Just got back from the mountains (again). I was up to look at some property in the Cosby area, and I ended up doing more than looking - I made an offer and, pending closing, I now own 1 acre, within walking distance of the park (well, it would be a bit of a walk, but a walk nevertheless). I was able to wrap everything up by midday, so I had some time to explore the park a bit and see what the conditions were like. First stop was, naturally, Cosby Creek. The only reason I bothered to even look at it was because the Cosby area received quite a soaking on Friday - I would hate to think of how it looked before that. Here's what I found:
Flow: Good - not as high as Spring, but higher than it has been in a while.
I ended up fishing fairly high, and was surprised at the number of rainbows I caught. Normally, from the camping area on up, all I catch are brookies. Perhaps the 'bows moved upstream in search of more oxygen. Eventually, I started catching the brookies too - no monsters, but nice fish in the 6-7 inch range, and all seemed to show no ill effects; I didn't keep an exact count, but it was over 20 caught and released.
After I finished at Cosby, I drove back over to Gatlinburg and then up to the West Prong. It was almost dark, so I only had a chance to sample the temperature and try a few casts:
Flow: So-so at best
Needless to say, nothing was home...that temperature is a good 6 degrees warmer than it was a month ago.
The next day, I went over to Straight Fork...this is what I found:
It looked like it had just rained...and this area got some rain this week. I caught 3 browns and missed a few - 2 dinks and one nice 8 incher. I just love that stream.
I had to leave to start my way back home. On the way, I fished Kanati Branch for a bit...it was in good shape, too. I could see rain clouds hitting the mountains on the North Carolina side. As soon as I crossed over to Tennessee, the clouds thinned out and the streams looked low. I took a look at Walker Camp Prong, and while the temp was ok (about 64), it was sickeningly low - I've seen the tide down here move water faster than that water was moving. It looked like puddles on a cobblestone street.
I have to think that the orientation of the mountains acts as a sort of "Rain Shadow"; when there isn't much moisture to work with, what little there is tends to fall on the N.C. side. I might add that, while Cosby was ok on Saturday, if that area doesn't get some more rain, it will start looking as bad as Little River, etc. Let's hope we get some rain, and some cooler temps soon.
Byron: Sorry I missed talking to you yesterday...wanted to say hi, but you looked like you were busy...BTW - I promise to have some saltwater stuff to post soon...gotta work on the boat.