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David Knapp
09-29-2011, 12:17 PM
Plans had been made for some time to hike into #47 with my cousin this past weekend and do some fishing. At the last second he got sick and couldn't make it but I enjoy solo trips and decided to just go anyway.

After swinging by LRO to chat with Byron and Daniel awhile and pick up some supplies, I headed over the mountain. After a quick stop at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center for my permit, I headed on up the Straight Fork road. The plan was to head over Hyatt Ridge trail to the Enloe Creek trail down to Raven Fork and #47. I got to the trailhead later than I wanted and had to hustle to get over the ridge and into camp before dark. Thankfully I made it in time and after setting up camp, I ate a quick supper and went to bed with visions of brook trout dancing in my head.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMGP0034.jpg

The next morning was perfect. The sun was out and the air was nice and cool. Throughout breakfast, I found myself eating faster and faster in anticipation of hitting the water. You don't hike over Hyatt Ridge to catch small stream rainbows...no, you go for the brook trout. Raven Fork and its tributaries are a great place to catch brookies although there are some rainbows in Raven Fork as well...

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMGP0052.jpg

After breakfast, I washed my dishes and got some snacks to take with me. For the morning, I decided to hit one of the smaller tribs and it proved to be a great decision. For the next three hours, I caught brook trout after brook trout. By lunch, I had already caught enough fish for three days worth of fishing and only used two flies the whole time. The first Yellow Neversink was lost in a tree after 40-some brookies had chewed on it. The second fly lasted for the rest of the morning and into the afternoon.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMGP0006.jpg

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMGP0001.jpg

Throughout the morning I caught brook trout up to around 9 inches. The largest fish came from an undercut rock adjacent to a deep pocket. It ghosted out from under the rock and gently sipped the Neversink Caddis. After posing for a couple quick pictures, it swam back to its pool.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMGP0004-1-1.jpg

The brook trout from the tributary were beautifully colored, and obviously the spawn is fast approaching. Some of the males were even developing the closest things to a kype that these small brookies will ever get...

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMGP0025.jpg

For the afternoon, I fished Raven Fork proper, slowly exploring my way upstream from the campsite. Here I caught a mix of healthy rainbows along with more brook trout. The brookies weren't colored as much yet compared to the ones I had caught earlier in the day. I finished my day well upstream from camp and regretfully turned back towards my tent and a hot supper, wishing instead to be continuing on upstream and explore to the farthest reaches of the headwaters.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMGP0081.jpg

The hike out the next morning was much better than the hike in, just under one mile uphill and then 2 downhill. I soon was cruising back down towards Cherokee where I made a quick stop for something other than backpacking food. Lunch was spent on the Oconaluftee. The water levels were low and a few hours of fishing in the afternoon convinced me that the browns and rainbows here are nowhere near as bold as the brookies from the high mountain streams.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMGP0074.jpg

I managed a few rainbows and browns from the 'Luftee before heading over the ridge. A 20 minute stop on Walker Camp Prong produced a couple small brookies and a surprising large rainbow for the water I was fishing.

Another stop, this time on Little River produced the largest fish of the weekend. A nice brown of around 16 inches apparently thought my Tellico nymph looked edible. After a quick picture I sent him back to hopefully grow a bit more.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMGP0083.jpg

The weekend was great, but I do wish that the larger streams had a little more flow in them right now. The fishing is still good to great, especially on the smaller high gradient streams where water levels aren't as much of an inconvenience...

One question for everyone: I'm not a wildflower expert but saw the following flowers and wondered if anyone could help me identify them...? Thanks!

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk311/drknapp83/IMGP0065.jpg

duckypaddler
09-29-2011, 12:24 PM
You always manage to land a Brown that puts most of the rest of us to shame!:rolleyes:

I'm glad the neversinks are still working. It's about this time, they usually start to prefer something else.

I'm heading to 3 Forks in the morning and hope to catch some of those colorful Brookies.

Next time I go, I'm heading for the tributary of that tribuatary you were on:biggrin: Supposed to be some heavenly trees up there also.

Again great report, and thanks for sharing

ifish4wildtrout
09-29-2011, 02:42 PM
Great report. I am very envious.

Carolina Kudzu
09-29-2011, 02:44 PM
The flower in the picture is Pale Jewelweed. There is also an orange variety, simply called Jewelweed. Another name for these flowers is touch-me-not.

Great pictures and trip description.

David Knapp
09-29-2011, 03:06 PM
The flower in the picture is Pale Jewelweed. There is also an orange variety, simply called Jewelweed. Another name for these flowers is touch-me-not.

Great pictures and trip description.


I thought they looked a lot like jewelweed but didn't know there was a yellow variety... Thanks for the enlightenment! :cool:

joe a
09-29-2011, 06:29 PM
Epic weekend!

Knik
09-29-2011, 09:11 PM
I never get tired of seeing pictures of brookies and those are beautiful, thanks for sharing your trip with us David. Nice brown too. ;)

ChemEAngler
09-29-2011, 09:59 PM
Great report David!

Grannyknot
09-30-2011, 08:26 AM
Great report David.
Very nice pictures too.
Hope we can get that trip together that we talked about.

GrouseMan77
09-30-2011, 04:17 PM
David, thanks for sharing your trip and fantastic photos. I still need to make the trip over there...

Knothead
09-30-2011, 04:53 PM
What an outing! I'm jealous. Nothing like catching those wild brookies in their native habitat. That plus camping. Life is really good! BTW, nice pictures!

hookedontrout
09-30-2011, 08:10 PM
What an awesome report! Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures. Do you think the hike in and camping is doable with 12 and 13 year old boys? We would love to head there when I finish rehabbing from Achilles surgery in the Spring sometime. Thanks again.

flyman
09-30-2011, 08:41 PM
Nice work David!:smile:

David Knapp
09-30-2011, 11:01 PM
What an awesome report! Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures. Do you think the hike in and camping is doable with 12 and 13 year old boys? We would love to head there when I finish rehabbing from Achilles surgery in the Spring sometime. Thanks again.

The hike is certainly doable. It is only three miles but the first two miles is probably one of the more punishing hikes I have personally done in the Park. Not necessarily the worst mind you but definitely tough... I would like to point out though that the spring might not be the best time to visit this area for fishing purposes. Raven Fork is a great stream but can be tough to get around in during normal to low water, much less the normally higher water levels in spring. I would plan a trip here only if water levels are reasonable for safety reasons...

hookedontrout
10-01-2011, 10:07 AM
Thank you David. We will make it a late summer trip.

doghaircaddis
10-01-2011, 03:33 PM
Thanks for sharing. 47 is one of my favorite sites in the park. BTW...have you ever read the description of that site in the little brown book (Hiking Trails of the Smokies)?

David Knapp
10-01-2011, 07:10 PM
Thanks for sharing. 47 is one of my favorite sites in the park. BTW...have you ever read the description of that site in the little brown book (Hiking Trails of the Smokies)?

I have not...that is one book that has been on my list to purchase but I haven't done so yet...

SmokyMt4runner
10-01-2011, 08:00 PM
Great post!!!! Beautiful fish........


I do have a question for you. I am currently int the market for a pack. When your spending 1-2 nights in the BC what size pack do you use? Mostly will be used from late Oct.-late Dec.

Thanks

Jim

SmokyMt4runner
10-01-2011, 08:23 PM
lol...The ultra-light post answered my questions.

Again, great post!

David Knapp
10-02-2011, 08:47 AM
lol...The ultra-light post answered my questions.

Again, great post!

Glad you figured that one out 'cause I'm probably not the best to answer that question. I use a fairly large pack and its usually full and heavy...:eek:

AL trout bum
10-03-2011, 12:19 AM
Those brookies were beautifully colored up as was the brown. Nice sizes too! I felt like I was along the trip with you. Great write-up and trip!

NDuncan
10-03-2011, 01:51 PM
I have seen that jewelweed before and have wondered about it, so I looked us some info on wikipedia...

Interesting things about the North American varieties of yellow and orange jewelweed:

It has often been used in folk medicine as a treatment for poison ivy and insect stings, although scientific studies have failed to find a conclusive significant or lasting effect compared to other treatment options.

On the other hand, the plants are a natural source of 2-methoxy-1-(4-naphtho)quinine, which is the active ingredient in Preparation H (back country hemorrhoid treatment option?):eek:

Barbara
10-03-2011, 07:24 PM
Beautiful brookies! And that brown....I fished Little River 2 days and got one brown, significantly smaller than yours! U done good!

BlueRaiderFan
10-04-2011, 12:09 AM
Very, very nice. Looks like a lot of fun.