View Full Version : Exploring

David Knapp
02-02-2008, 10:13 PM
I finally got around to checking out some new water in the Park today in my quest for lake-run fish. There weren't many fish up in the stream yet but the ones that were there were feeding heavily. I'm hoping that by the next full moon, there will be more fish running up the various streams that have these lake-run fish... Only one way to find out and I'll be back to check again soon...




It looks like something big took a chunk out of the tail on this fish...any ideas/theories on how that happened?

02-02-2008, 10:31 PM
Wow, that's a nice fish...as for what took the bite out of it, if it happened a while ago, when it was warmer, I'd say a turtle, although I can't see a turtle hanging out in the deep water of one of those lakes where those bows live.

02-02-2008, 10:51 PM
Nice fish David, you have a knack for finding them. It sure is nice to catch a quality fish on new water.

As soon as I get back from my month long midwest plant tour, I plan on hitting the streams hard. Been tying up my blue quills and quill gordons in preparation.


02-03-2008, 02:59 AM
I shouldn't have looked at those pics. Very Nice! let me know next time you go.

02-03-2008, 11:13 AM
Looks like your exploration paid off nicely. This really makes me want to move back closer to the mountains.

02-03-2008, 11:17 AM
At least somebody has time to get out fishing. Nice fish!

Byron Begley
02-03-2008, 11:20 AM
Nice fish David. Could it have been an otter?


Brian Griffing
02-03-2008, 11:43 AM
Real pretty fish. Maybe an eagle? Maybe the eagle spotted him while the fish was still in the lake, near the surface. The fish saw him coming at the last moment and dove down for deeper water, and the eagle came up with a small piece of fin in his talon.
Who knows? But definitely an interesting question. Sitting around speculating about stuff like this is often more fun than actually knowing the real answer.

David Knapp
02-03-2008, 02:20 PM
Byron, I was thinking about either an otter or perhaps a musky but I'm not sure if they are in the lake where this fish would have come from.

Ijsouth, I hadn't thought about a turtle...glad you brought that one up. Wish I could know for sure what did it but like someone else said, its fun to guess...

02-03-2008, 06:30 PM
Hey PA...another possibility would be a gar, but I don't know if there are a lot of them in those lakes. I know gar are voracious eaters; my dad always told me that it was a Louisiana game law - you had to kill a gar if you caught one, because they will eat their weight in gamefish in a day. I don't know if that's true or not, but I know they're mean fish, and a blast to catch.

02-03-2008, 07:58 PM
I see you caught my "tagged" fish.. lol. I ain't sure where that baby came from but I am guessing it either came "up" from Chilhowee or Calderwood if your in the park. I can NOT wait to get into these fish. This may be taboo but these lake runners taste like salmon. They are the best tasting fish I have put to my lips. I would venture to guess it's an otter bite. These lakes are full of them. I counted a family of 5 otters on Chilhowee just the other day. The most I have ever seen on Chilhowee in a day was 18 and there was no way possible that they could have been the same otters. They were pups with adults. Beautiful creatures.

02-03-2008, 09:18 PM
I would venture to guess it's an otter bite.

Yahtzee! That has to be it - it's at least the most plausible possibility. I forgot about the otters.

02-03-2008, 10:25 PM
On my way home from work I got to thinking about this thread. Everyone talks about Abrams creek and the "lake runners" that it gets. I started to wondering about the few smaller "feeder" creeks that come into Chilhowee. Tabcat for example. It's a smaller creek but fishable. Panther creek that feeds into Abrams creek is also fishable. Big fish in little streams... now that's not something you find everyday. I bet it would be a blast. Has anyone ever fished these creeks that's willing to tell about it. These may be some hidden treasures worth looking into. I might give a report (if the fishing is slow LOL and I can arrange the time) at the end of this week or next. Good fishing everyone.

02-03-2008, 11:15 PM
I'm no expert on it (I've only been fishing the park for about a year), but Jswitow is the resident guru of Snowbird Creek, which is a similar scenario - he hauls in some really huge trout. From what I've read, you can really catch some big fish in small streams, in the right conditions.

02-05-2008, 11:05 AM
That is a log. I couldn't imagine pulling that fish out of one of those streams. Without giving the exact location, is this right at the mouth or a mile upstream or so?

02-05-2008, 02:55 PM
I would like an exact location with GPS X,Y,Z please…Also, please include time of day. Heck, just pick me up when you swing by that spot again. LOL.

