View Full Version : Camping trip to Smokies with my son Pic heavy

06-22-2011, 01:49 PM
On June 16th I took my 12 year old son John Wesley camping up to Smokemont. We stayed until the afternoon of 19 June. This trip was really a camping trip, but I did get in a total of 6 hours of fishing between Thursday and Friday.

We had a really nice time together....good food, great weather, and some memories made.

On Thursday we set up camp, then we went in to town to look for gemstones at one of the places there. Late in the afternoon we hiked up just past Chasteen creek and did a little fishing. I caught about 5-6 fish, and kept 2 rainbows and a brown, all at least 9 inches long. The green weenie took the most fish, but I did catch fish on the yellow stimulator that was on top of it. We then cooked some ribeyes on the grill at camp.

On Friday we took a trip up to straight fork. The weather was cool, I don't think it broke 65 all day. It was really nice. I caught another 4-5 fish, including one brown that was 12.5 inches.

On Saturday the plan was to hike up to Cabin flats and look for the F-15 in the river up that way. We left about 9:45 after a nice breakfast. It took us somewhere around 3.5 hours or so to get there. I was carrying about 50lbs and my sone had about 20lbs. It was challenging for my son, who had not done any hikes that were this long, as well as none in the mountains. He did a great job.

About the time we started coming down off the ridge going into 49....a big storm hits. Rain, lighting, and some gusting winds. We spent about an hour under an emergency shelter I made with and emergency blanket, and cooked lunch (Ramen and couple of slim jims). Lunch really hit the spot. After an hour it was still raining, and the lightning was still lingering. We went up the river a little ways, then decided to head back down. We then hiked back to camp. During this entire hike my sone did a great job. There was only 1 stretch of about a mile on the way back where I carried his pack...it was really his shoulders that were hurting, not his legs.

We were disappointed that we did not get to find the jet engine, but the river had risen rapidly during our last 10 minutes, and even if the rain had stopped, the river was not safe.

It did stop raining when we got back to camp, and we really lucked out. A tree at the corner of our campsight had fallen down....across the road and through a vacant site instead of ours. There were at least 4 trees down on and around the first 1/2 mile of the trail from Cabin flats.

Sunday morning brought more rain, and kept the river pretty muddy. We ended up packing up a little later than I wanted, but kept much dryer during the packing process. All in all a great trip. The following are the pictures from the trip:

Nice Brown

Rainbow on green weenie

At D016 in smokemont

Quick break on the trip up to Cabin Flats


Trail going up

Another nice bow
Falls on the way

River level prior to the storm

River level after the storm

A little wet, but warm on the way down


One of the trees down after the storm

06-22-2011, 01:59 PM
Me on the way back down

A cool yellow and black millipede

JW back at camp

One of the trees down across the trail after the storm

A nice 12.5" brown from straight fork

A 10 inch bow my son landed in the middle of the campground!

We had 4 miles into the hike at this point.

06-22-2011, 03:19 PM
Now thats a great report John! How far up above cabin flats did you guys get while looking for the engine and why were you carrying so much weight? I usually just pack a smaller daypack with emergency gear for the offtrail stuff like that and leave my regular backpack in the bear hang. I can't imagine trying to get up there in via the creek with a full pack that is impressive.

06-22-2011, 03:34 PM
He is actually 12....not sure where you got the 16 from. I had kept his pack relatively light, but ended up with some extra stuff in mine. The dry wool clothes and the stove with fuel did come in handy though. I also brought a frying pan, oil, corn meal, etc as the plan was to catch some fish to cook up there while we were there. Much of the weight was in case gear. When we do it again I already know how I will modify my gear list. What can I say...I pack like I packed when I was in the Marine Corps. I actually was thinking I did a good job in keeping my weight down based on what I used to carry in the MC. Not having to hump more than 8 rounds of ammo makes a real difference.


06-22-2011, 03:47 PM
ok John well good looking boy you got there in any case. Good call on the wool sweaters that is a great idea even in the summer in the smokies for those cold rainy days one could still get hypothermic. I want to get up there and see that engine also. What was the stream like above 49?

06-22-2011, 04:26 PM
It was really nice looking, and I was really looking forward to doing some fishing. As a matter of fact there was some really great looking water for the last mile or so. I was getting excited just looking at the water. I will definitely go back there when I get the chance.


06-22-2011, 04:29 PM
Awesome, thanks for sharing!

joe a
06-22-2011, 08:29 PM
Nice trip! Those were some awesome fish. My son and I did Deep Creek a month or so back and I think he is ready to make the trek up to #49. Cabin Flats is a beautiful place. The stream above the campsite is tough to move through for about the first .5 mile and then eases up a good bit, but there is no trail. Good fishing and better scenery. It takes some work to get up to that engine!

06-23-2011, 09:25 AM
Great report! I didn't realize you were a former Marine, Semper Fi!! I tend to pack heavy too from those MC days and, 20 years remove now form the shape I was in, I can't handle it. I'm huffing after a couple miles!!
What's the story behind the engine? That's new to me.