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Thread: Two days of fishing the smokies ...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    206

    Default Two days of fishing the smokies ...

    Fished yesterday at Elkmont with droppers. Caught one fish 6 inches long.

    All day today on Cosby creek. Between my son and I, we brought 9 to hand over 6 hours, one longer than 6 inches.

    You guys that fish the Smokies regularly, Iíve got to hand it to you. No disrespect to the Smokies because i love them, but the fishing pretty much sucks. Hauling a suitcase full of rig halfway across the country to catch mostly fingerlings - well, letís just say I enjoyed a couple of pretty days.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville
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    319

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    The most common issue I have seen with fishermen not used to the Smokies and then talk about how hard the fishing is, comes down to two things. Stealth and concealability.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    23

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuskerFlyFisher View Post
    Fished yesterday at Elkmont with droppers. Caught one fish 6 inches long.

    All day today on Cosby creek. Between my son and I, we brought 9 to hand over 6 hours, one longer than 6 inches.

    You guys that fish the Smokies regularly, Iíve got to hand it to you. No disrespect to the Smokies because i love them, but the fishing pretty much sucks. Hauling a suitcase full of rig halfway across the country to catch mostly fingerlings - well, letís just say I enjoyed a couple of pretty days.
    Dude the water dropped from 58 degrees to 43. What do you expect?

    I donít know how your fish so its tough to assess why you donít catch a lot of trout but I fish the smokies 4 weeks every year in April and October and we always do great.

    Those months seem to be where I get the most success. Also you might want to try some different spots. Abrams Creek, Collins Creek, Lynn Camp and Greenbrier are places where me and my buddies consistently catch anywhere between 6-12 trout per person. Abrams Creek has rewarded us with some 30-40 trout per person days. We use reasonable tactics to conceal ourselves and we usually fish with flys and nymph droppers .Message me if you have any questions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Townsend, TN
    Posts
    130

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    When I first moved to the Smokies two years ago, I too thought the fishing sucked. I guess you have to pay your dues so to speak. My whole attitude and approach changed after I spent a day fishing with guide Travis Williams. I told Travis I was not very good at wading or climbing up and down steep banks. Not to worry as he took me to some very easily accessible road side places and man, we caught fish. I caught and released lots of rainbows, two of them over 15 inches. I learned a lot about light lines and high stick nymphing, and now I usually catch trout whenever I go. Trout fishing in the GSMNP is different from anywhere else, and I have fished in Arkansas, Michigan, and Montana, as well as Tennessee. Tactics from those places just don't work here, at least not consistently.
    Joe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    171

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuskerFlyFisher View Post
    Fished yesterday at Elkmont with droppers. Caught one fish 6 inches long.

    All day today on Cosby creek. Between my son and I, we brought 9 to hand over 6 hours, one longer than 6 inches.

    You guys that fish the Smokies regularly, Iíve got to hand it to you. No disrespect to the Smokies because i love them, but the fishing pretty much sucks. Hauling a suitcase full of rig halfway across the country to catch mostly fingerlings - well, letís just say I enjoyed a couple of pretty days.
    No offense taken......

    As someone mentioned, water temps plays a HUGE role in how well the fish are biting. But as someone also said (smart people on the forum) it's how you approach the streams (STEALTH) and what you use to fish with.

    As far as fishing quality, I've fished for trout Montana, Wyoming, Arkansas, Alaska, Vermont, Virginia, Hawaii, and I would not trade the year-round quality here for any of those places. Statistically speaking, since 1989 I've been keeping statistics of every trip in the Smokies. My catch average is 27 per trip. As far as size, my largest is 25" and I've lost count of trout over 20". So, an odd day every now and then will be slow. However, if you're consistently struggling, I can personally attest the quality in the Smokies doesn't suck. I recommend shortening your learning curve and hire a guide. IMHO someone who knows how to high-stick nymph.

