06/29/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Green Sedges (Caddis)
3.    Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
4.    Little Sister Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
5.    Cream Cahills
6.    Sulphurs
7.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
8.    Little Green Stoneflies
9.    Golden Stoneflies
10.  Slate Drakes
11.  Streamers (Sculpin, Minnows)
12.  Inch Worms
13.  Grasshoppers
14.  Ants
15.  Beetles

Planning a Yellowstone Fly Fishing Trip?
If your planning on fishing Yellowstone National Park this year, i suggest you read
the report we just posted. Conditions will be quite different from what you can
usually expect.
Yellowstone Update


Brook Trout Streams - Part 9
It's the time of year when the high elevation streams really become important, so for the next few
days I will be pointing out some high elevation brook trout streams (and some not so high),
many of which you may be familiar with and some you may not be familiar with.

Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River
For the first three years Angie and I lived in Tennessee, we lived in Gatlinburg not
far from the Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River. It's known locally as Greenbrier or
Greenbrier Creek. It was about a mile to the stream and downhill all the way. It
provided a quick place for us to go to fish when we only had a short time to do so.

We could be at the end of the road on the Middle Prong is less than 30 minutes.
Often we would go in that far without seeing another angler or even what appeared
to be an angler's vehicle. I guess it's just one of those entrances to the park that
few pay any attention to. When visitors are in Gatlinburg and/or Pigeon Forge, they
usually enter the park at the main entrance or the by-pass road to the main
entrance.

We usually didn't go to the end of the road because to get there, you have to pass
miles of good water to fish. The only time we went to the parking area at the end of
the road (where the Ramsay Cascades Trailhead is) was when we wanted to catch
brook trout. There was often a few vehicles there, but those there were there for
people who came to see Ramsay Cascades or to hike into the backcountry. I don't
ever remember seeing anyone there brook trout fishing. I guess I should also
mention that wouldn't be easy to do even if several guys were there fishing
because most of the best water is hidden from the trail. I can't say for certain, but
I've always had the impression it's not fished very often.

You can actually catch a brook trout before the trailhead at the parking lot. We
have caught some as low as a mile below there but they are by far more rainbows
than brook trout. I know this is about brook trout, but I would like to mention that the
numbers of rainbows in that area of the stream always seemed high. On one
October afternoon, I video taped Angie catching over 50 rainbows on the upper
section in less than four hours of fishing. That's according to our tape logs, not
guessing. She caught as many as three on three consecutive cast on more than
one occasion that afternoon.

I have introduced several of our out of town visitors to brook trout by fishing at the
parking lot area. Many were from Florida, where I lived for over twenty years and
where Angie is from. Most of our visitors have never seen a trout, much less a
brook trout.. I would just hop in the SUV and run up to Ramsay Tailhead and show
them one, usually within just a few minutes of fishing in sight of the parking lot.
From the foot bridge upstream, the population changes from mostly rainbows to
mostly brook trout.

Fishing the upper part of the Middle Fork or any of the small tributaries is a problem
for most anglers. It's about a mile and a half above the last trial access to the
stream where the river splits into its tributaries of Chapman Prong, Eagle Rocks
Prong and Buck Fork. Below that point, this is a very difficult stream to fish with
larger, deep pools and plenty of plunges and short cascades. There's also plenty
of boulders the size of your bedroom. From the bridge at the parking lot upstream,
it's very difficult to fish. I have fished it several times but always during low water
conditions. If the water levels are normal or high, it's an almost impossible stretch of
water to fish. You can proceed up the trail about a mile or more and do much better.

The stream isn't easy to access from the trail because it's high above it in most
areas as far up as the Ramsay Prong confluence. Above that point, there isn't a
trail that follows the main stream. The trail follows Ramsay Prong which is smaller
and more like the typical brook trout stream. The main stem heads off to your right.
It's rather large with huge pools that are, by the way, full of brook trout but difficult
to fish. It's easy to access the water at the confluence, but only Ramsay Prong is
easy to access above that point. It's about four miles from the trailhead to the
Ramsay Prong Cascades.

If you are a great climber and can get around in this type of stream, you have
plenty of water to fish on the main stem above the confluence of Ramsay Prong. It
is a beautiful stretch of water. Above that point, the main stem has several small
tributaries but we have not ventured any farther up the main stem than a short
distance and then, only during low water. You either wade upstream in the water or
crawl under dense rhododendron bushes with the rattle snakes.

Tomorrow, I will cover some more on the other tributaries of this stream.

Copyright 2011 James Marsh