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Old 01-15-2013, 10:09 PM
HuskerFlyFisher HuskerFlyFisher is offline
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Default How does stream/river fishing in the smokies compare to the Rockies?

We live 4-5 hours from the nm and Southern co Rockies, but I've mainly fished the smokies since I have two cabins there. I would like to hear from David knapp and others as to how the fishing in the locations compares - how productive the fishing is, sizes, differences, and similarities.

My dad claims that the Rockies are generally much more productive and that the fish are bigger.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:15 AM
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David Knapp David Knapp is offline
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I'm a bit biased towards the Smokies as I grew up fishing those streams but would say that in general, the two locations are pretty similar. A lot of streams out west have a better nutrient load so people tend to feel like the catching is a lot better since they are catching larger fish more consistently. It all boils down to each person's definition of better.

Generally I feel the fishing is about the same as far as productivity goes if numbers are your only criteria. However, I will also say that there are lots more small streams to be discovered out here in CO that never get fished whereas in the Smokies, the majority of the accessible water is fished fairly hard. People out here tend to gravitate towards the big water of famous rivers and lakes so the small to medium stuff is often overlooked.

Finally, there are lots of reservoirs that produce major spawning runs of big fish, something that is mostly lacking in the southern Appalachians. Lots of the big trout that are caught out here are in conjunction with those runs, or with the extremely nutrient rich tailwaters below some select lakes. If trout is your thing, the Rocky mountain states are probably better, but the variety in Tennessee is much better if you ask me!!! In fact, for variety, I know of few other places I would rather live outside of saltwater options...
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:12 AM
HuskerFlyFisher HuskerFlyFisher is offline
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Interesting.

David have you ventured into Northern NM at all? The Rio Hondo stream runs all the way up to the ski basin at Taos, isn't even mentioned as a fly fishing stop, yet I've caught nice trout in that stream. It reminds me of Roaring Fork in terms of size and flows. Northern NM seems to be an underrated and under-mentioned destination for fly fishers.

You do have the Ted Turner Ranch (Vermejo??), but that is private waters for the well-heeled, and is fully stocked with trophy trout. I don't count that.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:38 PM
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David Knapp David Knapp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerFlyFisher View Post
Interesting.

David have you ventured into Northern NM at all?
I haven't but have a few streams down that way on my list of places to fish. Naturally the San Juan tailwater is one I want to fish sometime. Also I would like to go to the Rio Costilla in the Valle Vidal sometime as well as a few other lesser known spots I've heard about. Sounds like a great place to fish!
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Knapp View Post
Generally I feel the fishing is about the same as far as productivity goes if numbers are your only criteria. However, I will also say that there are lots more small streams to be discovered out here in CO that never get fished whereas in the Smokies, the majority of the accessible water is fished fairly hard. People out here tend to gravitate towards the big water of famous rivers and lakes so the small to medium stuff is often overlooked.
While I generally agree with DK here, I will say that out West is just plain trout country!! Sure the fishing in TN/VA/NC/GA is very good and in certain ways is very comparable but there are trout everywhere when it comes to a place like CO. Throw a fly in just about any river, stream, pond, lake, puddle, ditch and you will likely get a hit. Like David said, with so much water, it is also very easy to find places to fish with good numbers and size. Not to mention that brook trout are everywhere!! and are much larger than here in the Smokies. If you love catching brookies, you will love CO. I have really grown to enjoy fishing the park but I like the challenge of trying to find those quality fish here in the mountains. Out West, it isn't nearly as much of a challenge but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable...

Tight Lines,
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:57 PM
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David, how do you feel about the Eat More Brook Trout concept out there?

steve
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:13 PM
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David, how do you feel about the Eat More Brook Trout concept out there?

steve
Hahaha, I actually appreciate it as I feel it helps contribute to better overall fish size. Besides, I'm pretty sure these fish are from northern strain lineage so I really don't mind... Seriously though, I completely understand it as I feel that it applies to most situations where native species exist as long as it can be proven that introduced species are outcompeting the native species...that's where things get sticky though...
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:59 AM
TNBigBore TNBigBore is offline
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David,

I am heading out to Colorado this year in late July with a 12 and 15 year old for their first Western fishing trip. Do you have any recommendations for some easy small/medium stream fishing for smallish/dumb trout? We are driving, so anywhere in the state is doable. I was thinking the Flattops Wilderness looked promising.

Thanks,
Neal B
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:19 PM
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David Knapp David Knapp is offline
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Neal, shoot me an email at the address listed below and I'll give you some ideas. Green Drakes should be on somewhere during that time on larger waters so don't stay just on the small stuff...
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