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Thread: Do you remember when...

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Do you remember when...

    In an effort to help give the forum a little shot in the arm here as we wait for spring, how about a thread with a memorable moment of fishing in the Smokies...


    Do I remember this fish... you bet I do!! A couple of years back I was fishing on a beautiful early spring day and had just casted my big, fat, stimulator half way up an awesome looking run. The bugs were everywhere on that warm afternoon in what I remember was either late February or early March. After already having a lot of action, I couldn't believe the fish weren't racing each other to my fly in such a prime spot. Then as my fly reached the tailout, I soon discovered why. A monster rose from the depths of his hole and wanted a swipe at my fly but missed his chance before it was sucked down over the waterfall to the run below. I was in awe and couldn't believe I just had a chance with a true trophy (for the Smoky Mountains). I composed myself and waited a few minutes before casting again to make sure I was ready for a possible second attempt. As my fly drifted closer to the tailout once again, I know I held my breath and think I even somehow managed to cross my fingers hoping the fish would try again... This time he came up a bit quicker and made sure to not let lunch slip away a second time...


    Still my biggest park rainbow to date that has made it to the net...





    Tight Lines,

  2. #2
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    Jul 2010
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    Springboro, OH
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    This is the fish you were telling me about last weekend? Better not be another one that big!
    Since you landed this one; just think about the sucker that broke you off!
    Last edited by mattblick; 12-21-2015 at 02:18 PM.

  3. #3
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    Great looking trout for sure. My moment came way before digital cameras were even a dream. I was fishing with my grandfather back when you could drive up to the forks of Little River and Fishcamp Prong. We were fishing up Fishcamp after it forked with Goshen Prong when the stream came down the right side of the ridge and hit a solid rock wall about three feet high and made a 90 degree turn left across the stream. I was fishing a Fanwing Royal Coachman and had cast my fly at the head of the run. About half way down the run a rainbow of about 16 inches just materialized as he floated up from the bottom and gently slurped in my fly. For the briefest of time I had him on and could only watch as he twitched his head to the right and pulled free of my fly. As he sank out of view I muttered several dirty words and slapped the water with my fly which was immediately taken by another fish of at least 12 inches which I immediately lost as well. Nothing left to do but sit down and wait for the shakes to stop. While this occurred well over 45 years ago it is as vivid as ever. It took me almost 40 more years before I caught a trout that rivaled that fish on the WPLP.

  4. #4
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    Wow, drive up to Fishcamp!? What were the bridges over Husky and the "big bridge" like?

    I recall when you could drive up one mile further than you can now; the "big rock turn-around".

  5. #5
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    There weren't nearly as many people fishing then as now. All the bridges were the same as they are today...the spot where the land slide is across the trail was always wet. When I first started fishing up there there was a large bridge across LR where the metal walking bridge is today. To cross that bridge you had to walk the outside struts since the planking was so rotten. One of the spring floods took this bridge out and to access the Goshen Prong trail you had to wade the river....there is an island just upstream that usually afforded the best route to cross...Driving up to the parking area where the trail to Fishcamp leaves the LR trail was oftern in the dark to get a head start to the upper reaches....just prayed there were no other cars there....if other cars were present we would checked the hoods to determine how many were fishing and how many were there hiking...warm hoods meant you had to play roulette on which way to fish. Being able to drive up that far opened up so much more water....now a trip to Goshen Prong is a 14 mile affair and 12 hours of fishing and hiking. I can also remember when the
    WPLP was a sportsman's stream....was fully stocked and you could only keep one fish a day over 16"....this made for some days when the number of fish caught were epic....

  6. #6
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    maryville
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    I've seen pictures and heard tales of the fishing from the "good Ole days"... great numbers of fish and the average size was twice that of today.... I wish the fishing regulations had never changed... while I do catch my fare share of 12 inch plus fish a year , I sure do get tired of the 4 inch bows. .. especially in the middle of summer...

  7. #7
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    I began fishing in the Park when I was 13....55 years ago...so I guess that would qualify to some as the good ole days. The was a less crowded time back before "that movie" which made everyone want to pick up a fly rod and head to the mountains. Over the years up until now the one constant that is to be considered is that our freestone streams have a limited amount of food for the trout. Anyone who has every fished a farm pond knows that if you don't remove or harvest some of the fish the limited amount of food will tend to stunt the growth of the fish. When I started fishing the Park there were still a lot of locals who came to the Park to catch fish to put on the table....I would always see overalls, broughans, and cane poles for high sticking. I truly believe that this local harvesting allowed for a better balance of fish vs. food and produced just as many fish but also a larger size. One summer the Park was trying to fish out the Middle Prong on Tremont by requiring all trout other than brookies no matter the size be removed. The result was that the next summer the average trout that we caught there was at least an inch longer with no loss of numbers. The attitude that many have that catch and release is the only way to fish may actually be harming the fish population....so don't be afraid to keep a couple of legal fish to take home and release to the grease....

  8. #8
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    Louisville, TN
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    Preach it Rog!!! Fish are delicious

  9. #9
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    Great looking rainbow there and even better that it was caught on a dry fly! Here is one I caught a couple of days ago, and while not a dry fly fish, it was still quite memorable.

    I had been fishing for a while at this point, dutifully taking the time to look in several good holes for larger brown trout. Thus far, the only good fish spotted had spooked when I started wading into position to fish for it. It was a solid fish in the 18-20 inch range. Not far upstream, as I slowly walked along another pool, a fish materialized in a spot that made me sure it was a brown trout. Nowhere close to the size of the last fish spotted, it was still a nice trout, and on a day with few large fish spotted it would be nice to catch. I pointed it out to my buddy, artist Jayson Alexander, who was fishing with me. He stayed at a good vantage point to spot while I crept down and started fishing up through the hole. One small brown was caught out of the back before I found myself in position to fish for that trout I had spotted. My first cast seemed perfect so I was a little surprised when the fish didn't even move. Three or four more casts were also seemingly pointless. Finally, deciding that the flies weren't getting down enough, I cast another couple of feet upstream. Right as the flies drifted through the strike zone, my line thumped hard and the battle was on. Imagine my surprise when a nice rainbow launched itself in a series of aerial displays. Soon I had it landed and Jayson kindly took a picture for me. Not the brown I expected, but any trout you sight fish for is memorable in my book. This is one I'll remember for a long time!

    Last edited by David Knapp; 12-24-2015 at 10:38 PM.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

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