Photo of the Month: Bycatch

Showing posts with label Small Streams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Small Streams. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Good Read On Streamers For Your Wednesday

Anyone who has read the Trout Zone for any length of time knows how much I enjoy streamer fishing. I've had some long slow days that involve NOT catching fish, but when you do catch that big fish it is so worth it. Small stream streamer fishing is something that most people do not even consider, but that should not be the case. In many ways, streamers are even easier to fish on small streams. Want to learn some tips and tricks to get you started? Check out Brandon Bailes' article over on the Flymen Fishing Company site.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fishing Stays Steady but Conditions Are Improving

Over the last couple of weeks, I've spent time on both the Caney Fork tailwater and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The fishing in the Park is anywhere from average to very good depending on where you are fishing. In fact, for those willing to put forth some effort to hike a ways, this time of year can produce some fantastic numbers of rainbow and brook trout on dry flies.

The roadside streams should be improving with the cool and cloudy weather this week. In fact, this weather is about the greatest thing we can get in the middle of August. Hopefully September will bring cooler temperatures and maybe even an early fall.

Last week, I had several trips. We had a good time on all trips but one had the added bonus of being on water that had brook trout. Here are a few shots from that trip with Charlie.

Brook Trout fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains
Prospecting a nice pocket with the dry/dropper rig.

Charlie with a nice rainbow trout in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Charlie with a nice rainbow trout.

Fall colors
Fall is coming!

Brook Trout from the Great Smoky Mountains
A Great Smoky Mountains brook trout.

A remote brook trout stream in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Remote brook trout water in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Tomorrow it is back to work with a trip in the Park. Later in the week I have some days available as well as some time the following week. If you have been waiting for empty streams and willing trout, this is a great time to book a trip. Most of the summer vacationers are gone since school is back in session. If you want to have the water to yourself, this time of year is second only to the cold of winter for solitude if you go midweek.

If you would like to book a guided fly fishing trip in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or on the Caney Fork River, please contact me (David Knapp) via call/text at (931) 261-1884 or email me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Exploring the Smokies


While I have fished a majority of the larger drainages in the Smokies with only a few left to check off the list, there are still many small tributaries to explore. Many of these are far enough off of the beaten path that I prefer visiting them with a friend. The streams of the Park are rugged so there is the safety element, and of course it is hard to beat good company while out on the stream. Fly fishing small streams is definitely best with a friend or fly fishing guide.

When Mark from Fishing Small Streams contacted me and mentioned that he would be passing through the area and fishing for a couple of days, I saw an opportunity to meet a fellow small stream enthusiast and explore some new water. Fast forward a couple of months to mid May, and I'm headed up to the Smokies to meet Mark at the campground he is staying at. We discuss the plan for the day while glancing at a map and then head towards the trailhead for our first stream.

A short and pleasant hike gets us to the lower portion of the stream we wanted to target first so we drop in and start fishing. Almost immediately, Mark caught the first fish of the day.


Moving up the narrow creek required climbing over and around large boulders. The exertion was worth it though. Nearly every little pocket was good for at least one trout, the majority of which were some of the prettiest brook trout you will find anywhere although a few rainbows were in the mix as well. Both of us caught several gorgeous fish. Even though they were all small, they made up for it with an attitude suitable for a fish several times their diminutive size.



As we moved along up the stream, I paused to take some scenery shots as well as a picture or two of Mark fishing. On these small streams, shots of a fisherman in action helps put the stream into proper perspective.




Later, I discovered that Mark had taken a few shots of me as well. Here is one of my favorites.

Photo Courtesy of Mark Wittman

I was thoroughly amused when I arrived at the campground and discovered that I would not be the only one wearing camo for this trip. Apparently small stream aficionados think alike.

After we had fished perhaps a quarter mile of water, we decided to hike back and and continue our marathon fishing day by heading to another stream. This one would be new only to Mark. Our decision was confirmed when we reached my car at the trailhead and discovered that another fisherman had arrived while we were fishing and had undoubtedly started somewhere above us. Fishing used water is never a good thing on these small streams so we definitely left at a good time.

The next stream was a lot larger as its name would suggest. Rainbows and a few brown trout inhabit its waters with brook trout up in the headwaters as is the norm on most Smoky Mountain streams. With limited time, we decided to just fish right near where I parked the car. On most streams, I prefer to hike in a ways to get away from the crowds, but this particular stream seems to get less fishing pressure than most. The fish were responding with enthusiasm right away and mostly to dry flies. Does it get any better than this?




By this point, we were both getting a little tired but still had another stream or two to check out. Thankfully, both of them were close to the campground he was staying at so we headed back. To make a long story short, both streams near the campground were great for both small feisty rainbows and some more beautiful specks. The brook trout in this area are prolific, so much so that at least one area stream is used as a collection stream by the NPS when doing brook trout restoration efforts.

With the sun sinking low in the sky and a long drive home, I said goodbye and headed out. It had been a good day on the water with a new friend. Let me know when you are headed down this way again Mark and we'll find some more new streams to check out!

Read Mark's take on our day and the rest of his time in the Smokies HERE.

If you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip to fish small streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, please contact me at (931) 261-1884 or at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com. Thank you!