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Author Topic: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC  (Read 11010 times)

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troutwag

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Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« on: December 21, 2006, 11:31:09 PM »
Hey all,
I fish out of Knoxville and alot over on Snowbird in Robbinsville, NC.
The fishing can be pretty good sometimes (of course its good everywhere sometimes!)  I am on a personal mission to get more flyfisherman over there.  Alot of you drive by on your way to the Nan.
Snowbird gets a pretty dependable run of Steelhead out of Santeetlah in the winter.  I have basically had it to myself for the last 4 years.  I wouldn't mind (too much) if some others were out there partaking as well.  I wll try to post a few pics later, but can say that I catch a fair number of bows from 14 - 19" from now until the end of February.  Snowbird is about the size of the Nan in the DH section and has about 10-12 miles of easily accessed water.
Santeetlah is about 2,500 acres and sits at about 2,000 feet elev.
165 deep.  There are some big trout swimming up the creeks to spawn in the winter, I have heard of trout as long as 31", though I have not caught any that large!  I think if I saw one that big in the creek I would probably fear for my life!
I will start posting my weekend results, so check it out once in a while if you will.  This is not the only creek which gets these fish either; Big Santeetlah and West Buffalo get them as well.  The locals say that they are steelhead stocked years ago.  I caught my first of the season last weekend.  I can tell when the run has begun because the fish get big and everything seems to want eggs.  All the fish I caught last weekend were on the egg pattern ~ size 10 oregon cheese dropped off the back of a heavy stonefly.  Water was cold last weekend (low 40's) but I can usually raise a fish or two even into the high 30's. 
I have an ulterior motive; this could be a great creek with some decent regs, it is managed as a put and take.  Its as big as Little River gets more nutrients from the inhabitants and logging (and too much silt due to poor practices).  It has the added bonus of lake run fish in the winter to early spring.  You all know too that the fishing can be really comfortable on any given weekend in the winter around here! 
Any questions are welcome.
Best,

troutwag

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2006, 11:41:49 PM »
I will try to post a pic or two. [/img]
Hope that works.  These were some of the first fish I caught that winter first winter I fished over there.  At time I was really surprised to be catching fish that size, coming from a reference point of the Smoky's.  The browns are much rarer in my experience in the winter, they are there though, just typical big browns; damn hard to catch!
Anyway tightlines,
John

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2006, 09:02:05 AM »
Is it wade only or can it be boated? How is the access?
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. ~Thoreau

troutwag

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2007, 11:53:47 PM »
Hey Mike,
Sorry, I haven't been online for a while.  Snowbird is wadeable.  Could be canoed or Kayaked, but is too small for a drift boat or pontoon (certainly too small for the drift boat).  As I said it is about the size of Little River.  The creek is accessible for it's complete length with the exception of a few hundred yards of claimed private water on the upper half.  A couple of people have set out no trespassing signs.  I hope it doesn't become an epidemic. 
The run should be in full swing with the full moon and the rain which fell New Year's eve,  it was just shy of 3" and the creek literally rose between 3 and 4 feet overnight.  By Monday evening it was nearly down to fishable level again.  Should have been great today and better tomorrow afternoon.   Last weekend I didn't do well, but a buddy up from Atlanta and I fished Sunday in the rain for about three hours.  He managed 4 fish; first was a 21' hen!, second a 19" chrome hen then one more rainbow and one brown; each about 11" long.  Not too bad for a mountain stream and wild trout.  I only managed one trout about 13".   I am having a hard time buying a trout in Kroger lately though! 
All of his fish were caught on a BH Woolybugger, size 8 or 10, fished below an indicator, basically dead drifted.
I will add a few more pics in couple of days, need to get some developed.
The fish will be in the stream until the end of February.  The stream is closed in March until the first Saturday in April so the stocking trucks can do their thing.  It is a shame that a stream of this potential is managed in this manner.   It stays cold all summer long (elevation of 2,000 at the lowest point). 
Enough of that, the fish are there now! 
Tight lines,
John

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2007, 11:30:42 AM »
Hey John I may head up that way this Sat. I'll shoot you an email.
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. ~Thoreau

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2007, 06:30:28 PM »
Troutwag it was a pleasure to meet you and fish that wonderful river. With the recent rains it was a little faster and murkier then I like to fish. We ended up heading to Tellico soon after you met us. This was my first trip to Tellico and the Snowbird and I was blow away by the awesome beauty and wildness of these areas. Iím already missing it.
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. ~Thoreau

troutwag

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2007, 10:39:21 PM »
Mike,
Sorry that first trip was less than stellar, it was very nice meeting you all though.   Make the trip again and we will exhaust all options in the pursuit of the lately ever elusive Snowbird Steelhead!  I hope you all had some luck on the Tellico.  As I said in the email; I met a fellow fly-fisherman on the stream Sunday, between downpours and murky water.  He is building a cabin over there and said his builder claimed his wife had landed a 31" fish over the New Year's weekend.   I won't really put too much creedence in that until I see the picture!  I will post it if I see it.  I have heard of a few fish near that, one 30 and one 31".   Fish that size are truly rare though.  One has a pretty good shot at a wild fish of 16-19" most any day from New Year's to the end of February.
I need to post some more for proof!  This one (my best) was landed the 27th of February; water high, but clear with a water temp of 38 degrees.  This fish hit a swung streamer on a Teeny mini-tip.    [/img]
Anyway, enough crusading for one night.
Tight lines,

