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...
May you find a rise in every puddle... - WATERBORN