View Full Version : Noland Creek Skunking

10-15-2007, 09:37 AM
It had to happen sooner or later...

Since way back in the early Spring I have had the best (most consistent) results fishing in the whole time I have been flyfishing (since '92). This year I caught my first fish in the Park (near Tremont) and steadily improved as the year went on. All-in-all I think I've fished about 35+ times since early March and always managed to catch at least a few fish on slow days and do quite a bit better on good days.

Well yesterday I tried to fish a new stream and got skunked. I headed over to Noland Creek to try the section from the bridge up to Bearpen Branch. The water looked pretty good, but as I starting fishing I could tell the water was way down (like every other stream in the Park). There didn't appear to be anywhere for the fish to hide. The stream was very shallow. Most of the riffles were too small to hold any fish of any size. That coupled with the fact the water temp was 50 degrees made dry flyfishing out of the question. I guess the drop of 10 degrees in the stream in a couple of days may have put most of the fish on the bottom.

I had only a handful (2-3) of weak strikes during the 4hrs I was there, and to be honest, hardly even saw any fish. I usually chase a few fish from pool to pool when I stumble clumsily up a stream, but I think I saw/spooked only two fish the whole time. At one point I was actually hiking up the stream to see if I could spook any fish! No Luck. From all that I have heard, I know Noland Creek is a fairly productive stream, but because of the the dropping water temps/low levels/my insistence to fish dries/first time on the stream (pick one or more) the skunk was on.

In some ways it probably was for the best. Noland Creek is a long way from Maryville and had I really torn'em up I would have been tempted to make the drive more often...(over the Dragon-both ways). I had been getting a bit jaded, I suppose, and the fishing gods decided to bring me back to reality. On the upside, Noland Creek is a picturesque stream and the fall colors are really starting to come into their own. If I had to get skunked, it was pretty good place to be.

Also, Fontana looks scary low. I'm not sure how the ferry boat can take folks over to Eagle and Hazel Creeks without an extension ladder to get them up (50'?) to the shore.

10-15-2007, 04:25 PM

Tough day! Finally got my son out to WPLR and came close to a skunk myself in the three hours we were there. One 3 incher in a pool where my son had caught three and missed a couple of others. Finally towards the end caught a 10" rainbow - nice fish, big relief. My son ended up with 5 - not bad considering the water up there - lowest I've seen it all year. If it comes some rain this week, hope to head up to Road Fork.

Better luck next time.

10-15-2007, 09:10 PM

I feel your pain. I came down yesterday and only have 2 days to fish this trip. Today I tried Little River between Metcalf and Elkmont, then went into Elkmont to one of my favorite pools. Finally caught 2 little trout, one brown, one bow. :redface: Water is so low!

Also, as I walked along the road above Metcalfe looking for a place to climb down, I saw 2 large trout below me. One spooked immediately and the other a few seconds later. I was on the road, high above them, but they saw me or at least they saw the movement.

Tough fishing conditions.......Tomorrow I may drive over to the Pigeon and look for more water.

10-16-2007, 12:02 AM
obviously the conditions aren't optimal right now, but for some reason, I've never done too great on noland. to be honest, I can't remember if I've even ever caught a fish there or not. but it's supposedly wonderful, so I'm sure I'll end up fishing it some more.

10-16-2007, 09:13 PM
We drove to Pigeon, fished at Chimneys Trail, then back to the picnic grounds. There is water but it is low, gin clear and the trout are so spooky. We watched several eyeball my fly but never move to eat it. Fished one of the quiet walkways above Sugarlands on the way home. Waste of my time.

My knees are destroyed from trying to "stay low". I wore my drab green shirt, khaki pants and a camo hat. But I still didn't catch anything near big enough to call a fish.

Going home tomorrow. Won't get any time off again until November. Maybe it will have rained by then. What a disappointing trip...:frown:

10-17-2007, 09:03 AM

Sorry to hear that you had similar results to mine. I guess thats why we don't lose interest in fishing. If we always did well, we would probably get bored after a while, and take up some other hobby. Knowing that you could catch 60 fish or get skunked on any given day is what makes fishing such a great hobby. The unknown.