As the season gets closer and closer I think that “cabin fever” gets worse, especially when we get the tease of 70 degree weather for a couple of days and then back down into freezing weather. We came so close to seeing the Little River hang in the 50’s for a couple of days last week right before the bottom fell out of it and it dropped back down into the high 30’s. This will more than likely delay the quill gordons in the near future but we’ll just have to see.
The good thing is that we are in store for a warmer week with some rain in the mix which can speed up the warming process for the streams in the Smokies. Let’s just hope that they don’t get blown out instead.
We’ve been all over the place (national park, national forest, tailwaters and stocked streams) this past week to see what was fishing the best and most of the rivers were all the same, double nymphs and lots of weight to dredge the bottom. This isn’t as fun as watching a splashy rise but it keeps the fish coming to hand during these cold spells.
There is one place that continues to fish pretty good most days and that is Abrams Creek. It being spring fed keeps it warmer than most other streams in the park. We’ve still been fishing double nymph rigs most of the time but haven’t had to add much weight since the fish weren’t locked on the bottom.
A stout rainbow with his spawning colors on.
Most of the fish we caught came on a size 16 prince nymph fished in the riffles. We tried several different flies but the prince did the job so why fix what’s not broken. We did see some black caddis and blue quills hatching but nothing rising to them which isn’t really a surprise since the dry fly fishing is never great on Abrams. At least you know there’s plenty going on below when there are bugs on top.
Most of the fish you can expect to catch in the Smokies range from 6-10 inches with the occasional nice brown mixed in. Although Abrams does have the average size fish it’s not uncommon to catch a nice rainbow every now and again. This is mainly due to more bug life in the creek as a whole.
Abrams is a technical creek with lots of ledges, drop offs and log jams that offer plenty of hiding spots for fish so bring plenty of flies in case you lose a few. It is extremely slick too so be careful wading it and take a wading staff if you have one. The fact that you have to hike in keeps most of the fishing pressure down and you can bet on not seeing another fisherman all day.
The kicker to the entire day is the amount of wildlife you’ll encounter along the way.
Hopefully it won’t be too much longer until we can see some consistent dry fly action to report about, but we’ll keep you posted when it arrives. Take care and have a blessed day.