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Thread: Schoolhouse Gap

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    6

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    Ive always been looking for the hidden gem, but have discovered that so is everyone else. Were actually staying in Townsend a weekend in July so I was looking for a stream that might be close by.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    386

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    The thing to remember about July is the high temps and low water that are very normal for this time of year. That being said, you most likely will need to fish the higher elevations. My best word of advice is to get as far off the beaten path as you can.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SE Tennessee
    Posts
    708

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    Middle Prong of Little River; go to the Y and turn right toward Cades Cove, take the road to the left toward the Tremont educational center. Actually, the first time I fished the MP, I started fishing about 100 yards up from the road. Hung a good fish and lost it. Must have been at least 6 lbs. I did get a Grand Slam there on up the river- 5 'bows. 4 browns, 2 brookies. All were caught on an Elk Hair Caddis. Get a park map and go to the end of the road, hike a bit to Sams Creek. "Guided" a boy from the TU Trout Camp a few years ago. He caught his limit and one boy caught a 9 inch brookie which is big for the park. Good fishing. There are other feeder streams leading into the MPLR.
    Adding- The visitors center in Townsend is a great resource for books on the area. The buildings on display down the road is worthwhile, too.
    John Torchick

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    386

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    Just a friendly reminder about so called "hidden gem" streams.

    Once they are posted and named on the internet, they no longer become "hidden". With the dozens of search engines, lurkers, etc. they show up with a general search and quickly loose their "hidden" status. Unfortunately this forum does not have an IM or PM function where these names can be kept offline.

    FWIW.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SE Tennessee
    Posts
    708

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    Yep, nothing is hidden these days with Google Earth Pro, topo maps, etc. Sam's Creek and others feeding the MPLR are on my park trail maps. Not hidden by a long shot.
    John Torchick

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    386

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    Obviously nothing is truly “hidden” these days with regards to satellite imagery, however, when names of bluelines are mentioned on forums such as this word spreads fast. Especially for those that do not want to put in the legwork of reading maps and prospecting streams themselves. The name for this is commonly called “hot spotting” and in almost all fishing/hunting forums is seriously frowned upon. To the point accounts are cancelled and posts edited/removed. That probably won’t happen here but it still doesn’t lessen the pressure that streams such as this cannot tolerate.

    There are more lurkers on here than posters and coupled with search engines that can find specific bluelines, they can and will get crowded in short order. Due to this, most forums such as this really frown on throwing out blueline stream names due to what can and does result. A lot of these forums will really blast this activity, but feel free to do as you please.

    As is true in life ultimately you can do what you want but don’t be surprised when you hike back to your favorite “hidden gem” only to find lots of others back there, with fishing not as good as you remember. I have seen it happen.

    Have a good one.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Knoxville, Tn
    Posts
    718

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    I totally get your point, but in my experience and time on this site I’ve learn a couple of things:

    1. most blue lines are great place to dinky brookies, which if you’re into that, it’s awesome, but the average person isn’t out to catch 100 5” brook trout in a day. And the type of lurker looking for information, isn’t after small fish that require a long off trail hike to get to.
    2. that brings me to point two. On any given stream, if you’re willing to hike in 3 miles, you’re going to pass up 99.9% of all the fishermen.
    3. Every major trout stream in the park is well documented, described and named in books for decades.
    4. the park service has released everything. Their open access online gis maps show you all the fish survey data you can want. They don’t keep secrets. Matt kulp is very forward about what is where.
    5. More people fishing can only be good. Now hear me out. No only likes being beaten to their favorite stream, but outdoor rec numbers are falling.

    I know there are definitely some reasons for keeping somethings secret, like national forest waters, but in the smokies. It’s all been out there for decades.

    that’s just my opinion, if you want to know about a stream in the park I’ve fished, I’ll share what I know.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    386

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    I don’t think you’re getting my point.

    Absolutely EVERY stream, creek, prong, seep is documented in the park, for that matter all over the US. That is not the issue. The issue is when someone goes online and says “Oh man, I wore them out on such and such creek………” people read that and find those comments online with minimal effort and then head out in short order to sample these small, out of the way places. We are not talking the Clinch, Holston, Caney Fork, etc. we are talking about very small and sensitive streams. As to the 5” brookies, I have found some small “hidden gems” years ago where catching 8”-10” brook trout was not uncommon and yes, this was in the park.

    I am all for those who study maps, read books, put in the time and effort to find these gems as opposed to those who simply “google search” their next stream due to those that “hot spot” streams.

    In the “old days” it was “that guy” that would come into the local fly shop and tell everyone there about “wearing them out” on such and such stream. We all know what happened then and it’s much worse now with the internet.

    Now if anyone thinks I do not like helping those out with fly fishing in the Park and elsewhere, you’re wrong. I would just prefer that when you do share these places a bit of discretion is used so that pressure is not raised on fragile bluelines.

    FWIW.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,363

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    So many places have been absolutely wrecked by people feeling they have to brag about what they caught in any given river/stream.

    the internet and social media have made it a million times worse.

    all most of us want is a stretch of river where we can get away from others and have a good day of fish catching. Therefore we don’t want more fisherman, in fact we want less. I’d be perfectly happy if I was the only person fishing in the entire world.

    I wish more people just kept their success to themselves and didn’t feel the need to get a few likes at the expense of drawing hoards to every body of water

    I fish the mountains maybe a handful of times each year, I prefer to get way the **** back in places and catch ultra dinks versus catching standard dinks while seeing boot prints on rocks. I’m a tailwater type, so all park fish are dinks, so when I go I want solitude above fish size as fish size is always small to me. I’d rather spend a day catching 6” Brookies in a place where I doubt another angler has been in months then catch 10” rainbows at Metcalf bottoms.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    207

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    There are a LOT of "non dink" trout in the Smokies. From my experience, it's more about the approach than the flies used.

    Go to my instagram page "Tails of the Smokies" to see flies and a few "dinks" I've caught the past few years.

    Jim Parks

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