The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Guide to the Smoky Mountains

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The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Guide to the Smoky Mountains

The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Guide to the Smoky Mountains does more than any other book in print to bring success to a fishing trip. This newly updated landmark volume is an essential guide for anyone planning to fish the rivers, streams, and lakes in the Smokies — these fisheries are some of the greatest in the nation. For successful fly-fishing, this guide is as important as the right tackle.

The first half of this guide offers advice and history. The second half examines each of the 13 w

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3 Responses to “The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Guide to the Smoky Mountains”
  1. WNCmuddler says:
    5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    I’m torn between 2 stars and 3 stars, April 29, 2012
    By 
    WNCmuddler (Knoxville, TN) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Guide to the Smoky Mountains (Paperback)
    I hate to go so far afield of other reviewers’ comments, but as a previous reviewer mentions, much of the information Kirk (and Ward) offer comes from earlier editions of Kirk’s book, then entitled the Smoky Mountains Trout Fishing Guide. I grew up reading the 1985 Revised Edition of that guide, and I was pleased to find a 2011 edition. From the new title, I expected a different book for the earlier version. The primary changes here are the additions to the information on park’s main streams and tributaries. The interesting information on and attention to smallmouth bass, their treatment stream insects (including a comprehensive, excellent hatch chart) and terrestrials, imitations for matching both sets of hatches, and interviews with a brace of local anglers/”mountain men” set this edition apart from the 1985 revision. Anglers familiar with the previous versions will also find that the tone here is much changed: Kirk (and Ward) color their observations and recommendations with many more stories than the older editions contain. If you like that sort of thing, then you will find plenty of entertainment here. I find them intrusive, particularly since these stories are additions that are most often sprinkled through the stream information, which is the reason I bought the book in the first place. The tone that authors adopt is also more gruff than it was earlier, more given to braggadocio than the quiet confidence of the earlier editions that in itself instilled confidence. In the same vein, the stories are more punctuated by flasks and booze than before: “two flask” afternoons and “back up flask” streams will prove entertaining, again, for the reader so inclined.

    Since I purchased this book for Kirk and Ward’s insight into the rivers, creeks, and branches, I am disappointed by how much of this information is recycled from the 1985 revision. Frankly, had I realized how little of the information they have to offer has actually changed, I would have stuck to the first book instead purchasing a duplicate copy. The conditions of the park and its usage have certainly changed in the quarter century since the information was offered. Those changes merit some attention. As a small example, the “Fishing Pressure” and “Fishing Quality” must have certainly been affected by the increased popularity in fly fishing and the increased willingness many anglers exhibit for backpacking and fishing and, if nothing else, the sharp increase in travelers to the park must have had an effect on angling creeks beside roads and trails. Likewise, the number of hikers has spiked, so much so that many of the first-come-first-served backcountry campsites have been turned into reservation-only locations; many of these are next to streams, which suggests at least the possibility of more angling. Also, the ban on brook trout fishing, lifted since the 1985 revision, seems to have not been lifted at all in the book regarding many creeks. (And Lynn Camp Prong is closed to fishing, one of two closed streams.) These are small examples for the main reason I regret my purchase – the information hasn’t changed for a park that has. I find it hard to have as much confidence in the information in the book as I did when I first browsed it twenty-five years ago (and enjoyed returning to it in the intervening years).

    If you have an earlier edition, you probably buy another copy; if you have never purchased an earlier edition, you might not want to invest money in dated information.

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  2. Crusher says:
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    OK, but could do better, May 1, 2014
    By 
    Crusher

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Guide to the Smoky Mountains (Paperback)
    The authors hit the high points, but in my opinion too much time spent on basic fly fishing techniques and local color. Not enough practical information regarding access. They cover a very small number of park streams. Would have liked better maps, info regarding road access, etc. For example, I drove 3 hours to get to one of the recommended streams on the SW part of the park to discover that the road to the creek I wanted to fish was recommended for 4 wheel drive/high clearance vehicle only, and I had a rental passenger car– since it was a one way route, I did not want to risk committing to the route. It would have been nice to know this before leaving Bryson City.

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  3. Bobby C. Kilby says:
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Bobby’s Brooks, March 1, 2013
    By 
    Bobby C. Kilby (Pawleys Island, SC) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Ultimate Fly-Fishing Guide to the Smoky Mountains (Paperback)
    Book has some good information in it and some very dated information that is inaccurate. Latest revision failed to update core information on many streams.

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