defending the smokies as a fishery
talked to Darrell--he said catching 4" rainbows was not his thing--he fished tailwaters,10-15 inchers--trophy browns--I agreed-BUT Little River gives up Trophies,fish that will keep you coming back forever--besides I just like the place,the Smokies -the streams--thereis no reason to argue the betterness of one place opposed to another--if you measure the goodness of a fishing place by the weight of a stringer of stocked fishthen you may as well be buying them at Kroger,because they were not born in that place,so they are an artificial catch---kind of like kissing your sister--not much of a charge---
I don't have a sister so I'm not too sure what kissing her would be like :smile:
However, not all forms of fishing are for everyone. I have buddies who get a big charge out of tossing crank baits off the deck of a high powered bass boat. I know other guys who really enjoy globbing a hunk of stink bait on a hook and hauling in big catfish. I even have one friend who gets a kick out of chumming in a bunch of carp with corn and catching 40lb carp on ultralight spinning gear (he looses more than he brings in).
Personally, I would prefer to catch a 4" wild rainbow from a mountain stream than a larger stocked trout. However, I live an hour away from a stocked tailwater and 6 hours from the Smokies. The math is pretty simple regarding which I do most frequently.
To be very honest, my favorite fly fishing is going after bluegill. A hand sized bluegill on a 3wt rod is a hoot. For just plain good old fashioned fishing fun, it's hard to beat bluegill.
I don't really feel a need to defend or jcriticize any fishery. If someone has fun doing it and it's legal, more power to them. In the end, we're all pretty much the same, we're a bunch of people who love to fish, who get skunked more than we care to admit, and occassionally catch either a big fish or on those rare days a lot of fish just enough to keep us chasing the dragon and coming back.
If everyone liked the same style of fishig, the lake, stream, river, tailwater would become mighty crowded.
Yes, the Smokeis are special. The area is where I want to spend my days after I retire. I could wake up every morning for however many mornings the Lord is going to give me and be perfectly content looking out my window at these mountains. When the Lord does call me home (I hope many years from now), I'd be happy to be buried there.
Hey, I am easy. I think it is all good. Carp, Bluegill, Crappie, Bass, Saugeye, Bowfin, Trout, whatever, And I am a huge Catfish fan.
Mountain streams, ponds, big rivers, small rivers, creeks, lakes, tail waters, though the ice.
In the boondocks, downtown at the River Park, up the mountain.
Live bait, cut bait, lures, flys, liver, stink bait, soap, corn, dough balls, I have even used tin foil.
Fly rods, cat poles, bass sticks, cane poles, hand lines, ultralights.....
Wading, sitting, boating, floating.
Sun, rain, snow, tornado warning, fog, lightening, day, night, winter, summer, spring, and fall.
Catch them, not catch them, keep 'em, CPR 'em.
I am just a junkie, No such thing as bad fishing.
I have to admit that I agree with Marvin, although I have not tried all of his methods, yet.
But I am stuck on fly fishing for wild trout. I love the solitude of a mountain stream. Fishing with a bunch of people on a tailwater, or lake, can be fun, but I would rather only see the buddies I came to the hole with.
Any day fishing is better than any day doing something else.
Today I headed to Cosby (played hookey), then over to Tremont. Nothing is as cool as catching 7-9 inch brookies in a cramped and
b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l stream like Cosby Creek.
I've had 15-17 inch browns from the Little River,
Today I caught two of the largest 'bows I've ever caught in the park above the Institute (both 13 inches).
I've had 9" fish on the Holston and Clinch. Now that, on a large water, is tiny.
So, think of it in a relative manner. On a small stream, with a two weight, those "monster 13s" were, in fact, huge. On a tailwater, say the Clinch, those 13 inchers with a four weight are, well, 13 inchers.
I learned to fish in the GSMNP and I believe that set the bar. If I am successful in the park then I can be successful anywhere. And I have been (here I am ignoring the learning curve that any new water presents).
Ok, so there's my brief two cents. And wow, I rambled. But long story, I believe the GSMNP to be a wonderful fishery.
Well in my opinion for what it worth, as a person that enjoys several types of fishing from fishing bass tournaments, jig poling for big ole paper mouth's, role casting crickets for bream, diving down and wrestling big cats "noddling", bowfishing for monster gar and carp, to my newest addiction of fly fishing in the smokies. I think they are all different in there own right and have there place. I just moved up here about 4 weeks ago and spend at least 4 afternoons in the mountains chasing these trout through what I am convinced of is some of the most beautiful beautiful scenery that God created. Last weekend I took a trip up about two miles passed chimney tops and was in total awe of everything, the mountains, the scenery, the sound of the stream, and I couldn't stop thinking how truly blessed I am to even get to experience such an amazing feeling of peace, and solitude. As far as I am concerned nothing could come close to the aspect. But when I want to just hang out with some friends and through a few back while wetting a hook I would probably do some other kind of fishing.
I love the smokies and will always consider it my "home waters" and my first love - my first trout were caught there and I will continue to fish it...but I think there is a place for tailwaters as well which provides a different experience and facet to our sport.
I think there is a big distinction between the "put and take" fish that are sometimes caught on tailwaters - the sizable fish already put in, most are dumb as a stick, somewhat unsightly with missing fins, dull coloration and are caught easily, ending up on the table....then there are the "residential" fish that are put into the system as fingerlings and naturalize as it were and become as wild as the conditions allow as they grow up into sizable, hardfighting and beautifully colored fish. Not only that,there are some spawning and are streamborn fish on some of these tailwaters - the SoHo namely has a natural brown spawning population and rumors of certain strain of bows on the Clinch...
Truth is, the only fish in the smokies native are the specs with bows and browns being introduced - supposedly there was a hatchery once where the chimneys picnic area is now....so I guess is all boils down to what floats each persons boat...I personally would take a high elevation spec over a Cherokee Dam cookie cutter 'bow, but man if you were to tie into a nice clinch brown, that is a blast no matter who you are...I'm finding out that pound for pound, its tough to beat a smallie on a fly - but now a close rival is a golden bone - soooo....the beauty is that there is somthing for everyone in the world of flyfishing and the common bond is that were all fisherman at heart who have the great freedom and priviledge here in East tn to explore and fish either freestone or man made water ways to have fun...
I don't fish for carp with that nasty stuff THEY fish with---The "it's whatever turns you on man" stuff is what makes me love fly fishing that much more--I don't fish for catfish with balls of blood and gooh--I suggest you find that hot water,clouded with algae...don't cast--lower those catfish balls of bad odor into the water--maybe you'll catch a big one...
Truth is,fly fishing is hard to learn,you are in competion with zillions of insects for the right to catch a trout, we love and try to protect our good streams-- have read dozens of books on fly-fishing,fly fishing is how i have fished for 36 years--i have fished most of the streams of the smokies--the waters remain clear and cold-If you like catching carp and catfish in stagnant waters--good for you(do what ya godda do man!!!) but you will never be a member of OUR CLUB...NEVER
Come on now, put things into perspective....
I fish for trout in the mountains and in tailwaters, and I try to get as many trips out west as I can as well. I also ocassionally fish for warmwater species with the fly rod, but if my wife or dad is with me I will use spinning or baitcasting gear. Isn't it funny how most people think that where they fish or what they use is the hardest place and/or method.....I am typically a catch and release flyfisherman, but will keep some fish every once in a while if the wife requests it. And when I do it is usually warmwater fish since she doesn't like trout. I have seen people who typically fish the tailwaters get skunked in the mountains and vice versa. There are different approaches for each piece of water and if the fisherman is unable to adjust he will leave frustrated. Others say that tailwater fish are dumb and easy to catch, I have seen multiple reports on here from people (including myself) who didn't catch squat on the Clinch and South Holston. If somebody is accustomed to fishing the mountains and can't cast farther than 15' and uses 9' leaders while being stealthy will probably have less than satisfactory results on some of the more technical tailwaters. In contrast, if somebody who routinely fishes these technical tailwaters making long casts with 15' leaders and perfect drifts will have a hard time adjusting in the mountains. Each piece of water holds fish of different sizes. As somebody said earlier, catching 9" trout on the clinch does get old, but you must learn to change tactics/locations to focus on better quality fish. Hopefully the new slot limit will have the same results as what is seen on the SoHo. This simple lesson carries through in all types of fishing whether it be flyfishing, spinning, catfish, whatever. The way one person chooses to fish is their right, but we are all responsible for the maintenance and stewardship of the waters we love to fish. It is our duty to help to educate the youth of this wonderful resource we have and teach them to respect it and the fish that we all enjoy catching whether it is for food or fun......I look forward to teaching my son how to fish, and I would like to see him enjoy flyfishing. But teaching him that flyfishing is an elitist sport or club would be doing him a disservice.
I'm done now. :smile:
Preach on Cheme. All types of fishing are fun. And fly fishing is not an elitist club.
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