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Troutman
11-08-2009, 09:47 AM
Thought I would share that the specs are doing just fine up on Sams creek. All the work over the years by the park service and the many volunteers to improve the fishery has paid off.
I hiked up to the confluence of
Sams and Starkey creek yesterday morning. It takes roughly 2 hours to get here from the trailhead. The trail above the 3rd stream crossing can be hard to follow at times with all the overgrown veg. This is the confluence of the 2 streams. Sams on the left with Starkey pouring in on the right

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l114/gltroutman/SD531644.jpg

I stopped and rigged up my little UL 2wt with an olive stimi back down the trail at the old backcountry campsite. Its a good idea to have a walking/wading stick up here. It sure comes in handy.

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l114/gltroutman/SD531646.jpg

The water levels are perfect this year and the specs are gorgeous.
lots of fish in all size ranges. I love the marbled backs and blue haloss.

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l114/gltroutman/SD531658.jpg

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l114/gltroutman/SD531661.jpg

to be continued....

Troutman
11-08-2009, 09:51 AM
Here are a few more picts from the day...

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l114/gltroutman/SD531655.jpg

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l114/gltroutman/SD531666.jpg

my best fish and a new PB for me on these wild specs was this beauty..
It was between 11-12"

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l114/gltroutman/SD531667.jpg

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l114/gltroutman/SD531668.jpg

Great day on a great stream! And you guys thought I only fished for Smallmouth!!

JohnH0802
11-08-2009, 10:08 AM
Absolutely gorgeous fish. Thanks for sharing some great photos.

John

pineman19
11-08-2009, 11:16 AM
Awesome report Troutman:biggrin:

flyguys
11-08-2009, 02:00 PM
Thanks for posting about a great trip. Those fish are just beautiful!

The Principal
11-08-2009, 03:13 PM
Great report! I love to catch those little jewels. Great pictures!

MtnMike
11-08-2009, 04:59 PM
Man, I had really hoped to go to the mountains and look for some specs this weekend. I had to put my car in the shop this week and they didn't get finished with it, so I had to stay close to home. Glad somebody got to get out after them, just wish I could have done some of the same.
Great report, and really nice fish, even if i am a little jealous. Before I realized that my car wouln't be finished I was trying to decide where to go. I was leaning toward Pretty Hollow, but I've never fished Sam's Creek and may need to add it to the list.
Mike

nvr2L8
11-08-2009, 05:42 PM
Beautiful specs, Troutman. Never fished that far up on Sams. Did you start on Defeat Ridge and just keep going up from there?

spotlight
11-08-2009, 08:40 PM
Awesome report, thanks for sharing the pics I have fished up to Sams but never on it I will have to check it out.

Scott H.
11-09-2009, 12:50 AM
Nice Report.
Those are some beautiful fish there!

Thanks for sharing with us.

Scott

jeffnles1
11-09-2009, 08:59 AM
Those natives sure are pretty fish. Thanks for sharing.

Jeff

Bran
11-09-2009, 11:16 AM
Gorgeous fish Gary, that biggests one is a real beauty!! I'm glad you posted them, that's about as close as I'll likely get to one for the next few months till spring anyhow!

Troutman
11-09-2009, 11:25 AM
Beautiful specs, Troutman. Never fished that far up on Sams. Did you start on Defeat Ridge and just keep going up from there?

Not sure the names of those ridges. I don't have the topo map with me at work right now but the trailhead begins there at the end of the gravel above tremont. Lynn camp to the left and sams/ thunderhead to the right.
Once you cross Thunderhead, the trail takes a high road above the river. The stream must be crossed several times and the trail can be tough to see in places. It has really become overgrown above the 4th stream crossing. It becomes basically a game trail and several trees have blown down and low growing knee high vines are taking over. Just follow the river contours, cross the stream when you have too. There were a few places that I had to crawl on my knees under rhodo to stay with the trail. The hiking stick is handy for sweeping for snakes! (copperheads blend well with the leaves).
I used to hike this trail 4 times a year with Jim Parks, John Swistow and others from the TU chapters back when we took quarterly acid depo samples. Lots of pretty water to fish on this stream and like so many other places, it does take a little effort. You won't hear any cars, or annoying motorcycles up there though! but the rewards can be great....

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l114/gltroutman/SD531660.jpg

pineman19
11-09-2009, 11:41 AM
Charlie and Gary, Thunderhead Prong follows Defeat Ridge (the ridge is to the west of Thunderhead), and the Defeat Ridge Manway eventually crosses Defeat Ridge on the way to the peak of Thunderhead Mountain. I was looking at an old topo map last night and it shows the Defeat Ridge Manway, but not the trail along Sams Creek. I pasted a link for the Thunderhead topo below.


http://www.dlia.org/atbi/science/park_quad_pdfs/thunderhead_mtn_s.pdf


Neal

WVBrookie
11-09-2009, 01:21 PM
Those are beautiful fish!!

I look forward to doing more exploring in the Smokies next season.

Chris

Grannyknot
11-09-2009, 02:46 PM
The last time I visited the area, I found that besides the manway that runs up thunderhead prong, there wasn't really a trail going up Sam's creek.

It seemed to be a lot of climbing and rock hopping, rather than following any sort of trail or manway.

Maybe I just wasn't paying attention??

Bran
11-09-2009, 03:52 PM
I went up there just exploring back the first weekend of October. I only had a few hours and I realized when I got up on Sam's that I was overcommitted for the time I had. I turned and came back down to Lynn Camp and walked it a ways, when I returned to the truck at the bridge I decided to go down and sit on the old generator pedastall underneath. As the sun was setting and the shadows fell right I watched a nice Rainbow start to feed up top sucking something I couldn't even see. I got my camera and took some shots as he rose several times there before dusk.
The next day I came back and fished up high toward the bridge for awhile and caught a few little bows before going back down to Metcalf bottoms.