09/21/10
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 the Oconaluftee River - Kephart and Beech Flats Prongs
The Oconaluftee River is formed by Kephart Prong and Beech Flats Prong. Both of
these are relatively small streams that contain brook trout, rainbows and possible
some brown trout near the confluence although we haven't caught all three species
in either of the two creeks. The Upper section of the Oconaluftee River below the
confluence of Kephart Prong and Beech Flats Prong does contain all three. Again,
we haven't caught all three during any one trip there but we have caught all three
species at different times. I feel sure it is possible to catch a grand slam there.

Rainbow trout make up the most of the trout in Kephart Prong, or at least all but the
uppermost part of the small stream. It can be accessed from the Kephart Prong
Trail that leads off Highway #441. We have only been on this stream a couple of
times. It was difficult to fish, or I should say difficult to get around on, but did give up
a few brook trout and a few rainbows each time. I wouldn't rank it high in comparison
to many other streams of its size although it's worth the effort to fish if you want to
explore new territory. It has several very small tributaries. You may well do better
than we have done. Both our trips were in the Fall.

Beech Flats Prong is also accessible from highway #441. There are probably three
miles of it you can get to from the road. It runs fairly close to the highway although it
is out of sight in most places. This stream has all three species of trout in its lowest
section. The brook trout are mostly in the headwaters but I would guess you could
catch a grand slam there if you made the effort to do so. We have only fished it a
few times.

Beech Flats Prong has a very small tributary called Kanati Branch. It can be
reached from Highway #441 from the Kanati Fork Trail for a very short ways, then
you would have to fish in the stream or crawl around under the bushes. The stream
runs under the road near the trailhead. We have yet to stop and fish this stream. It
appears to be very small. I'm fairly sure you could pound out a few brook trout if you
are willing to climb around under the bushes. It's said to have a population of brook
trout.

It is almost surprising how far up Beech Flats Prong brown trout exist. You can catch
them in some places the stream is so small you wouldn't think they would be any. All
of these streams are small and require Smoky Mountain brook trout fishing tactics.
That means you must use very creative cast in case you are wondering what that
means. Anyway you can get the fly to the spots it needs to be in without spooking
the trout is a good cast. Sidearm cast, flips, bow and arrow cast, sidearm roll cast
and anything you have to do to get the fly in the right spots is required.

I still prefer a long fly rod for this type fishing but many anglers disagree with me.
The short rods are more manageable but don't perform as well for me. The upper
part of the Oconaluftee River is coming up soon. It gets a little wider.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh