Unless your David Knapp, the fishing is mostly crap
So Sandy brought the snowstorm and I think the Smokies are over. Then a week of moderate temps get me a ok day on Twentymile and 50 degree temps. Then a trip to Sam's, which wasn't a complete bust because we found Nvr2l8's alum water bottle, but still cost me only one snagged fish and 45 degree temps. So know I'm sure it time to hit the tailwaters till the Spring. Then that darn David Knapp comes to town, and low and behold the fishings great. This somehow fools me into thinking that there still might be some time left to catch fish, and maybe we should give it a go. So using logic Nathan and I make a plan to fish the Little Horseshoe since it's about as low elevation as one can get and is Spring fed.
Lot's of wildlife out today. On the trip in we saw Turkey, more deer than one could count, a Bear, a Hawk, and I don't remember what else.
Ooh that's right OTTERS - 3 swimming right above the bridge at the headwaters of Abrams. Lousy shot, but it's all I could get
The parking lot was as empty as I have ever seen it, and we had an easy walk in. Here is looking down at the Big Horseshoe. I'll try and hit that one when it warmer with more daylight hours.
Here Nathan walks over 1.3 river miles in just 60 feet or so as the trail cuts through the Big Horseshoe
We soon arive at the falls and do the tourist thing. We both cast into the back of the pool, but you really need a good 60 yard cast to hit the good spot without spooking things. I guess this is why the masters such as Hugh Hartsell are able to hook monsters I can not even see.
A shot of the Falls
We climb above the falls and I'm instanly confused. While I have never fished this section of stream, or Abrams at all for that matter, I have paddled it before. While I don't expect my memory to be perfectly clear (trip was 2006), I distinctly remember s decent Class 3 rapid right above the falls. While it wasn't a hard rapid it did have some "pucker factor" since you had to catch a small eddy only about 6 feet wide right above the Falls.
After looking back at the picture I took when paddling that day, it's easy to realize why I didn't recognize it, it looked completely different.
And here's a shot of this trip looking down from on top of the falls
As soon as we entered the pool above the Falls is was apparent to me why this stream has a reputation for being slick as snot - It felt like a tailwater slipperyness, but still Smokies rhodo and obsticles everywhere.
While we were hoping for upper 40's, and dreaming of low 50's, the water temp was 46.
Here Nathan works a pool trying to make something happen
We weren't catching, spooking, or even getting any bites but at least the scenery was nice.
Continued in next post:smile:
I think this was where Nathan got his first bump from a fish
While we weren't catching any fish at this point it was obvious something was
Then finally success. You know when you are thrilled just to catch a war paint shiner something is a little off. But with over 2 hours of fishing and only having one bump the whole time, I was happy to catch it
A little while later after that I even caught the intended species I was here to fish for.
And then after only a few minutes more fishing, I actually thought I wouldn't be lying if I called it fishing.
Well we soon hit the point where the Little Horseshoe hits the trail again. At the end of a extremely long pool the water narrowed through a few small drops that had a feeding area where the fish were stacked up. I was amazed afetr Nathan missed a great one, then pulled out 3 more in the next couple of minutes. So I had to give it a go also. If only there were more holes like this one:biggrin:.
We then crawled up the steep slope to the trail
While the fishing wasn't good, it was a great day to be in the Smokies, and while mere mortals like me will never catch fish like Mr Knapp, I still am glad he got me out there:biggrin:
I'll throw in my few pics from the day:
Another stream shot:
And a couple of trout from the unusually active hole mentioned. I saw one big one who got off, then caught three in a row, then Ducky caught several from it before it shut down
He also forgot to mention the part where we had to cross through super deep water and he was very jealous of my waders. :biggrin:
An underwater shot of a school of small minnows that weren't bothered by our presence
Oh man, I started laughing when I read the title. Glad you were able to get out, and if you need directions to the pools full of fish rising to BWOs and midges let me know... :biggrin:
Great post you guys!!!
Speaking of BWO, I bought a few standard BWOs (i.e., not the parachute variety) some time back. They are as pretty a fly as I have seen. Problem is, they are really tough to see in the water. I was up on Sams yesterday and deccided to try a dry tandem - had never done that before. I tied on a parachute BWO with a standard BWO about a foot behind on a "dropper". My own mini hatch. I found that I could track the progress with the parachute and most times could see the trailing standard since I knew where to look. Invariably, the strikes I got were on the standard and not on the parachute. Thought I would try it out on rainbows and so I cast a few just below the little falls at the base of Lynn Camp Prong at the bridge (yes, BELOW the no fishing sign). Quickly caught an 8" bow, again on the standard BWO and then one smaller before calling it quits for the day. Fun experiment.
Great post. Awesome reading material even if the fishing was tough. Better than work anytime.
that was a really nice photo display you put up there...had me wishin I was a fishin....
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