View Full Version : fishing and....bicycling!!!

09-24-2009, 05:09 PM
After reading the report and the mention of bicycling, it got me thinking about riding my bike stream side with my pole. Would I get ran over on the park roads!? I know this is a strange topic, but wondering if it's ever been done by any one on here.

09-24-2009, 05:29 PM
I think it depends on which stream. I think little river road would be a bit dangerous but I do see people biking it sometimes. I bet you could do that up the greenbriar area just fine. It is gravel/dirt but it goes for miles streamside and lots of people bike or walk it. Also you could go up tremont which is gravel and climbs a bit too much for my liking but you could do it there too. I see people on bikes up there when I am fishing.

Jim Casada
09-24-2009, 05:54 PM
jross--I assume you refer to using your bicycle on roads open to public travel, but there is another aspect of this. There is at least one place in the Park, and I think maybe more than one, where you can use your bike beyond gates. Such is the case on Deep Creek and Indian Creek, where gravel roads extend two miles (Deep Creek) and three-plus miles (Indian Creek). Something in the recesses of my cluttered mind tells me there are one or two other streams like this, but I may have it confused with streams where you can use wheeled buggies (Hazel, Forney, and Noland Creeks). It would certainly be worth checking out, and personally I've always wondered why bikes weren't allowed anywhere there were gravel roads used by Park vehicles. They don't do much if any damage, and certianly their impact compared with the havoc wrought by horses is negligible. I've always been troubled by use of horses, because anyone who uses backcountry trails much, especially in steeper situations, will tell you horses do tremendous damage.

I guess it's an influence thing, with a lot of bigwigs liking their equestrian activities. One other irritant--camping in a designated backcountry campsite where horses are allowed is odorous in the extreme. Now I've probably done it--lit a fuse on some avid horseman, but I defy anyone to make an rgument that they horse don't have a decidedly negative ecological impact.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

09-24-2009, 06:58 PM
Check out this link on bycyles.

Byron Begley
09-24-2009, 07:52 PM
The gravel road above the Great Smoky Mountains Institute to the old logging town of Tremont at the forks is great for mountain bikes. That road was closed for a few years after the big flood in the early 90's. Paula and I rode our mountain bikes on it and fished often. We hardly saw anyone. We peddled up and back with our rods rigged. The trout forgot about anglers. They were dumb. There was only one area where we had to walk the bikes and that was near the Institute.

I see a lot of people riding bikes up there now. Don't see any with fly rods though. There is no reason you couldn't do it. Cataloochee is another place we have used bikes to move around and fish just for fun.

I bet the Cherokee National Forest (South) would be a good place to ride and fish. Also the Cranberry River in West Virginia is another location where people ride bikes and fish.

I have a friend who grew up in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. He rode his bicycle to fish every day until he was old enough to drive.


09-24-2009, 11:36 PM

I'm bringing my bike with me when I come in a couple of weeks.

Didn't thinking about riding to fish though.

I gotta find a lightweight pack for my waders...

09-25-2009, 08:42 AM
Last summer I saw a guy riding up the gravel road towards the ramsay cascade trailhead on a cyclocross bike with paniers. There was a rod tube strapped to the back panier.

Unfortunately, most of the southern Cherokee NF trails are off limits to bikes (fire roads and FS roads being the exception). There is a few hiking trails in particular that I would love to ride.

Pisgah NF is a great place to ride to a fishing destination, as most of the trails are well suited for mountain bikes. It is also a bonus to be able to quickly get to a blue-line destination that would take hours to walk to. When I lived in Boone, NC I did some bike-packing and would love to get back into it and add in some backcountry fly fishing destinations.

If there is anyone else on the forum that might be interested in this, let me know.

09-25-2009, 08:26 PM
gotta agree, the horsey crowd does the most damage and leaves the biggest mess...and they toss everything they bring along the way.

09-30-2009, 11:24 AM
Mountain biking and fly fishing go together like peanut butter and jelly, especially now that we have multi-piece packable rods. I have biked and fly fished often in Pisgah Forest, NC. I had read that one of Pres. Bush's last initiatives before leaving office was to be the opening of many National Park and Forest trails to biking. Bush was an active mtn. biker. I suppose this didn't happen.

