you dunking bait or fishing the trophy section
This is my first time fishing for mountain trout. And Im going to Cherokee and was wondering if any one has any tips. They would be greatly appricated.
you dunking bait or fishing the trophy section
Well I just really have no clue of where to fish. I'm bringing my fly rod and my aunt is using bait.
Take someone fishing who never has. Perserve the sport.
you have 30 miles of water to fish. hit the bridges, and pull offs closest to the creeks. they stock well, so don't worry about some spots being better than others. I always start at bunches creek and work my way down to the middle of town. they have 3 ponds, so if you are not into wading, you have that option. If you want to fish the trophy section, ( raven fork by the high school) you need to buy the permit for that section (20.00) and the daily permit (7.00) . The trophy permit is a one time purchase, so it is good for the year. my favorite patterns are small midges, zebras and caddis emergers in 18-22 with a san juan or y2k attractor. You can also try some small dries, ehc's and terrestrials work great this time of year. be prepared for the "tube" hatch, it is a given on the weekends. You should grab the little map/tourist brochure that all the bait shops have, it has a little map that shows you where the tribal waters are and pay attention to the signs, they mark tribe only waters and the trophy section pretty well, but they are sometimes faded. I can honestly say that after 30 years of fishing cherokee, you have to move around if you are not catching fish in one spot. the map will show you all the,small creeks, ( bunches, soco) the raven fork ( medium size water) and part of the little tennessee ( big water) that the tribe stocks. might be out that way sat, so if you need any more info pm me and I could maybe show you around.
I took my younger daughter (10) over the 4th to the Enterprise Waters while big sis and Mom slept in. We parked at the GSMNP entrance on 441 and fished upstream. She caught 6 in about 2 hours on nightcrawlers and missed a few more while I "guided" (plus a butt-load of knotty-heads that she counts in her total). She's not ready for a fly rod yet so I'm trying to start her the way I started. Cherokee is a great place for beginners because they stock so many fish.
Just about every bigger hole had a stationary angler parked there, presumably waiting for trout to come to them. As slickrocktom says, you have to go to the fish. If you haven't had a hit after you've worked a run pretty well, move on. The less obvious water often holds more fish in the Oconaluftee because someone has a nightcrawler in the water constantly in the bigger holes.
I'm not dissing Cherokee, I have wet a hook there many times, but you might also consider fishing other places nearby and saving the Permit fees. (Assuming you have a NC license). Lots of hatchery supported streams nearby like Scotts Creek, Alarka Creek, Deep Creek(stocked by NC for the last mile, changes to wild trout water in the park ) Tuckasegee River, which is floatable and has multiple species), great fishing for wild trout (and solitude if you are willing to walk for 15 minutes or take a boat ride) in the GSMNP streams
I rarely fish Cherokee anymore because of the crowds and the great fishing everywhere else. However, back in the day we had our best luck in the smaller, cooler streams this time of the year. The lower Oconaluftee starts to really heat up in the summer (I have caught smallies and catfish below Birdtown).
Bunches Creek is good, and Soco Creek upstream from the Casino is good.--Be mindful of hornets and yellow jackets if you fish any of these small streams this time of year. In addition to the flies Slickrock Tom mentioned, I like using a dry fly/dropper combo with a size 12 yellow foam stimulator on top and a size 14 to 18 dropper of general nymphs like pheasant tails, gold ribbed hairs ears, tellicos, and copper johns.tie my hares ears nymph using a tiny bit of peacock herl as the wing case and the fish love it. If I'm on a meat hunt, even a 1/80 oz crappie jig with a foam body and scented with a drop of anise oilhas resulted in a smoker full of fillets. I hope I don't incite a riot for mentioning the use of scents. You can use any lure/bait combo in tribal waters with the exception of the trophy section, and I would not personally use this technique anywhere but in a put and take fee area like Cherokee.
As for other places you might want to try , Straight Fork has good fishing, GSMNP regs apply, no tribal permit is needed, and is easy to get to if you are camping anywhere on Big Cove Road. Follow Big Cove Road to the Fork , go past the tribal hatchery and you are in the park. The road follows the stream for miles, you will see few other people and the stream is beautiful and has wild browns and rainbows mostly, but I have caught brook trout above the low water crossing (the road turns into a one way road descending from Heintooga Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway) If you fish upstream from this point, you will catch more brookies, and it is like being in the middle of nowhere. It's worth the trip just to be in this place, catching a few fish is an added bonus. I have done particularly well in the Summer here with these: a size 14-16 pheasant tail parachute, elk hair caddis, or yellow foam stimulator with no dropper needed most of the time.
The Oconaluftee upstream from the Visitor Center also has good fishing with no tribal permit needed, just watch out for the beavers..... I accidentally stepped on one while fishing here once. Scared the daylights out of me and him (or her?) both. I got soaking wet but at least I didn't get bit, lol.
A There are lots of other places besides the ones already mentioned, and you will be in the middle of some great fishing. Whether you stay in Enterprise Waters, the park, or any of the lakes or rivers, you have a lot of options. If you have a canoe or are willing to rent one from an outfitter and really want to have fun, do a float trip on the Tuckasegee River. It is considered transitional water below Dillsboro, so it is therefore marginal trout water, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I have caught trout, smallmouth, and big bream on the same float, and have seen but never caught some monster carp . I know others who have caught walleyes in this stretch, and there are big brown trout, flat head catfish, channel catfish and muskies here as well. There are over 20 fishable miles of water from Dillsboro to Fontana Lake. Anyway, hope this helps.
Last edited by gillz; 07-31-2009 at 12:55 PM. Reason: remembered I forgot something
So how did you do? I am heading up there Monday. My first fly fishing experience. If that does not work out, I will bust out the ultra light spinning gear.
Just go any were in cherokee that has access to the river. Bait your hook with almost anything! Bologna, worms, spinners, crickets, minnows, corn, bread and on and on and on... But what works the absolute best and has never ever failed me ever no matter what time of year is wax worms. There expensive but well worth the money IMO. Also, The best place around to get everything you need is simons bait shop in bryson city nc. Not only does this guy sell bait and mount fish but there friendly people. They own it and run it and can give great advise about what local fish are bitting and were.
I've heard stonefly patterns work well there. Might want to try a Y2k Or egg pattern with a stonefly dropper. There are some huge fish up there, http://www.cherokee-nc.com/index.php?page=258, have fun!