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Old 01-04-2011, 12:59 PM
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Hugh Hartsell Hugh Hartsell is offline
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Default Very Interesting conversation!!!

This morning I took Boomer down to the Launch Ramp just below Cherokee Dam and I let him out to run and get some excerise. Another fellow pulled up just after I let him out and backed his truck down the ramp to the edge of the river. He proceeded to get his rod from the truck and started fishing. I watched one of the resident Bald Eagles take off from the river just below the dam and I walked down to ask the gentleman if there were shad still coming downstream this morning. This turned into a conversation about trout fishing in the river and he asked if I flyfished, to which I replied that, I did. We commented about the nice fish that were in the river this year and he asked me if I had ever fished at Elkmont, in the Smokies. That got my interest even more and I replied that, " I have for many years." He proceded to tell me about a brown trout that he caught in 1978 just below the first bridge that you cross as you are starting back downstream from the "Elkmont turnin."He said that he caught a 16 pound brown trout on a stonefly nymph that was tied by a flytier from the Poconos. He said that he had the fish mounted and that Park officials said that it was a Park record as far as they knew. He is sending me a picture of the fish that he had mounted and is on the wall at his home. I'll try to either put in on the board or my website when I receive it.
Hugh
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:45 PM
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Paula Begley Paula Begley is offline
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Here's the photo Hugh sent:



It's kind of hard to tell how big it is without a point of reference on the size. I wonder what the girth was...

Paula
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:50 PM
kentuckytroutbum kentuckytroutbum is offline
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Geez! That's AWESOME. Didn't think a trout could get that big.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:33 PM
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At first glance; I would guess that fish to be around 5-6 lbs. However; it is hard to gauge without having more information. Here is a 16 lb. brown caught on the Clinch last summer. Hugh, you probably can gauge size better than most. Interesting conversation and picture.

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Old 01-04-2011, 10:18 PM
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Hugh Hartsell Hugh Hartsell is offline
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Default size of the fish

Fellows,
I was a little bit like you might have been at first look at the picture. There are not a lot of reference points. I took the picture that he sent to me and moved it to My Pictures and enlarged it . Look at the window sashes that are beside it. That is a 1/2 size window and we have some that I measured at 36 inches. In the full sized pictured the fish is almost as long as the length of the curtains. There is a new calendar just underneath it that is 10-12in. wide. The fish is 3 times as long as the calendar is wide. That makes me think that the numbers he gave with the picture are right. 16 lbs. and 32 inches long. He said that the fish took him down the river for almost 1/8 of a mile. He said that people were stopping all along the road and watching and that some fellow finally came along and had a net. He came down to the creek and helped to land the fish. The identification tag that is on the plaque reads
16lb. brown
National Park Record
Chuck Reedy

Maybe I'll get the chance to visit him and see the fish for myself. I'm sure envious of him.
Hugh
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:42 PM
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Looking at the map that should be about right below where Poplar Branch comes in about halfway to Metcalf bottoms. That's a beauty whatever the weight and girth are for sure!!
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:15 PM
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donwinn donwinn is offline
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Default Hey

Hugh,

Sure is good to see you back on the board! Thanks for the story.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:37 PM
Knothead Knothead is offline
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Interesting story. I checked Don Kirk's book, Smoky Mountains Trout Fishing Guide, 1997 edition. It mentions the 16 pound record brown but doesn't go into any detail. Like Paul Harvey, now you know the rest of the story! Thanks, Hugh!
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:43 AM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Hugh--Really interesting material, and I'm always fascinated by Park history, piscatorial or otherwise. I do have one general quesiton for you and others. Exactly how was it determined this is a Park record? To my knowledge no official records of Park fish have ever been kept. If they have, I certainly would appreciate information and sources for checking on such records.
Record or not, that's a monstrous brown trout. I knew of one 29 inches in length caught in Deep Creek when I was a youngster, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't weighed. Also, my father and others felt it was a hatchery brood fish which had been stocked. I don't know that browns were ever stocked in Park waters other than Luftee, but in the case of Deep Creek it would have been easy enough for a stocked fish to swim upstream from state waters. Furthermore, this fish was caught only a quarter of a mile or so inside the Park (at the foot of Toms Branch Falls).
Good to see your name on the Forum again.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:24 AM
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Another account of a 32 incher... fact or myth? Not sure...

A work associate and my son were in a meeting this past June. He had a Little River Outitters shirt on so they started talking. (He said he is the boy in the photo.) He said his great uncle caught the fish on a fiberglass cane pole with the fly line wrapped around the end and some monofilament tied to it with a homemade fly. He said he thought his line was stuck, but then the fish took off and actually beached itself. Said he was at Sugarlands visitor center a couple of weeks later and the ranger or wildlife guy said they would pay to have it mounted if they could hang it up in the museum for a couple of months. (The ranger had apparently been approved for a transfer sometime earlier.) Word had it he walked up and down the rivers showing off the fish that “he” had caught. Upon his transfer he apparently moved on along with the fish never to be seen again.

The associate said he got the LRO shirt a few years back before a Tellico trip and that Paula recognized his last name and asked about the mythical fish. He had the clipping in the car and when he came back in, everyone in the store was already gathered around. One gentleman working there apparently looked at the photo and walked off saying “well I guess the myth is true”.

Perhaps Paula will recall this.

JF
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Last edited by JoeFred; 01-10-2011 at 07:41 AM..
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