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View Full Version : Twentymile trip with the kids 8-28-10


JayB
08-29-2010, 06:48 PM
It was a tough choice betwen 18 and 93, but decided to try some relatively unknown territory by going out to Twentymile. I took the boys; Jack, 7, Nolan, 5, and Eli, 3. I was hoping for some easy to access fishing near the campsite, water for the kids to play in, solitude, and a good time. We succeeded on all accounts.

After about a 2 hour drive down the Dragon (which was cool at first but after a while was just tiring) we arrived at the Twentymile ranger station around 11 am. We quickly got suited up and started down the trail.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/twentymiletrail.jpg

Since so few people head out, I tried to get a few pictures of stream. below the intersection of Wolf Ridge trail and Twentymile trail I didnt get much of a look at the stream since it was 100 ft from the trail with plenty of brush in the way.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/creek.jpg


Above the intersection the trail rises high above the creek. There were only a few places that looked accessible from the trail, and it was still a difficult climb. The creek itself look choked with rhodo and fallen trees like this HUGE tree. The picture doesnt do it justice.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/tree.jpg

We finally made it to campsite 93 around 1pm (the kids take lots of breaks). Here is home for the night.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/camp.jpg

The kids began exploring, finding millipedes, salamanders, and building dams/throwing rocks.
I rigged up a parachute adams w/ a green weenie dropper. The first few places I tried above the campsite were very silty, almost muddy, and I got no strikes at all there. I went down below the campsite and found faster water that looked clearer.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/hole.jpg

And on the second cast caught my first double!!! and even better the rainbow that hit the dry was a keeper. The bigger one was ~8 inches.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/doublebows.jpg

Another section below that area that was better suited for swimming than fishing.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/swimming.jpg

Found a water snake sitting right above where I caught my third and final rainbow. Luckily he was a keeper too (the trout, not the snake).
We excitedly went back to camp and got the fire started. We were having trout with dinner!

Trout before dinner.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/troutbefore.jpg

Here is the rest of the spread. Dutch oven corn bread on the left. Salmon patties on the foil in middle. Trout are wrapped in foil baking between the logs.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/dinner.jpg

When I was getting the trout ready Jack had a great idea. Instead of just putting lemon-pepper seasoning on the fish (which is all I brought because I didnt really expect to catch trout) he suggested I save some of the stuffing I brought for the salmon patties and stuff the trout with it. What a brilliant kid I have! Here is the result.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/troutafter.jpg

My goodness that was incredibly good trout. I got maybe 4 bites, the kids tore up the trout. You can believe the kids will be requesting "Jack's Stuffed Trout" for dinner from now on.
After dinner was smores time, Texas style.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/txassmores.jpg


We washed up and were all in bed by 8:30. Its amazing how dark it gets out there, at least before the moon rises all the way. Jack and Nolan took the hammock, Eli and I slept on the ground.

We woke up the next morning, around 7:30, and while I was getting breakfast going, Eli yells "Black Bear! Black Bear! Black Bear!" and I turn around to see a large cub high-tailing it up the mountain side. Eli was so excited that HE was the one to see th bear first. I was excited that it stayed well away, and momma bear never showed up.
I finished breakfast, grits with summer sausage, and hot chocolate for the boys coffee for me (thank you Folgers for the singles pack, I cant stand instant, why did it take so long for someone to put coffee in a tea bag?).

While I packed, the boys continued terrorizing the salamanders and crawdads. I thought about fishing some more, but I figured I was already at "Hero" status with the fish from yesterday, so I packed up the rod and left well enough alone. Around 10am we headed out again, 1.5 miles back to the car.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/twentymile%20creek%20August%202010/hikingout.jpg

We swam again, found more unusual bugs, and flowers, talked with a ranger, and finally made it to the car by 1pm. The boys had a good nap riding down the Dragon with the windows down.

Jim Casada
08-29-2010, 07:21 PM
JayB--Sounds like a great trip. From a fishing perspective, you were well above Twentymile's best. Unlike many Park streams, the lower section is best. Also, Moore Springs Branch (which should be named a creek, given its size), is fine fishing.
Of course you had your hands full, so catching anything keeper size was an accomplishment.
You gave the youngsters a grand memory, and that is not merely a keeper--it's a trophy.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Crockett
08-29-2010, 10:27 PM
Great report Jay! Sounds like you had a great time. I stayed at burnt spruce on deep creek Saturday night and caught a few myself. Cool you saw a bear too. Looks like twenty mile had plenty of water. They had a huge rain on Friday night up deep creek way and the stream was perfect water level.

gmreeves
08-30-2010, 09:29 AM
That's a trip your kids will remember forever. Way to go!

Trip
08-30-2010, 11:56 AM
Nice report, I never thought about fishing twentymile, I may do it and camp there not this weekend but next since I will be up at the gap for fiddy races in the parking lot that friday night. Looks like you had a great time.

JayB--Sounds like a great trip. From a fishing perspective, you were well above Twentymile's best. Unlike many Park streams, the lower section is best. Also, Moore Springs Branch (which should be named a creek, given its size), is fine fishing.
Of course you had your hands full, so catching anything keeper size was an accomplishment.
You gave the youngsters a grand memory, and that is not merely a keeper--it's a trophy.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Thanks for the info Jim, I am going to have to hit them up.

Knothead
08-30-2010, 01:40 PM
Great story! The boys will remember this for a long time. When are you planning the next trip?

Hal M
08-30-2010, 02:45 PM
I am sure you will be voted "Super Dad" status by the kids, if you haven't already. Great report and pictures.

Hal M

flyman
08-30-2010, 04:28 PM
That's some good stuff right there:smile:

canetuck
08-30-2010, 05:36 PM
Great pics! Looks like you guys had a great time. I showed the pics to my 7 yr. old.He was like,dad can we do what they did?,but he wasn't too sure about eating the trout.I wish we lived closer to the park.

FishNHunt
09-05-2010, 12:50 AM
JIM!!!!!!!!! GGGEEEEZZZZZZZ!!!!! Thanks alot. Why didn't you just tell him how great the fishing gets in the fall down lower too!!!! There goes the neighborhood.... Just kidding. I love that little creek. It looks like you guys had a great trip. No kidding thou... try it down low in the fall. Matter of fact if you want your heart to skip a beat go below the bridge (gotta have N.C. liscense) and check out all the big browns. I hooked into an honest to gosh monster in the pool just above the bridge. My little 3wt didn't stand a chance as he popped the tippet and B-lined it for the lake. Fun non the less.

MadisonBoats
09-05-2010, 09:36 AM
It was a tough choice betwen 18 and 93, but decided to try some relatively unknown territory by going out to Twentymile. I took the boys; Jack, 7, Nolan, 5, and Eli, 3. I was hoping for some easy to access fishing near the campsite, water for the kids to play in, solitude, and a good time. We succeeded on all accounts.


Good job Bud! Your kids will always remember these trips and I admire that you took the time to handle all the headache and planning that comes with it. Props to you for being a good dad!:smile:

cardfly
09-07-2010, 07:11 PM
Jay,

First off, great job. Looks like you and your crew had a great time.

Second, I have been wanting to do the same with my 9 year old and I showed your thread to my wife and in her great wife voice said, so when are you going.

So, I guess it's time to plan a backcountry camping trip. I have no real idea where to start but let the planning begin. I hope you don't mind if I ask for suggestions like which backcountry site would be good for first timers?

JayB
09-08-2010, 09:15 AM
So, I guess it's time to plan a backcountry camping trip. I have no real idea where to start but let the planning begin. I hope you don't mind if I ask for suggestions like which backcountry site would be good for first timers?

David,
There was a thread where I was asking for people's ideas on good kid friendly campsites since this was my first time camping in the Smokies myself. The thread is here
http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14365

18 looks very good, and 65 as well. 39 is a possibility. I decided to try 93 at twentymile creek since so little was known about it, and it was an easy hike with good access to shallow water for the boys to play in. The report Crockett posts in that thread gives lots of description of CS 18.

Great story! The boys will remember this for a long time. When are you planning the next trip?

I think Im planning the next for Sept 18th! (if all the stars align properly of course). If any other father/sons want to join us please feel free!

cardfly
09-08-2010, 05:18 PM
Site 18 it is. We are going to try to go one of the last 2 weekends in September. Hoping for the best on this thing. :eek:

Cardfly Jr. is all fired up so there is no looking back now.