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metalman709
01-30-2008, 06:57 PM
i'm relatively new to trout fishing so any advice is appreciated. i am a long time bass angler though so i'm not entirely green. i am from a long line of good ole' country boys, so we haven't got into the fly fishing part of this yet, that is to say we still use the corn and night crawler tactics. we are planning a trip up towards the townsend area around mid-april, just an over-night camping trip, so any advice about where to fish, camp, and what to use would be greatly appreciated. their will be maybe 15 of us in all, and i want it to be a successful trip. thanks again..

nvr2L8
01-30-2008, 09:49 PM
Two great options for group camping and fishing that are within 20 minutes or so of Townsend (and Little River Outfitters which needs to be your first stop) are:

Elkmont Campground with the Little River running right through it (easy access to waters with both rainbows and browns) and
Cades Cove campground with a short drive around the CC loop road to Abrams Creek (great rainbow waters)If you're going to camp with a large group you better start now making reservations - the campgrounds fill up quickly.

As to what to use, check out the following thread http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9663 This is the best set of info on favorite flies and several include seasonal selections.

David Knapp
01-30-2008, 10:27 PM
Uhhh, I believe he said they want to use bait...no bait allowed in the park, but they stock Little River in Townsend which would be a good option to catch some fish on corn or night crawlers. If you want to try the park, pick up some single hook spinners/spinner flies (fairly small, I believe Little River Outfitters sells these or will be able to direct you to someone who does) and try some of the larger streams. I've seen guys clean up using small spinners and you might luck into one of the bigger browns that way also. Make sure you don't have any bait with you in the park (regardless of whether you're using it or not) because the rangers won't be happy. If you want to camp in the park, then nvr2L8 made some good recommendations. There are some campgrounds in Townsend as well where you'll be right on the stream if you prefer to be closer to any conveniences and a place where it is legal to fish bait...

Good luck on your trip! That area is great and the fishing ain't bad either...;)

metalman709
01-30-2008, 10:42 PM
thank you plateau angler, i was just looking at the cades cove campground site and read that you couldn't use bait. why is that you think? maybe it's just something that i'm missing but i just can't understand why you can't use corn...

ijsouth
01-30-2008, 10:58 PM
It's not just Cades Cove...the entire park is restricted to single-hook artificial lures. Also, there are size and creel limits; you are limited to 5 trout of any species (or in combination with smallmouth bass) per person per day, with a size limit of 7 inches. While 7 inches might not seem that long, you will find that a lot of the fish caught are between 5-6 inches. That is the primary reason for banning baits such as corn; you are far more likely to gut-hook a fish using bait, and if you have to release an undersized fish hooked that way, the survival rate isn't too good. BTW - the ban on bait includes products like Powerbait and salmon eggs.

The fish in the park are all wild fish - no stocking occurs. Part of the attraction for many people is being able to present a fly or lure in such a way as to fool these "stream-wise" fish. As others have said, the streams outside of the park boundary are stocked, either by the respective towns or the state, and have various regulations. Also, there are a number of "pay to fish" trout farms, etc, where you can catch a messload of fish to bring home.

metalman709
01-30-2008, 11:16 PM
thank you for that information ijsouth.....good to know

ijsouth
01-30-2008, 11:32 PM
No problem...if you're looking for numbers, the park probably isn't the place for that, at least if you aren't familiar with fishing there, as everyone is at one time or another. I think just about everyone on this board can speak of the "learning curve" one goes through in learning to fish in these freestone streams; I know from my experience, being from balmy and flat Louisiana, that it was completely different from any sort of fishing I had ever done before - that's probably why I fell in love with these streams. Everyone pays a price, a fishless price, for a while...but then, the lightbulb goes off, and it all just seems to click.

One thing I would recommend doing is taking a class; LRO conducts classes most of the year, for example - you can learn a tremendous amount in a far shorter period of time than if you try to figure things out yourself (I wish I had gone that route with my golf swing). Another idea is to go with a guide - much the same thing, a valuable learning experience. I find these wild fish to be so special - their brilliant colors, and the respect I have for a creature who is able to carve out a living in these streams, which are so beautiful, yet also present such a harsh environment. Here's a little story to put things in perspective with these wild fish; on Thanksgiving day, I was up in the mountains, alone, fishing my favorite stream. I had fished "up high" for brookies earlier, then, soaked to the skin and probably borderline hypothermic, I moved down the the lower stretches, near the park boundary. Now, around the edges of the park, stockers from outside of the park sometimes swim upstream into the park - they tend to be larger, but they don't have a whole lot of fight in them. I hung a couple of large (for that stream) rainbows that were basically nothing but dead weight - had to have been stocked fish. Right before I left, I hung a trout that actually started to strip line, heading UPSTREAM. When I got it to hand, it turned out to be a brilliantly colored rainbow, that was all of 7 inches...that wild fish outfought all the stockers combined.

That's why I love the park streams, and these special fish.

metalman709
01-31-2008, 11:34 PM
thanks ijsouth, great story too. i think we are thinking of going to the elk now if we can find a campsite there. your story reminds me of a story of my own, my dad and i used to fish bass tournaments back several years ago, we were fishin' hard one night on chickamauga and i noticed that all the bass we were catching just seemed lethargic, i'm assuming due to fishing pressure, then right before we packed it up i hooked into a smallmouth and man!!!!!!!!!he was only about 12 inches roughly a pound, but wow!!!!! he put up more fight than all the fish i caught that night, thus began my love for the elusive bronzeback.....thanks again for the story

nvr2L8
02-01-2008, 12:47 AM
Nice catch, David. Missed the magic "bait" clue. Those of us who fish the Smokies regularly sometimes assume that everyone knows of the restrictions. Thanks, IJ for the wild trout testimonial. Beautiful explanation of the rationale for the regulations.

MarvintheRookie
02-01-2008, 10:47 AM
"Everyone pays a price, a fishless price, for a while..."

Yeppers, my "mentor" was right in the middle of a rather long explanation of how I might have to make a couple of trips before I hung one when,,,,,,,, I hung one! LOL! It is the one in my avatar, caught that little booger about 30 minutes after first getting my feet wet.

Don't let the new fishing experience intimidate you.
Near as I have been able to tell, if you already know how to find fish in a stream/creek/river, be it Smallmouth or Catfish, You can find the Trout. Just adapt what you already know to the smaller, possibly clearer, water and the heavier fishing pressure.

The new fly equipment can be a handful, but so was that baitcaster or spinning reel the first time you picked it up. A bit of practice and you'll do fine.

Never OVER-estimate how much water it takes to hold a trout!
To illustrate,,,
*Dial up Warning* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrB0sYbbpgo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrB0sYbbpgo)

*Disclaimer* This all comes from my vast( maybe 22 hrs on the water. LOL!) Fly Fishing experience.
The author assumes no responsibility for any tackle loss, financial hardships, "skunks", or divorces, that may arise from following this advise. ;) :biggrin: