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Rog 1
05-05-2011, 04:16 PM
This year when my wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday I responded a trip to the Park to try and accomplish a Bucket List item....catching a Smallmouth Bass on a fly. I had hooked up with fellow board member and local smallie expert...Troutman...over the last year or two and we had agreed on a date. This was three weeks ago after one of those recent rain events that had the rivers running full. I drove in from Columbia S.C. and as I drove in through Cosby I saw the rivers and creeks were out of their banks...oh well it was still better than working.

Drove into Elkmont and managed to get a familiar campsite beside the now rushing creek that comes in from the nature trail...B 19...this was the same site that my wife and I camped at when she was pregnant with our son 18 years ago.

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The first morning I managed to pull six smallish rainbows out of the little creek that runs down behing the Park HQ with a rubber legged nymph....not my favorite way of fishing but trout are trout. That afternoon I managed a few trout on drives up through the Chimneys Picnic area while losing my flybox.

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The next day Gary Troutman met me in Elkmont and fished up through the campground to Jakes Creek and up above the cabins. I managed to catch one nice rainbow and Gary brought in a few with his classic Fenwick fiberglass. This guy really knows how to fish..

That afternoon we loaded up and headed off in search of some fishable smallmouth water.
The first section of water we fished Gary caught a small bass and then pointed out a huge snapping turtle in the river. Next thing I knew he said this is what my dad used to do and proceeded to step on the turtle's back and pull out this monster weighing 15-20 lbs.

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We moved to the next piece of water and just after I got into position I was onto my first smallmouth....after about 5 minutes I had landed my fish that Gary estimated to be about 18" long and weighing about 3 pounds. I hooked one more but lost him after a couple of minutes. This was the highlight of my trip.

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The next day I fished the WPLP and finally was able to find some water I could fish with a dry fly. Brought at least a dozen rainbows to hand between 9" and 12" in a couple of hours of fishing. This was the first time in years that I had fished the Park in the spring and I am still amazed at the rebirth of the woods during this time. The wild flowers were every where and the dogwoods were a stark contrast with the budding trees.

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After getting back to camp I took my 3wt Lamiglass over to Jakes Creek for just a few more casts and caught several fat bows on a parachute adams....the last pool I fished I managed an 8" brown to cap off my trip.

The next morning I woke to rain drops on the roof of my car/tent and pulled out of Elmont in a steady rain. I don't fish much by myself anymore but on this special occasion I relished being among my mountains much as I had done in my youth...and yes I can still catch those fish....just not as far back in the woods as I used to....

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I cannot say enough about how much help Gary Troutman was in the success of this trip. He truly personifies the type of sportsman that frequents this board and make it so successful.

Crockett
05-05-2011, 04:33 PM
Rog that was some kind of birthday you did it all! I live close to the park but I am not there right now and your pictures and description took me there. Happy Birthday and I have learned a lot from you on here and always enjoyed your stories of fishing up the little river and fish camp prong back in the day. Look forward to many more reports from you in the years to come.

GrouseMan77
05-05-2011, 07:42 PM
Rog, the pictures aren't working for me. Unsure if anyone else can see them? You need to cut them down to just "http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n623/ROG1968/64th%20Bday%20Gift/64thbirthday035.jpg".

Same thing was happening to me. I use Flicker and they changed something too.