View Full Version : Site 18 trip with the boys

09-19-2010, 09:42 PM
Took the boys to try out campsite 18. We didnt get started down Bote Mtn Trail until 2:30. We hiked the easy 1.8 miles to arrive at the campsite around 4:30. On the way I tried an educational moment that backfired. I showed the boys what partridgeberries look like and told them they were edible, and so Eli wanted to forage the whole trip down. Maybe it isnt a good idea to tell a 3 yo its ok to eat the redberries in the woods. And a warning to those with kids who like to play with millipedes. I didnt realize the millipedes can spray, but one sprayed something yellow and vile which burned Nolan's eyes and nose, like pepper spray. It took a long time and lots of water in his eyes to calm him down and make the burning stop. After that we were able to finish the hike without any major problems, and arrived at campsite 18. It was a great campsite! Much more scenic than twentymile creek. We were able to snag site A even though we arrived so late, which is definitely the nicest site, quite isolated down a short path, well hidden from view. I know there were others there that evening, but we never saw anyone after we setup camp. After getting things setup, I fished for about 1.5 hours, from 5:30 to 7pm, from just below our campsite, making my way up to the footlog in the middle of camp. Fished a parachute adams with a green weenie dropper, caught 5, 3 keepers, all fish came on the weenie. Tried a parachute ant, and no interest at all.
That night when I cleaned the fish we checked out the stomachs and all three fish were loaded with grasshopper pieces. One of the smaller fish (barely 7 inches) I initialy had thought he had a crawdad in his stomach because of the big pieces of shell I was pulling out, until I pulled out a 3 inch long grasshopper leg. How that tiny fish ate a grasshopper nearly as big as he was I do not know, but maybe we should be fishing some #2 or 1/0 hoppers instead of 8's or 10's.
We slept under the stars in our hammocks, and woke up pretty damp. I guess it had been misting early morning. After coffee and hot chocolate, I went back to fishing for a couple of hours hoping to bring a few fish home. For two hours fishing from 8am to 9am, and 10 to 11am, I caught ZERO. Same green weenies, same para-adams, tried a stimulator after seeing all those half digested hoppers, fishing same runs as before, and then tried different areas than before, and all I got for my efforts was about 20 chubs. I've read alot of reports saying the fishing turned on later in teh day, and I guess that was the case again here (Im sure it wasnt the anglers fault at all!) We had our traditional lunch of vienna sausages, and started the hike out to the car. We made it in record time for us, 1.8 miles in 1 hour, 45 minutes. Notice that even "the moose" has his own pack now, carrying his own sleeping bag. Definitely a great place to take the kids, and once I get a new reel so that Jack has his own fly rod, I think this will be a good place to take him to fish on his own.

hammocks setup at campsite 18A

Smaller fish were barely 7inches, didnt get a measurement on the bigger, just know he was a keeper!

Boys heading home!

09-22-2010, 09:59 AM
Very cool. I smile all the way home after a trip with my kids.

09-23-2010, 03:08 PM
Thanks for the report I love hammock camping you are bringing them up right! Got to get me an underquilt though looks like it will be starting to get cold at night pretty soon.

09-23-2010, 03:18 PM
Over labor day weekend I was on the AT, and it was really cool at night and I froze! For this trip I brought along those cheap blue close cell foam pads from Walmart to protect our undersides, and it worked like a charm. We were warm and comfortable despite it being in the 50's at night, and I hardly noticed the pad underneath me. Im sure I will want to upgrade to an underquilt one day, but for now this works great. I've got some tarps ordered too so I can quit hauling my old tents rainfly (huge and heavy) for rain protection. Can't wait for the next trip! Now to figure out where to go next......:cool:

09-23-2010, 04:03 PM
Yeah I have been using my z-rest pad under me for the last year and it works good to keep me warm. I have been wanting to go to an underquilt cause it keeps you warm but you still have the comfortable stretchy "hammock" type feel under you and I like the idea of that. I am planning on giving a friends a try first before buying cause they are expensive as you probably know. It sounds like you like to hike a lot too. I also like just hiking and backpacking. I am going to be going to forney creek this weekend with a friend from this site. Still not sure if I am going to take the tent or the tarp though. You live on the TN side right?

09-23-2010, 04:15 PM
Yeah, I used to do a lot of hiking/backpacking when we lived in GA, but I didnt fish. When we moved to Texas there were few options for backpacking, but lots of fishing, so I learned to fish. Now I love the fact that I can combine the two. Hiking deep into the woods to get to a fishing destination is just great.
We should plan a trip one weekend to take all the kids out! Im sure they would love it, your son is about the same age as my middle son. Your friend Matt and his son too! I might have to bite the bullet and pack in some pie filling and do some dutch oven cobbler for the boys ;)

I havent explored the NC side of the park enough yet. Ive been wanting to hit Forney. maybe one day!

Yeah I live in West Knoxville.

09-23-2010, 04:19 PM
Yeah we really should do that! That is funny Matt makes a really good dutch oven cobbler using yellow cake mix, can of cherries or pineapple and sugar. He is staying at Elkmont this weekend with some family so I am sure he will be whipping some of that stuff up. I love combining backpacking and fishing too it doesn't get any better than that. Most backcountry sites I go to are empty so there isn't too many of us that do that out there apparently.

09-23-2010, 04:22 PM
I thought my ears were burning...

Hey I'll cook up a cobbler anytime Adam... so long as you carry the dutch oven :)

09-23-2010, 04:42 PM
Well let me find out what weekends my wife is working for the next few weeks and maybe we can get something arranged. If Matt wants to do cobbler, I can do cornbread instead. :biggrin:
My d.o. is just an aluminum pot with a tight fitting frying pan lid, so it doesnt weigh much of anything.