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MBB
03-04-2008, 03:52 PM
I plan on camping out at Smokemont for a few days in late spring and was thinking of accessing the Raven Fork River from Smokemont. I know it is a good 4-5 miles or so, but I was particularly wondering how steep the trail is. Is it as bad as Hyatt Ridge? Any information will be appreciated. Thanks!

sammcdonald
03-04-2008, 06:46 PM
chastain creek is, perhaps, worse than hyatt ridge, plus you've got bradley fork (easy) and huges ridge....about six miles just to enloe creek and raven fork junction...back country 47...as i remember that area

mtnman2888
03-04-2008, 08:08 PM
Glad to see someone else is as dumb.....errr i mean adventurous enough to make a trip to ravens fork as i did. I came in via the enloe creek trail on straight fork, though, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I have only been on chasteen creek trail once for a very short distance, right at bradleys fork. It is relatively easy at this elevation but by looking at the maps it appears to get quite a bit more difficult. Another important thing to remember is that this 6 mile hike will take quite a bit longer than most due to the fact that it is so steep. Again, different trail, but when we made the short 3 mile hike from straight creek it took us about 2 1/2 hours. In comparison, on our trip to bryson's place on deep creek, about a 6.1 mile hike i believe, it took us about that long on the way up and just over 2 hours on the way back.

Have you ever been to ravens fork? One thing that is important to know is that that area is probably one of the most rugged in the park, that's why it was spared from the logging. You made no mention of anyone else and i can't recommend that you fish this river alone, it quite simply just offers too many opportunities to get hurt. I went late last year during the drought and the water was extremely low, as one could expect, but the river had some treacherous spots and some that were impassable. This river appears to be able to hold a large amount of water and i'm not sure that the river would be downright dangerous during normal water conditions, let alone when the water is high.

Not to try and dissuade you from going there, because i think you would love it. It's an absolutely gorgeous area and one of the few areas of the park that have been untouched by man. We caught good numbers of fish when we went, although i think we could have done better had the water not been quite so low. It is definitely a trip that you would enjoy, it's just one that proper precautions need to be taken. Here's a link to the report i posted last year:

http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9360&highlight=ravens+fork

Let us know how you do if you go. As long as you're safe i don't think you'll be disappointed in the trip. Hope this helped.

Craig

MBB
03-05-2008, 09:11 AM
Thanks so much for the information, guys. Six miles on a very steep trail is probably too much for me to do in a day trip. So, I might try the headwaters of Bradley instead. I have always wanted to fish Gulf Prong.

Craig, I have fished Raven's Fork three times before. I have had good fishing there, but never great. The reasons I return are exactly the same reasons as you described. It is a wild, rugged wilderness area. My prior three excursions I came in from Hyatt Ridge trail and it is a trail that will test your endurance. And, I know what you mean by the water level. I was there one time and the water was slightly high and that was scary. It is almost frighteneing to know the water moved those huge boulders in the stream bed!

Fortunately, I never received any injuries before there and I don't intend to travel alone. In the past, my biggest concern was those pesky mice that tried to get in my tent and in my pack. Hopefully, I will get up there again one day. Oh, thanks so much for the link and your trip report!

mtnman2888
03-05-2008, 10:38 AM
You're right it is definitely a beautiful place. When we went, i wouldn't say that we did great but we did pretty good, especially on the first day when it we fished in the afternoon and it was a bit warmer. I would like to go back, maybe on a summer trip or something when it is warm and the water temps would stay up some. It got pretty cold at night and the water temp was a little chilly which i would like to think hampered the fishing just a bit. Never had any problems with the mice, however, and i hope i don't!

Craig

Owl
05-17-2008, 04:01 PM
How's the fishing on Enlo Creek - and how big is that water? I'm guessing not very large? Fished Sfork last spring and had a blast. wanted to go up further, but a huge thunderstorm pushed us back to the truck. Got about 1/4 mi past the meat grinder. ;) If you've been there, you know. If you haven't - that isn't slang for anything - there's a Lord-knows-how-old meat grinder sitting on a log on your left. Sometimes you see the nuttiest things when trout fishin'!

