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Smoky Mountains

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I had plans to fish the Grand River in Ontario next weekend but some things fell through so I had to decide on another location to take my wife and my son for his first camping trip.

 

I might have mentioned it before but before my fly fishing days I spent years backpacking in the Smoky Mountains. For a few years in a row I logged more than 200 trail miles per year and climbed more 6000 ft peaks than I could count. When on an extended backpacking trip sometimes your over 10 miles from the nearest road so everything has to be carried on your back and water is HEAVY so alot of the trails follow water. When looking back I kick myself for never fishing some of the most beautiful streams that I might ever see in my lifetime. Most of these streams are high elevation Brook trout streams that might not see a single fisherman all year due to the fact it's a two day excursion gaining 3000 feet of elevation with a 50 lb backpack just to reach the stream. At the time I just didn't think about it....I was a bass fisherman, but I seen a ton of trout swimming around in these streams. To make a long story short my shoulders no longer allow me to carry a pack and I haven't visited the mountains in a number of years, I figured it was time to go back, so that is where we will be going. We will just be staying in a campground but I know it will feel good to see the mountains again that I spent all those years exploring.

 

Anyway this time I WILL have my fly rod with me and plan on catching some trout. I will more than likely be staying at the Elkmont campground on the Little River. For anyone who as fished the area I need some help with what kind of flies I need to tie up before the trip!

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i believe that is on the easy prong of the little river. anyways, from what I understand there are sporadic hatches of mayflies and caddis that are usually short lived. According to the hatch chart I have, its kind of an in between time, where you can expect a little of everything to be hatching, especially if you change elevations.

 

Including giant stones, little yellow stones, green caddis, light cahills, sulphur duns, brown stones, midges.

 

Accordingly, for dries I would think of sz.10-18 light cahills for the duns and cahills, sz.10-14 green tied Elk Hair Caddis, sz. 10-16 Orange palmers, sz14-18 yellow palmers, sz.18-22 Griffith's gnats or black gnats if feeding on midges.

 

for nymphs, 10-14 hares ears, sz14-18 green tied tellico nymphs, sz 10-12 light cahill nymphs, sz 12 and 14 little yellow stones, and size 4-8 black stones.

 

orange palmer:

http://www.buckeyeflyfishers.com/fly_tying...ange_palmer.htm

 

 

yellow palmer:

http://flytyingworld.com/PagesH/hw-yellow_palmer.htm

 

sorry I couldn't pinpoint it better, but I can only tell ya what I read. at least its a starting point I guess though.

 

steve

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Great info Steve! I have read that the Smokies does not have real prolific hatches so it's kinda hit or miss. I will try to have a few of all of the flies you mentioned and I also read that a Thunderhead is another great Smoky Mountain dry fly.

 

If anyone is going to be in the area and wants to hook up let me know wink.gif

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Will,

Check this out:

 

Little River Outfitters

 

I fished the Little River a couple of years ago and had a lot of success with #14 EHC and orange Stimulators. You may want to have various colored bodies for those flies; olive, brown, yellow, black. The same flies will work in the GSMNP streams.

 

The Park fishing is very good but it is "stealth" fly fishing, you have to keep a low profile and be very quiet. No stomping around and keep an eye on your backcast, trees will grab it every time.

 

Bring the smallest rod you have, a 9 footer is too big. I used a 6 1/2 foot 2 wt. the whole week I was there and it got in the way of itself sometimes.

 

Have a great time, you've earned a vacation.

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Thanks TB. I had a bad feeling that my 8 1/2' rod was going to be more than difficult to cast in such a tight area. I'm heading to a fly shop tomorrow and I will see if I can find something a little shorter.

 

Paul have you ever fished Abrams creek? From what I have heard it has the best hatches in the park dunno.gif

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Hey Will,

 

I have a 6' 5wt I can send ya. It's pretty soft and even a gill will double it over. When are you leaving?

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I will be leaving next Thursday morning. Man that would be sweet if you could hook me up. I just looked at Bass Pro and they don't have shit.gif for a short 5wt.

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I'll get it to ya.

 

I just hope it's at home and not at camp. I'll look tonight. Give me a call and remind me. If it's at camp, that will give me an excuse to head over there this weekend. wink.gif

 

Got a wedding to attend Saturday and dinner for Father's Day. Might have to pack and leave from Dad's house. tongue.gif biggrin.gif

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Will,

Abrams Creek is a great little stream. It's in the Cades Cove area of the Park, which is very popular with the tourists. Traffic can be a little agravating going in and out (one lane, one way road), but it's worth the trip. It's an easy hike in to Abrams Falls (about 2 miles), then fish your way out. I had very good luck there with an Orange Stimulator and a yellow body EHC, both size 14. I'd bring some smaller Adam's too. The fish didn't seem to be real fussy, if it looked like a bug, they hit it.

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Will, I've done a little bit of fishing in the Smokies, and I'm no expert by a long shot. But two patterns you want to take are "Adams" and "Light Cahill." I've had success with both. In addition, you may want to look at the web site I'll link for you, if you aren't already familiar with it.

 

http://www.oldsmoky.com/SmokieFlies.htm

 

Hope this helps & I hope you have much success.

 

BB

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Spent the middle of May in Townsend, Tennessee on vacation. My suggestion for fishing the park would be the Adams, Elk Hair caddis, pheasant tail, and the Tellico nymph. When I started fishing the park several years ago, I was told "anything with yellow." The Tellico fits the bill. The best area that is easy to find is the middle prong of the Little River or as the locals call it, Tremont, after the nature institute of the same name. The park's record trout came from this river- 12.5 pound brown trout. Let me recommend two things- get a park map from a map store. Mine is the National Geographic Map- Traials Illustrated series, about 9 bucks and is waterproof. Next on the list is the book, Smoky Mountains Fishing Guide by Don Kirk. It is great- lists stream locations, topo map quad, type of fishing to expect, etc. Keep in mind that there are now several streams in the park that allow brook trout fishing where you can keep the trout. FYI, all stocking in the park was stopped in 1975 so all trout are wild trout. Use a short rod and lots of stealth. Also, be prepared to meet bears and snakes. I carry a pepper spray and attach an old bell from a Christmas decoration to my vest to prevent any toothy surprises.

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All the advice of the respected members is admirable. The SCARY PART OF THIS IS THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT - "Anyway, this time I WILL have my fly rod with me and plan on catching some trout" ohmy.gif

 

Don't forget to bring some nymph patterns. Have Fun!

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Actually I forgot to mention that my plans have changed.....again. My wife secured a few extra days off work and has talked me into heading to the beach instead. dry.gif

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