10/30/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Little Yellow Quills (
Heptagenia Group)
3.    Needle Stoneflies
4     Slate Drakes
5     Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
6.    Grasshoppers
7.    Ants
8.    Beetles
9  .  Craneflies
10.  Great Brown Autumn Sedge

My Secret Smallmouth Bass Hole in the Middle of Everything
As I mentioned I would probably do yesterday, I did check on the smallmouth. They
were there for sure because I could see them very well.
The problem is, that's the
problem.
When I can see them, they can easily see me. There isn't anyway to
approach them level with the water or even close to that. That's also the problem. You
have to approach them from a very high vantage point where they can see you just as
easy as you can see them. The other problem is that although you are much higher
than the water, you are also a long way from the bass. It would take a good fifty to
sixty yard cast (horizontally and near half of that vertically) to reach them and I can't
do that lying on my stomach hiding from them. If you walk up to view them, they
instantly spot the movement and just sink down and disappear. No, it isn't below a
bridge.

The water in the Little Pigeon River was just slightly stained, but only slightly, not near
enough to alter their vision of things outside the water such as me. I have not
revealed the place I'm talking about because if I did, they would have to leave
because people would begin to bother them. As it is now, no one seems to notice
them. There's a good reason why. If I told you where they were, it would make sense.

One of these days, the water in Little Pigeon will get stained enough to conceal my
presence, yet not enough to keep them from seeing a chartreuse streamer. When
that happens, I will show you a picture of a five pound smallmouth caught in a busy
shopping area.

My and Everyone's Not So Secret Trout
I left Sevierville via the by-pass around the Pigeon Forge Strip and headed to the
park. There are still thousands of tourist visiting and the leaf season, which will end
within this week, won't phase the number of visitors very much. The Halloween decor
will be replaced with Christmas and Thanksgiving decor the day after Halloween.
Pigeon Forge will remain jam packed most days until well after New Years Day. After
having to stop at only two red lights, and in less than fifteen minutes from leaving
Sevierville, I was headed through the Spur, then onto the Galinburg bypass and into
the park. The four lane bypass around Pigeon Forge was almost vacant of traffic.
This always amazes me. The fairly new four-lane highway must not appear on the
road maps of most GPS units yet or actually, it's just that most people coming from
Sevierville aren't headed to the park.  

I first stopped at one of the parking areas in Sugarland and fished the Little Pigeon.
The water was high but well within the banks. In about thirty minutes of fishing I only
picked up a small rainbow but I was casting from the bank. The water was not safe to
wade in the area I was fished, especially since I was alone. I headed over the hill to
the Elkmont area and stopped just upstream from the turn to Elkmont. The water was
even higher and rolling swiftly through the runs and riffles. I jumped around making a
few cast from the bank anywhere I could and from a very few places I could get into
shallow water along the bank. I did far more walking and getting in and out of my
vehicle than fishing.

During the next hour and a half, less than half of which I was actually fishing, I
managed to catch one brown trout about 12 inches long and two average size
rainbows. The brown trout and one rainbow came on the Perfect Fly White Belly
Sculpin and one rainbow on our size16 BWO nymph. That was all I cared to walk and
drive, or to do what I call "hit and run fishing". It was fairly productive, I guess, with four
trout in just over an hour of fishing, but also a lot of work. I weighted the streamer and
nymph down heavily, and spent as much time tying on new ones and getting
unhooked from snags as I did fishing.

I didn't see anyone else fishing until I left and drove downstream to Metcalf Bottoms. I
spotted one angler fishing and one vehicle with fishing decals parked along the way to
Metcalf Picnic area. I returned home through Wears Valley via a Pine Mountain short
cut.

It's early Sunday morning as I am writing this. USGS data for Little River shows it's
down to 214 cfs or just over 2 feet. The Oconaluftee and Cataloochee data show
similar flows, so it's safe to wade the streams today, provided you use extra caution. It
should be much easier to fish (less work) today than yesterday. The water should be
mostly clear again, so If you stick to the strategy I provided Tuesday and for the past
few weeks, you should do very well if you have an opportunity to fish.


Our Just Released New DVD,
"Stalking Appalachian Trout".

Copyright 2011 James Marsh