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Old 04-21-2008, 11:28 AM
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Default Upper Little River

I'm back from a great weekend in the park! The fishing was a little strange for me. Saturday, Trevor (ttas67) drove over to Cataloochee for the day since I had never been before. We fished some and the fish didn't seem all that cooperative. We both managed several fish but had to work fairly hard for them. There were tons of bugs on the water but not really any rising fish.





Yesterday was another story. I woke up and broke down camp before hiking up above Elkmont. The trailhead was fairly busy but only a couple other anglers were either gearing up or already up the trail. I started hiking and an hour later was deep in the backcountry. The changes in scenery just hiking a little ways was incredible. At Elkmont, the dogwoods were in full bloom and spring was moving right along. As I hiked, seemingly went back in time to early spring. By the time I started fishing, the dogwoods weren't blooming at that particular elevation. The wildflowers were incredible however. The trailside was carpeted with several varieties. Here are some pictures (anyone know the specific names of these?)...



Anyway, I started fishing and stuck with nymphs (GRHE, Tellicos, and soft hackles) for several hours. It was really chilly up that high with the clouds. The water was around 48 degrees when I started fishing. The rocks were covered with yellow stoneflies that had crawled out and hatched but just couldn't get warm enough to take flight. Every time the sun peaked through, bugs would take to the air all over the stream.





Finally, late in the day, I made the switch to dries (yellow Neversink Caddis) and it was incredible. The fish were just slamming it even though I rarely saw any surface activity. Finally, I had to call it a day since I still had to hike out and drive back to Chattanooga AND do some homework when I got back...

On the way back down, pools that had looked barren on the walk up in the morning were full of actively feeding fish and I started spotting plenty of risers. The temptation to fish more was strong but I stuck to the trail and made it out with some daylight left to drive back... Overall it was a great weekend...the fish were cooperative and any day fishing in the park is a whole lot better than school...

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Old 04-21-2008, 11:35 AM
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Your weekend sounds eerily similar to ours....I'll post a report later, but basically we started out at Lynn Camp and got skunked (no rises, "used" water), then went over to Straight Fork, where we managed a few fish, but it was basically dead, too. I saw a lot of flies late that evening, but nothing rising to take them. Sunday was another matter - we hit Cosby and went fairly high up - saw the same flowers blooming there, and one of my daughters wondered what they were. Between my oldest and myself, we got about 40, with a few fairly decent sized fish...it was sort of a strange weekend, made even more so by the fact that now I'm back here, below sea level, and the highs will be well into the 80s today.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:40 AM
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Sorry I missed ya. Climbing was fun, but we all know it doesn't compare.... My regrets. My wife promised to come out to the Smokies next weekend, hopefully we can all meet up. I'm sure finals are on your plate now too, though. Have a good week.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:51 AM
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Oh yeah, did you see any snakes?
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: name of flower???

Phlox…wild variety

daniel
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:25 PM
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Great report. Nice pictures
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:17 PM
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the purple in the front look like violets, those in the rear like purple phacelia
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:38 PM
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pineman19, I knew it! I was hustling right along and was 99% sure I saw Hans just above Huskey Branch. He was standing in the middle of the stream on a rock (and the only other person I saw wet wading all weekend) but I didn't stop since I was starting later than I had meant to. Glad ya'll had a good time and caught a few in the process. Did you stick with dries the whole time? I caught a ton of fish on nymphs before I switched to dries late in the day. They seemed really hunkered down until at least mid afternoon when I started spotting fish feeding higher in the water column.

EarlofSoDak, I didn't see any snakes this trip but it was pretty chilly with all the cloud cover. I've been seeing them around here in Chattanooga so I'm sure they're out and about now...
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:46 PM
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PA,
Glad to see you had some success in the "Forgotten Far East" and it's good to see that the yellow sallies are not to far off - definately one of my favorite hatches in the park by far...great pics too - I've got to replace mine here soon, I think its givin' out on me...
Pineman, good stuff as well..its good to see that people are able to get out and about as the fish are looking up and the bugs are getting thicker...
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:49 AM
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Pineman....I think you are right on about that first rainbow....that does not look like any wild bow I have ever caught in that river...looks more like something in the cooler at my local grocery....lots of fond memories of Porter's Creek....caught my first trout on a fly there almost 50 years ago....last fall I saw what must have been a 20" brown in a small pool just above and across the river from where you took that picture of the falls on Huskey's Branch....if I recall weren't you from Live Oak a few years back...I am stuck in Tallahassee and still have to make that drive you used to complain about....thanks for the report.
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