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Old 04-02-2010, 09:15 AM
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A buddy of mine called the other day and wanted to know if I was willing to play a little hooky from work and get in a day of fishing. I figured with an upcoming trip I have planned in April, it would be a good time to get in a little practice. Neither of us had ever fish the gorge of the WPLP, so we headed there. Since we both drove, we parked 1 vehicle at the trail head and started fishing at the nature center (?). It was rough to start the day, but after lunch, the fish started getting active. I know it was early in the year to fish such a high altitude, but we had a successful day. Hears some pictures from the trip.













I see why people like Pete and Charlie like this place so much and are so willing to give info out on it. It's not the kind of place for just anyone to fish. Bob and I are both in better than average shape and we both came out of there feeling like we'd been beat up.
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:06 PM
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Buzz,

Welcome to our world. I recognize a couple of those fish.

The gorge is a great place if you're willing to invest the time (since there are only a few reasonable exits) and it's definitely not for the faint of heart. Glad you enjoyed it.
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:40 PM
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Steve,

I was wondering if it wasn't especially challenging with the water levels being a bit high still. There were many places where crossing the stream was not even a possibility. We backtracked more than once.

Definitely not for the faint of heart. I have fished some challenging locations in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and Smokies, but none compares to that gorge. The scenery, the solitude and the quality of the fishing make it all worth while though. I don't know about Buzz, but I'm still a little sore from the rock hoping and climbing - not to mention the fact that I put some pretty ugly scuff marks in my trusty old Winston.

By the way, even though Buzz outfished me once again I do believe he got the smallest fish of the day. Doesn't appear he got a picture of that one. ;-)

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Old 04-03-2010, 11:54 PM
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Buzz and 46r, Great job guys! Its good to see some fat rainbows (regardless of how small they are)...They look awfully healthy.

I went back and checked my notes for the times I have fished the WPLP in the past and I can confirm what you already knew...there was too much water...Normally I would say optimum conditions in the gorge are when the gauge in Sevierville is around 2' and the flow is running around 200-250 cfs.

If you check the river gauge website (http://www.lawrencevilleweather.com/...bs&gauge=SEVT1), it looks like you were fishing when it was about 2.8' and 400 cfs. Not unwadeable, but a bit on the dangerous side. At a normal flow you shouldn't have to backtrack but once or twice at the most.

A few other of my own observations from the past (from my notes):
  • There are a few good pools down near the nature exhibit and even a bit further down, but the better fishing seems to start about 100 yards or more above the nature exhibit.
  • The last 100 yards don't seem all that great either (near the Road Prong - Walker Camp confluence). It may be all the kids chucking rocks.
  • I never do well in the morning in the Gorge. It doesn't matter how hot or cold the water or air is, I just never have had much luck until 11am or later.
  • If you really want the full experience, take only one car...park at the Chimneys Trailhead and walk down the road through the tunnel, on the ledge (you get 50 bonus points for each car that honks their horn while you are on the ledge). Then fish your way back up to your car...
Glad you guys had fun (and didn't get hurt - 46r how's the ankle holding up?). I hope to get over there sometime soon myself. BTW, I drove over Newfound Gap Rd today and there is still snow on some of the North facing slopes so WPLP will still be chillier than some of the other streams in the park for awhile longer...
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:47 AM
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That section has been on my list for too long! I hope to get out there this summer.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteCz View Post
  • (you get 50 bonus points for each car that honks their horn while you are on the ledge).
I don't know what it is about tunnels that makes me so good looking, but I can't keep the women from honking at me when I'm in one.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:46 PM
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Pete, The ankle has healed well. Thanks for asking. It still swells when I push it (like the gorge) but the titanium probably makes it stronger than the original equipment.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteCz View Post
Buzz and 46r, Great job guys! Its good to see some fat rainbows (regardless of how small they are)...They look awfully healthy.

I went back and checked my notes for the times I have fished the WPLP in the past and I can confirm what you already knew...there was too much water...Normally I would say optimum conditions in the gorge are when the gauge in Sevierville is around 2' and the flow is running around 200-250 cfs.

If you check the river gauge website (http://www.lawrencevilleweather.com/...bs&gauge=SEVT1), it looks like you were fishing when it was about 2.8' and 400 cfs. Not unwadeable, but a bit on the dangerous side. At a normal flow you shouldn't have to backtrack but once or twice at the most.

A few other of my own observations from the past (from my notes):
  • There are a few good pools down near the nature exhibit and even a bit further down, but the better fishing seems to start about 100 yards or more above the nature exhibit.
  • The last 100 yards don't seem all that great either (near the Road Prong - Walker Camp confluence). It may be all the kids chucking rocks.
  • I never do well in the morning in the Gorge. It doesn't matter how hot or cold the water or air is, I just never have had much luck until 11am or later.
  • If you really want the full experience, take only one car...park at the Chimneys Trailhead and walk down the road through the tunnel, on the ledge (you get 50 bonus points for each car that honks their horn while you are on the ledge). Then fish your way back up to your car...
Glad you guys had fun (and didn't get hurt - 46r how's the ankle holding up?). I hope to get over there sometime soon myself. BTW, I drove over Newfound Gap Rd today and there is still snow on some of the North facing slopes so WPLP will still be chillier than some of the other streams in the park for awhile longer...
Awesome tips, thanks for sharing, I may try the chimneys tip this weekend.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzmcmanus View Post
I don't know what it is about tunnels that makes me so good looking...
Maybe it's the dark ;-)
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