inhabits the gorge of the W. Prong of the LP in October.....only time of year that we have encountered this bug and really the only place we have come across it....good luck and enjoy.
09-07-2007, 02:32 PM
I would love to read the book. Here's my address:
1714 Linda Ln
Maryville, TN 37803
LRTC has women's sizes in virtually everything so you have a good chance of scoring there.
When you come in, try out the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River. There has been considerably more rainfall on that side of the mountain and the river is not nearly as low over there.
Look forward to having you guys back in the Smokies.:smile:
09-07-2007, 07:33 PM
What are the conditions like in Cherokee - the 'Luftee and Ravens Fork, or other Boundary Waters? Is the term Permit Waters still used to refer to the Indian waters? When we used to come in October, we ended up in Cherokee most of the time due to the big rivers having enough water. Took my first spill right there in front of God and all the tourists one evening in 1985. No one had yet told me about the elves who go around greasing the rocks. Nothing hurt but my pride. People did ask me where I got all the sun on my face. Little did they know it was embarrassment. It's hard to act cool when you're soaking wet.
09-07-2007, 08:40 PM
I found LRTC on the net. At least I found their phone number and address; but I cannot find a web site for them. Do you know if they have one? I was going to peruse their site before I called them.
PS Book will be in your hands within either ten days, or three weeks, depending on whether it goes directly to you or comes to me first. I tried for the former. Sparse Gray Hackle, as you probably well know, is one of the most famous trout fly fishermen to ever live, and he is considered the "Dean of American fly fishermen". He is, alas, dead. The first two chapters of the book are quite humorous" but, if you long for the days of the Theodore Gordon League, and the Catskill fly fishing clubs of upstate New York, this book will have you staring out the window, day-dreaming of yesteryear. A romantic way to live that is no more, sadly.
09-07-2007, 09:59 PM
To be honest, I have never fished on the North Carolina side. There are a number of folks on the message board with experience on that side - might be worth a separate thread to get the right audience.
LRTC does not appear to have a website but here is an email address for them - email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Guess spills are part of the sport. I've taken my share. The good part of fishing remote spots is that there's no one there to see. The bad part of fishing remote spots is that there's no one there to see.
09-08-2007, 09:33 AM
I have a little experience on the NC side, not near as much as the east side. As far as the Reservation Waters, I haven't fished them at all. I have fished the Straight Fork which is a tributary of Raven Fork. You can get to this stream from Big Cove Rd., go past the Reservation fish hatchery untill you reach the back entrance to the GSNP, the road is named Straight Fork after you pass through this entrance. I have only fished this streams a few times, but it does offer the possibility of a grand slam. Rainbows and browns are common on the lower stretch, brookies become common after the stream crosses the road (to the left as your going upstream). This stream has a relatively low gradient as compared to many other Smoky streams. There is less pressure from tourists than other areas of the Park. Another NC stream I would recommend is Bradley Fork which is a tributary of the Luftee. Bradley also offers the possibilty of a grand slam if your willing to hike a few miles and fish the headwaters. Like many streams in the Smokies, the farther you hike in the fishing gets better in my opinion, and of course you'll have less contact with non-fishing tourists. The Cabin Flats area is one of the prettiest areas I have seen in the Park.
Hope this helps,
09-08-2007, 10:35 AM
Appreciate the info, Neal. Thought you were one of those who had explored the NC side a bunch. May be thinking of Jeff.
This is good info for me - as much as I had heard about Straight Fork, it's good to know how to get there.
09-08-2007, 11:21 AM
Thanks for all the info guys sorry it took so long to reply,but I have been working long hours at work so I can be off to come to the smokies.
09-08-2007, 11:29 AM
We got a brief respite from the drought a week ago but it has dried up again since then. However, between now and when you are scheduled to come, the outlook is much better. More rain, cooler temps.
Look forward to having you on our streams.
09-08-2007, 12:48 PM
I would definitely second the opinion on Straight Fork; it is a wonderful stream, and it has a little of everything. I got a slam there earlier this summer, in one relatively short stretch. I think it's about 5-6 miles from the park boundary to the bridge crossing Pineman was talking about; if you go above the bridge, you'll probably only get brookies. Lower down, it's a mix of browns and bows mostly, although I've caught brookies a fair way down the road too. The really great thing about this stream is, it seems to hold its own, even in this drought; the flow has been pretty good every time we've been there, and the temperature has been consistently in the low 60s. Looking at the map, its headwaters are way up in the mountains; I've explored a little ways up the stream above the bridge, but I would like to go further up - problem is, there's no trail above the bridge. Also, a short distance beyond the bridge, the road becomes the Balsam Mountain Gap Road, and it turns into a one-way road, so you have to turn around.
Overall, it's definitely worth the extra driving.
09-08-2007, 05:27 PM
Thanks Neal, Charlie, et al. Perfect information, much much appreciated. Neal, I know just where you say. Once, when I was new, and desparate, and skunked, and trying to show my wife how much fun this fly fishing is, and had no shame, I drove to the hatchery and caught my limit, and I didn't release them either. I probably won't go to heaven, but I never told my neighbor back home that I didn't catch them in the wild. If he was dumb enough to think a little GSMNP stream could hold trout as big as my leg, I wasn't going to disabuse him of his belief. I didn't lie, I just smiled.
You all have been a great help.
09-11-2007, 07:06 PM
Check out the thread fishing the lufty, ravens fork or nanta (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9086) under the Smoky Mountain Fishing section. Great information about fishing the North Carolina side of the Smokies.
09-14-2007, 08:15 PM
I checked it out and printed the info. We're leaving to come your way at 8:00, Sunday morning. I have your book. Debating whether to mail it, or drop it at LRO. Do you get over there very often? Trying to think of the way to get it to you fastest.
09-14-2007, 08:58 PM
It will be a couple of weeks before I can get back to LRO (was there today after fishing). Either way is fine - I'm sure they will take good care of it up there if you would rather drop it off.
BTW, fished again today without waders and still not a problem. You should be fine without.
Have a safe trip and tight lines.
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