I hadn't been fishing for over two weeks so I decided to head to the Smokies in spite of the rain we received Friday night. On the way I passed through Sevierville, the Little Pigeon was high and muddy in town so I figured water levels would be pretty high on the WPLP and Roaring Fork which was my orginal destination. I decided to head towards Greenbriar since Fridays storms seemed to impact the center Park more than the eastern portion. Water levels were higher on Greenbriar as well, but I decided to give it a try to ease my flyfishing JONES. I headed up the Ramsey Creek trailhead several miles to one of my favorite Brookie spots. The water was still flowing pretty good up high as well, but I managed to cross the stream and work my upstream along the streams edge. After about ten minutes of fishing I caught my first brookie of the season.
After I few more casts I caught a spunky 7-8 bow. Both fish were caught on a size 14 Stimulator, which was the only fly I could get to float with a good deal of success in the high water.I focused on fishing the slacker water out of the main stream flows, but it was still tougher fishing than a few weeks ago when I fished near Sugarlands on the West Prong. I fished the upper Greenbriar for around two hrs, but didn't catch anything else of any size after the first two fish. I finally decided to turn around and head back since the water levels weren't getting any better and I was fishing alone without any trail by the stream.
I headed back towards the Ramsey Creek trailhead and picked a spot where I often start to fish the Gorge portion of Greenbriar. Again, my best success came after a few casts. I hooked and landed my best wild bow of the season. As the Old Man said on A River Runs Through It; I am pleased!
I fished for another 1 1/2 hrs. without any success and was ready to call it quits due to hunger and a lack of action. One more cast and I landed my second nice brookie of the day.
All in all, it was pretty tough fishing due to the higher water levels and the hatches weren't as heavy as my last Smokies trip. Water temp. was good, 54-55 degrees, but the fish activity was relatively low. I had a great time anyway with the fabulous scenery and a few nice fish to hand. One more pretty pic of some serious Greenbriar whitewater.