07/14/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
3.    Little Sister Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
4.    Cream Cahills
5.    Sulphurs
6.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
7.    Little Green Stoneflies
8.    Slate Drakes
9. .  Streamers (Sculpin, Minnows)
10.  Inch Worms
11.  Grasshoppers
12.  Ants
13.  Beetles

Current Stream and Weather Conditions
In a nut shell, conditions don't get any better for the middle of July. We have been
fortunate in that rain showers and thunderstorms have keep the water levels in good
shape for the last several days. Little River, Oconaluftee River and Cataloochee River
are all flowing near normal. We don't have USGS stream data for Little Pigeon River
but having seen it yesterday afternoon, I can assure you it's flowing on the high side
of normal for this time of year.

The weather forecast for the next few days is excellent. The daily high temperatures
are coming down with the high predicted for tomorrow in Gatlinburg to be only 81
degrees. It appears the highs will range in the mid eighties for the next few days.
There's a 30 percent chance of rain for today increasing to 60 percent for tomorrow,
then it drops back down to around a 20 percent chance for the weekend. That's all
good because the streams depend on the thundershowers for water. Just be aware of
lightning and put down your graphite fly rod if your caught in a thunderstorm.

I suggest you only fish above the 2500 foot levels unless your fishing early in the
morning or during the last few minutes of the day. I also suggest your take a
thermometer and keep a close check on the water temperature. If it's above 67
degrees, your going to find it more difficult to catch trout and when you do, you'll be
taking a chance on stressing the fish. If it's close to 70 degrees, you should go to a
higher elevation.

Although the Little Yellow Stoneflies have ceased hatching, the Little Greens are
hatching in some streams. You'll find them in a little slower water but other than that,
the fishing strategies should be the same as they are for the Little Yellows. Eastern
Blue-winged Olives (not
baetis but drunella species called BWOs) are hatching in the
mid to high elevation streams. Although they are sparse hatches, you'll find the trout
are well aware of their presence. Slate Drakes are also hatching but they are even
more sparse. The trout are very used to seeing their nymphs though and imitations
will work very well. They crawl out of the water to hatch like stoneflies. Cream Cahills
are the main mayflies you'll find hatching in most fast water areas. If you see any
duns, be sure to fish the spinner imitations very late in the day. Ants and beetles will
work good in the forest areas and so will hoppers when your around areas of grass
along the banks.

Brook Trout Streams - Part 18
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.

Little River (East Prong Little River) Continued
The East Prong of Little River, known locally as just Little River, was the subject of
yesterday's article and this continues with it's brook trout waters.

Meggs Post Prong
If you can make it past Fish Camp Prong headed up upriver, Meggs Post Prong would
be the next tributary stream. Keep in mind that you can find brook trout in Meggs Post
Prong within a slightly shorter hiking distance from the Elkmont trailhead than you will
if you travel up Fish Camp Prong. Meggs Post Prong will cross the Little River trail but
its actual confluence with Little River is below the point you will first see it from the
trail. From the point it crosses the trail, you will have to fish upstream staying in the
water. It doesn't have a trail that follows it. Meggs Post Prong has both rainbows and
brook trout.

Headwater Streams:
Your might find a brook trout or two in the main stem of Little River above the Meggs
Post confluence, but in general, they begin to show up in good numbers above
campsite #30. Campsite #30 is about 2.5 miles above the Fish Camp Prong
confluence. If you fish these uppermost tributary streams, you will probably need to
stay at the campsite. Getting there and back on a day trip would be a real challenge
and something I wouldn't dare consider doing and probably couldn't do even if I was
that stupid. Once your at #30, you will have to fish upstream within the streams from
that point on. There isn't any trail access and the decline of the feeder streams are
very steep, consisting mostly of plunges and little pools.

Grouse Creek:
Grouse Creek enters the main stem of Little River at campsite #30. Both the main
stream and Grouse Creek continue to have both rainbows and brook trout above that
point. If you fish upstream in Grouse Creek a short distance you will encounter the
confluence of a little feeder called
Spud Town Branch. It has mostly brook trout. A
good ways on up Grouse Creek you'll encounter
Rattler Branch, a small feeder
stream with brook trout but I doubt many will ever reach it.

Main Stem Feeder Branches:
If you travel upstream in the small main stem of Little River above #30, you will
encounter some other very small feeders. The only one I can find a name for is
Kawahi Branch. All these little feeder streams flow off the slopes of Mount Collins at
a very steep decline near the Clingman's Dome area.

Meigs Creek:
I should also point out that Meigs Creek is another tributary of the East Prong of Little
River that has a population of brook trout but they are not Southern Appalachian
Brook Trout. They are descendants from the Northern strain of brook trout that were
stocked there in the seventies. Meggs Creek is easy to find because it enters the
main stem of Little River with a big splash. Meggs Falls is a popular scenic stop along
Little River Road located not far downstream from the Sinks. In fact, if you want to fish
the stream for brook trout, you will need to access it from the Meggs Creeks Trail
which begins at its trailhead located at the Sinks. It's about a mile from the trailhead to
the stream.  



Copyright 2011 James Marsh