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Old 07-20-2011, 12:04 AM
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Thumbs up Smokies Report July 18, 2011

I headed up to the mountains yesterday with the goal to introduce a friend to fly fishing. We stopped by LRO for some tying material and a supply of tippet material and leaders for my upcoming Yellowstone trip. Also picked up a fishing license and then we were off. First off we headed over to Greenbrier. I like smaller pocket water streams for beginner fisherman because of the forgiving fish that will rise consistently to dry flies.

We fished a little here and there and got the first fish out of the way and then another...all on dries! Helping people catch their first fish on a fly rod is always enjoyable to me. Over the last few years I've helped people catch their first fish anywhere from small trout streams in the Smokies to farmpond bluegill. Every time, the smile says it all...






I wanted to show her some brookies and since we didn't want to hike too far, decided to head up 441. This proved to be a good call except that I missed the first several brookies that ate. Lots of rainbows came to hand here as well, and since I hate seeing that many rainbows up high in brookie water, I'm afraid I might not have been as gentle with them as I should have. (Un)Fortunately they probably all survived to be caught another day.



Seriously, if anyone wants to catch some fish to eat, hit up Walker Camp Prong and keep as many legal 'bows as possible. I catch tons of rainbows where I used to catch only brookies...too bad... Anyways, we finally got a brookie and then it was off to Little River.

I was planning on trying in one or two places for a big brown to cap off the day. Finally, inspiration struck and I stopped at a favorite pool. It was the perfect time to be on the water, right around sunset which meant I better hurry and get my fishing time in before it was too late. I tied on a wooly bugger and trailed a soft hackle (more on this fly later on my blog) behind it and proceeded to catch two nice rainbows, the better of which pushed 11 inches.

Then, on what was going to be my last cast, it happened. The line twitched, I set the hook, and was soon battling a fish that grew as I fought it. When it first rolled, I was positive that I had a 11-12 inch rainbow on. However, you can tell this fish was definitely not a rainbow and obviously larger than 11-12 inches. Definitely an awesome way to wrap up the trip!



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Old 07-20-2011, 09:11 AM
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duckypaddler duckypaddler is online now
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NIce stuff as usual

While I haven't been thinning the Rainbows out in Walker Prong, I have been trying to do my share on the Middle Prong

Great that you got to show a newby, and that Brown is pretty impressive
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:51 PM
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Solid! VERY nice brown!
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:54 PM
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Great brown, and great job getting the newbie on the water and into her first fly rod fish.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:11 PM
Teddyp Teddyp is offline
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Awesome fish! nice work!
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:40 PM
smccarter smccarter is offline
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Great pics! So where is walker prong?
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:10 PM
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It is the stream that flows along hwy 441 above the Chimney Tops trailhead. That is where Road Prong and Walker join to form the West Prong of the Little Pigeon....
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:25 PM
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Awesome fish! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:06 AM
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Regardless of how you feel about the rainbows in your "brookie" stream there is no reason to injur or kill fish you are not willing to take home. My own two cents, brook trout or wimpy small fish that are not too bright and will eat almost anything, realistic or not. I understand they are the "native" species, but if that;s the case start bouncing your beloved browns off the rocks as well.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2weightfavorite View Post
Regardless of how you feel about the rainbows in your "brookie" stream there is no reason to injur or kill fish you are not willing to take home. My own two cents, brook trout or wimpy small fish that are not too bright and will eat almost anything, realistic or not. I understand they are the "native" species, but if that;s the case start bouncing your beloved browns off the rocks as well.
The problem with rainbows in the Smokies is that they are not native AND they are small, generally the same size as brook trout in the same stream give or take an inch or so. If a non-native trout is only marginally larger than the beautiful native trout, and both are competing in the same stream, it makes sense to remove the non-native trout, at least to me anyway.

Now, I love big rainbows every bit as much as I love big browns. But, they are rare in most Smokies streams and exceedingly rare where brook and rainbow trout coexist.
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