How big were the others you caught? Were you using drys or nymphs?

I was thinking about taking the worms, corn, and spinners up to the mouth of Abrams this weekend and see how many I can catch before I take out the fly rod. I should be able to get a feel for how many are running right now. Not too sporting but it should tell me what I want to know.

I am almost thinking that fish has been there all summer though. It still might be kinda early for a pre-spawn. I have looked into some deep pools in lower Abrams (above the campground) before and saw some monsters like that one. They would not take anything.

David Knapp
02-05-2008, 09:20 PM
These fish were not far above the mouth of creek "X"...;) They were actively feeding: one ate an egg and one took a midge... Not many fish were in the creek though. Checked again today and never saw any large fish in any of the streams I checked. It might be a bit early. I'm thinking that the next two weeks or so will be improving rapidly unless they're done already. Anyone know when the fish usually run up Abrams and other streams?

If anyone checks the mouth of Abrams, let me know how you do if you don't mind. Feel free to send me an email (can be found through my blog) if you want to keep it quiet...

I think I might have to bring my canoe down so I can access the mouth of Abrams myself...:biggrin:

02-05-2008, 09:36 PM
So, PA, is this just a diversion to keep people out of Abrams? Send me a report, indeed.

02-05-2008, 09:45 PM
Well, if it's still a bit early, just realize that Spring isn't far off. We had wonderful weather down here today for the last day of Carnival - a high in the low 80s, and the low was only 69...with Mardi Gras falling so early this year, everyone was worried about the weather. Anyway, while I'm sure there will be more cold weather to come, today was definitely a harbinger of things to come.

02-05-2008, 10:03 PM
panther creek is a bit of a bushwack, you gotta go over a ridge with no trail, so unless there are more than one, stay on abrams

David Knapp
02-05-2008, 11:27 PM
So, PA, is this just a diversion to keep people out of Abrams? Send me a report, indeed.

I probably won't be fishing down around the mouth of the creek and like 10ML was saying, you'll know if the fish are staging to spawn if you are catching them down around the mouth of the creek...just curious if they are there or not...

02-06-2008, 08:18 AM
I have been wondering about the run all winter. I'll let you all know how I do with my corn and worms at the mouth this weekend. (I know many of you are reading this part with disgust) LOL. If it makes you all feel any better I’ll weight the worms down with a spark plug just to complete the image. LOL. I think the heavy rains of this week MIGHT turn them on.

In Don Kirk’s book it says the run starts in late winter after heavy rains. Could this be the time? LOL. It has got to be fairly close.

appalachian angler
02-06-2008, 01:38 PM
Nice fish David! I wouldn't tell the location either! Southern steelhead...Hmmm...be careful! Too much talk and the next thing you know and the banks of all feeder streams will have fresh cut trees, tons of litter, and bumms standing elbow to elbow like up on the lake Erie tribs! Not an image I would like to see let alone conjure up!


stephen thrift
02-06-2008, 11:07 PM
Hey PA,
I was fishing the Hiawassee at the Bend this summer and stood frozen as I watched a bald eagle work. He shot down on the water and came up with a nice looking rainbow. As he was ascending the fish managed to drop back to the water. If the bow survived, I can only imagine he carries quite a reminder of his good luck on his body of some type.

David Knapp
02-07-2008, 12:32 AM
Stephen, great story! I've watched eagles catch fish before but have never seen them lose their catch...that sort of thing would explain some of the wounds I've seen on several fish over the years. I'm always amazed at how tough fish actually turn out to be...

02-08-2008, 09:20 AM
Hey PA,
I was fishing the Hiawassee at the Bend this summer and stood frozen as I watched a bald eagle work. He shot down on the water and came up with a nice looking rainbow. As he was ascending the fish managed to drop back to the water. If the bow survived, I can only imagine he carries quite a reminder of his good luck on his body of some type.


Awesome! You reminded me of a trip to the Henry's Fork a few years back. We were fishing in the box canyon section and things were very slow picking up a bow here and there, when a bald eagle came up through the canyon with a 20" bow in his talons at about 75 feet over our heads, as if to say "what do you need that stick in your hands for?".


02-08-2008, 10:59 PM
Plateau Angler, shoot me an email at scottroy123@hotmail.com. I took a half day of work today to fish lower Abrams.