    Quick Story: Several years ago, I was fishing Flat Creek that flows into Jackson Hole. I was warned by Jack Dennis' fly shop staff the critical importance of stealth. After fishing an afternoon, I soon realized that where stealth needed there on a scale of 1-10 was about a 5. In the Smokies, it's an 8. For larger, smart, Smokies trout.... it's a 30! They even gave me this printout of the "match the hatch" pattern. Where at 4 pm, some latin-named insect was the go to pattern. It didn't work well, but not because of stealth. I went old school with a wooly-booger and had a field day!

    Jim Parks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    71

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    I have had my *** kicked in the smokys and the best day I have ever had has been in the park.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    249

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    As mentioned, water temperature is so critical in the park, especially this time of year. Several things can contribute to the rise and fall of the water temps, this time of year snowmelt can have a huge effect. The weather here in the eastern half of the state can fluctuate so quickly that one day the bite is good and the next day really slow. In my opinion, water temp is everything when fishing in the spring. The park is full of trout and tons of info on this board to help one be fairly successful in the park, but come at the wrong time and it can be tough to say the least. Plan a late April or May trip and I'm sure you will have a better experience.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    206

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    sorry guys, I was pretty negative after a couple of pretty slow days. There are definitely things I love about the Smokies over my NM and CO haunts. Number one, you can fish the Smokies pretty much year round. Unless you are highly industrious, that isn't the case in NM and CO. Also, the arid nature of NM and CO drives my allergies nuts with all the dust. I really enjoy Gatlinburg as well. I don't like the touristy places but there are some fine local restaurants there to enjoy after a day of fly fishing.

    I do find that the Smokies streams are significantly more treacherous for us older guys. I never quite am sure of my footing even with my felt sole boots, so that brings a certain amount of stress to the whole thing. But I have had some pretty darn successful days in the Smokies. I recall a time I caught at least 25 at Tremont, but again, mostly fingerlings. My biggest fish in the Park was likely a 10-11 inch pretty stocky fish years ago in the Elkmont campground region. My son caught a 15-16 inch rainbow in Little River with David Knapp a few years ago, and I recall David saying that was one of the bigger rainbows he had seen taken in the Park. We were actually hunting browns that day but hooked the big rainbow with a deep nymph.

    I will say this: On the evening before we departed this last Thursday afternoon, the rain broke for a few minutes so we decided to fish Roaring Fork right by my cabin. Of course this area is stocked. We didn't do much good even there, but suddenly my son hooked a whopper of a trout - I think it was easily a 15-16 inch and FAT fish, but it got into some rapids and broke off. I didn't know they stocked trout that big. Either that or he's been eating a while.

    Anyway, that was at least something to talk about before dinner! And while we are traditionalists, it is very nice to have a stocked stream just to have some fun on - I think I could teach my wife to fly fish in a stocked stream like that and she could have a lot of fun. At the end of the day, all of the rainbows and browns were stocked at one time or another - two weeks ago or five decades ago.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    NC side of the Smokies
    Posts
    61

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    There is some fine fishing in the Smokies. There are some good fish here, but most people don't know how to catch them. I also think it's kind of odd to fish a little trickle like Cosby and expect to catch Colorado-sized fish. The fishing usually sucks when the water (and the fish in it) is only a few degrees above freezing.
    Specks: the other pink meat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    206

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    Quote Originally Posted by just a hillbilly View Post
    There is some fine fishing in the Smokies. There are some good fish here, but most people don't know how to catch them. I also think it's kind of odd to fish a little trickle like Cosby and expect to catch Colorado-sized fish. The fishing usually sucks when the water (and the fish in it) is only a few degrees above freezing.
    We love Cosby Creek and have a lot of memories there. We prefer small stream fishing. Of course in NM or CO, a watershed such as Cosby wouldnt be considered small, and would yield pretty darn good fish. See Commache Creek below in NM. This creek is 5 to 10 feet wide and wouldn’t even count as fishable water in eastern TN, but it yields the native Rio Grande Cutthroat that is typically 8-14 inches long!



    Last edited by HuskerFlyFisher; 03-24-2019 at 03:32 PM.

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