Well, folks I got a call from my buddy Russ and we decided to do the Big Shoe and we got to the gate right at 7 am but no ranger in sight to open it. It looked like the ranger was tied up with some business down the rd but eventually the gate was opened at around 7:15 am. We got to the parking area for the trail and rigged up. Man this was going to be a good day we thought. We hiked down to the loop and got on the stream to fish at 8:30 am. I took the temp and it was a great 53 degrees. Should be a wonderful day. We started fishing with BH Prince nymphs and after about two hours I had caught four Rainbows in the 3" range. Obviously I wasn't doing it right or the fishing was just off. I noticed several duns coming off and I tried to catch em' but didn't have any luck. I tied on a Quill Gordon size 12 because I knew that around noon they will start to appear. I caught maybe two more fish in the same size range. It was tremendously difficult. The dun's were coming off everywhere but no rises to them. The fish was still in the winter mode. I then switched back to a nymph again and caught a ten inch bow and few more small rainbows for a total of eight fish for the day. It took us seven and a half hours today. My back was sore from overdoing it at the gym the other day so I was moving slowly whichy allowd my friend Russ to keep up with me I'm pushing forty and he is a young fellow so I have to try to stay fit. Anyways, Russ caught maybe two fish in the 11" bracket so he did better than I. I just don't know what was wrong today. The Quill Gordons were coming around noon like I expected but the fish did not take em.
Maybe Mr. Hartsell or any other professional Smoky Mountain fisherman can explain this? I'm used to slightly better fishing on Abrams, especially this time of year. As for that other fly earlier in the morning, I still don't know if it might have been a Blue Quill or some kind of Baetis? Educate me folks?