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  #11  
Old 07-06-2010, 10:26 PM
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David here you go. This is the best fish I've ever caught. Not the biggest but the best, because of where it came from. Metcalf bottoms a few years back not sure how big, didn't tape it.



Here is the story.

I managed to get away for a day fishing with Tim Doyle. Tim is a good friend and local guide. He runs Smoky Mountain Flywerks guide service. We started out the day throwing big terestrials to over hangs and under cuts. This is one of Tims specialties and I learned a lot of great tips. My first fish was a 13 inch brown trout. This was my largest fish to date in the GSMNP. We continued fishing and ended up in a very well known place that holds some large browns.

After Tim caught a couple I started fish some likely spots. I had absolutely no looks and started working my way up stream. I was looking upstream and a flash of white caught my eye. I froze to get a better look. What I saw astounded me as the largest brown I have ever seen appeared before my eyes. He was lodged in a large slot on the stream bottom. I yelled at Tim, is that a fish. Your right thats a fish he replied. Tim immeadeately knew what was on the menu.

While I stayed frozen, he placed two flies on a stick and threw it out to me. Hands trembling I tied on the two flies. On top was a small girdle bug and on bottom was a size sixteen bead head pheasant tail nymph. After four drifts the brown looked as though he had eaten and I set the hook, but nothing was there. At this point I was completly frazzled, hands trembling and my heart was ready to jump out of my chest. I took a couple seconds to recoupe. Three drifts later he ate and the party was on. He came to the surface and shook his in fustration. After a couple of good runs I managed to beach him in a small back eddy. This was my second fish and now largest fish to date in GSMNP.

Who's next?
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2010, 10:36 PM
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I'd still like to see some pics from Jack, Ray, Hugh and others. Those boys can fish. There are definately some young guns rolling around out there too. David your one, Ross, where you at? Caleb? There are many others. I was told when I first moved Here that if you can fish the park good then you could catch fish anywhere and I really believe that. I've had the opportunity meet and fish with some of the darn right fishiest guys around and I say thank you to them all.
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2010, 11:06 PM
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I work part time at Smoky Mtn Angler in Gatlinburg, and there is a fiberglass model of a brown on the wall along with a pic of the real fish. It is around 24 inches long, but it must me 20 inches around and is rumored to have come from high in Tremont many years ago. Kris, was that you at Orvis today when I bought a harness for my mut?
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2010, 11:32 PM
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The park fisheries biologists have a few pics of some pretty impressive trout from various streams throughout the park. Several were >30" if I remember correctly.
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  #15  
Old 07-07-2010, 08:46 AM
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To slightly diverge on this topic, what tactics/flies have you found most productive on big browns? The one and only genuine 18+ inch brown I took from the park rose to an elk hair caddis in the pouring rain. Seemed like a fluke at the time but I have since caught some nice fish on the surface during a downpour.

My guess is that most of you trophy trout hunters are fishing subsurface rigs. I am not much for nymph fishing but maybe that's why I catch very few truly large trout. A guide on the West Branch of the Delaware up in the Catskills told me once to fish wooley buggers toward the shore during a high water event. I said I'm not big on wolley buggers. He said, "so you ain't big on big fish either, are ya skippy". ;-)
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  #16  
Old 07-07-2010, 08:50 AM
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I bet those guys, know where all the big boys hang out. I also have a picture of a guy that caught a 29 or 31 inch Brown (can't remember) up Hazel. A customer had emailed it to me when I first moved here, but I don't know the guys name, so I don't want to post it. But man it is wicked.

I used to really obsess over big fish, but it seems like the last couple years I've been content to just get out, catch some fish, see others catch fish and enjoy the outdoors.

I think there is a natural progression of a sportsman is: First Stage - catching a bunch of fish Second Stage - Head Hunting for big fish Third Stage - It's all about the experience and whom you spend it with.

I think I linger between the last two stages, I did go out last Friday and night fished the Clinch, didn't get anything, but almost caught someone breaking into my truck.

