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Thread: Schoolhouse Gap

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SE Tennessee
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    708

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    The record brown, according to Kirk's book, was caught in the Middle Prong. One of the biggest trout I have caught was in a small stream; 12 inch rainbow out of a pool no bigger than a bathtub.
    John Torchick

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    207

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    I think the angler's last name was "Shults" and he lived in Cosby. I remember seeing it mounted many years ago. I'm not sure of the size, but maybe 16 lbs?

    About 5 years ago, I was fishing high up on a stream on one of those August summer days forecast for mid 90's. Around noon, I was fishing some rapids and cast a greenie weenie into the waterfall at the top of a pool about knee deep and the size of a bathtub. Suddenly, it was like jaws music was playing as a nice brown came out of the whitewater with it's mouth open. Fortunately, I didn't choke and jerk too soon! It took the fly and I set the hook. Immediately it blasted down the rapids about 40 yards into a large (large for the creek) pool. I felt good with my chances in netting it there until it took off upstream JUMPING up the waterfalls! Again, my luck as it diverted to a small side pool where it crammed it's head into a hole in the boulders. I could see its tail fanning. I eased off and stuck my net behind it then pulled. It turned and swam into my net. I measured it at 22" and at the time was probably the heaviest brown I'd caught in the Smokies! The next year, I followed up with a 21" from the same stream about 1/4" mile downstream.

    They're there, but they don't get big by being caught!

    Jim Parks
    Tails of the Smokies

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SE Tennessee
    Posts
    708

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    Don's book lists the brown as 12-1/2 lbs. This was the 1985 edition of his book. Haven't heard of anything bigger. BTW, I caught brookies on up the MPLR.
    I was fishing with a friend who saw a big brown in the MPLR. The only thing that would get its attention was a plastic lizard he cast on his UL spinning outfit. It totally ignored the flies he cast at first.
    John Torchick

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    207

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    12.5 lbs sounds better. I believe there are record-breakers in the Park!
    I've noticed the last few years how brook trout seem to be caught lower at around 2200 ft by my GPS. I even had a friend catch a tiger trout a few years back on the TN side, which was interesting.
    If your friend saw the big brown this year, it's likely its still in the area. Tell him to give the tandem of a Guinea & Jim's Grampus a shot fished on the bottom. I brought up a 21" in late April using that combination in a deep pool. Saturday, I blew FOUR shots at nice trout (18" or better), all in shallow water. Two, I just missed and two my 4x snapped on hookset. New flurocarbon tippet and I tested the line & knot before.

    Jim Parks
    Tails of the Smokies

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SE Tennessee
    Posts
    708

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    My friend saw this brown trout about 10-12 years ago. I often wonder what lurks on the bottom of any lake, river or stream. Good fodder for a science fiction tale. People fish one deep hole on the Hiwassee and claim to have hooked a huge trout. A friend who guided on the Hi many years ago feels that they are hooking a striper. Stripers have been seen up at the powerhouse.
    John Torchick

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    949

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    Regarding stream names on the internet, I'm not sure if it even matters anymore. There's so many people in the park these days, even your lesser known off the beaten path streams are covered in wet boot prints. I used to be a big advocate of the dont ask dont tell policy but the park just seems overrun.

    I took my son up to a previously named tremont area stream earlier in the spring and we barely found a place to park. There must have been 50 side by sides running up and down the gravel road past the institute. How they plan on keeping gravel on that road is beyond me. Those tires throw gravel and stir up dust worse than anything ive seen. There was also picnic trash everywhere. We finally get to the creek after a long walk and there's obviously been people up and down the stream already. We walk a little ways up and see a group of people. Looked like they were with a guide. Walked back out onto the main stream, and found a new feeder creek and there were people up on it too.

    We fished the main stream for a while and caught one little rainbow. And then just sat there on the bank for a while eating snacks while I moaned about how it used to be 20 years ago. Probably the same thing the older generation did 20 years ago. The most positive outlook I could come up with was that at least LRO was probably doing well with all the traffic in the park, but when we went to LRO on the way back home, it was empty. One guy tried to come in without a mask on and then yelled at the staff when they asked him to please wear one.

    I guess its good that people are getting outdoors and (maybe) gaining an appreciation for our public lands, but my goodness its disheartening to those of us who previously used it and helped care for it.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    382

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    The Tremont area has been hammered the last couple of years especially hard, due to three things I can think of.

    The first was last year when the park closed and then re-opened on a gradual basis. Middle prong opened up way long before east prong (Elkmont). So a lot of guys flocked to that area and continued to fish it. The second part was the increase of the overall numbers of people who fish now compared to just a few years ago. More people in the sport now than in a long time. But I agree, the overall numbers of fishermen has increased especially in the middle prong area some of that due to the press of re-opening LC prong after being closed for 7 years when the re-stocking program was complete.

    An interesting number to me was the fact that even though Covid closed the park for a while, a new visitors record was set last year.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    6

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    Thanks JayR thatís good advice

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    NC side of the Smokies
    Posts
    74

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    There was a 15 1/2 lb brown caught on the NC side of the Smokies in the 80s. There is a pic of it somewhere on the GSMNP website.
    Specks: the other pink meat.

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