With the weather forecast looking awesome and the Quill Gordons aflight I decided to make my first sojourn into the Smokies in 2011 for a 4-day mini-vacation. Got a reasonable rate at my favorite cheap motel in G-Burg early Thursday and headed towards Elkmont. The trailhead was not crowded (a good sign) and I proceeded to head upstream. Water levels were still pretty high, so I hiked until I got to an area I thought would be easier to wade under such conditions. Water temp was 44 degrees a little before noon, but there were already a few bugs hatching, but the best was yet to come around 1:30 when the QG's started hatching full force. I caught 4 on a BHPT before the big hatch began and surface activity quickly took off An awesome site seeing trout come full-body out of the water to smack a Gordon. Here are some pics of Thursday's results.
Friday, I decided to head to one of my favorite streams on the NC side of the Park. MY mistake was going too early, caught a few small fish and I got impatient after having such a great day on Thursday. Still a beautiful day, quit early and headed to G-Burg for food and a couple drinks
Saturday, I headed back up to same stretch above Elkmont, started early again and fished a BHPT hard for several hours with only a couple small ones to hand, then right on time around 1:30 the Quills started hatching again, but the hatch wasn't as big or as long as on Thursday. Caught them on QG wets and dries, had a couple bigger fish (brown and bow) smack at my dry, but they missed the hook
Sunday, my last day in the Park I decided to head to Little River roadside a few miles below Elkmont. Started around 9:00, some smaller fish were rising to Blue Quills smaller caddis. I should have started with a dry, but I stuck with a BHPT to know avail. I fished some great looking water, but the fish weren't cooperating. After a while the Brown Stones started coming off pretty good, but I never saw one fish rise during this period. The stone hatch continued pretty good until I left at 2:30. I managed to catch one 8" bow on a brown elk hair caddis to avoid the dreaded skunk Not a productive fishing day, but it was great enjoying another beautiful day on a lovely river.
Hitchhiker stone below!
Overall, it was a great trip. My best Quill Gordon action to date, beautiful weather and quality relaxation that a doctor cannot prescribed