09/18/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Mahogany Duns
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Needle Stoneflies
6.    Little Yellow Quills
7.    Ants
8.    Inchworms
9.    Beetles
10.  Grasshoppers
11.  Hellgrammite
12.  Craneflies
13.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)

Fly Fishing Roaring Fork Creek
Roaring Fork Creek is close to being as large as some of the streams you
commonly hear mentioned as major park streams. It's also a separate watershed
that drains its own section of the park. It's not a tributary of another stream within
the park's boundaries. It's a tributary of the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River
but it flows into it in downtown Gatlinburg.

The best way to get to Roaring Fork Creek is to get on the Motor Nature Trail in
Gatlinburg and follow it around until you start seeing some of its small tributary
streams or just a short distance farther, the stream itself. Don't confuse it with
LeConte Creek that you will pass before going up the mountain. The Roaring Fork
is a relatively steep declining stream with lots of plunges and small but deep plunge
pools. The very uppermost part of the stream declines 2500 feet in just over two
miles. Even in the section along the road, there are few areas where the riffles are
very long. Most of the water is fast water runs and plunges. The stream isn't easy to
follow or to wade upstream when the water is normal or high. The current is strong
and the banks are lined with trees and bushes in most places. Some sections flow
through steep canyon-like areas that are difficult to negotiate.

Although the trout will be on the small side, they are usually just as large as any for
the same size stream. We have taken plenty in the eight and nine inch range and I
feel sure there are some probably larger than that. The trout are all rainbows in the
section along the Motor Nature Trail. You should be able to catch plenty of them. If
you go during a time there's a lot of traffic and sight seeing along the stream, you
may have a problem with the trout being spooked before you get there. In this
event, you should go upstream from the point the Roaring Fork first appears along
the Motor Nature Trail or fish the hard to get to canyon-like sections.

In the event you don't care to travel all the way around the one-way loop, which
normally requires at least an hour, you can park near the end of the Motor Nature
Trail and fish upstream inside the park. Just make sure you are parking in a safe
place and not on private property.

We have fished this stream several times. On all but one day, we did very well  
catching plenty of rainbows. Even on a busy day in Gatlinburg, which is most days,
you can easily get to this stream. We don't use the main drag but even if you do, it
doesn't take long because you can't park along the streets in Gatlinburg. The traffic
continues to move even when it's busy. By the way, the road is called Airport Road
in downtown Gatlinburg. It changes to Cherokee Orchard Road a short distance
from the main drag.

We wouldn't call Roaring Fork Creek a prime Smoky Mountain fishing destination
but it is a very pretty stream that is a lot of fun to fish. The Motor Nature Trail
(Road) is a drive everyone should take just to see lovely scenery. Since it only
takes a short time to see the sites and fish for a while, it should be on your list of
places to fish at one time or another. Don't forget it's also a great high water
destination.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh