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  #11  
Old 04-07-2009, 09:53 AM
MtnMike MtnMike is offline
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Carolina Boy,

Laurel Fork is just a few miles outside of Elizabethton. It flows into the Doe River in the small town of Hampton. The area above Dennis Cove is a special regulation (single hook, artifical lure only) wild brown trout stream.

Mike
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  #12  
Old 04-07-2009, 10:10 AM
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cherokeeflyboy cherokeeflyboy is offline
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All of my fishing time has been on the South Holston this year and I have been chomping at the bit to get on a mountian stream. All I had was Saturday morning, but I needed to get out. So I headed for my "local" mountain stream, Laurel Fork in Carter County. Arrived at the trailhead parking lot around 9:00 expecting to see at least some hikers only to discover that I was the first to arrive. The air temperature was 38 degrees. Headed up the trail anxious to see the creek...



I wasn't disappointed, but I was actually expecting more water. I was having a hard time deciding whether to stop and fish or keep hiking. I knew the water would be cold, so I decided to head on up to the falls...



Checked the water temp (46 degrees) while tying on a size 14 parachute adams. This pool at the falls fishes pretty good in the summer, I made a few casts, but as expected nothing was coming up. So, I tied on a BHPT as a dropper and made a few more casts, still no action. Decision time. I had planned to hit a spot in the gorge above the falls, but decided that I would start back down the trail and hit some of the more shallow and sunny spots.
There was a good looking spot about 1/4 mile below the falls that had all the right ingredients. I made a cast into the shallow run and was rewarded with a beautiful rise, set the hook, nothing. No problem, cast again, he politely rose again, set the hook, nothing. OK, it's been a while since I've been in the mountains. Third cast, he rose again, nothing.
I checked the fly, cut the dropper off (side note: I get enough dry/dropper fishing on the tailwaters, I go to the mountains to fish dry flies). Anyway, fourth cast, he rose, set the hook, the fight was on, he was all over the creek... and 5 seconds later he was gone. Unreal, this fish rises 4 times and I still manage to lose him. Oh well, I didn't expect the year's first freestoner to come easy.
Moved on down to the next likely spot. Nothing but the dry fly now. Got a really nice drift and was reward with an 8-9" brown. Ahh, the year's first freestoner on a dry fly. Now let's snap a picture, he begins to squirm and I drop him without a picture. You have got to me kidding me. Oh well, cast again, another rise...



At least I got a picture of this one, continued to fish the run...



Moved on down and caught a couple more all in the 6-9" range. I ended up with 5 and had to head out. I made my last cast at 12:30, probably when I should have been starting. The water was still cool, but bugs were coming off in the sunny spots. Glad I got out before this cold snap.
I may catch bigger fish on the tailwaters, but it is no where near as much fun as these little freestoners. Can't wait till next time.

Mike
I there a map on the web that has "Laurel Fork & Dennis Cove" on it? Mine do not have it listed.
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2009, 11:33 AM
MtnMike MtnMike is offline
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Cherokeeflyboy,

Not sure where you are looking, but just to clarify in case there is some confusion, this stream is not in the park. It is in Carter County near the city of Elizabethton. Laurel Fork flows into the Doe River in Hampton, the Doe River then flows into the Watauga in Elizabethton.

Mike
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2009, 08:20 PM
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Hey Hans,

Be sure and let me know when you are coming this way, maybe we can get together. I've gotta to spend some more time on the Mountain Streams.

Mike
Will do,

Hans
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  #15  
Old 04-07-2009, 09:13 PM
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wynnsman wynnsman is offline
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Carolina boy,,its inthe town of Hampton near Elizabethton.

Mnt Mike,,,,I am a pretty familiar to the area above Dennis Cove but have never fished below the first bridge crossing just downstream of the pull off where all the hikers park to hike downstream tothe falls. I my take your advice and fish more downstream. Thanks a bunch....
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  #16  
Old 04-07-2009, 11:55 PM
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MtnMike,

give me a holler sometime. i'm gonna fish that creek before i leave for school this year. i leave milligan sometime during the second week of may. let me know if you're interested in chasing some brookies in unicoi. you may already know of some creeks around there, but i can put you on a fun one.

Ben
bktaylor@milligan.edu
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  #17  
Old 04-08-2009, 09:22 PM
mlstiehl mlstiehl is offline
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Default Next Time try a streamer in the pool below the falls

Fished this area two years ago in July. Caught some nice bows below the falls on a large streamer. Above the falls the water gets skinner and the gradiaent is less. In low water it is hard to not spook the fish.

Glad you caught some. It is a beautiful area and easy to hike in an out of

Thanks,
Mike
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