Thanks to all who helped me with my questions leading up to this trip. Last Wednesday, my parents, my wife and I left West TN and arrived in Gatlinburg late that night. I was going to have two days to fish and the park was open. This was going to be my first trout fishing trip and first time fishing in the park. After listening to the advice of many of you, I had planned to fish with a guide on Thursday to help speed up the learning. Josh Pfieffer of Frontier Anglers was a great guide and I'd recommend him to anyone.
We met Thursday morning and he was as excited as I was to be in the park. He had spotted a big brown feeding before we met and was eager to get back and see if it was still there. After the short drive, the fish he had spotted was gone. We quickly moved on and started fishing the Little River off the main road. Not long after getting in the water, Josh was pointing out where to cast and I was putting a dry pretty close to target. Not long after, some small rainbows were rising to hit my dry. I missed several strikes before I finally brought my first trout to hand. It was a small rainbow but it was a start. Several more fish came to hand and I was getting the hang of it.
The morning kept getting better. Fish were becoming more active and I was having more and more takes.
Later on, we moved into Elkmont and this fishing was still getting better. A few small browns were beginning to mix in with the rainbows. I don't think the timing of my trip could have been any better. These fish were aggressive and Josh did a great job of getting me in the right spot without spooking the fish and pointing out where I needed to cast.
At the tail of one pool, a brown rose and took my dry. After setting the hook, the fish shook it's head once before being t-boned by a huge dark beast with an orange flash. A monster brown cannibalized my nice brown and was carrying it around like a dog bone with my fly still attached. Josh began moving towards the big brown with the net but it quickly started to look like Josh chasing after a little puppy. As soon as he started to get close, the fish would easily swim upstream, downstream, across stream always staying at least 5' in front of him. The big brown held on to the smaller one that way for a few minutes before finally giving up and spitting the meal out. We were able to release the little brown after a little reviving. He had some nice battle wounds though!
The fishing began to slow down as we got to the bridge. It was beginning to get dark as well. I was able to pull one more little rainbow from the slow water right under the bridge with an emerger before calling it a day. All of these pictures were taken by Josh and from his report on his site. Day two to follow.