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duckypaddler
08-08-2011, 06:11 PM
I had a great solo trip for Brookies on Friday. Ran by LRO to find the whole family working and used up my gift card I got for Father's Day. Arrived at the creek and got rigged up. While rigging, I ran into some tourists who were looking for Spruce Flat Falls. I gave them directions then they walked up to check out the river. As I finished getting everything together, I realized I forgot a water bottle. Luckily the people I gave directions to came back and had a cooler full, and kindly gave me one. I thanked them and headed up the trail. Just as I started I noticed a bait bucket at the bridge:eek: I looked for people fishing close by (right next to clsed for fishing sign), and even spoke with a group of hikers that were coming back who hadn't seen anyone. I put it in my trunk and headed out. I joined the I-phone club several months back, and now have a MP3 player in my pocket so I have been listening to some music while I hike in and out in familiar places. Usually I just it on established trails, then it goes into my pocket when I'm in the stream or off-trail, but this manway I'm intimately familar with so I felt plenty comfortable with it on (Although I did take them off while passing Rattlesnake Rock:redface:). On the hike in it was apparent the stream had flash flooded recently. It's amazing what mother nature can do in a brief few hours:eek:. I took a few pics, but nothing that really shows what it looks like. I usually hike up a lot further, but today tried some of the lower stretches. The fishing was great for this time of the year. This year, the mountains have had frequent enough rain to extend the good fishing which in my opinion is usually getting slow this time of year. I also found out the hard way that the Brookies were indeed spawning. I only took a couple more males after that. I fished for about 5 hours when I realized that with all the plants laid down from the flood I missed my last crossing and didn't realize the trail switched sides and spent about 15 minutes looking for the trail on the wrong side of the creek. After a short hike downstream to find the next crossing, I easily found the trail out. On when the I-phone and I started my hike out. In a half mile or so I ran across a steaming (yes at 90 degrees out) pile of bear crap. This should have clued me in, but I just sunk into my music and had a lovely walk out. That was until a 300 pound Bear scared the living Sh*t out of me as it was 10 yard away:eek: Luckily he ran the other way. I quickly pulled off my headphones and continued my hike as I hope he didn't want the 4 fish I had with me. I went without the phones for the rest of the trip to the car:rolleyes:

Another great day in the Smokies

Pics - http://www.duckypaddler.com/sams-creek-8-5-2011.html

ifish4wildtrout
08-08-2011, 06:27 PM
Nice report. The bear would have scared me, too.

JoeFred
08-08-2011, 06:30 PM
Quite an outing, dp. Thanks for reporting. Fortunately the story didn't end with the big bear grinnin' and pickin' his teeth and sayin' "can you hear me now?":biggrin: I couldn't resist, friend.:smile:

ChemEAngler
08-08-2011, 06:48 PM
I had a great solo trip for Brookies on Friday. Ran by LRO to find the whole family working and used up my gift card I got for Father's Day. Arrived at the creek and got rigged up. While rigging, I ran into some tourists who were looking for Spruce Flat Falls. I gave them directions then they walked up to check out the river. As I finished getting everything together, I realized I forgot a water bottle. Luckily the people I gave directions to came back and had a cooler full, and kindly gave me one. I thanked them and headed up the trail. Just as I started I noticed a bait bucket at the bridge:eek: I looked for people fishing close by (right next to clsed for fishing sign), and even spoke with a group of hikers that were coming back who hadn't seen anyone. I put it in my trunk and headed out. I joined the I-phone club several months back, and now have a MP3 player in my pocket so I have been listening to some music while I hike in and out in familiar places. Usually I just it on established trails, then it goes into my pocket when I'm in the stream or off-trail, but this manway I'm intimately familar with so I felt plenty comfortable with it on (Although I did take them off while passing Rattlesnake Rock:redface:). On the hike in it was apparent the stream had flash flooded recently. It's amazing what mother nature can do in a brief few hours:eek:. I took a few pics, but nothing that really shows what it looks like. I usually hike up a lot further, but today tried some of the lower stretches. The fishing was great for this time of the year. This year, the mountains have had frequent enough rain to extend the good fishing which in my opinion is usually getting slow this time of year. I also found out the hard way that the Brookies were indeed spawning. I only took a couple more males after that. I fished for about 5 hours when I realized that with all the plants laid down from the flood I missed my last crossing and didn't realize the trail switched sides and spent about 15 minutes looking for the trail on the wrong side of the creek. After a short hike downstream to find the next crossing, I easily found the trail out. On when the I-phone and I started my hike out. In a half mile or so I ran across a steaming (yes at 90 degrees out) pile of bear crap. This should have clued me in, but I just sunk into my music and had a lovely walk out. That was until a 300 pound Bear scared the living Sh*t out of me as it was 10 yard away:eek: Luckily he ran the other way. I quickly pulled off my headphones and continued my hike as I hope he didn't want the 4 fish I had with me. I went without the phones for the rest of the trip to the car:rolleyes:

Another great day in the Smokies

Pics - http://www.duckypaddler.com/sams-creek-8-5-2011.html

Ducky,

Scary experience!

The wife and I were up on Middle Prong above the last bridge and before the trailhead on Saturday morning. Surprisingly only saw one other fisherman along the road on the drive out. I did see two guys fishing off one of the bridges with some saltwater spinning rods while driving in, maybe they were the owners of the bait bucket. I didn't see them with one when I passed, but figure they are as good of a suspect as anybody else up there.

I saw the signs of the recent flash flood down lower as well. Water level had recently been about 3' higher than the current level, and my 8.5 month wife had some concerns about sitting down there and seeing that water level. Fishing for me was a little slower. Only landed one small bow, and had one other get off. Missed probably a dozen strikes on the dry, but still a slower day than I am used to.

BlueRaiderFan
08-08-2011, 07:35 PM
Wow, Ducky that's a good day! Congrats...I had a big bear coming down the hill on me at the first bridge on the MP and he ran as well...he was larger than any bear I've ever seen in the park.

NDuncan
08-09-2011, 03:39 PM
So I take it after that there were hot steaming piles of crap on the trail?

Awesome report, that is my favorite area to fish as well, my go to stream usually, funny that we have never bumped into each other up there. I have yet to see a bear in that area, but have sometimes seen evidence of their presence. Thanks to the report from last year, I am extra cautious around 'rattlesnake rock' now i'm going to looking all over for bears now, too.

The bait bucket- do you think that could have been accidentally left by a group from the tremont institute? I have seen them up there twice in the past month with groups of people and lots of different buckets collecting insects and aquatic invertebrates in them.

Knothead
08-09-2011, 03:45 PM
a steaming (yes at 90 degrees out) pile of bear crap.

Yes! We have definite proof that a bear does do-do in the woods! Now, if we could get some fuzzy pictures of Bigfoot.
I'm more worried about people than bears. I talked with a retired USFS employee that stated at least one person is murdered every year on the AT for food, money, cothes, credit cards, or whatever. He added that doesn't get a lot of publicity.

tnflyfisher
08-09-2011, 05:58 PM
I have really wanted to fish up there as well. With all these reports of bears and rattlers... it sounds like this area has a large concentration of both! Is this any different than other areas of the park? Just curious...

I have never run into either so I guess I should just consider myself lucky... :biggrin:

Tight Lines,

Crockett
08-10-2011, 09:13 AM
Love it James! The deal with that area is it isn't very hard to get too but feels very remote at the same time. Something about the area once you make the last crossing of Thunderhead on the way to Sams kind of gives me the creeps.

NDuncan
08-10-2011, 10:23 AM
Something about the area once you make the last crossing of Thunderhead on the way to Sams kind of gives me the creeps.


I know what you mean when - you can't hardly hear the creek anymore for that flat stretch above both creeks, but I realized that that's just because you're being watched :eek:

Crockett
08-10-2011, 11:11 AM
I know what you mean when - you can't hardly hear the creek anymore for that flat stretch above both creeks, but I realized that that's just because you're being watched :eek:

I knew it!

duckypaddler
08-10-2011, 12:49 PM
I know what you mean when - you can't hardly hear the creek anymore for that flat stretch above both creeks, but I realized that that's just because you're being watched :eek:

Not to freak you out any further, but that's exactly where it happened:eek:

I'm normally not too concerned with the bears, but this one surprised me at a close distance (my fault), which is enough to give you a jolt of adrenaline. That compounded with the fact that the bear reports have skyrocketed recently as I get e-mails everyday from the park service to this effect, and that I was carrying 4 smelly trout with me:rolleyes:

This was the first bear I have ever seen in the area. Go to Greenbrier up "bear alley" if you want to have a run in with them, or Laurel Falls is almost a sure bet:smile:

NDuncan
08-10-2011, 01:35 PM
Yeah reminds me of a trip last june to jake's creek, I was sitting on a rock looking downstream (just finished releasing a trout) when a small yearling came charging out of the woods, into the stream 10 yards away from from where I was, turned and run splashing all the way upstream. He followed a few seconds later by a really pissed large adult male who I guess was running the yearling out of his territory. Neither one saw me, probably because I was behind a big boulder from their POV and they too focused on chasing and running away to pay much attention to me, but was a big surprise for sure!

bugg
08-11-2011, 10:53 PM
I'm glad you had a good trip. Thats a fine creek, and a perfect example of how a brook trout restoration project can be a success. There are lots of bears this year, and with a poor overall berry production season, they are really moving, looking for food.