Dancing Bear
05-20-2008, 12:40 PM
I saw that meat grinder last week for the first time. I thought it was pretty cool.
You do see some interesting stuff back of beyond.

adamr
02-01-2010, 11:04 PM
I saw this thing sitting on a log in the edge of the creek July/1/09. I thought it was strange just sitting there,figured someone had found it in the creek and just sat it up there. I snapped a couple of photos and went on. I wondered later on if I should have brought it out or mentioned it to a ranger. I figured it would be long gone after the next high water. I saw the previous post was from May/08. Pretty cool it's been around a while. http://i847.photobucket.com/albums/ab32/barobbins1/DSCN0784.jpg

Jim Casada
02-02-2010, 02:04 PM
MBB and Craig--Craig offers some excellent advice and insight, although I would differ on one historical point. It isn't quite accurate to say Raven Fork was untouched by man. There's actually an old railroad grade which reaches up into the gorge a way from the Cherokee Reservation end, and a goodly portion of the watershed was logged. Indeed, the trail from Smokemont was originally built to carry in supplies for timber cruisers and loggers. Anyone who is interested in details on the logging history might want to look at Tom Alexander's delightful book, Mountain Fever. That being said, Craig is exactly right in suggesting it is a majestic and beautiful area. It is also probably the most remote in the Park in terms of trail access, with no trails paralleling the stream and only one lateral trail penetrating the drainage at all.
As for accessing it, there's no question that of the two possible routes--from Smokemont and then up Chasteen Creek or from Straight Fork--the Straight Fork trailhead and access is the easiest.
I would add a couple of historical tidbits. For some years after the Park was created Tom Alexander took guests at Cataloochee Ranch in to Three Forks for camping and fishing. I had never thought of it until now, but that suggests the Park didn't have designated campsites in the 1930s and 1940s. Of course Alexander butted heads with the Park on more than one occasion, but I don't think he would have camped if it wasn't permitted. There's a small photo of the camp at Three Forks in my book, Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, along with a much larger one of Tom's wife, Miss Judy, with a mess of Raven Fork Trout.
One final thought--Enloe Creek and Raven Fork upstream from Enloe Rock are both speckled trout heaven. Should you penetrate far enough to reach Three Forks, you will be at what is arguably the most lovely pool in the entire Park.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

JohnH0802
02-02-2010, 02:14 PM
Jim,
Your wisdom and insights are always a welcome addition. Now all I need you to do is give me the wisdom and insight to be able to find the time and weather to get out there. I already have the bug, and this post has made the itch much worse.

flynut
02-03-2010, 12:30 AM
Jim, unless you'd like to keep it a secret, I'd love to see a photo of this 'lovely pool' you talk about. I live in Nashville and have fished the Smokies once, and that was this past summer. It was a fantastic trip and I can't wait to get back! I can imagine what catching a fish would be like in such a remote and beautiful part of the Smokies...but it makes me really want to see what it really looks like!

(I am not trying to find out any 'honey holes' or anything like that...and if a picture would jeapordize this for you or anyone else, than that would be fine and I would completely understand.)

Mac
02-04-2010, 02:31 PM
I would like to second Flynuts request for a picture of three forks if anyone wants to share. Concerning Flynuts caution about giving away any secretes I can attest that for anyone that makes it there they have more than earned it. I tried for three day and dont think I ever got even close. Well at least from the direction I was trying. :rolleyes:

Can you say "Hurt Locker" :eek:

Jim Casada
02-05-2010, 09:44 AM
Flynut--It's no secret. The pool at Three Forks (where the three feeders come together to form Raven Fork proper) is deep, crystal clear, full of specks, and incredibly remote. It is shown, albeit it a tiny vintage photo, on page 396 of my book. I don't have a modern photo.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Jim Casada
02-05-2010, 09:47 AM
Mac--There is no easy way. The old access down Breakneck Ridge apparently has become so overgrown and indiscernible as to be a non-starter, and making one's way upstream from the Enloe Creek campsite would be an all-day slog (and that's the easiest way). I haven't been there in years and suspect that less than twenty people make it in any given year. Most of those who do probably camp illegally since distance and difficulty really work against getting there from anywhere in a single day's round trip.
Jim Casada

