08/18/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives (See Below)
2.    Mahogany Duns
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies - Summer Stones
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Ants
6.    Inchworms
7.    Beetles
8.    Grasshoppers
9.    Hellgrammite
10.  Cranefly
11.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
12.  Cream Cahills


Current Stream Conditions in the Great Smoky Mountains National
Park

Yesterday's conditions could be summed up in one word - wet. I took my guest up to
the headwaters of the Little Pigeon River yesterday to catch some brook trout.
Neither Shelley or Frank
(whom I wrote about two days ago) have caught our native
brook trout. Both of them have caught plenty of brook trout in New York, Vermont
and other Northeastern locations and several of them out West during their two
month trip they extended to Tennessee to visit me. I first tried the river a few yards
above the upper end of Chimneys Picnic area. I was trying to sneak in a large
brookie for them out of the pools there but the water was up high enough from the
night before (about an inch of rain) that is was too difficult for them to wade, so we
headed on up the mountain. That section of water isn't easy to wade or to get
around on even on low water.

The Walkers Camp Prong was fairly high on its lower end, so I proceeded on up a
couple of miles above the Alum Cave trailhead where the water level was much
better. Shelley missed the first three, so I proceeded to show her how to do it only to
catch one out of four. Two of them I completely missed. The only one that looked six
to eight inches still has the hook in its mouth. I guess I wanted to show off and broke
the tippet setting the hook. In other words, I did  a very lousy job of showing them
anything. At that point we had only fished for about thirty minutes total. Just about
the time I got a new Perfect Fly Little Yellow Quill Dun tied on, huge water drops fell
on the water to the point it was impossible to see the fly. Both Shelley and I were
caught completely off guard up the creek without any rain gear. We were soaked
before we could get a few yards back downstream and out of the creek. I was
thinking Frank would wade behind us and take pictures but he didn't. He stayed
around the road checking out the stream only to discover that when it started to
rain, I had locked him out of the SUV. He got just as soaked as we did. We were off
to a great start and I feel sure they probably whispered to each other something like
- he hasn't changed a bit.

After waiting it out for thirty minutes in a huge downpour, I decided to move
downstream and hopefully get out of the rain. That didn't happen. We passed a
bear on the side of the road which was just the right size for me not to be able to
determine if it was a cub or grown enough to be by itself. It rained very hard all the
way down the mountain to Sugarland. It rained so hard I could barely see at times
and I had to pull off the side of the road three different times to sit and wait. A tree
fell across the highway just below the Chimneys and blocked the road to one lane,
so we sit in traffic there for a while. A couple of more miles downstream, the park
rangers had pulled a simi-truck over and was making the driver turn around - they
are not supposed to be on the road. That took a full twenty minutes and created the
second traffic jam. I couldn't believe the number of people in the park. It was
crowded. We only saw two anglers all day though. It sounds like I am complaining
about the rain but I'm not. We needed it. I was happy to see the rain and just be with
my friends.

Thinking the rain could be isolated, and knowing even if it wasn't, I may get them a
shot at a large brown trout on Little River, I headed in that direction. It rained hard
the entire time it took us to get to the campground at Elkmont. I forgot the road is
closed above the campground, I guess for the stupid "spend some money we have
borrowed from China - federal stimulus project" of re-molding the rotten houses, so
we headed back down Little River. It rained so hard I had to stop on the side of the
road at least for thirty minutes before I could see well enough to drive again. I have
no idea how much rain fell, but it had to be a huge amount. You couldn't see twenty
feet in front of the car. Amazingly, Little River wasn't very high. It didn't receive near
the rainfall the Little Pigeon did the night before last. It was just getting stained at
that point in time. It didn't stop raining so I continued to drive all the way to the
Middle Prong. I have seen that watershed be completely opposite of the East Prong
before and sure enough, it was different yesterday about 2:00 PM. It was low but
even so, the heavy rain had begin to make it very dingy. That was a very strange
sight. Very low water that was very dingy. It didn't stop raining so we finally gave up
on getting to fish. After a quick trip to my brothers home in Laurel Valley, we headed
back to Pigeon Forge from Townsend via Wears Valley. At the bridge at Townsend  
the water was completely mud red.

I am writing this early in the morning not knowing any of the final weather service
rain totals. The park figures will not be posted until later today. I guess i will just
have to look at the Little Pigeon when it gets daylight and see its condition but I
don't expect anything but high water. I just looked at Little River data and see it has
fallen down quite a bit since about midnight, so maybe we will still get in a good day.
It probably stopped raining about the time we gave up. I just hope we can get some
fishing in for the brown trout today. There is still a good chance for more rain. We
will give it a try even if it is out of its banks and I still want complain about the water. I
must admit, I did get a strange look when I told Shelley and Frank we have been
wanting for it to rain good for two months. They loved the streams and the
tropical
forest and are all ready talking about spending a month here next April or May.
They have to be the World's easiest to please people. I couldn't believe they were
discussing that from what I have showed them so far.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh