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Thread: Little River Above Metcalf Bottoms - 10/4

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default Little River Above Metcalf Bottoms - 10/4

    As soon as I saw the weather report that temperatures would be dropping and we might get some rain this weekend I started thinking I might finally have a decent day on Little River. (I'm a long time fisherman - but a newbie in the Smokies)

    After wrestling with the Tremont vs. Elkmont dilemma for a few minutes I decided that maybe I'd try somewhere just above Metcalf Bottoms - thinking that maybe the worst of the fishing pressure had subsided for a couple of weeks and the cooler temperature might have them active that far down.

    The cold wind as I geared up was a welcome sign of "real" fall and what I hoped to be a sign of some better fishing to come. I dropped down into a section that's pretty far below the road and not too easy to get in and out of. It was a guess since I hadn't been there before - but it paid off. Tons of nice, short deep pockets, shaded almost completely over by the ridge and trees above.

    There were no (and I mean NO) apparent hatches - but there was a little bit of surface activity in the slow pool where I first hit the water.

    I spent a half hour or so striking out with a green weenie - then another with a pink San Juan worm. It was shaping up to be another embarrassing episode of me sucking it big time in the Smokies.

    But, as I looked for a rock where I could rest my defeated butt for a few minutes, I saw a fresh golden stonefly shuck. I didn't have a fly in my box that matched exactly - but I had a bead head prince nymph that was roughly the same size. A little darker, of course, but at least close to the same size.

    Once I tied on that prince nymph it was no more than 10 minutes and I caught the first rainbow. YES! A couple casts later to the same pocket and I missed a strike. A few casts more yielded nothing. I moved quickly (and stealthily) to the next pocket above. [Thanks Byron for reminding us almost every fishing report to stay out of sight - I needed it]

    On the second cast to the next pocket, I caught my "personal best" park rainbow. (OK - it's only the 3rd one I've ever caught in the park - but still MY best).

    I figured that pocket was pretty much done after all the activity from the previous catch so I moved up to the next little pocket... "BOOM" (alright... "tink, tink") and landed the tiniest fish of the day. At least it wasn't a creek chub.

    3 or 4 casts later, I snagged the bottom of a deep run and had to break off that prince nymph. I tried several other flies I thought would be close to the size and color - but had no other strikes for the last hour or so fishing. I'm not completely convinced it was the loss of the fly - could've been just the time of day and position of the sun. By the time I'd lost that nymph it was probably 10 AM.

    I've got to say thanks to Byron for putting up the report every day. It's been HUGE in helping me get a sense of where to go and what to use.

    Also - huge thanks to 77punk for the helpful advice about setting the hook while nymphing.

    BTW - I didn't use an indicator - I'd read on this forum and others that they sometimes get in the way with spooky, low water fish.

    Here are photos of all three fish:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    Well done.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Nice write-up. Thanks for taking the time to post. Glad to see you figuring out the park.
    My posts are worthless without pictures

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014


    Was there also and was slow for me only had a chub minnow hit a nymph and several hits on a yellow pheasant tail.

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