View Full Version : Fall down go boom...

Gerry Romer
08-04-2008, 10:38 PM
Well, as Byron mentioned in his fishing report, I did indeed take a tumble down the trail-side hill below the cascades on Lynn Camp yesterday and in the process turned my 4 piece, 8'6" TFO Pro 4 wt. into a 5 piece, 8'6" TFO Pro.:frown: But he left out some of the best parts of the story. Like the fact that I finally caught my first fish on the fabled "Green Weenie" :smile:

I have often hiked past the lower section on my way up to brookie country and wondered what that water might be like... it always looks very skinny from up on the trail. A week or so ago I talked to David Knapp about this section and he said he thought it might be worth a shot. I had originally planned on hitting the lower section of Lynn Camp at about 6 AM but got off to a slow start and didn't make it to the water 'til about 8. The plan was to fish from the trailhead up to the cascades and then work my way back down and finish up about noon.

The trip upstream was relatively uneventful - make that completely uneventful, since I didn't see a single fish aside from a few dinks slapping at my indicator. I stayed well hidden and waded only when absolutely necessary. Nothing. I began to think that it probably wouldn't mean anything if the impending fish-kill did breach the natural barrier... there's nothing in that water to kill!

So I made it all the way up to the cascades and decided to document the fact that somebody finally found that spigot that got turned off last summer.


There really is a lot of water there now. I remembered looking down at it from the trail last summer and seeing barely a trickle. Here's another shot looking upstream from the spot where I landed after my tumble down the hillside.


ANYway, the trip back downstream was anything but uneventful.

First things first. I'm right-handed and prefer fishing upstream from the left-hand bank while facing upstream and fishing from the right-hand (again, right-hand side while facing upstream) bank while fishing downstream. In other words, normal. Well, the trip going upstream was fairly easy and I only had to bushwhack through a few laurel thickets on my way to the cascades... however, the trip back downstream on the opposite bank was a bit more difficult. The wall of the gorge comes almost straight down from the trail at some points so there really isn't any "trail" you can use. The water was up pretty good most of the way so that meant climbing up out of the water occasionally and bushwhacking through laurel thickets going uphill to get around an obstruction or waterfall, just to turn around in a few yards and head back down to the water.

But as soon as I turned around and started fishing downstream, I started catching fish :eek: . I was fishing the same rigs I had fished on my way up: Stimulator as an indicator with various nymphs dropped off... BHPT, SMBBSH, Crow Fly, Golden Stone, Green Weenie, etc. I had tried fishing the stimulator alone since that's what the dinks were slapping at, and I tried various dry flies. All with no success. When I began my trip back downstream I still had a Yellow Simulator tied on with a Green Weenie dropped about 20" off the bend. At the first plunge pool below the cascades, I brought an 8" bow to hand but had to lift him up over the waterfall to release him. He hit the Green Weenie!! This was the first fish I have ever had show any interest at all in a Green Weenie.

In the next 20 yards or so of water, I caught a 12" bow and two 10" bows. Two hit the Green Weenie and one hit the Stimulator.... this one hit the stimulator. Sorry about the photo quality. I was ill prepared for pics at that point.


If the guy in the above pic looks a little dazed... he was. I fought him too long. I'm basically a C&R kinda guy. I have no problem with those who take their catch home (except, of course, for the meat fishermen taking more than their limit out of the Clinch and offering to share with me). But this poor guy came home with me and he tasted great! I hooked into him while standing about 12' above him on the edge of a waterfall. I couldn't get him up the waterfall, and it took me a good while to work my way around the waterfall and down to his pool without breaking him off. By the time I got him to hand, he was plum wore out. I tried to revive him but he was pretty gone. So I took his picture, strung him up on an old leader and hiked out with him.

I continued fishing downstream and having the same kind of success, occasionally bushwhacking out and back in, taking my new friend with me. Slowed me down a bit since this is something I'd never done before. Good sized bows continued to hit the Green Weenie. At one point I had to bushwhack up and out of the stream for a considerable distance - both up and down. On my way back down the hill I lost my footing on a moss-covered hillside rock and went down on my backside and slid/tumbled about 12' - 15' down the mossy rocks. When the world stopped spinning, I had my new friend in my hand and my Fishpond fanny-pack up around my neck. My rod was half in and half out of the water but seemed to be just fine. I collected my wits and headed downstream to the next good looking pool. As I cast into the next pool, my rod snapped just above the cork.:frown:

I looked at my watch and was surprised to see it was 3:30 in the afternoon. I figured it was time to head out... it's not like I could do any more fishing! So I picked up the pieces and hiked out. I noticed that, among other things, my footing wasn't the best on the way out. When I got back downstream to near the trailhead, I sat down on a streamside boulder to change out the soles on my Korkers from felt to lug soles and hike out the rest of the way. That's when I noticed I had only one felt sole on! Apparently my tumble down the hillside stripped off one of my soles. Oh well, I needed to replace them anyway!

So I caught my first Green Weenie fish and about six more, took my first fish out of the mountains (cooked him up and he was quite tasty), turned my 4 piece rod into a 5 piece rod, and left a felt sole somewhere stuck to a moss covered boulder. All in all... not a bad day!:biggrin:

Gerry Romer

08-04-2008, 11:03 PM
Sorry to hear about the rod and your boots. The main thing is nothing more serious than your pride was hurt. I'm glad you didn't break anything more serious than your rod.