WNCFLY
02-06-2010, 01:30 AM
Jim
I read your book and it is a absolute delight. Thank you for sharing the history with us younger folks. I do have one question and I mean no disrespect at all by it. I have noticed that you have openly shared information about some very special places like three forks. I have fished that spot since I was a little fella with my dad and would be hesitant to give out any info to some of my fishing partners, much less on a internet message board. I am only 31 years old, but I have been fishing these streams since i was 5 years old. My dad and granfather have informed me of all these "special" places and they seem sacred to me. Maybe its silly to hide this info, but I have noticed how open this board has become with speck streams and would like to see what you think about it. Again, I mean no disrespect to you what so ever and I look forward to more of your insight to come.

Jim Casada
02-06-2010, 09:38 AM
WNCFly--One of my Grandpa Joe's favorite sayings was: "A man's got to have some secrets." For years I harbored such secrets when it came to trout streams--lots of them--and there are still some places outside the Park, mostly speck streams, I will not write about. They are just too fragile to take the pressure.
However, after a lot of soul-searching, I decided that if I was going to write what I hoped would be something approaching the definitive work on fishing in the Park, anything short of completeness would not work. Also, I realized that with very few exceptions the truly special places in the Park, Three Forks being among them, have their own built-in protection never mind whether they are written about or not.
That protection takes the form of difficult of access. How many people are willing to exert the energy and effort to reach Three Forks? or upper Jonas Creek? or Defeat and Desolation Branches? or the Left Fork of Deep Creek? or Ledge Creek? or Straight Fork above the "million dollar bridge"?or any of dozens of others? The answer is precious few, and therein lies the protection of such places and their salvation.
Beyond that, I had to consider the element of selfishness. I just turned 68 years old and have to recognize, whether I like it or not (and I don't) that I'm not as "catty" as I once was and that getting back of beyond is much more of a challenge for me than it used to be. Yet why should I deny others the joys I've known not just for years but for decades? All of this posed for me, and will continue to pose for others, a huge conundrum with no easy or complete answer.
Obviously I made my decision and will stick with it, hoping as I do so that the simple fact of writing about remote places will strike a fine balance between concern for and love of such places and realization that I have opened the door to them at least a bit.
Hopefully this rather lengthy answer will give you some insight into my thinking process. Of course I would love to hear other regulars on this forum who have lots of decades in the Smokies behind them weigh in on the matter.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)
All of these thoughts coursed through my mind as I worked on this book,

silvercreek
02-06-2010, 10:02 AM
For my two cents, I'm going to agree with Jim on this one. Lack of easy access should provide the protection. Second, most folks release their fish even though there appears to be a changing tide that some fish should be kept for the health of the fishery. Regards, Silvercreek

WVBrookie
02-06-2010, 11:28 AM
What are the thoughts on the 25-year study? My interpretation was that high water events had a greater affect on the fluctuations of populations than did fishing pressure (stream closings).

Also, earlier this week I finally finished Mr. Casada's new book. All I have to say about that is: AMAZING! I have read a few "guide" books for destinations across the nation and this one is head & shoulders above the others. This book has such a personal touch to it and the history is incredible. With 12 pages of bibliography, Mr. Casada has done his homework (and a great deal of reading).

As I read the book I earmarked a few streams, one being Raven Fork and Three Forks - I must see this pool now. I love rugged and I love a challenge.

The other stream I earmarked is, I believe, above this landmark:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v220/shocchris/DSC01181_edited.jpg

Jim Casada
02-06-2010, 12:02 PM
WVBrookie--Thanks for your most gracious comments. As for the study, I assume you are referring to the ongoing Park study of specks. As far as the impact of fishermen is concerned, researchers have concluded man's impact is minimal to non-existent; hence, you can once more creel specks.
Also, this is tacit recognition of what I have long felt to be the case in many Park streams, no matter what species of trout they held. Keeping the occasional mess of fish to eat does no harm and may in many cases actually be beneficial. Park streams, mainly because of relative infertility, tend to be overpopulated (I know, if some of you are shaking your heads, I've had those days myself when it seemed like there was only one trout every 500 yards). You can usually tell if the heads of mature fish are big in comparison to their bodies. In such situations keeping a mess of fish may actually be good management.
I personally eat fish from time to time and absolutely love them, although probably 19 out of every 20 I catch is released. If you don't want to keep trout that's fine, and if you want a streamside meal in a backcountry setting, that's fine too, in my view.
Jim Casada

WVBrookie
02-10-2010, 12:56 PM
....I am haunted by waters. :biggrin:

I went home from work yesterday, pulled Mr. Casada's book back out, and checked out the photo of the Three Forks pool he referenced. Well, I had a dream last night that I was fishing that pool. I really need to get out on the water somewhere! 80+ days since my last fish!