A couple of things I wanted to ask you about that nobody else commented on was regarding these statements.

I also found out the hard way that the Brookies were indeed spawning. I only took a couple more males after that.

This goes against all biological data on reproduction habits of the salvelinus fontinalis. Could you elaborate on the reasons you came to this conclusion please? Also, if the brook trout were indeed spawning, why would you mention only taking males from that point on? Thank you.

Bugg

Crockett
08-12-2011, 09:13 AM
I'm glad you had a good trip. Thats a fine creek, and a perfect example of how a brook trout restoration project can be a success. There are lots of bears this year, and with a poor overall berry production season, they are really moving, looking for food.
Bugg

Actually its been an incredibly good berry season in the Smokies this year maybe the best year I have seen in a long time. I have surveyed the berries the last two weeks on the AT and in lower elevations along Curry Mtn trail, Meigs Mountain trail, and Lumber ridge trail. Ran into a bear eating them on the Lumber ridge trail. The only problem I see is that the berries are usually ripe by mid August but seem to be a week or two behind this year which is unusual given that everything else seemed to be early this year. I will be up on Gregory's bald on Sunday will see what is going on berry wise there in the SouthWest end and report back on it.

Bugg also if you check out duckypaddlers pics in the link he put on this post you will see how he came to the conclusion that at least some of the specks were spawning and why he took males from that point on ;)

JayB
08-12-2011, 09:42 AM
This goes against all biological data on reproduction habits of the salvelinus fontinalis. Could you elaborate on the reasons you came to this conclusion please? Also, if the brook trout were indeed spawning, why would you mention only taking males from that point on? Thank you.

Bugg

Really? I did a 2 second google search, and it looks like they spawn in the fall, probably just about time for the eggs to start developing, and in a couple of weeks the early spawners start dancing.
He would mention only taking males from that point on because he's trying to be a good ward of the resource and not take egg laden females. However, other than his conscience, it probably wouldnt matter. People get on their high horse and harp on catch and release, but these small streams arent productive enough for the large amounts of fish they hold, and thats why the fish tend to be so small. If anything taking a few helps the overall population. A bad stretch of weather could cause high water and wipe out an entire year class of fry, so 5 fish wont hurt anything. Even when a whole class is lost, the fish keep surviving, and get bigger.

nvr2L8
08-12-2011, 08:28 PM
I went up in the same area a couple of weeks ago and noticed all the brush bent down on the sides of the creek. Must have been a real gullywasher! I picked up one brookie that was probably in the 9 inch range that had more girth than anyone that I had seen. In retrospect, could have been one of those egg-laden females.

I almost missed a crossing coming back out and had to do some back-tracking. Sometimes the trail seems more of a suggestion of prior traffic. But if you persevere long enough (I walked for about an hour from the parking lot before even starting fishing) it really pays off. Don't know what you were using DP but they were all over a yellow EHC when I was there. Tried a green weenie and a beetle without a single sign of a fish and then tied the EHC back on and they started rising out of that same pool. No more switching for me that day.

duckypaddler
08-15-2011, 01:37 PM
I'm glad you had a good trip. Thats a fine creek, and a perfect example of how a brook trout restoration project can be a success. There are lots of bears this year, and with a poor overall berry production season, they are really moving, looking for food.

A couple of things I wanted to ask you about that nobody else commented on was regarding these statements.



This goes against all biological data on reproduction habits of the salvelinus fontinalis. Could you elaborate on the reasons you came to this conclusion please? Also, if the brook trout were indeed spawning, why would you mention only taking males from that point on? Thank you.

Bugg

If you check out my pictures you will see the female that was full of eggs. That combined with some coloration change:smile:

I'm in no way an expert, but if I liked caviar, I would have had a treat.

And Jay B - I agree it is most likely just making me feel better, but I would rather error on the safe side:smile:

Thanks for all your responses, and I'll try to get my 47 report up soon:biggrin: