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Thread: Brook Trout of the past?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Great Smoky Mountains
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    [QUOTE=There is a flyfishing club of sorts in the Knoxville area that for several years gave annually a trophy for the largest member fly-caught trout from the GSMNP and a second trophy from the Tellico WMA area streams.
    The oral history of that club went back into the '50's ( couple of members had fished the park since the 30's and one's father had been with Colonel Townsend when one train car brought a barrel load of trout in to the Park); and as l recall no GSMNP rainbow over 18 inches was ever discussed in those days. Some Tellico ultimate headwater streams had some very nice brookies in them in the 70s-12 inches may have been maximum sized but l can recall hands and knees crawling to catch some nearly the size there.
    I suspect there are several senior aged posters who have similar accurate
    observations.[/QUOTE]

    Joe
    Good stuff in your post, did anyone ever write down the oral history from that time period for the club? That would be invaluable for future anglers to see where we have been, like Bill Landry does in his local Heartland series here in E. Tennessee except this for fly fishing and Smokies history.

    If there were enough members left it would be easy to do, here are the basic steps:

    1. 1/2 gallon Makers Mark-strictly for lubrication of tongue loosening

    2. October time frame-wood fire & cabin required of course for proper storytelling

    3. Really deep leather chairs-makes it very hard for members to leap out of chair and challenge other member's stories. Also induces eventual naps after a couple of half hearted challenge attempts and 1/2 the bottle gone

    4. There is of course a mathematical formula that would be utilized regarding the stories accuracy, they would each be based on the following scale:
    A. Minus 20%-Memory loss of events-due to medical or psychological
    reasons or past blunt force trauma to head in recent times
    B. Minus 10%-actual out right lie
    C. Minus 10%- member was not even there at time of actual event
    D. Minus 10%-Someone will forget the pen, paper or camera to record this
    historical event. (do not worry the liquor will make it)

    5. No firearms-It's Tennessee for God's sake-we all know what liquor and
    historical story telling does.

    Even with the possible 50% deduction above we still have a 50% shot of the truth which is much higher than we normally get with most retelling of history. I suggest a younger member of this forum do the actual recording of this summit meeting of anglers. First reason, he may be able to stay awake in front of the fire, second reason we need somebody to drive us home after a 1/2 gal. of Makers.

    Seriously if this has never been done we should not let these types of angling history slip away. Now drive me back to the rest home, it's green jello night!
    Last edited by bigsur; 07-31-2015 at 12:48 PM.
    "It starts with a raindrop, don't let it end with a teardrop!"

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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Paddler-I heard the Elkmont airfield story from Elkmont community folks before I read Vic Weals account.

    Tellico fish probably took as much of a beating from mountain boys poaching as they did from shade etc IMO. Ironically the Tellico WMA special reg streams had some really nice sized fish of all species in them in 70s ; arguably a better chance for a large fly caught trout there in that decade than in Park streams by many accounts. I camped there a bunch in 60s and 70s and in retrospect it was not exactly a safe spot due to some of the locals attitudes

  3. #23
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    Jul 2012
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    BIG Sur-

    Possibly best post ever on this board. Your talent at humor is acknowledged. Deadly accurate as well on facts of the process. The oral history now is only in the heads of a few of the generation like me who hung around the really old veterans of mountain fly fishing. I have some flies, rods reels etc from some of those guys. Two them played in the NFL RIGHT AFTER WW II. their knees were so bad they hobbled in our streams. To
    The man they waded wet. Their wakes at death were the stuff of legends. And they would give anybody they met on the stream their best flies.( a trait lost on me. Hah)

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    944

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Congleton View Post
    Tellico fish probably took as much of a beating from mountain boys poaching as they did from shade etc IMO. Ironically the Tellico WMA special reg streams had some really nice sized fish of all species in them in 70s ; arguably a better chance for a large fly caught trout there in that decade than in Park streams by many accounts. I camped there a bunch in 60s and 70s and in retrospect it was not exactly a safe spot due to some of the locals attitudes
    Some of those fish on the pin up board in the green cove market are insane. Most of those pictures look to be from the 70s/80s. Would love to have fished those streams then.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBB View Post
    I heard Steve Moore, former GSMNP biologist, say there are catch reports of 18" brook trout in Little River circa 1910, just before massive logging. Just a few years ago, a NC biologist reported they shocked a 16" pure Southern strain brook trout in one stream.
    I chased a big fish for about 2 months on Little River. It would rise to my fly from under a big rock but go back down. It seemed to hold in a certain pool so I kept going back to fish the area and would always try to lure that fish out. Only a few times did it come up, but each time flipped it's tail and didn't take the fly.

    Finally on one of those summer nights where it gets dark about 9pm, I was out there late. It was coming up on dark in the twilight and I needed to get out while I could still see. After a couple of "one last try" casts, Mr. Big came up and took the bait! This was a big fish for the park. He took an orange body caddis fly tied by Walter Babb. When I pulled him up to my net I couldn't believe my eyes. My Wife was standing on a rock next to me and we both just sort of went into temporary shock. Here was a 16" Brook trout like we had never seen. It had dark eyes, a black head and mouth. It was kind of hook mouthed like a Brown. This thing was big and scary looking on first glance. I wasn't even certain it was a Trout until it was in the net. It only had about 4-6 red spots down each lower side and was darker in coloring with the tipped fins. I couldn't keep it in my net as it fought like a beast. Snapped my tippet flopping out of my net and swam away. The fish won in my book, but for a brief couple of minutes we made acquaintance with what I told my Wife to be a one in a lifetime trout for the Park.

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