Let's see some more pictures now, who has Steve's number?
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2010, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurer View Post
...
I think there is a natural progression of a sportsman is: First Stage - catching a bunch of fish Second Stage - Head Hunting for big fish Third Stage - It's all about the experience and whom you spend it with...
Good point. I have gone through the same general progression as a bowhunter - any deer, to many deer, to big deer, to just enjoying God's creation and counting it a bonus if I take a buck. Kind of wish I had gotten here quicker.
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  #18  
Old 07-07-2010, 09:01 AM
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adirondack46r,

The biggest fish I've caught was in Jan during a hugh down pour, rising water, chucking my favorite fly a Cone Head Zuddler. I like fishing nasty weather, keeps the fair weather guys at home and seems like that has been when I've caught some of my bigger fish. Although my park brown was in the middle of the day and it was sunny, but I had luck on my side that day.

Google search Kelly Gallop and check out some of his big ole flies. You can get way more crazy than just a wooly bugger. Some of the boys up in the Tri-Cities are throwing some crazy stuff to.

That's not to say you can't catch big fish on regular flies, but I think that is some what the exception and not the rule.

Steve and Matt have said that once a Brown trout reaches 13 inches they become more carnivorous, however that doesn't mean they only eat meat and I'm sure they take advantage of any easy food source that presents its self. That's how they get big.

Rain storm, dry fly, possibly crippled, fly can't get off the water = easy meal (who know really why fish do certain things)

I always get asked if it's a good day to go out and I always reply with of course any day fishing is better than working. Even if you don't catch anything it's good to get out.
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  #19  
Old 07-07-2010, 09:40 AM
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Hey Kris,

I made it to the Slide Inn out West a few years back. Cool place. Kelly's got some awesome patterns. I have never considered using most of them around here. I have gotten crazy a couple of times and tied on a chernobyl ant. It just doesn't seen right on these mountain streams. Biggest fish I caught while out west though was on somethign like a big ant in the box canyon of Henry's Fork. Whole different world out there.

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  #20  
Old 07-07-2010, 10:23 AM
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I used to have the luxury of fishing Upper East TN and the Park a lot and the Tellico area even more back in the late 80s and 90s. I managed to catch a 20" brown on Abrams in May of 95. It was one of the last nice browns I can remember coming out of there before they disappeared. I caught numerous browns between 15 and 22" inches on the Bald, North and Tellico. I would wait for a good summer downpour and fish the muddy water as it was falling. A big flashy, heavy streamer with lots of yellow always seemed to turn a couple of big fish. I lost a brown in the upper Bald during that time period that was a real brute. He rolled twice on the surface before making a run into a tree top and broke me off. He had to be at least 26" and in the 6-8lb range. I had a secret stream even further south that produced browns in the 18-22" range pretty regularly as well. I never managed to land one bigger than 20" in Upper East TN, but saw tons of browns in the 20-26" range in Beaverdam, Laurel, Stony, Doe and N Indian.

My biggest wild rainbow was just over 16”. I caught it back in September of 92 on Abrams just above the Little Bottoms area. I was going through my ultralight stage at that time and caught him using a size 16 Thunderhead on a 6 and ½’ Loomis 2 Weight and 6X tippet. I saw a legitimate 20” wild rainbow on Doe Creek near Butler in the late 90s that rose to my Adams Parachute and tried to sip it in. I got nervous and set the hook too fast and missed him. That put him down and he would not take again. That stream has produced many 12-15” rainbows for me though. It has not been the same in recent years unfortunately.

I also got the chance to do a lot of shocking in just about every wild trout stream in TN during the 90s as well. People just don't realize how many nice browns there are in these mountain streams. Some streams that you can almost jump across hold browns in the 20" class. Catching them on a fly is another matter. While I managed to get lucky on a couple of nice fish on clear water days using standard dries of nymphs (hardly anyone used dropper rigs back then), most of my good fish came on streamers when the water was high or off color.

I think I must have reached stage 3 as Maurer so aptly put it. I am just happy to get on the stream at all these days. I get much more enjoyment from seeing my nine year old son catch fish, or just spending time on the water with friends.

Last edited by TNBigBore; 07-07-2010 at 10:46 AM..
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