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View Full Version : Upper Deep Creek - 9/22


Younger Tom
09-22-2011, 07:19 PM
I hiked into Deep Creek from 441 this morning. I was out the door pretty early and there were loads of turkeys & deer on the road through the park. It was 57 and pretty foggy when I got out of the car at the trail head.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6168/6173107303_32d6f0f6b9_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173107303/)

As soon as I entered the woods, something went crashing across the trail and through the wood. I could see the movement, but have no idea what it was. I never heard or saw from it again even though the trail keeps switching back on itself at the point. The hogs have really torn up the area, so I was just hoping not to run into one.
It's a pretty hike down to the creek. Spending so much time around the white noise of creeks, it's always a bit of a shock to stop and hear the silence away from roads and trails.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6170/6173109109_d84ddda8d7_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173109109/)

I startled a bunch of turkeys in a hollow at one point and they took to the wing. I happened to be looking up towards where they were so they didn't scare the bejeezus out of me. Not like the grouse did when I jumped him later on....
I came across these conscientious campers right after getting close (but not to) the creek.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6151/6173637802_8b92ed74c9_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173637802/)

They were just getting up on my way back. It was a guy and a girl about college age. He said he couldn't find a flat spot to camp. I really should have told them about the designated campsites a couple miles down the trail and that they're kinda supposed to stay there, but I didn't. They didn't appear to know they weren't supposed to do this and I probably should have taken the time to help them out, but it's not in my nature to call out or correct strangers. I spent the rest of the hike out wishing I had said something. Hope they did alright.
I tried something new this time and when I stashed my day pack and put on my waders, I marked the spot with my GPS. As I continued down the trail, I marked good egress spots on my GPS then walked down to to get in the water and fish back up. I finally got in the stream and pulled up speck after speck.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6164/6173112655_6f6f230101_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173112655/)


Some of them are starting to get some color on their bellies.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6152/6173640944_e1d0b69100_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173640944/)

I even turned up this guy, the only one I found up there, and that's after pulling out more than 40 fish.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6177/6173114889_35db7cdf25_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173114889/)

I greatly underestimated how quickly I would move up the water, so by lunch at 11:30 I was almost back to the last easy exit points. Oops. I got back to my pack and changed boots. Looked at the clock and it was only 11:59. I hiked back out and drove to lower Deep Creek and fished the tuber section. The water here had a little color to it. I've never down especially well here and today was no different, but I got into some rainbows and finally got a brown.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6163/6173646754_33cde9a338_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173646754/)

He almost became dinner when I couldn't get the hook extracted. I had already played him too long getting my camera out. The hook wasn't deep at all, but well into the bony part of his jaw and just wouldn't budge. I finally cut it off and after too long of a time, he finally revived and swam off. Let me know if you catch a brown trout with the remnants of a red-accented smoky mountain blackbird in its jaw. It was pretty selfish on my part.

The fish still seem to be exited by things that are orange. The water is still good, but if it rains like they're talking about, I'm not sure the ground is going to be able to absorb it. Water levels were low-ish at upper deep creek, but not especially low at lower Deep Creek. The color probably helps a little too.

pineman19
09-22-2011, 07:28 PM
I hiked into Deep Creek from 441 this morning. I was out the door pretty early and there were loads of turkeys & deer on the road through the park. It was 57 and pretty foggy when I got out of the car at the trail head.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6168/6173107303_32d6f0f6b9_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173107303/)

As soon as I entered the woods, something went crashing across the trail and through the wood. I could see the movement, but have no idea what it was. I never heard or saw from it again even though the trail keeps switching back on itself at the point. The hogs have really torn up the area, so I was just hoping not to run into one.
It's a pretty hike down to the creek. Spending so much time around the white noise of creeks, it's always a bit of a shock to stop and hear the silence away from roads and trails.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6170/6173109109_d84ddda8d7_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173109109/)

