08/19/09

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives - mostly Little BWO - Isolated hatches
2.   Mahogany Duns
3.   Midges - hatching in isolated locations
4.   Little Yellow Stoneflies - hatching (Little Summer Stones)
5.   Slate Drakes - hatching
6.   Cream Cahills - hatching in Isolated locations
7.   Beetles
8.   Grasshoppers
9.   Ants
10. Inch Worms
11. Crane Flies
12. Helligramite
13. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

The Dog Days of Summer - Part 3
It seems like everything I have said for the past two days leads to one thing - fish
the little headwater streams in the higher elevations during the dog days of
summer. That sounds simple enough except for the fact you have got to get to the
little streams. If you study a map of Great Smoky Mountains National Park you will
find only a few place you can actually drive to a stream where you can fish for brook
trout at a high altitude. Without looking at a map I can think of only a few.

The easiest area to fish and the most fished area of the headwaters is the Walker's
Camp Prong and Road Prong tributaries of the Little Pigeon River. That is the
automatic "go to" spot in the park for most anglers wanting to catch a brook trout.
These two streams join at the point the Chimneys trailhead crosses the stream
about a hundred yards or less off of the only road that crosses the park, highway
#441. You can park there (if you can find a place in the always crowded parking
lot), walk down the hill and fish upstream either stream. If you will go to a little more
trouble and walk farther on up the trail you can access much more of Road Prong.
You can fish either stream for a long ways as long as you want to go to the trouble
to wade, navigate and climb up the huge boulders lining the stream. The options of
fishing these two streams at this point leave out those unwilling to do some hiking
and climbing. By the way, there is actually a place a good ways downstream where
you can drive to within a few feet of some great brook trout fishing but I am not
going to mention it simply because two people fishing there would be a crowd.

Most anglers will not go to the trouble to fish Road Prong or Walkers Camp Prong
at the Chimney Tops Trailhead. Most of them will continue to head on up the
mountain. There will be a few places that you can stop and fish the Walkers Camp
Prong while the stream is still close by on your right but they are a little tough to get
to. The road will cross over the stream and continue to run along side it on your left
as you head on up the mountain. You will find several parking areas within the next
few miles where you can stop and fish Walkers Camp Prong. A good ways above
the Alum Cave Trail Parking Lot the road will pass over the stream again. It will then
be on your right as you head on up the mountain. There will be yet a few more
places you can park and start casting for brook trout and small rainbows within a
few feet of your car. Be prepared to answer the same question over and over from
the onlookers. You will be asked again and again if there are really any fish in that
little stream.

Not much farther on up the mountain you will notice the Walkers Camp Prong pass
under the highway one more time. It will go out of sight up the mountain on your left.
If you park in the lot at that point, you can follow the stream on up the mountain and
continue to catch small brook trout. As a general rule for the entire stream, the
farther you go upstream, the smaller the brook trout will get.

If you go on over the mountains into North Carolina (or come up the mountain from
Cherokee) you will pass within a short distance of another high elevation stream
with brook trout that you can access a short distance from your vehicle. Beech Flats
Prong, a tributary of the Oconaluftee River can be accessed within a short distance
of the road. The Kanati Branch of Beech Flats Prong and Kaphart Prong also have
some brook trout but they are not easily accessed.  I really can't recommend either
of these streams as a good, easily accessed spot to fish. I just wanted to mention
Beech Flats Prong has brook trout and exist close to the road.

These places are not the only places you can access higher elevation streams with
brook trout from your vehicle. I will point some others out in tomorrow's article.




























Angie fishing Road Prong for brook trout near the Chimney Tops Trailhead


Copyright 2009 James Marsh