View Full Version : Cast out of Elkmont

10-14-2008, 09:16 PM
Jack and I are in Townsend for 4 days of fishing in the Park. I started fishing above Metcalfe and about 2 pm we went to Elkmont for lunch. The campground wasn't full. I parked by the river in an area marked as parking for walk-in campers. There was nobody camping or parked anywhere nearby. We planned to eat our lunch on the picnic table, then I was going to fish that stretch of river. We had just got our beanie-weenies, crackers and peanut butter out when a ranger came over and asked if we had reservations. We said no, just eating lunch. She told us the campsites were reserved up to 6 months in advance and it was like we were in somebody's hotel room. :rolleyes:

We finally got her to let us finish the beanie-weenies (she first said we would have to go to the "free" picnic area at Metcalfe Bottoms!) but she wouldn't allow me time to fish. Had to be out in 5 minutes.

And I was worried about being chased by a bear........

10-14-2008, 09:21 PM
Whoa! That's rude.

Barbara, did you notice whether this was a full-time Park Service employee or a volunteer? Sometimes the volunteers get a little over zealous. If it was a PS employee, seems out of character based on the encounters I've had with these folks.

Hope the rest of your trip fares better.

10-14-2008, 09:51 PM
Charlie B,

She had the official looking uniform/hat and even a walkie-talkie/radio that was broadcasting. Thankfully she appeared to be unarmed because the penalty for eating beans in Elkmont may be DEATH.

I could understand if we had been in somebody's spot but there was nobody around....

Oh, I caught the strangest colored rainbow below the Elkmont turn-in. It was dark and the stripe was a bright red. Even had red on the jaw, almost like a salmon. Never saw a rainbow like it. I got a picture but can't post until I get home and probably won't work then.

10-14-2008, 10:18 PM
If she had a Smoky Bear hat, she was a Park Ranger. Volunteers can only wear a ball cap.

Twice in the last few weeks I have caught rainbows that were almost black - don't recall the red stripe, though.

10-14-2008, 11:07 PM
I've camped there (before reservations system)in early April for several days, packed my tent and gear up and left my car at the site, rather than parked it at the Little River Trailhead. Even though nobody else in the loop, I got a nasty note about vacating my site on time. I know at National Forest Campsites on the edges of Yellowstone there are a lot of issuses with picnikers and "fishermen" using campsites for the day, while campers come in looking for a site they think AND HAVE BEEN TOLD, the sites are occupied.

In reference to the volunteers and hosts, many times they are directed to do only specific tasks by "a higher up". GSMNP has too many volunteers and not enough Rangers!!!!!!!! I know they are given too much responsibility and not the training. A lot of the rules in the campgrounds don't make sense. You can not use a solar or portable propane shower due to Bacterial contamination but its OKAY for fido to do this thing in the campground.

I just came back from Maine spending two weeks in Acadia NP which is a lot smaller but saw Rangers all over the place. More than I ever would see in the Smokies.

You can park at the nature trail, or the trailhead and walk into the campground to fish. I've seen large numbers of trout rising below the bridge on Lt. Cahills.

10-14-2008, 11:16 PM
not rude.....park has rules for all.....and all need to abide by them

10-15-2008, 10:22 AM

This could get pretty philosophical (how to spell that??). Is one required to obey a rule that makes no sense? Is stupid OK as long as it's a governmental entity? Since my job involves the government, I see stupid all the time. The thought of national health care, government run....:eek:

Back to fishing, I wish I had the connection to download the rainbow picture to my laptop. It was such an unusual colored fish. I can only surmise it had been caught illegally picnicing in Elkmont and was blushing red with shame.

10-15-2008, 10:35 AM
My grandfather used to hunt bear and boar in the park from the 1940s until his death in 1986, but what you've done is unacceptable. If I ever see you poaching beenie weenies, it's on. There will be no second chance. What did you catch the rainbow on, a hotdog bun dough ball? UGH!

10-16-2008, 08:24 PM
We were planning to have pheasant under glass and poached pears but it was cook's day off......:biggrin:

10-16-2008, 08:34 PM
Pull up the Park's Website and shoot an email to them explaining the situation. If the individual was extremely out of line maybe they have a volunteer who is a "Ranger Want to be"?

10-16-2008, 08:38 PM
That's a good idea.

10-16-2008, 10:13 PM
Seasonal employees (paid) also wear the ball cap. I highlyh doubt that the campground was half full at this time of year, but the best thing to do is to pay for a site in advance so that this won't be a problem. I worked for the Park Service for about a year and some people were more reasonable than others. It really boils down to if the individual wants to press the point. I would guess if you did this at busier times, any Park Service employee would run you off, but at this time of the year, I personally would have asked you to finish and then get a reservation the next time. Hard to say what actually motivates a person. Some are on a power trip, some are being reasonable given the circumstance, some are sticklers for rules, hard to say what this was, but in general, I agree; rules are rules. Besides, the area at Metcalf is nice :)

10-17-2008, 09:20 AM
Would like to see a picture of that fish when you can. Sounds interesting.

Brian Griffing
10-17-2008, 09:27 AM
We were planning to have pheasant under glass and poached pears but it was cook's day off......:biggrin:
That is despicable. I am always against taking a pear out of season. :biggrin: