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Thread: Do rainbows really get this big in the Park?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default

    Maybe originally as a sizable stocked fish that has lived in the stream for some time but I suspect not as a wild stream born fish... I don't think that there would be enough food to support growth to that size?? I have heard of sizable bows in Abrams but that stream can support larger than average fish. I just have a hard time believing that bows in the park get this big but what do I know... What I do know, is that I lost my largest park bow ever a few weeks ago out of a pool I never would have thought held such a fish. It's the only fish that has broken me off so far up in the mountains and was definitely a good one...

    Tight Lines,

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
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    1,554

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by tnflyfisher View Post
    I lost my largest park bow ever a few weeks ago out of a pool I never would have thought held such a fish. It's the only fish that has broken me off so far up in the mountains and was definitely a good one...

    Tight Lines,
    Let me guess....It was 20+ inches

    Sorry BRF - now that you outted yourself as sensitive, I had to take a shot. Hope your skin is getting thicker

    On a serious note Grampus Jim showed me some pics of some Park Bows he caught (I believe he said the 80's) that were monsters and much bigger than I would have believed could have been there. And if my memory serves me it's fins all looked good so I doubt it was a stocker

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Morristown Tn.
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    394

    Default Large Park rainbows

    Fellows,
    If you want to see what a 22 inch rainbow taken from Abrams Creek looks like there is one on the opening page of my website. My wife and I were fishing there about 7-8 years ago and I caught this female that was spawned out and looked a little skinny for her size. Look at the color and the fins as she is laid out just below my fly rod. I cropped the picture years ago but her tail was even with the rod butt and her head reaches on out for a distance beyond the grip. She was one of the best colored fish that I have ever seen. She is just one of many in the 18-20inch plus range that Abrams Creek has given up. Let's hope that the fish have recovered back to something close to that size since the drought damaged the streams on the Tennessee side.
    Scroll down some to a brown and a rainbow side by side and click on the image to enlarge.

    http://http://smokymountainflyguide.com/


    Hugh
    Hugh Hartsell---East Tenn.
    smokymountainflyguide.com

  4. #14
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    Oct 2008
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    Knoxville, Tennessee
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    Smile Hugh - That's one heck of a fish

    And I wouldn't doubt you for a second. Your credibility is beyond reproach

    Glad to know about ones caught in recent years even if it was before the drought. Looks like the monsters may be plentiful in the future. I know the average fish I have been catching have gotten much better consistanly over the last 3 years, and I would love to see that trend continue.

    Do you think that Cataloochee one could have been a tailed out natural fish, or just a stocker. Not that a picture can tell us everything.

    Thanks for your input on this forum

  5. #15
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    Jan 2006
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    Morristown Tn.
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    Ducky,
    That is definitely a stocked trout and the biggest question in my mind is how it got in Cataloochee Creek?? This brings back memories of Lynn Camp Prong shady work somehow. If that is the case, it probably won't hurt any thing.
    Thanks, by the way, for your confidence.
    Hugh
    Hugh Hartsell---East Tenn.
    smokymountainflyguide.com

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    42

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    I am not sure how big rainbows get in the park but I had the pleasure of watching what appeared to be a 24"+ brown in the park this week. I am sure alot will doubt but it was an absolute monster. I watched it for 10 to 15 minutes and never made a cast because I knew I would put him down as soon as I tried. He was harassing some smaller fish. I did give him a run before I moved on to no avail. I could only dream of hooking up with that monster.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Knoxville, Tn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Hartsell View Post
    That is definitely a stocked trout and the biggest question in my mind is how it got in Cataloochee Creek??

    Maybe some stockers find their way into cataloochee creek via the stocked waters on the Pigeon River?

    Not sure if this is case, but is my best guess.

  8. #18
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    Jun 2011
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    Nashville, TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post
    Let me guess....It was 20+ inches
    I was fishing for a response like that...

    Alas, it was not a 20"+ but it was a park trophy for sure and not to call people out but folks need to be carrying around a tape measure if you want to 'really' know how big your fish is...

    Here is a 20"+ bow for reference... actually, might have been 20.5" as it's been a few years so don't remember exactly... and I have not seen a pic of a bow like this caught from the park. Someone please show me one if you can...



    Tight Lines,

  9. #19
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    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
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    Caught in the Park...close to 20" but not quite...(and not stream reared... )



    There are numerous streams in the Park that host lake-run fish, both rainbows and browns. There are definitely big rainbows in the Park but true wild rainbows that size that are not lake run fish are definitely rare. I think Abrams is probably the only creek in the Park capable of producing rainbows into the 16-20" range and that only occasionally. Wild rainbows on Little River are occasionally caught to 16" or so but again, those are rare... In general, large fish like this came from hatchery supported water at some time in their past. In the case of lake-run fish they have adapted and act very "wild" in their habits but the big brood stock fish that run up from stocking points can actually be pretty easy to catch.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Knapp View Post
    Caught in the Park...close to 20" but not quite...(and not stream reared... )

    I think Abrams is probably the only creek in the Park capable of producing wild rainbows into the 16-20" range and that only occasionally.
    You know that is not what I meant DK...

    I agree with you 100% here and I would imagine that if you managed to catch one, it would truly be a park trophy to be proud of. That's why I was buggered that I lost that fish because I knew it was wild and was a big'un for the park...

    Tight Lines,

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