View Full Version : rainbows and brooks

08-02-2011, 06:21 PM
My daughter and I made a 2 day 1night trip to the Smokys for her first backcountry camp. We head to site #18. After setting up camp we decided to do some fishing. Well she fished and I watched for the first round. We fished both an yellow EHC and a Thunderhead. Over an hour she got at least 15 good strikes. Just a little slow on the set. But eventually she got two small ones in that 4-5" slot. After dinner she decided she wanted to read next to the fire for a bit so I fished abiot 20 minuts right next to the camp site and picked up 2 in the 6 inch range.


After that we decide to settle down and relax after some play time on the bear cables. I know I shouldn't but it was too tempting. But I won't post the pictures. But it brought up an interesting discussion when she asked me if they shouldn't be called No Bear Cables.

Anyways the next morning we packed up and hiked out and headed to the Carriage House for a warm breakfast. Then we decided to head up high for Brook trout. All I can say is wow, the action was on. Again we used the EHC and Thunderhead. We also later added on a copper john dropper whic hworked well also, I am confident that she missed about 20-25 strikes over 4 hours. But she caught her share as well. We are debating if her big catch is a long distance release or a full fledged catch. As a side note, I usually don't bring a net, but I should have. I guess we are used to just pulling bluegills out of the water from the line of our spinning rods. She made that mistake often. She had on what was easily a 10 inch brook, got it in to her feet and picked it up out of the water by the tippet. It stayed on about two seconds before ... plop. No picture. Well she did get about 5 in the 4-6 inch range and an 8 incher in to hand.


I got about 10 to hand withe big one being in the 8" inch range.


Should have taken more pics but the camera died on us about an two hours in. We were on the creek for about 4 hours. There are some big ones out there that wouldn't take. I saw two that were definitely in the 11/12 inch range. They were big. They would look at our fly and snub it. I let her cast to one that we saw from a distance. It came up twice and missed the fly by an inch each time. I couldn't figure that out. It was a blast. We ended the day with a swim in the Little River at the Wye.

It was a great two days!

08-02-2011, 09:50 PM
Great Report! 18 is one of our favorite campsites as well. How old is your daughter?

08-03-2011, 08:09 AM
Thanks Jay B. She is 11. She kept up real well. I am the one who is sore and she is fine. We were suppose to go last summer but things did not work out so I owed her.

As a side note, I bought one of the Steripen purifiers that Matt Blick pointed out back a few months ago to alleviate my worries with the kids. I had just been filtering for myself up till now but even though it was a remote "risk" that something would make it through the filter I wanted to add another layer with the kids. I was surprised at the ease of use of the steripen and didn't have a worry after that.

08-03-2011, 08:47 AM
Thanks for the report Hoosier I was at 18 Saturday night its a great site. Fished up above where lower chestnut flats branch comes in about half a mile above 18 and found the most elaborate illegal camp I have ever seen in the smokies up there. Won't go into the details here but it was pretty spooky. Look like it had been abandoned for a week or two at least.

Your daughter has a good point about the bear hang (thats what we call them). I think bear cables is obviously a better description though. I often get some weird looks when I ask some folks in camp where the "bear hang" is at lol. Anyway I am going to start calling it the no bear hang I think.

08-03-2011, 01:42 PM
That is interesting. We were there Sunday night. While we went upstream as well we did not see a camp like what you described but I did see at least two other fire rings/illeagal camps off the right descending banks. Figured they probably get alot of overflow unregistered folks on the summer weekends which is why I like to stay away from Friday and Saturday nights. Who knows, I am sure there are some odd things going on out there. Three sites were occupied sunday night, which surprised me. I assume Sat was busy as well.

08-03-2011, 02:50 PM
Maybe all of these illegal sites explains the bear warning at 18...

08-03-2011, 04:02 PM
There are several illegal sites aka firepits up the stream on the left side (facing upstream). This one was way up there maybe a half mile above the camp right where lower chestnut flats branch comes in. It had a firepit with a wet deck of cards in it along with some other trash and the shelter was dug into a hill complete with felled trees like a log cabin 3 or 4 trees high and the roof was made out of lots of big rhodo clippings. Didn't look too comfortable but it must have taken a while to build. No one was around and I was there by myself which is why it was creepy.

Hoosier I must have just missed you. Saturday night there was a man and his son and his daughters boyfriend camping there but they were around the bend downstream all hammock camping under a bunch of big blue tarps so I never saw them except for when i went around there seeing if anyone else was there. I hung in my hammock next to the stream near the footbridge and no bears visited that night luckily.