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Thread: Brook Trout of the past?

  1. #11
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    I've heard the same thing, although I don't know exact numbers. I would imagine they could get quite large in some of the lower elevation streams. Also, there are still some large brook trout around, especially in the few areas where they couldn't log. I remember seeing some stream shocking reports several years ago that showed some good sized brook trout over 12".

    I would be interested to see some more recent data, perhaps I'll question Mr. Kulp on this.

  2. #12
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    Here is a link to an article in Smoky Mountain News back in 2013 with some quotes from some of our locals and home grown folks Jim Casada, the Rutters and Steve Moore. Interesting days of old info. Maybe if they see this forum post they can expand on!

    Here is the link:

    http://www.smokymountainnews.com/out...r-native-trout
    "It starts with a raindrop, don't let it end with a teardrop!"

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  3. #13
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    Jul 2012
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    i suspect there are several veteran GSMNP fishers on here who have caught 12 inch brookies in the Park. One stream had a good number of large brookies, including some fish that size , within the last 25 years of this post. Name of stream is irrelevant at this point because the fish are not there in those proportions now.

    As to the Casada quotes Big Sur has referenced, hatchery released or based fish were in my experience all (browns rainbows or brookies) called "dough bellies" in many circles; not because of lack of belly color but because some were hatchery fed bread dough like pellets prior to more modern trout chow being formulated. As many know doughballs are a deadly bait on hatchery fish, even today.

    IMO Native fish of all species in the Park have always had spectacular side and belly coloration, regardless of species.

    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 trophy may still be presented but during the years '72-'80 -+ in which l was familiar (and won it a few times) l can only recall one fish over fifteen inches winning
    the GSMNP trophy. Some of these guys fished several days a week. And were deadly on small stream tactics. Brown trout were far far more rare then, and there were in fact observed browns over that 15 inch size in Little River and elsewhere but not many were fly caught then; a 22 inch brown from Bald River won the Tellico trophy one year .
    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 spect there are several senior aged posters who have similar accurate
    observations.

  4. #14
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    Thanks for the link bigsur

  5. #15
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    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.

  6. #16
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    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Congleton View Post
    ... a 22 inch brown from Bald River won the Tellico trophy one year .
    Joe do you recall if that was the one Tim Doyle caught?
    off topic. just curious.

  7. #17
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    Jul 2012
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    Smile

    no Jim Giffen. A somewhat casual angler but in right place in right time as the rain ended and the water rose...

  8. #18
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    Granny-no . A somewhat casual angler but in right place in right time as the rain ended and the water rose…

    Another note--some earlier comments mentioned better shade and tree cover in by gone days. Prior to white man's entry in to the area that shade might might be true. After mountain farming and then logging began the areas near streams and later all about all elevations where cut extensively and substantial erosion and temperature change occurred. Photos of early logging and later logging show completely denuded hillsides way up the streams. Remember a fellow landed a bi-plane at Elkmont in the 20s, and logging railroads went way up about all the watersheds (including Slick Rock, which is today a designated federal wilderness area). From the early 1900s for thirty plus years the hills above Jakes Creek and upper Little River looked like a Jefferson County cow pasture as far as shade cover goes.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnman2888 View Post

    I would be interested to see some more recent data, perhaps I'll question Mr. Kulp on this.
    My advice would be to volunteer a couple hundred hours for him and you will find him to be an open book

    I was asking him about this very subject trying to get a general answer from him as to where a monster Brookie location was. He answered with the exact pool And can you believe, I haven't even tried to fish it yet
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
    www.foamiefriends.com

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Congleton View Post
    Granny-no . A somewhat casual angler but in right place in right time as the rain ended and the water rose…

    Another note--some earlier comments mentioned better shade and tree cover in by gone days. Prior to white man's entry in to the area that shade might might be true. After mountain farming and then logging began the areas near streams and later all about all elevations where cut extensively and substantial erosion and temperature change occurred. Photos of early logging and later logging show completely denuded hillsides way up the streams. Remember a fellow landed a bi-plane at Elkmont in the 20s, and logging railroads went way up about all the watersheds (including Slick Rock, which is today a designated federal wilderness area). From the early 1900s for thirty plus years the hills above Jakes Creek and upper Little River looked like a Jefferson County cow pasture as far as shade cover goes.
    Your comments echo what I have heard Walter Babb say about the Tellico watershed. While we know the trout need some cover, Walter was saying how with the Rhodo all grown up how little light penetration kept the area from being nearly as good a fishery as it once was.

    What do you think Joe?

    And I notice you left out where the park about the plane crashing at take-off Not sure if that story was from Mayday Mayday, or Last Train to Elkmont but was some good reading for sure.
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
    www.foamiefriends.com

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