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Sage 01-27-2006 12:34 AM

Biggest Trout to Hand in the Park
Just how big do they grow in the Park?
Hollis started a good thread discussing the average size catch in the park. *If you have not read it and/or replied, it is worth the time. * * *

What I am curious about is just HOW BIG *do the trout get in the park? *I have heard a story at LRO about a 28 incher. *

My best for browns is 17" caught at ______________, nah, I'll keep it a secret. *I was fishing a size 14BHHE in very swift water roughly 6 feet deep shortly after a heavy summer rain.

The biggest bow I've brought to hand is 16". *It was caught on a size 18 bead head Copper John. *Once again I was in very swift water, but it was maybe 3 feet deep and clear.

Maybe one day we'll all find a 'Park Monster', but for now my best will have to do.

We would all enjoy hearing your stories of your personal best. *I know there has to be many stories of 20" and better, so let's hear them!

Hollis 01-27-2006 09:21 AM

Re: Biggest Trout to Hand in the Park
My biggest would be about 15-16 inches in the Little Pigeon River at the 2nd pullout past the handicap access trail. *Got him on a #14 Prince and it was in late January. *I have a handful of 12-14 inch fish to my name but after all the years of fishing they have been far and few. Doesn't seem too productive for 20+ years of fishing up there.

I've seen them. I know they are there. I know the giants exist. I've even set out with sculpin patterns in hand to spend a weekend trying to catch one. However, no luck...........................yet!

Bigguns are there!

Rog 1 01-27-2006 10:23 AM

Re: Biggest Trout to Hand in the Park
To me the Park experience is not about size. I have fished its waters for more years than I want to admit sometime and have never placed the size of its trout anywhere on the list of reasons I dearly love this place. I too have seen some of those monsters and have cast to many without much success. Of the trout I have managed to bring to hand my biggest has been a 16" bow out of the Little Pigeon, a 10" brookie from the same river and a 14" brown on the Little River above Elkmont. All these "bests" were caught on an Elk Hair Caddis dry fly which makes them all the better in my eyes.

heavhammer 01-27-2006 10:52 AM

Re: Biggest Trout to Hand in the Park
I spent an hour casting to a 20-22 incher one day last fall He was in a pool about 3.5 ft deep and just taking it easy. I got one rise out of 10 or 12 different fly presentations. Still no luck.

David Knapp 01-27-2006 12:18 PM

Re: Biggest Trout to Hand in the Park
I've seen some absolute monsters but so far they have eluded me. My personal best is 14 inches for both rainbow and brown trout. The brown happened twice, from the same hole 2 years in a row. That was sorta strange. Quite a few in the 11-13 inch range also, but just can't get above the 14 :( ::) 8-). Interesting topic....

David Knapp

Hollis 01-27-2006 03:17 PM

Re: Biggest Trout to Hand in the Park
You guys don't realize how good it makes me feel to know that I'm not the only guy with the same experiences. I agree- if I only caught 6" bows for the rest of time, I'd still love the Smokies.

I hear lots of guys throw around bigger numbers and it may be true. However, what I have heard on this site 8-) makes me more confident about what I'm doing up there.

out4trout 01-28-2006 09:30 PM

Re: Biggest Trout to Hand in the Park
I'm in the same boat as one of the other posts, the enjoyment I get from just fishing in the Park goes way beyond the enjoyment I get from a fish that is a certain size, that's not to say that I don't care of course I care but those dang bigguns are alot smarter than I am. I saw two good size browns one was on the________ creek/river and the other was just off the road going into Elkmont. Both were probably around 13-15 inchers, they might say I am out4trout but they are outtolive! So in complete disclousure the largerst I have brought to hand was a 12 inch bow down near metcalf.

pineman19 01-29-2006 07:54 AM

Re: Biggest Trout to Hand in the Park
Hello all,

Well, my biggest trout from the Park so far have been a 10" brookie from a secret place ;), and a couple of 11" rainbows from the W. Prong. I tend to fish the smaller and less crowded streams so my odds of catching a big one are lower, but I have had larger ones look at my fly on these streams, and then go on their way :'( I enjoy the solitude and scenery of the smaller streams in the Park as much as the trout fishing so as long as I don't get shutout I am having a great time no matter what size fish I am catching.


Waterborn 01-30-2006 03:41 PM

Re: Biggest Trout to Hand in the Park
Biggest bow, 14" out of Abrams - though there are some bigger ones floating around...Hugh Harstell has managed a 22...
I happened into an 18" brownie outta the Crusher Hole , most likely out of sheer luck, blind casting a PT at the tail end after spooking a larger one foolishly thinking that the one I spooked would somehow come back and eat my fly... the sad thing is, the brown I did catch had this bright gold aberdeen bait hook in its jaw with about 10 test trailing off it...I kept the hook with the picture of the fish....but believe you me, there are some much bigger hoss's that sit there glued to the bottom and you can see 'em down there just a grinnin' at ya...
And my personal "holy grail" is a 12" spec, wich I believe I have seen as one came lauching out from under a log in a plunge pool trying to snag the little fingerlin bow on my caddis - I tried everything to tease that one back out, but he never showed again....the closest I have come is 11"in a place most people would'nt suspect in the Park, though that was a few years if I can only catch a tiger trout...


Hawgdaddy 01-30-2006 05:20 PM

Re: Biggest Trout to Hand in the Park
I don't feel too bad any more about my fishing ability. *I figured all the "real" fly fishermen were hauling in 20 inchers every season. *This thread has given me much more confidence. *My largest rainbow was a fish that went around 12 inches out of Little River last fall on a partridge and yellow. *My brother and I have landed several (5 or 6) browns from our favorite Smokies stream (my personal secret spot, everybody needs one) that would go between 12 and 14 inches. *We didn't measure them, so this is a guess but I feel a fairly good one pulling on my past experience guessing bass length during tournaments and we have a good photo of one of them. *I lost one last fall there that I believe would have gone over 15 inches. *We saw two in a slow pool on Tremont several years ago that would have gone over 15 inches but they laughed at our presentations as I do now thinking back on the encounter.


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