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Old 07-16-2008, 06:21 PM
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Default Oconaluftee 7/15

After an unexpected delay at work yesterday I decided to take full advantage and hit the creek, again, for the 4th time this week...I've knocked out almost all of the NC side of the park but I had never done any fishing along Newfound Gap Road, due to the high volume of traffic and such. Yesterday I decided it would be a good evening to try it....I am sure glad I did... I finally found somewhere with a little water coming down, I don't quite understand why, but the flow was up. We started at the Kephart Prong pull off and made our way upstream. By the time we got out of sight of the bridge we had already brought 7 fish to hand, all browns and rainbows, and all small. I am not greedy, I love catching them no matter what size. We made our way on upstream and took a break on the rocks at the mouth of Kanati fork...needless to say I love the fact I can go find scenery like this on an afternoon trip. After taking it all in I casted where Kanti Fork emptied in and finally caught a decent fish, decent being not a 5 inch brown As soon as my #12 BHPT hit the water under my Yellow Palmer it was jerked up the creek. Much to my surprise, since I hadn't seen one yet, I slammed with a 7+ Speck. Did I mention how many cars were zooming up and down Newfound Gap.....The Stecnh of burning brakes filled the air....After taking off on up the creek I continues to have moderate success on the BHPT, mixed in with a few aggressive rises at the palmer. We made it up to the next trail down from the road and apparently gotten behind were someone had fished already yesterday afternoon... There was a nice hole right where the trail met the stream and I just couldn't pass up dropping that golden bead headed wonder in there. Almost as soon as it hit, again, I pulled out a 7 inch rainbow that was the most colorful fish I have seen for this time of year.
After this things started to turn downhill a little bit....I never saw any tracks but I knew that the way they had turned off they had either been rocked or stomped on. Stubborn as I am, I didn't want to go back down the creek with dark closing in so I made my way farther upstream. I switched over to a #14 orange palmer that was a little easier to see and quickly began getting strikes. I missed 2 or 3 fish that were over 10 inches but never could land one as I was hiding under a rhodo bush every time I casted trying to maintain my cover. I finally got to a logjam that Ik new would produce and stayed quite a way downstream to keep from spooking the fish. I just recently started fishing with a 3wt. and I must say that it has put the tthrill into catching a 7 inch fish. Anyways, I casted up the hole and made a perfect drift, my fly floated right beside a submerged log and I had almost given up hope on the perfect cast when my fly jerked under and I set the hook and a beautiful 10 inch brown.I must say that he gave me all I could handle on the 3wt. Unfortunately, I was stripping line trying to catch up with him coming downstream and burnt a blister on my fore finger, that dang Sharkskin is incredible but it will light you up! After this fish I made it up a little farther and it was becoming increasingly dark. I landed one more fish on the BHPT, another wonderful colored rainbow and decided it was time to make my way up the bank and down to the truck All in all it was a great day of fishing and I had a great time fishing a stretch I had never set foot in. Don't over look the stretches of water that you may think see too much traffic. I easily brought 30 fish to hand from 4 until dark, and the guy I was fishing with hadn't been in almost a year and he may have gotten 10 to hand. I hope everyone else has had a chance to get a little time in the creeks here lately low as they may be.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:01 PM
pineman19 pineman19 is offline
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Great report and pics Speckleman! Nice to hear the water levels are still good. I fished for around an hour in the rain last Sunday on the WPLP, and the water level was getting pretty high for summer time by the time I quit, but the fish were still hungry. I may have to give the Park another try this weekend to take advantage of the better water levels.


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Old 07-16-2008, 07:03 PM
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I have been everywhere and this is the ONLY stream I have seen with Good flow, everywhere else is struggling badly.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:05 PM
pineman19 pineman19 is offline
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You may want to consider the TN side, especially the Greenbriar and WPLP watersheds. I also encountered good water levels last Saturday on a stream in the SE area of the Park on the NC side.

Neal
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:59 PM
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It's funny how things change from year to year...last year, the NC side seemed to have better levels. I've never really given the Oconaluftee a fair shake - it always seems like I'm going to or coming from some other area. I have gone a little ways up Kanati Branch - talk about a jungle.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:08 AM
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Nice report. Glad to see some fish being caught.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:15 AM
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Speckleman, great report and nice pics.

Neal is right about the WPLP and Greenbriar. I was on WPLP last Saturday and it was really pushing a lot of water. It should be in excellent fishing shape this week/weekend. Newfound Gap/Mt Leconte received almost 5 inches of rain from Tuesday-Sunday of last week.

The Little Pigeon watershed is running pretty close to normal levels right now (especially compared to last year). Little Pigeon Streamflows

As you can see the Little River is not doing as well. Little River Streamflows

It seems that some of the watersheds are holding their water better, while drainages like the Little River will spike up after a rain, but quickly drop back down to where they were before. I fished Tremont last night and the flow was much lower than I had expected, after the rains we saw last week...
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