troutwag

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2007, 11:06:10 PM »
To any who may be giving some thought to heading toward Robbinsville, things seem to be looking up.  The drought was bad this summer (august was awful!) and still not over.  Things are better though and I can say the lake run fish are on the move.  I caught several fish over Thanksgiving on various stonefly nymphs and egg patterns.  Most came to the stone patterns, goldens seemed to be the best bet.  The second big fish took an egg pattern.  I think these are wild fish but not sure, the fins are not perfect.  These fish came through some pretty rough spots to get where they are and I wonder if the the dams they had to navigate or maybe the raceways caused the fin damage?  Crystal ball is too cloudy lately.
Anyway the fish seem to be on the move and if these are an indication the forage base in the lake was good this year!  Fish # 1 just shy of 22" and # 2 was right at 21", both absolutely obese hens.  [/img]
[/img]
[/img]  With a little luck these posted!  The last one was just a beautiful little fish.  That dorsal was almost like a grayling, well it was pretty tall!  If you make the decision to go, take some golden stones in brown and golden; size 12-8 with beads and some large beads and tungsten.  Take some egg patterns to drop off the stones.  3x to the top fly, 4x on the drop.
Tight lines,
John

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2007, 07:09:17 AM »
Thanks for posting and setting the bar so high John. ;D I'm headed over there tonight and if I do get to fish much I'll be on the lookout for those guys. Just getting away for a weekend is the main objective however.
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. ~Thoreau

nickparkerfb

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2007, 07:49:52 AM »
Troutwag,

Moving back to East TN and looking forward to fishing those mtn. creeks again.  Can you recommend any holes on the Snowbird?

Nick

troutwag

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2007, 10:02:57 AM »
Nick,
Sorry so slow to reply.  As far as holes, not really, any deeper/darker run is a fair bet, never a sure thing though.  I was over last weekend and fished from about noon to 4 on Saturday.  Came home with a big goose egg.   The water was again very low and clear.  We will really need some rain to erase this rain, the water that runs out of the rocks is still greatly reduced and a week without rain really shows it.
I usually fish above Robinson's grocery, but that is not a hard and fast rule either, have caught fish all the way to the mouth of the creek at Santeetlah lake.  You will see the locals congregating there when the word gets out that the fish are staging.  Too bad they allow fishing for them there, I am sure alot of them never make it into the creek.  I throw them back, but I am the exception, not the rule.
You can get your license at Robinson's Grocery as well.  Good food at Katie's kitchen back there as well.    If you are going you are welcome to shoot me an email.
Best,
John

nickparkerfb

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2007, 06:49:42 PM »
John,

No problem,  I am in the middle of a reloc. to Seymour, TN from Cookeville, TN (Job Related), so I haven't been on here in a while.  With this little rain it might be a good opportunity.  Supposed to rain off and on through New Year.  I don't know if i'm going to have the opportunity to break free.  I did leave my old 3wt out just in case.

Nick

troutwag

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2008, 12:10:24 AM »
Hi All,
Fishing last year was slow for the lake run fish.  This year is the best I have seen, my 7th year fishing the creek.   Funny thing I haven't aged a bit!  Wait a minute let me get these rose colored polarized glasses off.  Anyway the run is good this year, and I am not the only one having good results....... though I am catching the biggest fish!  Deeper slower runs, fished with egg patterns below a stone for weight.  They are taking the egg 9 times out of 10.   It is fishing, some days good some days slow, but with steelhead you never know!  Here are a few more caught since New Years Eve.





That last one will go on the wall if I can talk my wife into it!  Have no fear though the fish went right back into the creek.   I need to remember to post notes as I post pics.  Cant remember the order.  You can see that there are some real pigs in the creek this year, must have been a good season for forage in the lake. 
These fish were stocked in Santeetlah lake for a number of years, but they showed little interest in running up the creeks to spawn.  Then they were stocked into the creeks.  It is thought that these fish are finally beginning to return up the creek.   From what I hear, I am not the only one catching them this season. 
If you go deeper runs, 7.7-9' 3x to the stone with the egg or y2k dropped from it about 10" of 4x.    The rain seems to be coming pretty regularly again, the rain gauge showed 5" last weekend, I had emptied it last trip over two weeks ago.
That last fish was a big hen 24" x 15" girth (6-7 lb?)  These fish are in the creek until the end of February.   They like to eat at dawn and dusk, must of these fish are caught around 5:00 pm.  Water temp 36 f, air temp anywhere from 23 - 51f.
Best,
John

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2008, 09:30:51 AM »
Beautiful fish and awesome report John! Some of those runs I remember fishing when I was up. How was the water clarity when you are having a good day? Do you find it fishes better in heavy flows?

It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. ~Thoreau

troutwag

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Re: Snowbird and Neighboring Creeks; NC
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2008, 11:03:14 AM »
Hey Mike,
Water has been clear, and a little high.  I prefer it a little high, fish are less weary.   I rises and drops and clears quickly.  The day before NY eve we got 3.5" in about 15 hours.  The creek literally came up 4'!  The next afternoon it was wadeable, no fish caught though.  The following day we caught fish, one of the pictured fish late in the day.  A monster was hooked and lost that day as well.  Its rarely crystal clear like the smokies streams.
Best,
John