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Old 05-11-2012, 03:36 PM
HuskerFlyFisher HuskerFlyFisher is offline
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Originally Posted by David Knapp View Post
The hard thing around here is that the smaller streams are what EVERYONE is fishing because that is the extent of our trout water (other than tailwaters), whereas out west there are stillwaters, small streams, medium streams and rivers, larger rivers, tailwaters, spring creeks, beaver ponds....... People gravitate towards the larger water meaning small streams are rarely if every crowded or even fished that much. Take me to the Smokies on any nice weekend and I can show you fishermen pretty much anywhere on Little River you want to look...around here, if you want solitude, you must put some miles behind you.
It's funny to hear this, not because I doubt your point of view, but that it's 180 degrees from my dad's POV. He being a CO (and a little of Northern NM) fisherman, he is always absolutely shocked when he comes with me to the Smokies at how there are NO FISHERMEN!

Two weeks ago, we fished LeConte Creek, Roaring Fork, a bit of Little River, and Cosby Creek - spread over 4 days, and never once saw a SINGLE fisherman!

My dad always comments about how there are NO FISHERMEN in the Smokies and always asks me "why".

Aren't perceptions funny?

My dad does make comments like "I really wonder about the fish populations here" because he will go a whole day only catching a fish or two. But his 12-year old grandson (my son), easily hauls in 7-8 on an outing.

Then he will say things like "I can show you streams like this in CO where I will pull out more nice fish in half an hour than I do here all day."

I am partial to the Smokies because that's where my cabins are, and I love the climate.

Another thing I like about the Smokies is that it's really year-round fly fishing because the streams are spring-dependent rather than snow-dependent; there are a lot of times when the CO streams have swelled so high they aren't fishable.

So I *think* that fly fishing is much more of a year-round deal in the Smokies than the Rockies.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:46 PM
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yonder yonder is offline
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I would humbly say, to come on out and fish our waters. I am sure that there would be many volunteers, who would be glad to show you around. I personally, would compare our waters to the smaller streams of RMNP, or yellowstone. Sometimes a change of scenery makes all the difference. Just my humble opinion, of course.......
Here I walk slowly, deliberately, taking it one step, one trout, one sunset at a time. -Harry Middleton
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:38 PM
Knothead Knothead is offline
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Personally, it would depend if I lived in Colorado or east Tennessee. Whichever is the closest. I have to agree with HuskerFlyFisher. For a park so close to so many people, I am surprised at how few there are fishing the park.
John Torchick
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:31 AM
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David Knapp David Knapp is offline
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Originally Posted by HuskerFlyFisher View Post
It's funny to hear this, not because I doubt your point of view, but that it's 180 degrees from my dad's POV. He being a CO (and a little of Northern NM) fisherman, he is always absolutely shocked when he comes with me to the Smokies at how there are NO FISHERMEN!
Compared to well-known Colorado streams and rivers we definitely have fewer fishermen...but I still say that the remote headwater streams out west that would be most comparable to our mountain streams are fished even less than ours by a significant margin...

If you are fishing small streams like the ones you mentioned and not catching large numbers of fish, there is a pretty decent chance someone already fished through ahead of you and spooked the water. So, you may not see the other fishermen but they were likely through sometime earlier in the day...
"Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

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Old 05-13-2012, 02:12 AM
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Rob Johnson Rob Johnson is offline
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Mr. Knapp is dead on. In your dreams you were the first to fish that special hole but look for the boot prints 0n the rocks. Smoky Mtn fish are spooky. San Juan, Yellowstone, Animas, Lee's Ferry, love them but I would rather catch a 10 incher on Ocanaluftee than an 18 incher after that plane ride. Depends on what kind of puzzle you like to solve. Maybe western fishing is the apple or the smokies are the orange, I don't know, but I can use the stuff I learn to catch trout anywhere. No! the fish in the Smokies aren't as big as the ones out west. It's just a different game.
You can't stay dry and one temperature all your life! ROB
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:38 PM
Fishstu Fishstu is offline
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I would agree with "Yonder" that a number of the creeks and stretches of water in the GSMNP compare favorably to smaller creeks/rivers in RMNP and Yellowstone (no drift trips down the Little River in GSMNP). Depending only somewhat on the body of water, slow & careful approach, and good drift, are keys.

The question reminds me of my first trip to GSMNP when I hired a guide (who shall remain nameless), and as we drove to the first stop near the Institute he was asking me about my fly fishing experience. At that time it had been almost exclusively in RMNP (including hikes up to some alpine lakes / streams). As I mentioned fishing in RMNP he said he had been fishing "out west" one time, and thought he had died and gone to heaven. I was concerned he meant that the fishing was much better than in GSMNP, but he assured me such was not the case (and proceeded to help me see it was not the case) - - he explained his comment: "out west" one usually has more opportunity to stay more upright and get a full backcast - - if roll casts & high-stickin' ain't for you, fishing in a number of streams in GSMNP is likely to be a challenge.

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