Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little)
2. Cream Cahills
3. Little Yellow Stoneflies (Little Summer Stones)
4. Slate Drakes
5. Little Green Stoneflies
6. Mahogany Duns
Most available/ Other types of food:
7. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
8. Inch Worm (moth larva)
Keeping up with Chris
Keeping up with Chris wasn't easy, even though he never pushes me to do anything. We hit the
water full stream ahead from the time he arrived Thursday afternoon until he left yesterday
afternoon. Not having the time to get to a high elevation in the park Friday on his arrival, we hit the
Little Pigeon River for some smallmouth fishing. That didn't turn out great but he did manage to
catch three smaller size smallmouth.
We headed out fairly early Friday morning and fished the upper Little Pigeon River then on up on
Walkers Camp Prong. He managed to catch about thirty trout altogether before 2:00 PM when we
moved to Little River to try to get a large brown trout. Starting out at the turn to Elkmont, we
discovered the water was too warm. Moving on up to the campground we found the same situation,
of course. That didn't leave time enough for us to head up the trail to get far enough upstream to
cooler water. I also knew we would probably be fishing behind others.
I didn't think the water would be that warm at Elkmont but as it turned out, it was far too warm to
fish. The reason I misjudged it was the fact I didn't take into account the low water level. With about
half or less of the water of a normal flow in the stream, the stream warms much faster than it
normally would. Elkmont was about a thousand feet too low for decent water temperatures this past
weekend. I feel sure he would have doubled his catch if I had of taken that into account and we
had remained up at the higher elevations.
Saturday, we headed up to the South Holston. We started at the lower end of the river to avoid the
1:00 to 2:00 PM discharge from the dam. Things started out great with Chis landing a good size fat
rainbow but being the fish hunter he is, it didn't take him long to find some very large browns
lurking on the bottom of one section of river. I don't think he moved ten feet for the next three
hours. Finally, he hooked about a 20 inch brown and lost it within a few seconds. Another hour of
that in a different spot accomplished the exact same thing. He lost another big one. Meantime, I
just about fell asleep watching. It was like watching paint dry.
That morning when he was rigging up, I ask him about tippet size and he responded he was going
with a 7X tippet. He is use to catching large steelhead on light tippets. I responded that I didn't think
that was a good idea and I was right - it wasn't. The thing we both will never know is whether or not
he would have even hooked the two big fish if he wasn't using the light tippet. That, we will never
know. I think it was the new rod that threw him off. It was only his second day of using his new
bamboo rod made by Walter Babbs. It has a stiffer tip than the rods he is use to fishing. I say "use
to using" when in fact, it had been a year since he has been able to fish. He just returned from his
forth overseas tour of duty- three of them including Iraq as a Marine and this last time in the Army
After the big fish hunt, we moved up the river to near the dam and hiked downstream to the power
lines where he caught a smaller size brown and a few rainbows. I was thrilled to see him catch
some rainbows on a Sulphur spinner imitation during the spinner fall that took place after all the
other anglers thought the fishing was over for the day. The Sulphurs were hatching in decent
quantities but not one of the dozens of anglers in that section of the river stayed for the spinner fall
that occurred just before dark. We were almost 11:00 PM getting back home.
We didn't start out yesterday until after lunch time. Chris wanted to fish Sams Creek and we
headed in from the trailhead about 1:00 PM. I wasn't excited about it at all but I didn't want to
discourage him. He had to leave for Ft. Bragg around 4:00 so we were very short on time. About
half way in to Sams, we meet a couple of guys experienced at fishing Sams coming out. They
managed to catch zero brook trout, claiming that others were fishing ahead of them. Making the
uphill hike in wasn't exactly easy on me, especially after the three days we had already put in but I
didn't complain and managed it okay.
Chris was a little frustrated with Sams Creek. My guess is that he was about the forth go around to
fish the section of the stream he fished. He managed to catch three decent size brook trout in the
hour or less he fished. We started to hike out about 3:00 PM. I managed to stumble out a lot easier
than I stumbled in. I hope that's the last time I see it.
Chris headed back to Ft. Bragg about 5:00 PM yesterday and asked if I was going to be up to four
more days of it this coming weekend. I responded by telling him that he better get back to using the
bench press he had ignored for four days and that he didn't need to worry about the horse, that he
just needed to load the wagon. I proceeded to fall over dead as he was driving off.
I'll get a picture or two posted by tomorrow.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh