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View Full Version : My first GSMNP trip- Elkmont


Worrgamesguy
04-19-2009, 11:04 PM
Well, long story short I couldn't go to prom so this was my girlfriend's suggestion as a replacement. She suggested camping, I suggested the place. The original plan was to bike into the Cranberry Backcountry in West Virginia, but gas was going to be very costly and we wouldn't have much time other than getting camp ready, a little fishing, and breaking camp.

So thanks to those of you who helped me in the weeks previous, we decided on Elkmont. We got out of school early on Friday due to being seniors, but an hour later than expected. We got on the road at 12:00 CST, and I forgot about the time zone change until I saw the sign on I-40. So when we got into Maryville, 5 o'clock traffic was terrible.

Time passes and we eventually make it to LRO with maybe 10-15 minutes before closing time. I walk around, use the restroom since we didn't make any pitstops, and I asked what flies I should look into if we were going to be staying at Elkmont. Daniel was very helpful, and actually gave me good suggestions to use on the river. I ended up buying 10 flies, and the register operator said "Ya know, if you buy 2 more flies you can save $.10 per fly.." Daniel walks over, empties the flies on the counter, and walks and grabs 2 more flies and says "Try these." I was just astounded at this, definitely top notch gentlemen :smile: My bill came up to $20.86, and I got the $.85 immediately and was fumbling for that penny and he waved it off, I found it, and insisted he take it. Excellent shop, best of the best bar none.

OK so on our way to Elkmont- We drove to Wears Valley, and got on Lyon Springs Rd. to find the road is closed... GREAT. We were driving back down when a white truck comes up and the guy driving it asks what the problem was, we explained and they said they were also heading to Elkmont. They offered for us to follow them, so they took us around Gatlinburg and we made it just before the sun started going down. We made camp in a hurry, a small fire, and ate. After the sun went down, we just decided to go to bed.

The next morning she really wanted to go hike Laurel Falls Trail, but that was a long way away and we weren't sure if there were any shortcuts. So we just did the little trail over the campground and went back to camp to cool off. I started organizing my flies, and began hiking next to the water, watching for feeding trout. I didn't see any, so I started off dropping a prince nymph into the deep pools below white water- nothing. I did this for an hour or so, and got depressed when I didn't get so much as a bump.

We sat down to eat lunch, and were talking when I see a trout go soaring out of the water about 20 feet below us. I set my lunch down and said "Hold on, I'm gonna go stalk that fish." Remembering Daniel's suggestion, I tied on a March Brown dry and duck squatted until I was a little behind where he jumped. I cast ahead, and he took it on the first cast. I set the hook, and got him for all of 5 seconds. He did a little zig zag, and then jumped straight out of the water, did a shake, and that was the end of that. He was a brown, about 3-4". I thought it was a rainbow when I saw him jump the first time, but when he shook me off I saw red spots.

So this renewed my spirits, and started using that fly in calmer pools around eddies. I got 4 others to take it, but only hooked into 1 other that ran deep and I couldn't keep the line tight. So, I blame it on being a newbie and think 5 takers is good enough for a first to me. We headed back to camp and cooked a marvelous dinner of hamburger helper and stuffing. Lunch must have not filled her up, because her portions were bigger than mine, she finished before me, and was still hungry! Crazy woman... Gotta love her!

Broke camp today in the rain, and drove home in the rain. All in all an excellent weekend! I looked at that river with nothing but respect on the way back to Townsend. I'll conquer it another day.

Worrgamesguy
04-19-2009, 11:10 PM
Picture time!!!

Deer:
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/Worrgamesguy/DSCI0084.jpg

Our camp:
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/Worrgamesguy/DSCI0087.jpg

Little River roarin':
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/Worrgamesguy/DSCI0092.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/Worrgamesguy/DSCI0096.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/Worrgamesguy/DSCI0097.jpg

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/Worrgamesguy/DSCI0099.jpg

BlueRaiderFan
04-19-2009, 11:12 PM
Not that my opinion holds any weight, but I set the hook just a touch every time they jump. Glad to hear you had fun. I'm there in a month.

Worrgamesguy
04-19-2009, 11:14 PM
Continued...

