View Full Version : Brown Trout in Abrams

10-26-2007, 12:43 PM
I noticed from the fishing report today that Byron says that the Browns are gone from Abrams. That is a shame; there were once some huge ones in there. Does anyone have any idea what happened?

Byron Begley
10-26-2007, 01:36 PM
Hi Snaildarter,

It's a mystery. I helped the Park Service shock Abrams the last time they found brown trout. That was probably 8 to 10 years ago. One of them was a 7 pounder. As I recall though, we didn't get any small browns. Walter and I were talking about this a few minutes ago. He can't remember ever catching any small brown trout in Abrams Creek. The Park Service doesn't have the answer. I have a theory. Maybe some local person stocked a few over a period of years and they just never reproduced. When the stocking stopped they disappeared.


10-26-2007, 01:46 PM
Yeah that is definitely a mystery indeed. I remember hugh hartsell telling me that there used to be some big ones in there but for some reason they just didn't reproduce at all. Surely it wouldn't have anything to do with the pH but who knows.

All this talk of abrams has me itching to get back over there now.......


Rog 1
10-26-2007, 03:16 PM
I can remember when there wasn't a brown to be found in the park....ages me I guess....can still remember huge rainbows up Fish Camp Prong in some of the lower pools that would today be labeled "big browns" in a knee jerk reaction.

10-27-2007, 10:15 AM
Hmm. Sounds like they never reproduced in there to begin with; I didn't know that.

There was apparently stocking up until 1975. Maybe a few managed to spawn successfully just enough to hang on for a few decades before finally succumbing. Or maybe Byron is right about the vigilante stocking.

I think it would be fascinating to know why Browns don't thrive in there. Seems perfect for them to me. Maybe it was simply a strain that wasn't well-matched for the type of Abrams' spawning habitat. I suspose it is not so bad, since they weren't native to begin with. Still... big Browns are an awfully fun target.

Rog 1, I didn't realize that there were large rainbows in any other stream in the Park but Abrams. Do you think a few are still up there in Fish Camp Prong? Do you know of other streams inside the park that can grow a 18-inch Rainbow (excluding any that might run up from a lake)? I used to fish FCP a lot, but I never saw a big one. I've always thought, maybe incorrectly, that you have to have fertile, high pH water to get large rainbows, or maybe lake habitat where they can gorge on fish. In my mind, the way that some of the Browns are able to get big inside the Park while in such sterile water is that at some size, they learn to sneak around at night and gobble up shiners, Rainbows, crayfish, and anything else that moves in their pool. I can't imagine Rainbows doing that.

David Knapp
10-27-2007, 10:39 AM
Little River can produce rainbows close to that size. I've caught them in the 16-17 inch range although it is rare...

Rog 1
10-29-2007, 09:40 AM
Snaildarter....The large rainbows I mentioned on FCP were seen many years ago...I have caught bows up to 13" up there and once hooked one that would have been at least 18"..... had one this spring miss my fly and came all the way out of the water that would have gone 12-14".....there is a series of large plunge pools up FCP that would hold some monster trout but I think from the terminal tackle found in the rodds and laurels I think the bait fishermen got most of them.....there are still some big bows on WPLP....have taken bows to 16" from there.....between HQ and C's picnic area....

10-29-2007, 10:33 PM
Good to know. Thanks P.A. and Rog. It is hard to believe that bait fishers still go to all the trouble of going up such a place as FCP. Why don't they just do the easy thing and go after all the stockers around some place like Gatlinburg?

10-29-2007, 11:10 PM
It is hard to believe that bait fishers still go to all the trouble of going up such a place as FCP. Why don't they just do the easy thing and go after all the stockers around some place like Gatlinburg?

Up until this last trip, I would share your sentiments. We were fishing the upper stretches of Straight Fork, above the bridge crossing - now, that's at least 6 miles in from the park boundary, and it's a ways away from anything. We were coming out of the woods and were walking on the road back to the car, when we ran across a biker on the side. He asked us if we were using corn; both my oldest daughter and I politely informed this man that bait is illegal in the park, etc, etc. He then proceeded to argue with us about that - he insisted that those rules didn't apply to every stream. I'm glad I didn't see this guy with any fishing gear. The irony is, we headed down the road a bit, stopped to fish, and a park ranger pulled up and checked my license (I was glad to see that - you hardly ever see a game warden down here).

I have noticed the odd bait rig suspended from the foliage, even in some fairly isolated areas. I have to think a lot of it is ignorance, but there really isn't much excuse, especially along a roadside stream...there are fishing reg signs every few feet. Also, every hotel I've stayed at in the area has tons of brochures on the fishing in Cherokee, etc...plenty of places for the bait dunkers.

Rog 1
10-30-2007, 08:58 AM
I have come across terminal tackle hanging around large pools that is bigger than some of the stuff I surf fish with during the summer.....my grandfather first showed me the "stick bait" that was a favorite with the locals....they would add the caddis larvae to a skimpy wet fly and high stick the morsels.....very effective.....two years ago I had a lady ranger watch me fish on Collins Creek with my son....checked my license and asked about any fish I might have....first time in over a decade that anyone had actually watched me with an eye toward regulations.....used to be the rangers were very proactive in enforcement...can remember one ranger telling me that he had stopped two locals coming out of FCP with over 100 trout and only a dozen where legal.....not enough money to do this these days.