View Full Version : Thanks to the Ranger in NC

07-13-2008, 07:15 PM
Just wanted to thank the Ranger in NC who stopped and chatted with me today and finally asked to see my license. This is only the second time since 1994 that I have been checked in the park.

Just got back from two days of tent camping. Fishing was great on Saturday but somewhat more difficult today. Saw some real nice elk on this trip.

07-13-2008, 07:25 PM

Great picture. I fish over N.C. alot and have been checked on several occasion. I also get checked in Tennessee alot. I know some people who get upset if the park service check them. The way I see it the person is just doing thier job. I try to talk with the park service when ever I can. I get alot of info. on big fish and what the fish are hitting. It is great to see the Elk.

May God Bless you...

07-13-2008, 07:26 PM
Great picture Hans...

Since 2003...only been checked once on the Davidson and A couple times on the Caney Fork.

07-13-2008, 07:32 PM
I am assuming you were in Cataloochee since you mentioned the elk. Twice in 2 years now I have been checked in Cataloochee for my license. The ranger who I talked to said that he really makes an effort to check every fisherman he sees.


07-13-2008, 07:58 PM
This elk strayed from Cattaloochee, let us just say this one was at an elevation of more than 5000ft. I also saw a smaller elk last night right outside the visitor center along Oconaluftee.

As for the ranger, yes I was fishing Cattaloochee this morning. Only caught one brook trout of five inches. I asked the ranger how come I caught a brookie this low. He said they had a big flood in 2005 and he thought some of them got washed downstream.

The fishing yesterday was much better on a small stream in the vicinity, I wish the drive wasn't so far for me.

07-13-2008, 09:07 PM
Several times now i have seen some elk near the oconaluftee visitors center, although nothing compared to the time i saw almost 10 in the field right before the palmer church in the cataloochee valley.

We need to go fishing somewhere when our schedules will meet up hans. Maybe a trip way up big creek.........

07-13-2008, 09:20 PM
Looks like Balsam Mountain Road. Did you hikle down to the brookie stream at the start of the road?

07-13-2008, 09:23 PM

I'm always interested in new company. I used to fish with some local folks on this side of the hill but haven't been able to hook up due to conflicting schedules and such. Nowadays I usually fish solo which I like sometimes but other times I would like some company. I do have one regular buddy on here who goes with me quite often.

Anyway, I'm not planning anything major in the near future but I'll keep you posted if anything comes up. I probably won't do any camping until October when I have a trip planned for North East TN again. I'm trying to fish with another board member if we can get our schedules to fit.

If you ever come this way drop me a line ahlstedt@knology.net.

07-13-2008, 09:56 PM
A few months ago, there were reports (I think I read them here) that there was a stray elk in the Cosby area...I can't imagine why he would want to leave that nice valley, hike over some of the highest peaks in the park, over to the other side. Maybe he was tired of having his picture taken.

From everything I've read, and my own experiences there, Cataloochee can be hit or miss. I've done fairly well in Palmer Creek - not spectacularly, but ok. I haven't fished the main stem further down that much...just a few minutes on one of our trips. We've tried the start of Little Cataloochee, but haven't had any success there. We've fished one of its feeder streams, Correll Branch, and did ok with some small brookies. It's a lovely area - worth the long drive, IMO. Of course, for us, ALL the streams are a long drive, so for us, it doesn't matter much ;).

07-13-2008, 11:28 PM

The elk you are talking about was spotted above my home in a large pasture feild. I live in the lower Cosby area.This took place a couple of years ago.The bull was a 4x4. He was seen on several occasion. Some of the cattle farmers were afraid that it might hurt some of thier heigers when he began to rut. So they contacted the park sevice and they came and picked him up. It was neat to go out and see a wild elk from my front yard. People have also seen elk in the Del Rio community as well as Bridgeport and Parrotsville. These places are all located in Cocke County and the county does border The county that Cataloocee is located in. All the elk have to do is come across the mountain. My friend has a farm in Hancock County that is located on the Virgina border in North East Tennessee. He has seen a large bull and some cow elk on his farm. These elk maybe from Kentucky or Royal Blue Management Area. He is not for sure. He told me that all of the animals had orange tracking collars on them. I'm glad that these animals were stocked back to the park. I talked to a ranger at Cataloocee and he stated "That Cataloocee had about 80 to 90 elk." I can't remember the exact number. The last time I fished over there I spotted 27 elk, 6 bulls, 4 spikes and the rest were cows or yearlings. 4 of the bulls were feeding below the ranger station. The rest were in the feilds above the station on the left. When you come back up go over and check them out. get over to Cataloocee early to beat the crowds.

