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Old 10-22-2013, 11:33 PM
bmadd bmadd is offline
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Default First Trip Report

Thanks to all who helped me with my questions leading up to this trip. Last Wednesday, my parents, my wife and I left West TN and arrived in Gatlinburg late that night. I was going to have two days to fish and the park was open. This was going to be my first trout fishing trip and first time fishing in the park. After listening to the advice of many of you, I had planned to fish with a guide on Thursday to help speed up the learning. Josh Pfieffer of Frontier Anglers was a great guide and I'd recommend him to anyone.

We met Thursday morning and he was as excited as I was to be in the park. He had spotted a big brown feeding before we met and was eager to get back and see if it was still there. After the short drive, the fish he had spotted was gone. We quickly moved on and started fishing the Little River off the main road. Not long after getting in the water, Josh was pointing out where to cast and I was putting a dry pretty close to target. Not long after, some small rainbows were rising to hit my dry. I missed several strikes before I finally brought my first trout to hand. It was a small rainbow but it was a start. Several more fish came to hand and I was getting the hang of it.

The morning kept getting better. Fish were becoming more active and I was having more and more takes.


Later on, we moved into Elkmont and this fishing was still getting better. A few small browns were beginning to mix in with the rainbows. I don't think the timing of my trip could have been any better. These fish were aggressive and Josh did a great job of getting me in the right spot without spooking the fish and pointing out where I needed to cast.


At the tail of one pool, a brown rose and took my dry. After setting the hook, the fish shook it's head once before being t-boned by a huge dark beast with an orange flash. A monster brown cannibalized my nice brown and was carrying it around like a dog bone with my fly still attached. Josh began moving towards the big brown with the net but it quickly started to look like Josh chasing after a little puppy. As soon as he started to get close, the fish would easily swim upstream, downstream, across stream always staying at least 5' in front of him. The big brown held on to the smaller one that way for a few minutes before finally giving up and spitting the meal out. We were able to release the little brown after a little reviving. He had some nice battle wounds though!

The fishing began to slow down as we got to the bridge. It was beginning to get dark as well. I was able to pull one more little rainbow from the slow water right under the bridge with an emerger before calling it a day. All of these pictures were taken by Josh and from his report on his site. Day two to follow.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:50 PM
bmadd bmadd is offline
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Day two I was on my home. I had to make a quick trip to Little River Outfitters to get some supplies before I could hit the water. I should have ordered ahead of time, it's always great to stop by the shop but the the leaf peepers caused the trip there and back to be much longer! After loading up on new supplies, I decided I would head up to higher elevations to try and find some brook trout. I pulled off up past the Chimney Tops and started hopping rocks in the WPLPR. Armed with the knowledge Josh showed the day before and some fresh flies from LRO, I was getting strikes in the first run. In the second pool I caught a small rainbow and continued plucking small rainbows from each little pool or riffle. I had many spectators but seemed to miss the questions many of you talk about getting. I continued working up the river coming to this nice stretch of water.

My first cast to the right side of the riffle brought to hand my first brook trout.

After releasing that fish, I placed my next cast at the head of the left side.

Back to back casts yielded my two best fish of that little stretch. I made several more casts but couldn't get any more takers. I then decided to hop out and head back down to try and complete the slam. I drove back down and stopped at Elkmont again. I was having trouble with my drifts on Friday though. I was using a much shorter rod and the river seemed to flowing a little faster than the day before. I didn't think it rained that much the day before, so I think my shorter rod was the bigger problem. I caught one small rainbow in a long stretch before giving up. I left Elkmont and drove back and hopped in a nice looking stretch off the main road. I fished hard for another hour and half but just managed to spook several fish. I might have had one rise but wasn't able to bring any more fish to hand.

I couldn't manage the slam but I had a great day on my own. I gained a lot more confidence in my my casting and learned a lot from Josh on reading water. Unfortunately, I also fell in love with trout and fishing in the park. Looks like I'm going to have to plan for some long weekends next year to get my fix. Thanks for the help all who responded to my earlier threads, to Josh for the great day in the park, and for LRO for great service on Friday.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:10 AM
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AL trout bum AL trout bum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmadd View Post
Unfortunately, I also fell in love with trout and fishing in the park.

I know the feeling all too well! Welcome to the addiction and nice report!
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:40 AM
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Great post, Elkmont is a favorite for of a lot of us, Tremont area is another great section. Now just try to explain to your family why moving here makes perfect sense!
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:53 AM
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Rob Johnson Rob Johnson is offline
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If that was your first time fishing in GSMNP you definitely busted the curve. Good job and thanks for the pics and story.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:01 AM
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chechem chechem is offline
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You're hooked.

Might as well sell your house now!
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:04 AM
bmadd bmadd is offline
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Oh I'm kicking my self for not going to school in Knoxville or any other reason why I haven't Lived there. Would love to live there, outside of all the tourists. This was my first time fishing in the park and for trout but I've been fly fishing for probably 5-6 years. Had a good teacher to help me around that curve.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:11 AM
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Excellent report and looks like you did it right by getting a guide to get you started. Without question that is the way to get you hooked fast.

When I first started I bet I spent a year or more getting to the point where I caught as many fish as you did on your first try.

Recommendation is don't ever let your wife know how much you spend on fly fishing gear. Wait until you get hooked on fly fishing the backcountry and than your gear needs really goes up.

P.S.
I personally find the longer fly rods much easier to fish.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:23 PM
bmadd bmadd is offline
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I agree Mac. When fishing with Josh, I used his rods (8'-8'6"). When I fished the second day I was using a 7' 3wt. Worked fine way up on the WPLPR but it was difficult in Elkmont and the bigger water. I couldn't control the drift at all. Will definitely look into at least an 8' by next trip.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:50 PM
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David Knapp David Knapp is online now
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Great trip report! Josh is an excellent teacher who really knows those streams well. Glad you had a good time!
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