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Old 10-24-2013, 08:45 PM
softhackle softhackle is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Western suburbs of Chicago
Posts: 175
Default First Trip to Smokies in a Long Time

I've been a long time lurker and occasional contributor to this site for a long. This mostly because I seldom get down to Tennessee felt that i really didn't have much to add to the conversations here. The last time I fished in the park was about 12 years ago. I do have a Masters degree in Biology from Tennessee Tech although now I work as an environmental engineer in the Chicago area. That is my connection to Tennessee
Anyway, I digress. My wife and I are finally empty nesters and we decided to take an extended weekend trip to the Smokies from our home in Chicago. We arrived last Thursday just as the park was opening up. Before we were married my wife was my fishing partner but, this was before kids and the disease I caught called "fly fishing fever". She decided that she would go fly fishing with me on this trip. This would be her first time fly fishing. We would have one day to fish in the park. So we went to Little River Outfitters last Saturday to outfit my wife with Chota Hippies and Abrams Creek wading boots and of course our licenses. While I read about the shop through this website I was really impressed with the service. Alex did a great job of getting my wife outfitted. She was a bit nervous about going in with all the men but, the staff did a great job of making her feel at home. It was also pleasure to get to meet and talk with Byron. I've always enjoyed reading his fishing reports. You can bet we'll be back to Little River Outfitters on our next trip to the Smokies.
Most of my trout fishing is done on small brook trout streams like this one.

for brook trout like this

in central and northern Wisconsin.
As you can see this stream is quite a bit different than the ones in the Smokies. Anyway Byron gave us some great advice about which streams to fish.
The first stream we hit was the West Prong of the Little River but, it seemed like only the dinkers were out. But, my wife was having a great time. We had practiced in the yard and on the water she was casting like a pro. She was hitting her spots and really enjoying casting. She said the fly fishing is very relaxing and there's just something about watching your fly drift with the current. Like me she still needs to work on controlling her drifts. This was our catch from the West Prong.

Unfortunately my only camera was the iphone camera and well, you can see the quality of the pictures.
While the West Prong had some nice pools ad pocket water it seemed like only the dinkers wanted to play. So we decide to try Tremont along one of the pull outs along the dirt road. There the fishing was much better. We started out on a deep big pool with a riffle on one side that looked perfect for swinging wet flies. To me this is the best way to start a beginner fly fishing streams. I rigged up to softhackle wet flies for my wife to try and gave her some instructions on fishing them. Then she told me to go upstream and fish the pocket water and she would work on her casting. Well I went upstream and immediately began catching little rainbows like this one

and a little bigger like this one.

The last one was about 8" but, flopped off before I could bring him to hand. Most of the fish caught took the pink weenie although I was getting a lot of strikes on the Neversink Caddis but, had trouble hooking up. I think it was because I had too much slack in my line. I was having some difficulty controlling my drifts. I quickly realized that the 7' Cabela's CGR rod was too short for fishing the Smokies. For smaller streams it probably would have worked fine. I think a 9' rod would have worked much better. I'm convinced that is is the reason I missed so many strikes. A good day could have been a great day.
All in all it was great day and it ended all too soon. The wife and I can't wait to come back again.
Just thought I would leave with a few iphone shots of the Middle Prong of the Little River.

From the roadside.

Lay Yong Fishing.

Me fishing.
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