I startled a bunch of turkeys in a hollow at one point and they took to the wing. I happened to be looking up towards where they were so they didn't scare the bejeezus out of me. Not like the grouse did when I jumped him later on....
I came across these conscientious campers right after getting close (but not to) the creek.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6151/6173637802_8b92ed74c9_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173637802/)

They were just getting up on my way back. It was a guy and a girl about college age. He said he couldn't find a flat spot to camp. I really should have told them about the designated campsites a couple miles down the trail and that they're kinda supposed to stay there, but I didn't. They didn't appear to know they weren't supposed to do this and I probably should have taken the time to help them out, but it's not in my nature to call out or correct strangers. I spent the rest of the hike out wishing I had said something. Hope they did alright.
I tried something new this time and when I stashed my day pack and put on my waders, I marked the spot with my GPS. As I continued down the trail, I marked good egress spots on my GPS then walked down to to get in the water and fish back up. I finally got in the stream and pulled up speck after speck.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6164/6173112655_6f6f230101_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173112655/)


Some of them are starting to get some color on their bellies.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6152/6173640944_e1d0b69100_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173640944/)

I even turned up this guy, the only one I found up there, and that's after pulling out more than 40 fish.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6177/6173114889_35db7cdf25_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173114889/)

I greatly underestimated how quickly I would move up the water, so by lunch at 11:30 I was almost back to the last easy exit points. Oops. I got back to my pack and changed boots. Looked at the clock and it was only 11:59. I hiked back out and drove to lower Deep Creek and fished the tuber section. The water here had a little color to it. I've never down especially well here and today was no different, but I got into some rainbows and finally got a brown.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6163/6173646754_33cde9a338_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25717202@N06/6173646754/)

He almost became dinner when I couldn't get the hook extracted. I had already played him too long getting my camera out. The hook wasn't deep at all, but well into the bony part of his jaw and just wouldn't budge. I finally cut it off and after too long of a time, he finally revived and swam off. Let me know if you catch a brown trout with the remnants of a red-accented smoky mountain blackbird in its jaw. It was pretty selfish on my part.

The fish still seem to be exited by things that are orange. The water is still good, but if it rains like they're talking about, I'm not sure the ground is going to be able to absorb it. Water levels were low-ish at upper deep creek, but not especially low at lower Deep Creek. The color probably helps a little too.

Younger Tom,

Thanks for the report of one of my favorite streams in the Park. Saw a big timber rattler chillin on a rock in the stream when I was up near Poke Patch last summer. Beautiful area, I need to get back down there again, even if the hike out is a bear.

Neal

duckypaddler
09-22-2011, 08:49 PM
Younger Tom,

Saw a big timber rattler chillin on a rock in the stream when I was up near Poke Patch last summer. Beautiful area, I need to get back down there again, even if the hike out is a bear.

Neal

Nice Report Younger Tom

I hope that rattler ate the mouse that ate my waders:biggrin:

Shaggy
09-22-2011, 09:03 PM
Very nice post, thanks for sharing! Also a special place in my book as well. I myself can never mention upper deep creek without bringing up the hike out. It was a brutal experience for me. Fortunately it was some of the best fishing and camping that I have ever had in the park, so it was well worth it! Easy to say now, not what I was saying on the way out. I hope to get into better shape as I would love to do this trip again many times but feel that I will have to train like Rocky to do it!

Younger Tom
09-22-2011, 09:22 PM
Younger Tom,

Thanks for the report of one of my favorite streams in the Park. Saw a big timber rattler chillin on a rock in the stream when I was up near Poke Patch last summer.



I have a paranoia when climbing over logs and around rocks. It's especially bad when I'm wading wet by myself. ;)
I've never come across anything scarier than a garter snake and mysterious animasl crashing through the woods in front of me. Well, that and grouse.

fearnofishbob
09-22-2011, 09:55 PM
Younger Tom, super nice report. I started fishing the upper part of Deep Creek in 1959.The highway wasn't on top of the mountain as it is now . It was futher east toward the upper end of the Luftee. One had to drive to Newfound Gap(on the old 441) pick up a trail and follow it south to where the present trail head is then start down the mountain. I know every rock up there. If you get a chance to go back, go a little futher down the creek and and fish Rock Branch that cames in on your right as you decend the mountain....great fishing ...........Bob

fearnofishbob
09-22-2011, 10:22 PM
Younger Tom. that second fish down might just be a Tiger Trout.......it's really hard to tell from the photo there is some glare.

What do you other guys think ??? ..................

pineman19
09-23-2011, 07:47 AM
Younger Tom, super nice report. I started fishing the upper part of Deep Creek in 1959.The highway wasn't on top of the mountain as it is now . It was futher east toward the upper end of the Luftee. One had to drive to Newfound Gap(on the old 441) pick up a trail and follow it south to where the present trail head is then start down the mountain. I know every rock up there. If you get a chance to go back, go a little futher down the creek and and fish Rock Branch that cames in on your right as you decend the mountain....great fishing ...........Bob

Interesting, I wasn't aware that the road had been moved in that area. Thanks for telling that you started fishing that area a year before I was born:p I feel like a "spring chicken" this morning:biggrin:

Neal

Younger Tom
09-23-2011, 08:18 AM
Younger Tom. that second fish down might just be a Tiger Trout.......it's really hard to tell from the photo there is some glare.

What do you other guys think ??? ..................

I was kinda wondering the same thing. One of the reasons I took that picture was because of the striking stripes on it. Unfortunately, the flash washed out some of the color. Would it help if I posted a high res version somewhere? If so, anyone know where I can park a high res image for public consumption?

Tommy

Crockett
09-23-2011, 08:37 AM
If you look at the 1931 park map you can see the path the old road followed before. You can still easily see the old road at points along the new one still especially down where the road runs parallel to beech flats prong and upper oconoluftee if you look up the hill next to the road you can see the old road up in the woods and it runs parallel there for many miles. Also if you park at Newfound Gap and walk to the back part of the parking lot you will see where the old road started down there. I think they have a gate across it now.

Nice specks Tom and I love that area too.

JoelO
09-23-2011, 10:17 AM
Younger Tom. that second fish down might just be a Tiger Trout.......it's really hard to tell from the photo there is some glare.

What do you other guys think ??? ..................

Beautiful fish. I still think its a brook, probably just a young one with the bars still showing up. You see those bars in young rainbows too. I googled tiger trout and the images don't show any bars, just the worm-like markings over a larger portion of the body than a typical brook/spec. The pictures also showed the yellowish type belly typical of a brown. Here is the description that was given...

Tiger Trout, a hybrid cross between a male brown trout and a female brook trout, has a unique, dark maze-like pattern all over a brownish, gray body. The belly is yellowish orange as are the pectoral, pelvic and anal fins. The tail fin is square.

duckypaddler
09-23-2011, 02:54 PM
I see Brookie, Brookie, Rainbow, Brown. What are you guys talking about? Is it the par marks on the second brookie? I think that's just from him being young. I am just an amateur, and know that there are tiger trout, but don't really even see why you guys think it might be one. Maybe I'm missing something.

yonder
09-23-2011, 03:04 PM
Great report. I also know the heart attack moment of a flushing grouse!!!

Teddyp
09-23-2011, 03:15 PM
Nice Post! That deep creek trail is a monster hike and one that i have to get myself mentally prepared for.

fearnofishbob
09-23-2011, 03:25 PM
It's probably just a young brookie, it looks a little different with the stripes.....!!!!!

NDuncan
09-23-2011, 03:30 PM
tiger trout from USGS website:

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/XIMAGESERVERX/2008/20080331160612.jpg

Younger Tom
09-23-2011, 05:45 PM
tiger trout from USGS website:



That is an unusual looking fish. I'm kinda glad to see pure specks up there. And boy are there a lot of them. Great to see.

Redfish62
09-23-2011, 08:59 PM
Great pics and post. That's on of my favorite areas to camp and fish. One of the best places, in my view to get a grand slam. Good job:biggrin: