View Full Version : Buck Fork Fever 6-30-2010 (Long)

07-23-2010, 12:21 PM
I wanted to post this a few weeks back, but I forgot my camera that day. Luckily I remembered I forgot it when I got to Freddie's house and he let me use his. He gave me a copy of the pics this week when we fished.

I had been wanting to fish Buck Fork ever since I started fly fishing. Accounts in Smokies fishing guides, and the fact that it had been closed for so many years, combined with it's hard to access location made it a high priority that I could somehow never mean to make happen with my busy schedule. That finally changed when low water sent a planned outing to Indian Camp to the Middle Prong instead. The plan was to hike in to the old turnaround where Ramsey's Prong feeds into the Middle Prong and fish up from there. We were pleasantly surprised to see a good amount of water. When we reached the turnaround Freddie changed hia shoes and I figured I'd fiah a couple of holes while he was busy, and looked 30 yards downstream only to see Ian Rutter with a client. While I hoped they wanted to fish Ramsey's, they were heading the same place as us:frown:.

After seeing how slow they were fishing, and after talking to Ian on how they wouldn't make it even half way up to Buck Fork, we grabbed the old manway to Buck Fork and started our crawl. The manway wasn't bad for a manway a couple years ago, but in the peak of July with all the vegetation hiding the trail combined with the heavy Rhodo, I'd call it a Class 4 (whitwater equivelent) manway. We hike about half way to Buck Fork and hiked a small stream down to the Middle Prong which was quite a trek that had us blazing through rhodo hells bruising my shins in several places (Rhodo Shins). When we hit the stream a dynamic shift takes place and everything opens up and as the sweat rolls off you, you know you have done the hard work (for now) and are ready for some fun.

Well we hit the stream a two big pools so Freddie took the lower and I hit the higher one. First Cast!


I'm thinking WOW:eek:! I've only had two doubles in my life, and here is one on my first cast (even though the second is gut hooked). Things are looking good! You can see Freddie in the backround he hooked one a second later.


Within 20 minutes I had another double!


Sweet Smokies day. Doesn't get any better than this! Water temps, flows, and time of year all worked together which doesn't happen all that often.

Here is Freddie pulling one in


And another beautiful Brookie.


We soon made it up to Buck Fork.


I was a little surprised to find this fellow up this far. It was the first rainbow I caught all day (and this was my most productive day ever)


Once you get past the confluence area it gets a little tighter. Here is Freddie doing the Buck Fork Shuffle.


The trees up this way are beautiful. This place had a good feel to it!


I will continue in another post:biggrin:

07-23-2010, 12:35 PM
The stream soon opened up and offered up some good fishing!


We continued to work our way upstream


And Freddie sneaking up to land a sweet one!


And finally we came to the point where we would have to turn around soon. This place seemed as good as any.


We started our downstram hopping and soon realized we made it up further than we thought. After a little more time we made it to where thw manway starts. After five minutes of looking we finally found it and headed out after a hard day fishing. At one point the manway looked pretty good giving us false optimism.


The trail soon faded. In fact this next picture may answer whether this trip is for you. Do you see the trail:eek: If not you might want to reconsider this trip!


After wondering how many snakes we almost stepped on we soon emerged from the rhodo section in the middle leaving only a small section of rhodo at the end. Here is Freddie coming through as good part of the trail.


We made it back to the middle Prong where we crossed and were glad to be back on maintained trails. Had a nice hike out, and we reveled in a great day of fishing!

We are so lucky to have this precious resource as our playground!:biggrin:

07-23-2010, 01:19 PM
Great report man! That looks like some awesome country and water back there. Glad it is tough to get to. I read a story in Dwight McCarters book about a backpacker up on the AT who became hypothermic, confused, and ditched his pack. They found him a couple of weeks later froze to death alongside the Buck Fork about a mile down from the headwaters. Apparently he thought walking downhill and downstream would take him out of there. How many hours did it take you to go all the way up there and then come back out?

07-23-2010, 02:14 PM
Nice report, I have been to the mouth of Buck Fork back in 2005. I found it was easier, at least for me, to walk the creek instead of fighting the brush. Halfway up we, my buddy and I ran in to a fellow fishing and old fiberglass Shakespeare Wonderod. He thought I was crazy when I said those goes for well over $100 on ebay. Did I mention the fellow hiked up that far with an artificial leg. No joke.

07-24-2010, 12:07 AM
How many hours did it take you to go all the way up there and then come back out?

In around 10 out by 6! We fish together alot and make really good time though. I tend to hike 3+ mph which is alot faster than most folks. I would give most fisherman another 2-4 hours to complete though. And also factor we were familiar with the geography and manway, you could easily get lost on this one!


07-26-2010, 09:47 AM
Awesome! Thanks for sharing the great photos. Looks like you won both of the "daily doubles"!

07-26-2010, 11:04 PM
Awesome! Thanks for sharing the great photos. Looks like you won both of the "daily doubles"!

Two Daily Doubles and wasn't "In Jeopardy" all day:biggrin:

Sure beats my rattlesnake whammy and my one fish in five hour whammy fishing this last Wednesday:frown:

Some days you get the bear, sometimes it gets you!

01-05-2011, 08:57 PM
Okay Crockett, I know where we're going. I love fishing streams that size. (mainly because I'm clumsy and when I spook the fish it's only for one little pool rather than a huge stretch of stream :) )