Chris

fcfly
02-10-2010, 03:08 PM
re: Three Forks aka the Big Pool...does anyone have firsthand
knowledge of the viability of bushwhacking down the Right
Fork from campsite #44 McGee Springs?

I have started that way on a day trip but I was solo and it was pretty thick so I thought better and turned around. Would love to do it this
season if any are interested.

fffc160@hotmail.com

Jim Casada
02-10-2010, 04:01 PM
fcfly--I don't recommend it. What was once a fairly discernible manway down Breakneck Ridge is now pretty much like penetrating Huggins ****; i. e., just something you shouldn't try. That means Three Forks is even more difficult to reach than it used to be, and it's never been a piece of cake.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

fcfly
02-10-2010, 04:45 PM
Jim, Thanks for the reply. I have seen the old Breakneck Ridge
manway on maps and have also heard it was pretty much
impassable.

My thought was to follow the trickle of McGee Springs down
to its juncture with Right Fork and from there rockhop
downstream to Three Forks (about a mile as the crow flies).

I would think this is done by a few hardy souls each year.Anyone
care to share their experience?

old tom
02-10-2010, 04:51 PM
I hope I don't regret this but I'm coming around to Jim's way of thinking that certain spots are protected simply by their remote location and diffilculty in getting there. This is high on that list.

I also hope I don't come across sounding like a smart a** cause that's not the intent. But use the Search tool on this board, type in "three forks", "Raven Fork", "big pool" or anything like that and I'm sure you'll find an excellent and exaustive thread from about this time last year on this subject. This way we don't bring up these hidden gems every year and annoy those that think they should stay hidden and everybody will get along harmoniously.

Jim Casada
02-10-2010, 06:21 PM
fcfly--That might work and is possibly easier than working your way upstream from Enloe Rock. The downside would be that the approach going up the main creek provides first-rate fishing while you'll find the Right Fork quite tight. I do know a few people who have done just what you propose in recent years. I'm too old for such adventures, but according to them, it was tough going (mainly fighting rhododendron). Much would probably depend on your age and level of fitness. I would recommend doing it in April or October, although a group I know tried that in 2008 (the October option) and got caught in a six-inch snow. Needless to say, bushwhacking was not exactly a delight in those conditions. Makes one appreciate the hardiness of the old mountain hunters though.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

sammcdonald
02-10-2010, 06:43 PM
i'm gonna agree with the degree of difficulty idea....lotsa places are spared our intrusion because we just can't get there from here anymore......i'm no longer trekking up dry sluice gap, or the catstairs, or the back way into cammerer.....or raven fork
and there are less of us that have been there every year

fcfly
02-10-2010, 07:54 PM
Thanks to all for weighing in on this. Any additional
input is welcome.

Say old Tom-I'm not really worried about
"annoying" the kind of person you referred to. I
know there are some out there who want to
keep secret certain sections of the Park. I don't
see that being a big problem with 3 Forks
for the simple reason that its hard as **** to
access.If a person is willing to pay the price
of admission (fitness,knowhow,equipment,etc.)
then they can go if they want to.

