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Old 10-18-2008, 02:56 PM
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Default Thunderhead 10/18

Got a free pass this morning about 9:00 and made a run up to Thunderhead for a couple of hours of fishing. Only caught two but on Thunderhead, every catch is a prize - if you're into numbers and size, it's definitely not the place to go.

Nothing like the Smokies (any stream) during October:

It's that time of year when you catch as many leaves as you do fish.
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:02 PM
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Default Rocks and leaves

Charlie, I see a bunch of rocks and some leaves...is there any water in there...?
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Old 10-18-2008, 08:46 PM
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Pete,

There were plenty of nice little pools and a few big ones. And some skiddish trout. Kind of fun every once in a while to go up Thunderhead and try to beat the odds.

BTW, when I got up there, the air temp was around 48 and the water temp was 54. Perfect fall day for fishing.
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:10 AM
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Charlie,

I think Thunderhead has been hit hard by two yrs of drought. In 2003, I had several good trips to that stream, especially higher above the junction with Sams Creek. My average bow was larger on TH than on the WPLP. It will come back after a couple of normal rainfall years. As with other streams, I think the best water is higher up when conditions are right.


Neal
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:19 AM
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Pineman - you answered the question I was about to ask...why Thunderhead doesn't produce as well as other, similar streams. It is amazing how all these streams have different "personalities", and different characteristics when low. For example, last year we found the fishing on Straight Fork to be pretty good, even in the drought - in fact, I found it to be far easier to fish than it was earlier this year, when it was up a bit from a shower. I guess you would have to really study the hydrology of a particular stream, see what feeds it, etc to see the differences.
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Old 10-19-2008, 02:06 PM
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Let me take a shot at a possible theory on why a stream like Thunderhead doesn't rebound as quickly as others and see what you guys think. When a drought hits, I would imagine that the tendancy is going to be for the fish to seek lower, bigger water. As the drought is relieved, the reverse would happen with a migration back upstream. With a stream like Little River, it is possible to have a fairly continuous migration path up and down. Lynn Camp above the cascades is much like Little River in that it is a more gradual change in elevation from the cascades on up several miles, offering a much easier path for fish up and down Lynn Camp and its tributaries. WPLP has a lot of barriers but in between each are pools that are nice and deep even in the toughest parts of the drought as well as some nice long stretches of flatter water. With a smaller stream like Thunderhead that has a lot of continuous natural barriers, particularly at the lower end, the migration path from Middle Prong back up Thunderhead would be much tougher. And there are fewer stretches and deep pools than in a stream like WPLP so I would imagine fewer fish survive and rebounding in place would take longer.

Anyway, that's a theory, based purely on conjecture.
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