While it requires a bit more of a drive then the Tennessee side of the Smokies, I always enjoy my trips over to places like Smokemont and Deep Creek. Perhaps this is because the vast majority of my trips to the North Carolina side of the Park have happened with friends. Outdoor adventures are almost always better when you can share them with someone else.
Some of my friends who are still in the education field were on Spring Break. After a few phone calls and text messages, everyone agreed that a camping trip would be nice for a couple of nights. It's not the same epic type of trip as our Spring Break trips of old, such as to the Everglades or Grand Canyon, but sometimes a couple of days to relax are better for the soul.
Naturally I took along my two favorite toys, a camera and a fly rod. The fishing was just starting to heat up over on that side of the Park. I did not exactly catch a ton of fish, but all were nice healthy brown trout so I wasn't complaining. The hatches were still nonexistent there the first week of March other than the Little Black Caddis. Things should be much different by now with the fish starting to respond to the increase in available food.
While I did enjoy the fishing, the trip was mostly about time with friends. We went on a short hike up the trail above Smokemont along the Bradley Fork which was the first time I've walked up above the campground. The water is beautiful up there! I'll definitely have to return later in the year for another adventure over there to fish the Bradley Fork a bit more. I've fished the majority of the major streams on the North Carolina side as well as some smaller tributaries at least a few times each, but for some reason I keep ignoring this stream. Doesn't this water just beg to be fished though?
All in all it was a great chance to catch up with friends, spend a bunch of time nursing a campfire, and even take a few pictures.
Interested in learning to fish in the Smokies and looking for a guide? Contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com to discuss setting up a trip.
FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 5/22/2017
Fishing is good to excellent across the area. The Caney Fork River continues to shine on both high and low water. In the Smokies, strong hatches have been keeping fish looking up.
Yesterday, Blue-winged Olives hatched for hours during the light rain and drizzle. Fish were looking up but also took nymphs well. Streamers were moving some quality fish as well. The summer hatches are well under way now. Expect Golden and Little Yellow stoneflies and Isonychia (Slate Drake) mayflies. Light Cahills and Sulfurs have been around as well.
The Caney Fork River continues to fish anywhere from good to great on high water streamer floats. Anyone who wants to target trout with streamers will find this to be exciting fishing. Low water is becoming more and more likely, and if that trend continues we will see some great low water floats. The fish are hungry and we are going into some of the best fishing months on this fine tailwater.
Cumberland Plateau smallmouth streams are rounding into fine shape now. Rain will bump flows up again, but in between the fish are hungry and willing to hammer a fly! Musky floats are about over for the year unless we get more rain.