First off, congrats on your trip and first Smokies bow. The Smokies is one of those places that I could honestly get skunked and still be grinning ear to ear - it's that beautiful. But I would also suggest using a high-stick technique when nymph fishing fast/turbulent water. I usually fish a two nymph rig (heavily weighted) as a go to rig there when no hatch is present. I use short flip casts - keeping as much fly line off the water as possible. I believe that keeping a controlled drift with all the contrasting currents there is huge key to picking up more fish. Anyways, thanks for posting - great report.