May God Bless You... Psalms:23


07-14-2008, 12:06 AM
That's kewl...my property is in the Caton's Grove area, so maybe sometime I'll see one. I'm just hoping to be in the position sometime to put something on my land...the hotel rooms end up costing $$$. We like to stay in Maggie Valley, so we go over to Cataloochee fairly often - I've also gotten to it the "back way", via the road out of Big Creek...it actually isn't that bad for a gravel road - I've seen far worse "paved" streets in New Orleans - some with potholes that could swallow an SUV.

07-14-2008, 12:28 AM
Do you fish in the N.c area of the park or do you spend most of the time in Tenn.? I fish in N.C. alot some good water over there. Like any where else it gets hammered each year. I stay on Little River about 75% of the time I fish in the park. From the loction on Cosby you have an advantage you can fish either side of the park. Back to the elk there was one spotted behind Cosby High school a couple of months ago. It was seen quite a bit. The people got use to it being around. When it finally disappeared the locals called the park about it. The park service had already picked it up next to Big Creek around Davenport Gap. This was on the other side of Chestnut Mountain next to the N.C. state line (the road you take from Cosby to Big Creek.) I think it was in Dec. or Jan. It also had a tracking collar on.

May god Bless You...


07-14-2008, 09:16 AM
It's hard to say which side we fish more...we fish all over. We hit Straight Fork on the N.C. side a lot, but we almost always fish Cosby at least once while we're up there, and this last time, we hit Greenbriar, WPLP, and Elkmont, along with Straight Fork, so it was mostly the Tennessee side.

The closest scenario we have down here to the elk situation are gators; someone will call Wildlife and Fisheries, afraid it will get their dog or something, and they'll capture it and move it to a swamp about 20 miles away. I wish they would just leave them there; I always liked seeing gators where I fished - they keep the gar and the snakes in check.

07-14-2008, 09:38 AM
That would be cool to see gators in thier natural surroundings. Hope you have a good time fishing when you come up next time. The Cosby is a good stream to fish. Greenbrair is also a good place to fish. I like both of these streams. I have spent a lot of time on both of these water ways. This is where I cut my teeth on fly fishing as a kid with my grand father and uncles. So both of these creeks hold special memories for me.

May God Bless You...


07-14-2008, 01:01 PM
Man, all you guyd have a place right in the mountains. I'm stuck in the concrete jungle here in Nashville. If any of you guys are interested in living about 1.5 miles from the Titan's stadium, we can trade! :smile: I'm ready to move close to trout streams and tailwaters.

07-14-2008, 02:28 PM
Flyman -

Yep, it's cool to see them in the wild...for the most part, when they see you, they bolt; as long as they haven't been fed by humans, they're afraid of us. But, just like bears or any other animal, once they've been fed marshmallows or other junk, they lose that fear...that's when they start going after dogs, etc. For a reptile, they are actually quite intelligent (and quite tasty, I might add - a piece of barbequed gator tail tastes just like a nice porkchop, IMO).

Blue -

There are times I wish I lived up there full time...particularly this year, when calculating the fuel expenses in driving up there, etc. Perhaps when the kids are out of the house, I can build something on my land, and split my time between Louisiana and the Smokies. The New Orleans area is really nice in the Fall and Winter - usually the weather is at least ok (it's certainly more comfortable temp wise), and there are a lot of things going on, right through Mardi Gras. After that, as things warm up, it gets kind of dead around here, so if I could split my time, that would be great - fortunately, my line of work really isn't that dependent on location, so I could handle that. At least, I can dream about it now.