I've wondered about that gorge. It always looked like it could hold fish. Being left handed, I always fish the oppostie way as you do. I may have to give the gorge a try someday.

It sounds like it may be worth the adventure (assuming one does not break something in the proces). I think I'd cry if I broke my Winston.

Very nice lookin fish and I bet he was tasty.


08-04-2008, 11:20 PM
bushwhacking out and back in, taking my new friend with me. Slowed me down a bit since this is something I'd never done before.

I take it the only friend you fish with is... a dead fish...?

Gerry, Thankfully you're all right, there's always that momentary pause after you've fallen where you think to yourself...ok, what's broken...can I get up...did I lose anything down the stream...did anyone see me?...

Your TFO decision will look like a brilliant move now (an "unconditionally" brilliant move)...I may have broken my TFO first, but I still can't catch a fish with a green weenie (SMBBSHs, Copper Johns and BHPTs, yes...GWs, no)...obviously it's operator error...

I see how I rank with Byron and the fishing report. My Explorer catches fire in the LRO parking lot two weeks ago and its not even a mention of it...I prefer not to fall 15' to become famous...

08-04-2008, 11:21 PM
I knew you broke it after the phone call but just didn't know exactly why! I dare not laugh at this point! Sounds like you need more than just a rod though! Sounds like it's time to replace those corkers with some new ones! I'd definately look into those quick cinch Korkers! I don't know if my fat foot really likes the new ones I just bought! Oh, well! Glad you had a good day without me! My days change the 16th we will have to go that weekend! I work the morning of the 16th though so Sunday it will have to be? Is Knapp still around we need to go fishing with him! Caney maybe? David if your seeing this drop a brother a line! The 17th man! Streamers! ;)


08-05-2008, 12:19 AM
Great report, and sorry to hear about the rod, etc. Echoing what you and others have said about that gorge, I noticed it too the last couple of times we fished Lynn Camp...in fact, anytime I'm on a trail and I notice that I'm a good distance above a stream, I think about fishing that area - there's no way it gets as much pressure as easily accessed areas. There's a stretch on Cosby like that, and it's right in the campground area, but it's a good 100ft drop down to the stream. I'm going to try this gorge on Lynn Camp, but I think I'll wait until my traditional solo Thanksgiving trip - it might be a bit much for my girls to handle.

08-05-2008, 08:08 AM
Wow, it's interesting that they hit with the fly going against the current like that. I've noticed trout doing this on the Caney Fork, but I thought it was because of the slow current.

Rog 1
08-05-2008, 09:33 AM
I have fished that stretch on many occasion and have never come across anyone while in there.....it can get really dark down there....usually start just above the falls where the foot bridge crosses....my buddy and I usually start our fishing on our fall trip at the foot of the Cascades.(water is usually a lot lower than in your pics) and will actually climb up the face to the top....have actually caught some good fish in the side pools going up the face of the falls...I also think a lot of time people will pass this water by thinking that since it is so close to the parking area it will be fished out....that gorge going up to the foot bridge on Thunderhead has some interesting water but is also a tough climb in and out

08-05-2008, 04:34 PM
I've fished where you're talking a few times and have caught fish there.

I think where Gary is talking is the gorge up by the cascades. It's about 1/2 to 3/4 mile up the trail where the 80' or so high cascades tumble down the face of the mountain. That gorge is a lot deeper and more remote looking.

Yes, the gorge up there where tuunderhead and lynn camp meet can be some tough climbing but at least one wouldn't have to be a goat to get in and out.

Goat, err, I mean Gary, has my admiration for going in there.

Now I'll probably just have to do it in October when Daniel and I make it down.


08-05-2008, 08:31 PM
I have never caught a trout on a Green Weenie. I tried it again last weekend up on Walker Camp and didn't get the first strike. I switched to a BHPT and caught 7.

Pete, you're in company - don't know if it's good company or not but it's company.

Gerry, congratulations on graduating from the GW Skunk Club.:smile:

Gerry Romer
08-05-2008, 11:03 PM
I see how I rank with Byron and the fishing report. My Explorer catches fire in the LRO parking lot two weeks ago and its not even a mention of it...

Probably because Byron's aware of your recent luck with cars...

However, I'm pretty sure that he'd have mentioned it had you been in the car, trying to effect a citizen's arrest of a shoplifter when it caught fire. :biggrin:

And, just to settle all of the unmentioned debate... my first reaction was "DID ANYONE SEE ME?!"


Gerry Romer
08-05-2008, 11:31 PM
Gerry, congratulations on graduating from the GW Skunk Club.:smile:

Actually, the only reason I even took the GW with me was because of an encounter with another fisherman the last time I was up there. I was about three miles above the cascades having zero luck with anything and stopped to talk to a guy who was coming back down the trail at the end of the day. He told me that everywhere he went, all they would hit was the fabled GW.

This trip, it was almost a last resort. I didn't even tie it on until I had tried just about everything else I brought. I tied it on after noticing a sourwood worm at the base of a rock I was standing on. It was almost exactly the same color!

I have an idea why they didn't hit the GW on the way upstream, but killed it on the way back down. Just before I headed back down, I decided to add a small split shot about 8" above the Green Weenie. Throwing it downstream into the base of a waterfall with the split shot on, seemed to get it down in the water column quicker than throwing it upstream without a little split shot on.

I always thought that they had enough weight on their own, but I guess not.


08-06-2008, 08:27 AM
I'm glad you are OK. You can always buy a new rod, but one of those sweet singing and slow driving events is hard to get over.;)