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  #11  
Old 09-03-2007, 12:02 AM
jgduckhunter jgduckhunter is offline
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do the trout get less spooky when the water is higher and if so how much higher does it get in that area i mean in normal conditions not after a big downpour or something.
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2007, 12:07 AM
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ijsouth ijsouth is offline
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Well, I fished it a lot this past winter on our trips up there, and back then the water was fairly high and moving; however, I've only been fishing the park for about a year - and by all accounts, last winter was very dry, as was the spring for the most part. It's certainly easier to creep up the fish when they can neither see nor hear you due to the white water. Even if this was a "normal" year, the streams would probably be at their lowest right now anyway, and that makes for skitterish fish. Shadows will really put them down. I spooked a bunch last weekend, including a few really nice fish.
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2007, 12:14 AM
Flying Trout Flying Trout is offline
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I will fish ripples a lot of time with a high riding fly for this reason. When the water is flowing slower and clearer as it is now it does not allow for as many mistakes. When I'm fishing the ripples you get a little room for mistakes. ijsouth is very correct in talking about the amount of line in the water. I try to avoid having any of my fly line in the water and as little of leader and tippet as possible.
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  #14  
Old 09-03-2007, 12:19 AM
jgduckhunter jgduckhunter is offline
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how far up does it become wild trout only. i assume that was what i was seeing but they stock farther down don't they? also what size do the wild ones get up to when they are considered a good fish
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  #15  
Old 09-03-2007, 12:31 AM
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ijsouth ijsouth is offline
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Everywhere within the park is wild trout; some stockers move into the park from outside, and indeed that is how the park got browns in the first place, but no stocking takes place within the park, and hasn't since the 70s. While I'm no expert, I think I can safely say that I haven't caught any stockers in the park. I like that - it makes me feel like I'm really fishing, instead of just "harvesting" what amounts to a farmed animal. The sense of accomplishment is so much greater, even if the size isn't.

As for size, anything over 6 inches is a nice wild fish for me. The best I've done so far is a 10 inch rainbow, along with a couple of browns in the 8-9 inch range. There are a lot of fishermen on this board with a lot more experience than I, who have caught some truly large fish - there are some large brown trout in the larger streams. I've never fished Abrams (with three kids, I've shied away from it due to its reputation as a VERY slick stream) - it is probably the best stream for getting a rainbow over 12 inches, due to its increased fertility. Generally, the lower the stream, the bigger it is, and the fertility is increased - hence, bigger fish. I tend to fish the smaller streams, and I love going for the brookies, so I catch a lot of smaller fish. Keep in mind that the Smokies are primarily a small trout fishery; the waters are not very fertile, tend to run on the acidic side, and therefore the fish just don't have as much to eat. Couple that with the fact that life in these freestone streams is tough, and the average life span is rather short - under 5 years. With the exception of the big brown trout, these fish just don't have very long to get big. However, these fish make up for it with their colors and their "stream smarts".
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  #16  
Old 09-03-2007, 12:41 AM
jgduckhunter jgduckhunter is offline
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i agree with your opinion on wild trout, but i can't make some of my friends understand i would rather try to catch a 6 in. fish when i know i can go catch 15 or 16 in fish. that was only the second time i have got to fish for wild trout but i loved both times i have done it . i have caught trout below center hill dam that i know have been released a long time but it still isn't the same. what you were saying about keeping all the line possible off the water i think i did pretty good on that part but i was using 4x tippet and wishing i had 6x. i've never had the need to go that small before but as soon as i left i got some.
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  #17  
Old 09-03-2007, 12:56 AM
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I generally stay in the 5x-6x range; I've read a lot of opinions to the effect that you really don't have to go that light normally, but again, I fish a lot of small waters where the fish can be very skitterish, particularly now. I was using 7x last weekend. The one big advantage of the heavier stuff is getting flies out of trees, etc - rhododendron is particularly tough.
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  #18  
Old 09-03-2007, 10:03 AM
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nvr2L8 nvr2L8 is offline
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Default Tippet Size

I have gone almost exclusively to 6X tippet at the end, particularly with the water low and clear and have caught fish regularly. Maybe I could catch a few more with 7X but 6X is about as fine as I care to work with. Tough enough tying on a fly like a PA with all the fuzz around the top with 6X. As to clothes, my standard garb is green paints, brown shirt. That's as close to camo as you really need.

DH, don't let the guys convince you that size matters. Unless you're depending on the fish you catch for food, the sport of the small ones and their fight/ounce is quite enough fun for anyone. I like the analogy to farm animals - never thought of it that way but what's the sport in that?
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  #19  
Old 09-03-2007, 10:27 AM
pineman19 pineman19 is offline
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Hello Duckhunter,

If your willing to walk a few miles try the Upper Lynn Camp Prong above the junction with Panther Creek. It's a very pretty area, not to many fisherman are up that high, and there are some willing fish. Lynn Camp is one of my favorite streams, I hope the brookie restoration goes well since I have never had a bad day on this stream.

Enjoy,

Neal
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  #20  
Old 09-03-2007, 11:32 AM
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David Knapp David Knapp is offline
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Try a #14 Tellico nymph and fish around the fastest water (and adjacent pockets and slow spots) you can find...the fish will respond!
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