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Old 05-06-2008, 04:55 PM
gg1262 gg1262 is offline
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Default Weekend Trip

My buddy and I made our annual pilgramage to the Smokies this past weekend. Got back to the real world Sunday afternoon and this is the first chance I've had to get in front of the computer for long enough to summarize. There are about 15 posts that I would like to respond to and add my 2 pennies worth, but this will have to do for now:

Thursday May 1: Got into Townsend about 2:30 pm. Hit LRO immediately for some chat and a few supplies. Stopped by the KOA to unload gear in the cabin (#7, on the river) and then headed up to Lynn Camp Prong. Weather was great, water was great, had my first 'bow within 10 minutes. A beautiful little 6 incher. Little did I know that would be the LAST fish I would touch for the evening. MANY rises, little hooking. The fish seemed rather non-committal on the take. I was fishing a yellow paralyzer, my buddy a yellow PA. Tried a few other flies, but it didn't really matter. At around 8:00, we had headed down to the one lane bridge and fished down there. There were Hendricksons everywhere, but the fish were not really interested. My buddy did manage to land one 8 and one 9 inch fish. But all in all it was just okay.

Friday May 2: Headed up to Abrams before the weekend crowd. Arrived at 9:30 am and found only 2 other fishermen, fishing some of the first pools. Hiked back to the lower end of the little shoe. On the way, we met a couple (NY or NJ based on accent) that had just seen a small bear cross in front of them not more than 3 - 5 minutes before we met them. Here is a quote, "It was a nice reward for having to walk on all these rocks and stuff." They said it was little and climbed a tree. My buddy and I smiled and cautiously headed out to see if we could see it. My thoughts are that if it was little and climbed a tree, one should be VERY careful to watch for the mama that is likely close. Didn't get to see it, was midly dissapointed. Entered the little shoe at the downstream end and fished all day to about 6:00 before we came back to the trail. I am thinking we moved a little too slow. Anyway, not much of anything (unless you count shiners). Nymphs, dries, it didn't matter. That is until about 6:00 when the fish started to look up and we had a better time. Caught some, missed a lot. Best was about 8 inches, missed a couple that I think went better. Hendricksons were on the water at about 8:15 and fish fed heavily for about 10 minutes. Landed 5 in that time frame using a size 12 Thunderhead (it was the only roughly mayfly looking thing that I could see on the water). Hooked and long distance released a fish I am sure was 12". VERY UPSET . That one would have had me posting a picture.

Saturday May 3: Fished WPLPR just upstream from Sugarlands. Buddy landed a gorgeous 9 incher. I landed a smaller fish (still pretty), again, missed tons. The fish just did not seem as aggressive in the takes. Some did not even take so much as swipe at it. Storm blew through and the surface activity fell off so we hiked out and went up to Chimney Tops picnic area. Managed a few fish. Man, there is like a 300 year old pine tree laying across the river that has divided one of my favorite pools in half. That pool is where I caught my first Smoky mountain rainbow. It will take A LOT of water to move that thing down. That, or some determined folks with big saws. Anyway, at 4:00 we decided to head over to Elkmont to see if we could catch any hatches. Hiked up the trail and landed some trout. If I had landed even half of the strikes I had it would have been a banner day. There are still some nice fish up there. There are 4 fish that are going to haunt me for a while. All 4 were thick and strong and were hooked but gave me the slip. We decided to hike out and fish any good looking pools on the way. At about 8:15 we passed a pool that had 4 different trout feeding on Hendricksons as they dabbed the surface laying eggs. I tied on a grey klinkhammer just to see it on the water and picked off 3 of the 4 in a matter of 5 minutes. What I wouldn't give for about an hour of that kind of action. Of course, the best one in the pool, the last one I worked to, took it, gave me 5 seconds of fight, then gave me the slip while flipping me the fin. Then it was over and the world, and the fish, were still.

All in all, not a bad weekend. One that left me with the thoughts of the potential to be a GREAT one. Still love that place, may have to sneak back down later this summer, although I feel the Pere Marquette in Michigan calling me. Been a few years and I'm beginning to miss it.

Some questions:

1) How high up on Lynn Camp do you need to go to get into some brookies?
2) Any other cabins in the Townsend stretch that are recommended? Since LR Village became a KOA it has gotten a little pricey.
3) Did I meet any of you this weekend? Talked to a few folks on LR Trail above elkmont on Saturday. I had Simms waders, sage colored breezer hat, brown chest pack, and in all likelihood I was puffing on a pipe. Along that line, I think the folks on this site need a secret signal to flash when on the stream to avoid having to come up with a clever way to ask, "Hey, do you post on the LRO Message Board?"
4) How far do most folks put the nymph dropper behind the dry fly? Actually, I should start another thread on this one as I REALLY need some advice on nymph fishing.

Thanks to you all for feeding my Jones when I can't be on the stream!!
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:10 PM
Shaggy Shaggy is offline
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Excellent Post!

Sounds like you fished alot of water and had a good weekend! I had the same issues that you did on Abrams. Did you not get any fish on the horseshoe? I was thinking of fishing it and am glad I did not. I managed one small, but pretty, rainbow on Sunday, and that was at the falls. I also caught alot of shiners on the upper end. However, I did fish early in the morning and afternoon. I think next time I will fish way downstream at the Abrams campground instead. Again, nice post!
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:19 PM
pineman19 pineman19 is offline
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Hello Shaggy,

If your interested in catching trout, I wouldn't recommend fishing the Abrams Creek campground area. That stretch of Abrams is mainly smallmouth, redeyes and other warmer water species. The Little Bottoms portion of Abrams which is upstream of the campground is regarded as the last really productive trout water on Abrams, and it can be slow once you get into the dog days of summer.

Good luck,

Nesl
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:51 PM
gg1262 gg1262 is offline
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Default Lot of water......

Hey Shaggy, thanks for the compliment. Yeah, we covered a LOT of water. This is our annual no wives, no kids trip so it is pretty much 2 1/2 days of fish until you can't go anymore.

With regards to Abrams; We did not catch many trout on the little shoe, but that should be qualified. We entered the lower end of the shoe (just upstream from the falls) at about 10:20 in the morning. So we were fishing the majority of that section at a less than ideal time. On top of that, neither of us is a very good nymph fisherman. It was sunny and upper 70s that day so a good nymph fisherman would have done better than we did. Now, we did get into some trout on dry flies starting around 5:00 and did okay. There is some really great water in the middle of the little shoe, the problem is you can't wait until 6:00 in the evening to fish it or you will never make it out. At least not in early May. Based on some of the fish I missed on the upper end, there are some QUALITY fish in that stretch.

I must throw out my standard advice when discussing Abrams: DO NOT ATTEMPT either the little or big shoe ALONE. You are really out in the wilderness when you get on either one. It is actually kind of cool, because there isn't even the sound of airplanes. But if you slip and break something, it would be a real issue. I slipped about 2/3 of the way through and drove my shin right into the top of one of those slanted rocks. I had to set down for a while and make sure it was going to work again. Could have been a lot worse. There is no way out other than to wade.

I definitely agree with Pineman on the lower stretch. That is warmwater down that low. I've read there used to be some good brown trout fishing down that way, but I've not heard anything about that in a long time.

The shiners are an issue. I found that if I came to a pool and had shiners hassling my fly then I didn't get any trout strikes. If I had a trout strike early in a pool, then I usually didn't get hassled by the shiners. I know they co-exist in pools, but that was my observation. If there were browns in that river, I would think they would get huge on shiners...
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