Jim Casada
02-10-2010, 08:27 PM
sammcdonald--I love the thought that there are fewer of us who have "been there, done that" each year. There's considerable truth in that and I somehow find it heartening. As land within the Park reclaims, to an ever greater degree each year, the natural state which existed before the area was settled, it becomes tougher to get to lots of places.
Here are some random thoughts from someone who, I guess, qualifies as an "old timer" (although I've never really thought of myself in that way) which you triggered. However, there probably aren't a lot of people on this forum, or a lot of anglers in the Smokies, who have a full 60 years of fishing Park waters behind them as I do.
1. Places which used to be known as "fields," such as the Jenkins Fields on Deep Creek, have long since been completely reforested.
2. Most of the old railroad grades are now badly overgrown and virtually impassable on foot. For example, as a boy and young man I used the one on upper Straight Fork (above the "million dollar bridge") with some regularity. Last time I was in there, a couple of years back, I could barely even find it.
3. A good many names have changed. Mud Creek has become Kephart Prong, Kaiser Creek has become Ledge Creek, the Perry Gap Bend on Deep Creek is forgotten, etc.
4. There are far fewer smallouth in Park streams (or more accurately, there is much less mileage in Park waters holding smallmouths) than was once the case. I think cooler water because of more canopy is the explanation.
5. I doubt if there are 10 people alive and fishing who could locate the once famous Cathey Hole on Indian Creek, fewer still know the Hoye Hole, etc.
6. Backcountry campsites are known by numbers, when once all you heard them mentioned by was their name.
7. Fishing wet flies seems to belong to a world we have lost.
8. I haven't heard anyone, other than me, call a rainbow trout a California trout in decades, and the same holds true for calling browns German trout.
9. I actually asked a big audience of locals in Gatlinburg 18 months ago what they knew about Wiley Oakley. Other than knowing there was a drive named for him, no one could tell me much of anything. None knew his favorite song ("I'll Fly Away"), none knew about the little books he wrote, and only one knew that Gatlinburg was once known as White Oak Flats.
10. When was the last time you saw someone fishing (using flies) with a cane pole?
11. How many folks do you know who eat branch lettuce in early spring while on fishing trips?
12. When was the last time, other than in Little River, anyone caught a redeye (rock bass, goggle eye) in the Park?
13. How long do you suppose it has been since someone traveled the old manway from Cataloochee Ranch to Three Forks?
I could go on, but that's a baker's dozen contributions to nostalgia, a world we have lost. I just know I'm blessed to have been a part of it, and that's one reason there's so much history in my book on the Park. I firmly believe you can't truly know where you are going if you don't know where you have been, and I for one have been extremely fortunate to have been a lot of places in the Park and to have known a lot of grand fishermen from days gone by in the Park.
I think it was Hugh Hartsell who said, a few months back when the two of us and one or two others started waxing nostalgic, that we were sort of living history on this forum.
Maybe I've bored everyone by waxing philosophical, but if so, just give me thanks for providing a perfect antidote for insomnia.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Grannyknot
02-10-2010, 08:57 PM
9. I actually asked a big audience of locals in Gatlinburg 18 months ago what they knew about Wiley Oakley. Other than knowing there was a drive named for him, no one could tell me much of anything. None knew his favorite song ("I'll Fly Away"), none knew about the little books he wrote, and only one knew that Gatlinburg was once known as White Oak Flats.

www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

The heartland series has done some pretty extensive coverage on Wiley Oakley. Jim, if you haven't had the pleasure of watching any of these, do it...you won't regret.

White Oak Flats is a name of the past, and I'm afraid Arrowmont school is soon to follow.

I've always thought it was interesting how the USGS quad for citico creek wilderness is referred to as White Oak Flats.

Crockett
02-10-2010, 10:41 PM
Wax on Jim... I love Wiley Oakleys Roamin and Restin and his tales from up on scratch britches mountain. Really wisdom should tell us all that the interesting thing about this post is that a hundred years from now and long after we are all gone from this earth there will still be some hearty soul venturing into these very same places...

