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pineman19
07-11-2010, 10:28 PM
Decided on the spur of the moment to do something I have been wanting to do for years, hike down to Deep Creek from Newfound Gap Rd. Got delayed meeting a lady friend and her family, etc. Didn't get on the trail till 3:00, took a little over an hour to get to 53. Was surprised to see a pretty younger lady who had hiked down the Fork Ridge Trail by herself and was going to setup camp at 53. Talked to her a while, then rigged up and starting fishing upstream. Didn't have a lot of time to fish, wanted to make sure I would get out before dark set in. I fished until the stream comes back to the trail, right before I go there I spotted something out of the corner of my eye after I released the second brookie of the day. Turned out to be a timber rattler, first I have seen in the Smokies, 3 foot long or so, very menacing looking with the black head and snake eyes:eek: Managed to move around the back of the beast to get a few pics, had to steady myself while taking them, didn't want to get bit and have to hike back out to Newfound Gap Rd.

As far as the fishing, of course water levels were low, and I only managed to catch two 6-7 inch brookies, but I was moving fast, this was more of an exploration trip to see the area. I met the young lady on the hike out, she had went up the Deep Creek trail a ways after I told her about that section. Showed her the picture of the snake, then I headed up the trail, the last part was a little rough, especially in the heat.

All in all, it was cool to do something I have wanted to do for ten years. Next time, I'll wait till water levels are higher, and take my camping gear so I can explore and fish that area thoroughly, hope I don't see another rattler;););)



http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii103/whiteoak78/Upper%20Deep%20Crrek%207-10-10/009.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii103/whiteoak78/Upper%20Deep%20Crrek%207-10-10/003.jpg

jeffnles1
07-11-2010, 11:27 PM
Stopped to talk with a pretty lady for a while and then went fishing before dark set in? Yeah, we believe every word of that story. Tell us the truth, the photos are from another trip right? :biggrin:

Seriously, nice fish and cool snake. I haven't seen a rattler in the park but would like to some day (from a safe distance of course).

Jeff

dalerio
07-12-2010, 12:20 AM
the snake looked hungry, flabby belly.

pineman19
07-12-2010, 08:22 AM
Hmmmmm, can't see the snakes belly:rolleyes: I think the snake was laying on the rock to chill out in the afternoon heat;)

Neal

duckypaddler
07-12-2010, 09:21 AM
Just kidding, I'm always pleasantly surprised by Hotties in the backcountry. When I was there last Nov at Poke Patch a trailrunner passed us on the way in. She was quite cute and running from Newfound Gap to Bryson City. Said it took her between 3 & 4 hours!

pineman19
07-12-2010, 09:30 AM
Yep, this girl didn't have a spare pound on her:p Hadn't even broke a sweat and my old self was gasping for air and sweating up a storm:eek: I have seen trail runners on the Bumgardner Ridge area of the trail. Great exercise if you're into it. Knew a forester in SW Colorado, guy was a beast on the trail and fighting backcountry wildfires. Me, I just keep plugging along, slow and steady:redface:

Neal

Crockett
07-12-2010, 10:14 AM
Great pic and story Neal. I have hiked down to 53 and beyond from the top but never back up to NFG road. How long did it take you to hike out when you were done fishing?

pineman19
07-12-2010, 10:26 AM
Crockett,

It was a little less than 2 hrs to get back out, I was moving fairly slow in the heat and of course I stopped a few minutes to talk to the pretty lady;) Also tore my pant leg and scrape my knee on a jagged snag hanging over the trail, just wasn't paying attention. It's a beautiful place. I shall return as General Douglas MacArthur once said:cool:

Neal

Bran
07-12-2010, 10:55 AM
I've yet to run up on a rattler either but would also like to see one. He sure has a pretty pattern on him, nice Brookie too.

pineman19
07-12-2010, 03:06 PM
Stopped to talk with a pretty lady for a while and then went fishing before dark set in? Yeah, we believe every word of that story. Tell us the truth, the photos are from another trip right? :biggrin:

Seriously, nice fish and cool snake. I haven't seen a rattler in the park but would like to some day (from a safe distance of course).

Jeff

Jeff,

I am nearly offended by your thought that I would do something with a pretty young lady that I met for the first time in the middle of Smokies wilderness:rolleyes: My only regret was that I didn't have a tent, sleeping bag and BIG ole bottle of bubbly:biggrin:

Neal

Shaggy
07-12-2010, 03:21 PM
It took me over 3 1/2 hours to hike out from 53 to Newfound Gap Road last weekend. It got to the point that I was taking a break every 200 yards. It really gave me a wake up call as to my physical condition. I too shall return one day in much better shape to climb that mountain again!

pineman19
07-12-2010, 03:29 PM
Shaggy,

I work as a forester, keeps me in half decent shape for a nearly 50 yr. old. I don't have the wind I used to have due to two bouts of severe pneumonia several years ago. Actually, it's my knees and ankles that slow me down the most, especially ankles that were pretty sore on Sunday. I will keep going till I can't do it anymore, can't imagine what life would be like if I couldn't fish the mountain streams.

Neal

ifish4wildtrout
07-12-2010, 03:57 PM
Cool pics. Maybe one day I'll have a hottie camp neighbor.

That must be a rough hike out. #60 to #59 just about killed me. :frown:

pineman19
07-12-2010, 04:13 PM
The ridge is a bear part of the way up to 59, and it's up and down so it's gets you on the way back as well. If we keep getting some rain I would like to head up 59, stayed at 60 last year, nice area but I ended up doing a lot of hiking to fish from 59 to 58. There is some very fine water at the top of the ridge at the end of Bumgardners Bend up to 59. Fished to two years in August and water levels were decent even when the drought was happening. Fished from 59 to 58 last June, water was kinda high though, so I had to skip around to the areas that were fishable. You may want to consider heading back in the fall when the browns start to head upstream.


Neal

PeteCz
07-12-2010, 06:22 PM
That must be a rough hike out. #60 to #59 just about killed me. :frown:

The hike from #60 to the top of the ridge is just about as steep as the last 1.1 miles out of Deep Creek. The difference is that the hard part of the hike from #60 to the top of the ridge is only about half a mile where the last part of the hike out from #53 is over a mile.

Plus the entire hike out is much worse than the hike to #59. On average you are gaining about 104' per mile on the way up to #59 (across 5 miles). From #53 to US441 is an average of 440' gained per mile hiked (across 3.9 miles). Its on average, much steeper.

For comparison, I can usually hike out from #53 is about 2 hours (less than 2 miles per hour), and I can make it to #59 in 1.5 hrs (about 3.3 miles per hour)...

YMMV!

pineman19
07-12-2010, 07:57 PM
Pete, I think I was doing at least 2.1 mph on Saturday;)