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Thread: Backcountry Brookies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Crossville, TN
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    Default Backcountry Brookies

    With all of the attention (and pressure) that Lynn Camp has been receiving, I've been thinking about fishing for brook trout. Getting into the backcountry is usually a fantastic way to have a good day so I planned on doing a bit of hiking, just not to the same stream everyone else was heading for. Fishing this past Wednesday seemed appropriate. I'm not sure the fish appreciated my version of April Fools but I definitely "fooled" plenty.

    If you want to have a fantastic day of fishing, pick a stream and start looking for smaller tributaries. A Park fishing map showing fish distributions can be helpful as well. However, if you ask me, the chance to just get out and explore is one of the best parts of the whole experience. After all, if you stumble into something good, there is that extra bit of satisfaction of having discovered it on your own.

    With this all in mind, I picked out a stream that I was fairly certain no one else would be fishing and started hiking. Passing up some beautiful water on the hike in is always tough, but I knew the payoff of brook trout at the end of the hike was worth waiting for.

    On the hike in, the trail would through beds of early spring wildflowers.



    Up close, you can see the intricate beauty and detail of the Spring Beauties.



    Since my goal was fishing, I hesitated to spend much time looking for flowers and after a quick picture, kept hiking up towards my destination. When I arrived at the stream, the water was at a perfect level.



    My weapon of choice on this day would be a new toy I just acquired along with a Parachute Adams and a random bead head nymph as a dropper.



    While I'm on the subject, let me just say that the 904-4 Accel is a fantastic Smokies rod. It was one of the most accurate dry fly rods I've fished at the short ranges required on this brookie stream. It also handled a double nymph rig and a bit of split shot with ease. I think I've found my new favorite Smokies rod.

    It wasn't long before I started catching fish. However, I didn't head as high up the drainage as I should have and was catching the little fish. That soon changed when some nicer brook trout started to hit as I worked farther up the creek. Here is one of the first nice ones I found. The colors on these "larger" fish are so much more vibrant than on the little 3-4 inch fish.





    Continued...
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Crossville, TN
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    Default

    Moving up the stream, I continued to find perfect brook trout water that just begged to be visited by my dry fly. By the afternoon, things had picked up enough that I cut off the dropper and only fished a dry. I switched back and forth between the Parachute Adams and a Black Elk Hair Caddis (#12 and #16 respectively) and the fish never required anything fancier.





    Eventually I started to get hungry. The one sandwich I had brought was long since eaten and since I didn't feel like eating fish or starving to death, I knew my excursion was nearly over. Hitting the ghost of a trail along side the stream, I took my time to navigate a "trail" that fades in and out. Be careful on the drainages without established trails along them unless you feel up to route finding.



    Further down the mountain, I did stop long enough to notice a few more flowers including Violets, Trout Lilies, and Trillium.







    I also took a brief moment to stop further down the drainage and both take a quick picture and catch another type of trout. Rainbows exist further down the mountain as in most streams of the Park.





    Finally I made it back to my car, content to have been able to get out and fish a little and enjoy early spring in the mountains.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Knoxville
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    Default

    Excellent post and pictures as usual! Thanks David.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Knoxville, TN (Karns)
    Posts
    75

    Default

    Nice post! Thanks for sharing.
    "The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn't someone else's gift to you?" Lee Wulff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
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    1,569

    Talking

    Thanks for the post David

    There is no fading on that trail, that's a wide open 4 lane highway

    I'll be happy to show you what a faded trail looks like

    Great pictures as always, especially the Brookie on top of the water with the dry fly in its mouth

    Thanks for sharing
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
    www.foamiefriends.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Crossville, TN
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post
    Thanks for the post David

    There is no fading on that trail, that's a wide open 4 lane highway
    I was wondering why they don't just call it a trail. Probably funding or something? Next time I plan on heading higher up that drainage. The fishing was just getting better and better the farther I went.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    athens, al
    Posts
    106

    Default

    Awesome report and great photos! !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    124

    Default

    Beautiful fish, beautiful place!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Louisville, TN
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    608

    Default

    Beautiful brookies, thanks for the pics. Glad you didn't starve to death haha. Acorns taste terrible anyway......

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Knoxville, Tn
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    713

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post
    Thanks for the post David

    There is no fading on that trail, that's a wide open 4 lane highway

    I'll be happy to show you what a faded trail looks like

    Thanks for sharing
    This one comes to mind:


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