Speck Lover
02-10-2010, 10:59 PM
I think it was Hugh Hartsell who said, a few months back when the two of us and one or two others started waxing nostalgic, that we were sort of living history on this forum.
Maybe I've bored everyone by waxing philosophical, but if so, just give me thanks for providing a perfect antidote for insomnia.Mr. Casada,

As an angler with a GREAT LOVE for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I find all of your and Mr. Hartsell's nostalgic comments and writings highly enlightening, and really enjoy finding out "how it used to be". I am a fairly new member of this fine forum, but it hasn't taken me long to discover that you and Mr. Hartsell are among two of it's finest members. Please share as much nostalgia about the park as you deem to do so. I am pretty sure that I am not the only one who feels that way.

fly fisherman DK
02-10-2010, 11:35 PM
I agree with speck lover, I love to hear all about the history of the park, and I would love to hear more.

sammcdonald
02-10-2010, 11:53 PM
i'm the cemetery expert....where ya wanna go? i have sent pictures of 100+ cemeteries to a site called hands on history...susan sachs of purchse knob is in charge....look for them someday

sammcdonald
02-11-2010, 12:11 AM
but as now, fewer and fewer will get there....and the wilderness will win...which is as it should be
20 years from now i can tell you how to get there, but the way will not be there any longer...i'e/ polls gap will be gone...still passable now, but by then...nope

Speck Lover
02-11-2010, 12:11 AM
i'm the cemetery expert....where ya wanna go? i have sent pictures of 100+ cemeteries to a site called hands on history...susan sachs of purchse knob is in charge....look for them somedayThank you for that information sir, I really appreciate it!

Rog 1
02-11-2010, 10:33 AM
I will celebrate my 50th year of fishing for trout in the Park this year...while I have never been able to spend more than a few weeks a year at most in the Park I can relate to much of what Mr. Cassada has spoken of....I do remembe watching people fly fish with cane poles in the waters above Elkmont...these fishermen were mostly wearing overalls and work shoes and would carry their catch on sticks that they laid in the water while fishing....I can still remember crossing a wooden bridge to get to Fish Camp Prong before it was washed out later to replaced by the metal footbridge that is there now....I have burned coal at night in some back country sites left over from the logging trains and have seen old logging spurs used to come down from fishing that I can no longer find...my family has given names to pools and places on many of the streams that will never be known to others but certainly elicit sharp, fond memories to myself and other family members....last fall I had the good fortune to met an original member of the family that had settled in Greenbrier and heard stories about that area that I had never heard before....this came from merely saying hello to a kindly looking gentleman....such encounters are rare these days and should be treasured.

Birdman
02-11-2010, 11:05 AM
13. How long do you suppose it has been since someone traveled the old manway from Cataloochee Ranch to Three Forks?
Does anyone have a map that shows this manway? It's not listed on any of my resources.

Birdman

Crockett
02-11-2010, 11:23 AM
Hey Birdman I am from Rogersville! My dad Philip Beal runs wrgs am radio station there. My user name here is after Crockett Creek that runs through town haha.

I don't think there is a map of these manways but you can go here:

http://www.cs.utk.edu/~dunigan/gsmnp/googlegsmnp.php?lat=35.6102&lon=-83.2549&scale=14&mt=3

To see the campsite on raven fork and if you scroll up (click on the map and drag the mouse to move it) on the map you can see mcghee springs campsite and the three forks. If you use the dropdown selector and choose terrain/topo/mytopo you will see different views/overlays of different maps one of which (topo I think) shows the old manway from breakneck ridge that is pretty much gone or extremely difficult to follow now as I have heard.

- Adam

Birdman
02-11-2010, 11:40 AM
Hey Birdman I am from Rogersville! My dad Philip Beal runs wrgs am radio station there. My user name here is after Crockett Creek that runs through town haha.

I don't think there is a map of these manways but you can go here:

http://www.cs.utk.edu/~dunigan/gsmnp/googlegsmnp.php?lat=35.6102&lon=-83.2549&scale=14&mt=3

To see the campsite on raven fork and if you scroll up (click on the map and drag the mouse to move it) on the map you can see mcghee springs campsite and the three forks. If you use the dropdown selector and choose terrain/topo/mytopo you will see different views/overlays of different maps one of which (topo I think) shows the old manway from breakneck ridge that is pretty much gone or extremely difficult to follow now as I have heard.

- Adam
Adam,
Hello to a fellow Rogersvillian! It's a small world. Crockett Creek is just down in front of my house. I wish there were trout in it :biggrin: Thanks for the link to the maps. I am just getting into trout fishing and one of my favorite things thus far is just getting "back of beyond", as Mr. Casada says. I am taking my first backpacking trip this spring to Hazel Creek and plan on my second one being to Raven Fork. I'm exploring all the options on getting back to the Three Forks area of Raven Fork. I would love to see a map with the manway from Cataloochee Ranch.