I concur with the concept of limiting/ eliminating horse travel and expanding bike use. The degradation of trails and habitat by horses is so obvious, certainly worse than a bike. Both sports are allowed at Tsali, the nearby mtn biking area, with the trails alternating between horses and bikes on successive days. Bike use outweighs horse use by 50 to 1, yet horses still get "equal" time. For anyone interested in some mountain biking in conjunction with a park visit, Tsali is hard to beat. No fishing there, though, unless you want to dip a line in the lake.

It's hard to walk the Hazel Creek trail and not envision what a fantastic, scenic ride it would be on a bike. Unfortunately, this would probably cause even more crowding and use in an already heavily visited area. One can predict that there would be bikers taking the ferry over just to enjoy the ride, and not fishing at all. However, there are certainly other areas that would not be harmed by biking. Mr. Casada's book has an interesting historical section on early bike use in the park in the 40's and 50's by fishermen accessing streams. This is not a new idea!

10-01-2009, 11:25 PM
I'm a very avid backpacker/hiker and can't stand the horses clodding up the trails and mucking them up my hiking group did trail maintenance with the NPS and the Friends of The Smokies trail crew and I asked why they were allowed? And the park director's answer was, that many of the trails in the park were created by horses and therefore the horses and the horse trails will remain.

As a Mountain biker I would have to say bikes on narrow trails with hikers and horses is a bad idea and in my opinion and would take away from the peacefulness of the backcountry. I think if they allowed this some mountain bikers would probably wind up with trekking poles in their spokes.

And as for mountain bikes I hate to say this but they cause more erosion than horses as always I have a link check it out.


10-02-2009, 08:18 AM
That's a convenient,generic answer from a park official.
Most of the very early roads in my area,followed ancient Indian trails that followed even older animal trails.Even in the early part of the 20th century many older people I knew told of walking everywhere,following ancient paths.
Roads were chopped out to make larger travel easier for wagons and the likes....not to mention the logging and railroad beds.
Being a foot traveler myself,I have nearly been run over by horses and bikes,the older and slower I get I guess I'll be an accident waiting to happen on the trails.

10-03-2009, 01:02 AM
I tried it a couple of times, but the training wheels kept getting caught on rocks and tree limbs. It only took me a couple times being throw over the handle bars to go back to walking.:eek: :biggrin:

10-04-2009, 06:03 PM
I've ridden a bike back to Abrams Creek when the gate was closed. I got ahead of other fishermen who were waiting for the gate to open on Saturday morning for the automobile traffic. Was able to get through the horseshoe first.

I propose a Smoky Mountain Triathlon:

1. Bike 50 miles
2. Hike 5 miles
3. Catch limit

First one finished wins!

10-04-2009, 07:17 PM
I've ridden a bike back to Abrams Creek when the gate was closed. I got ahead of other fishermen who were waiting for the gate to open on Saturday morning for the automobile traffic. Was able to get through the horseshoe first.

I propose a Smoky Mountain Triathlon:

1. Bike 50 miles
2. Hike 5 miles
3. Catch limit

First one finished wins!

Could I just skip #1 and meet you at the trailhead? :eek:
The last time we biked and fished was over at Deep creek wasn't it? That was a good trip. We need to do that again.

Younger Tom
10-05-2009, 11:34 AM
1. Bike 50 miles
2. Hike 5 miles
3. Catch limit

Seems like the last couple of trips I've made have involved a swim leg, too, as an accidental component of #3.

10-05-2009, 08:06 PM
Man, I can't wait!!!

10-08-2009, 03:31 PM
Up here in the Pocono region of PA, I use my mountain bike often to reach areas on the Lehigh River. Ive found the Simms Dry bag with rod tube holders to be terrific for this type of fishing.
Best, Ken

Rog 1
10-08-2009, 05:33 PM
In the late 50s or early 60s, my two cousins used to push their cruiser bikes up the LR trail above Elkmont for a fast and easy way out...this is when there was a gate at what is now the one mile mark above the trailhead....the last time they tried this one of them didn't make it between the gate post and an adjacent tree and the mark was there for years after....many years ago when they shut the Park down due to a budget dispute in Congress a friend and I had our bikes with us and snuck up the road with our rods strapped to the center support of our bikes...at this time it was only 2.7 miles up to the fork of the river....trip out only took about 15 minutes vs. an hours walking....temptation to travel fast coming down that trail does not mix with the hikers and fishermen traversing it on a regular basis....but it did save a lot of steps.