I can remember fishing with my grandfather until he was 82 when the A disease started making its appearance and his doctor wouldn't let him drive beyond his work...but I must say if there was ever a place you couldn't remember how to get out of the Park would be at the top of my list....until the day he died at the age of 86 he still carried a fly rod in the car with him.
True, but also consider that if we had fished up from 69, we wouldn't have even known anyone else was out fishing and neither would the other group! It's like those old school math word problems: A group of fishermen hikes down from clingmans dome at 2 mph, a group of fishmermen hikes up from Lakeshore Drive at 3 mph, assuming they both try to get to as far down the trail as possible to avoid fishing around other groups, where do their paths collide?
My Rules for avoiding the crowds:
Don't fish along paved roads except during weekends Dec-Feb and weekdays between Nov-Mar
Don't fish along gravel roads on weekends except between Nov-early Mar, weekdays, Late Oct - Mid Apr
Don't fish along the fish 1-2 miles of any trailhead between Apr-Oct (some weekdays maybe ok)
Don't fish within 2-3 miles of any major frontcountry campground during Mid Apr- Mid Oct
Don't work every time, but work well enough
My rules: Go fishing when I can and preferably when its nasty weather outside!!! Its amazing how few people want to fish in the rain. Of course, the fishing is definitely NOT always better, but at least the streams, rivers and lakes tend to be uncrowded...
Seriously some good info on this thread for people wanting to avoid the crowds. I remember hiking in to upper Deep Creek one summer and hiking downstream for a few miles to reach "remote" water that was presumably unfished. Well, each campsite had multiple tents and empty fly rods were leaning against trees all over the place it seemed. Lesson learned and included a walk back upstream for 2 miles before we reached unfished water.
There are lots of other good tricks that time on the water will teach you to catch fish even in heavily pressured or travelled areas. Deep nymphing (with the correct flies is one easy solution. Learn all the tricks and you can fish major park streams year round and still do well.
If you fish the less popular streams, you will probably have them all to yourself, especially on a week day. Monday, a friend and I fished two streams within 5 minutes of Little River, and did not see another fisherman.
And you will be surprised at how good the fishing is on these streams. The size of the fish you can catch in smaller streams is also surprising. Just study a Park map or topo maps. Finding a gem not many people fish, is a kick, and the searching is a lot of fun. There are many, many wonderful places in the park away from the main roads and parking areas.