Grannyknot
02-11-2010, 01:58 PM
13. How long do you suppose it has been since someone traveled the old manway from Cataloochee Ranch to Three Forks?

Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Is this the old bridle trail that runs the ridgeline of Balsam Mountain?

Crockett
02-11-2010, 02:53 PM
Very good to meet you Birdman. JoeFred Turner who runs www.smokystreams.com (http://www.smokystreams.com) and frequents this board is also from near you there in Russellville. I lived for a long time in an old duplex apartment called the pettibone house on Rogers street right next to Crockett Creek and next door to the old Crocketts tavern (near Rogersville milling company and the City School). Yeah I never trout fished either until the last year and now I love it. I am going to Hazel Creek in May myself! I too like the far back of beyond streams. Hey you want to shoot me an email offline here my email address is adam . s . beal @ gmail dot . com.

duckypaddler
02-11-2010, 03:44 PM
Would love to do it this
season if any are interested.

fffc160@hotmail.com

We also need to get back to the Gorge. I now free again on Wednesdays if there is a place where there is no generation, or it warms up.

And for those of you that haven't seen Mr Jeff Wadley's blog entry on this subject here it is: http://hikethesmokies.blogspot.com/2009/05/raven-fork-three-forks-and-big-pool.html

James

Crockett
02-11-2010, 04:02 PM
hehe I wondered if someone would post that link ;). Jeff has some good canoeing, and fishing blogs too although I think it's been awhile since he updated his trout fishing blog.

Birdman
02-11-2010, 06:19 PM
Very good to meet you Birdman. JoeFred Turner who runs www.smokystreams.com (http://www.smokystreams.com) and frequents this board is also from near you there in Russellville. I lived for a long time in an old duplex apartment called the pettibone house on Rogers street right next to Crockett Creek and next door to the old Crocketts tavern (near Rogersville milling company and the City School). Yeah I never trout fished either until the last year and now I love it. I am going to Hazel Creek in May myself! I too like the far back of beyond streams. Hey you want to shoot me an email offline here my email address is adam . s . beal @ gmail dot . com.
Sent you an email.

WNCFLY
02-13-2010, 01:31 AM
Thanks for your response Mr Cassada. I guess we will agree to disagree. Just reading this thread with all the open information is hard. I have not been on here in a while and this board has drastically changed as far as open information. I have visited another local flyfishing board as well and they have a don't ask, don't tell policy. I guess I get a little touchy about it because my grandfather and father took me to all these places when I was a boy and they are kind of sacred to me. Every time I have been to three forks I never even thought about following another fisherman. Now I really don't know if that will be the case any more. The interned is a blessing, but also a curse. Again, I just wanted to tell you how much I truly enjoyed your book. As far is it went I really didn't think it gave up alot of those truly "special" places. I do appreciate your willingness to help these gentleman that are new to the sport and I will help them in any way if they want to send me a personal email.

Rocketroy
02-13-2010, 06:28 AM
The various local names,and how/who created them are a fascinating result of such mostly verbal history accounts,that have held me and my wife,s close attention,since meeting one Marie Mellinger,some 30 years ago in our home state of Ga.! Her self-taught extensive knowledge of the S.E. Flora and Fauna,geology,Indian and settler history, peppered her naturalist-sharing days and evenings,as she led the then urban mixed group over the Hills of Habersham,the peaks of the Smokies,and the AT,with a group called the "Wild Edibles!" Finding wild food,integrating it into a meal was the goal we thought,but the outcome was to gain a deeper understanding of the treasures we were overlooking,as we urban types spent recovery time with nature.......not fully aware of the richness of our surroundings! As a retired teacher,she was president several times of the Atlanta Botanical Society,served under the Carter Governorship,as native plant survey lead, and spent years on several indian reservations,as wife of a nature reserve manager, finally{ and this is not an extensive count of her rich, mostly self-taught background}, she wrote for her Clayton. Ga. newspaper weekly articles, called "Roadside Rambles",many years in to her retirement years, before passing on in 2008 AT 96.....+ or - a year or two......her secret! This comes to mind, after hearing how a friendly casual encounter between strangers, led to learning of "new" local history, and is shared,thru story telling......an art form dear to our hearts, and a diminishing resource,it seems to me! It was my wife Patty and my honor to know this lady of the woods, and to "Do- A- Woods" drive with her,for some ten years,on a bi-weekly basis.... after Marie could no longer drive her car, she called "Libby!" We still host the dwindling and loosely organized roster of " Wild Edibles " folks for a Christmas get together at our home for the last ten years near Clarkesville, Ga., where the verbal history carried forward, by Marie, gets another chapter addition! The connection is loose,but o-so valuable to this Mtn. Man.! Thanks for listening{er. reading} Rocketroy