I didn't believe yall when you said tubers, I thought the rocks and cold would be too much, but...:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/Worrgamesguy/DSCI0098-1.jpg

Coming back from my walk:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/Worrgamesguy/DSCI0102.jpg

MMM:

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/Worrgamesguy/DSCI0105-1.jpg

Whatta pig! Wonder where it all goes :confused::

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/Worrgamesguy/DSCI0107-1.jpg

PeteCz
04-20-2009, 01:03 AM
Trey, Great job! It took me at least a dozen trips to the Park before I caught my first fish there and I have never been able to persuade wife to go camping...so you're 2 for 2 in my book...

nvr2L8
04-20-2009, 05:55 AM
Glad you guys had a good time - looks/sounds like much more fun than a prom. Hurry back for another shot at the trout.

BTW, cute girl - you done good!

Troutman
04-20-2009, 10:23 AM
Glad to see you made it in. I left a message for you at LRO on friday morning to not go over by way of Metcalf. They had it closed for a controlled fire burn.
The fishing was great. I only fished the campground section but probably caught over 30 fish over the 3 days fishing about 2 hours each day. A lot of the fish seemed to be slapping at the fly and I missed a lot of strikes, frustrating to say the least. I did get one really nice brown in the lower end that was about 14-15" but did not have the camera with me of course!

The kid that was tubing was camping next to us with his family. He ended up putting on a wetsuit late saturday evening.

Worrgamesguy
04-20-2009, 03:31 PM
Trey, Great job! It took me at least a dozen trips to the Park before I caught my first fish there and I have never been able to persuade wife to go camping...so you're 2 for 2 in my book...

:p

When I hooked that first fish, he jumped towards me and almost onto the bank where I could have scooped him up. Would that have been a fair or foul catch? Because I did hook him by the mouth... Haha.

Glad you guys had a good time - looks/sounds like much more fun than a prom. Hurry back for another shot at the trout.

BTW, cute girl - you done good!

I am thoroughly pleased with the trip. We've been dating for 4 years on and off, and just passed 2 years on the 1st.

Glad to see you made it in. I left a message for you at LRO on friday morning to not go over by way of Metcalf. They had it closed for a controlled fire burn.
The fishing was great. I only fished the campground section but probably caught over 30 fish over the 3 days fishing about 2 hours each day. A lot of the fish seemed to be slapping at the fly and I missed a lot of strikes, frustrating to say the least. I did get one really nice brown in the lower end that was about 14-15" but did not have the camera with me of course!

The kid that was tubing was camping next to us with his family. He ended up putting on a wetsuit late saturday evening.

Did you really? Dang, that woulda helped... But those people who offered for us to follow them were great, they ended up at the campsite behind ours. They were at the dishwashing station in front of our campsite when two rangers started going through their camp, and they came over and told one of them to head back to camp and not to leave food unattended. The lady started giving me directions out of the park, and the ranger got onto her to get back to camp. That ranger was a b word, she definitely loved her job too much.

I was lost as far as fishing goes, what were you using? I tried nymphs and found out I didn't have what it takes. I probably walked by your site, if not through it.

Vern
04-21-2009, 01:41 PM
I was camped in Elkmont the last of march and had a short talk with probably the same ranger. One of the biggest problems at the campgrounds is improper food storage. The Bears are a huge problem, you need to talk to a ranger to understand how big of a problem it is. They have to trap several bears each year and move them. Cades Cove Campground has the same problems, but the picnic area is the biggest problem area because people don't clean up after themselves. So give the ranger a break Tough job.

Rog 1
04-21-2009, 01:54 PM
I have noticed a stronger enforcement of food regulations over the last two years which has coincided with the presence of coyotes in the campground..and it is not only with food storage....they will even pick up your locked stove if it is outside....regs now cover anything that is used with food preparation....I have noticed the last couple of years with the presence of coyotes we have seen fewer deer and turkey in and around the campground...had set down to dinner last September at site F-8 and had one come trotting right thru the campsite and up over the bridge....wasn't even fazed with our presence.

Worrgamesguy
04-21-2009, 02:53 PM
I think those deer were just as interested in us as we were in them. But this lady ranger was a sour one, she was rude and waving that ticket clipboard at people. I know it's definitely not an easy job but my neighbors were cleaning up their food mess, it hadn't been that way for any more than 5 minutes.