Rocketroy
02-13-2010, 06:40 AM
The various local names,and how/who created them are a fascinating result of such mostly verbal history accounts,that have held me and my wife,s close attention,since meeting one Marie Mellinger,some 30 years ago in our home state of Ga.! Her self-taught extensive knowledge of the S.E. Flora and Fauna,geology,Indian and settler history, peppered her naturalist-sharing days and evenings,as she led the then urban mixed group over the Hills of Habersham,the peaks of the Smokies,and the AT,with a group called the "Wild Edibles!" Finding wild food,integrating it into a meal was the goal we thought,but the outcome was to gain a deeper understanding of the treasures we were overlooking,as we urban types spent recovery time with nature.......not fully aware of the richness of our surroundings! As a retired teacher,she was president several times of the Atlanta Botanical Society,served under the Carter Governorship,as native plant survey lead, and spent years on several indian reservations,as wife of a nature reserve manager, finally{ and this is not an extensive count of her rich, mostly self-taught background}, she wrote for her Clayton. Ga. newspaper weekly articles, called "Roadside Rambles",many years in to her retirement years, before passing on in 2008 AT 96.....+ or - a year or two......her secret! This comes to mind, after hearing how a friendly casual encounter between strangers, led to learning of "new" local history, and is shared,thru story telling......an art form dear to our hearts, and a diminishing resource,it seems to me! It was my wife Patty and my honor to know this lady of the woods, and to "Do- A- Woods" drive with her,for some ten years,on a bi-weekly basis.... after Marie could no longer drive her car, she called "Libby!" We still host the dwindling and loosely organized roster of " Wild Edibles " folks for a Christmas get together at our home for the last ten years near Clarkesville, Ga., where the verbal history carried forward, by Marie, gets another chapter addition! The connection is loose,but o-so valuable to this Mtn. Man.! Thanks for listening{er. reading} Rocketroy

Jim Casada
02-15-2010, 08:07 PM
Sam--I've been away from the forum for a few days trying to peddle some books at the Southeastern Wildlife Expo, but your mention of cemeteries brought a thought to mind about one I hope you can help me with.
An old map I have from pre-Park days shows a cemetery a mile or more up Mingus Creek about where it makes a big bend, and Bill Hart tells me there was once a strange marker there along the trail--a sort of tall pole with bottles atop it. The cemetery isn't covered in "The Cemeteries of Swain County," a book which, overall, is pretty thorough, and I haven't been able to find out anything else. Do you have any insight? Thanks. Jim Casada

Jim Casada
02-15-2010, 08:12 PM
GrannyKnot--I think it is. Certainly Tom Alexander used horses to get to Three Forks. He writes quite a bit about the route in his fine book.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Jim Casada
02-15-2010, 08:22 PM
Rocketroy--Your post truly intrigued me. While this is a fly-fishing forum, anyone who has read many of my musings realizes I have a great interest in wild foods. Indeed, in company with my wife, I have written seven or eight cookbooks, and all of them deal with foods from nature. Most are game and fish recipes, but quite possibly my favorite section in any of the books is one devoted to wild nuts, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, etc. in our book "Wild Bounty." I love the thoughts of self-sufficiency and links with the past that come from things like picking wild strawberries, blackberries, huckleberries, service berries, etc.; from gathering and cracking hazelnuts and walnuts (and thinking of that wonderful nut we have lost, the American chesnut); and enjoying the likes of poke sallet, branch lettuce, and ramps.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)