View Full Version : Combining GSMNP Fly Fishing with History

LA MantaRay12
10-30-2011, 11:16 AM
Was hoping some of the LRO forum members could give me a hand with this...

My son and I will be spending Thanksgiving in the Smokies with the rest of our family. During that time I tend to do as much fly fishing as i can, my son also enjoys fly fishing but not the extent I do. My son is a History Major and will finish college next December. He really enjoys hiking into some of the backcountry to view the historical remnants of the Smokies. I would like to couple our fly fishing hikes with as much history (cememtary, old homesteads, logging sites, etc.) as possible.

I just finished reading Jim Casada's book Fly Fishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and it makes an abundance of references to historical sites as he describes fly fishing on the creeks and rivers.

I was hoping to get some feedback from this forum pertaining to fly fishing hikes that would include significant amounts of interesting visual history? I am not looking for multi day expeditions, just some multi hour/half day/full day hikes that would satiate both our fancies.

Thanks in advance for any feedback you can offer.

10-30-2011, 12:49 PM
Cataloochee Valley would be an obvious choice. Several historical buildings still standing and some interesting stories about its past inhabitants.

The Sugarlands area of West Prong of the Little Pigeon has a good amount visual evidence of settlement. Old road bed, bridge foundations, home/chimney foundations, etc.

10-30-2011, 04:45 PM
Go to the Townsend Visitor's Center. They have a number of books on the history of the area. My son has some of them and they are interesting reading. The Heritage Museum is worthwhile.

The Principal
10-30-2011, 08:24 PM
If you fish Little River Above Elkmont,there are some cool old vacated vacation cabins
and an old cemetery above Jakes Creek.

Rog 1
10-31-2011, 09:40 AM
Get a copy of the book..."Last Trail to Elkmont"...this is a short but informative book about the logging of the Little River watershed just before the Park was established...it discusses where, when and how this area was logged and talks about historical sites related to this event....a lot of information in it and a lot of it is connected with trout waters....

Jim Casada
10-31-2011, 04:04 PM
LAMantaRay--I'll add a bit to Rog's suggestion, along with a tiny correction to his memory or more likely a typo (it's Last Train rather than Last Trail). On the N. C. side of the Park, Duane Oliver has done detailed work on Hazel Creek, and Hattie Caldwell Davis has multiple books on Cataloochee. There are three histories of the Park and multiple history hikes type treatments. Lance Holland's "Fontana" is actually more of a history of the North Shore. There's a history of Cades Cove by Durwood Dunn, and lots of general books of note. Mike Frome's "Strangers in High Places" is particularly good.
You have my book so you might want to browse the bibliography a bit. All the books and authors mentioned above are covered, along with a lot more. I'm a recovering history professor and applaud your son's eagerness to take side trails to the world we have lost and your willingness to go along. If you happen to get to Cataloochee, take time to walk the Boogerman Trail and learn about Boogerman Palmer. The sight of the virgin timber alone is well worth the cost of admission (which is nothing more than a bit of energy expended walking). The Park has an incredibly rich and varied human history, so there's grist ap[lenty for your mills.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

LA MantaRay12
10-31-2011, 08:23 PM

I cannot begin to tell you all how excited I am and my son is at the reception our request has received. This is really great information. I have forwarded a lot of the book information on to my son so he can grab a few of them and "bone up" on the area. I love going on history hikes with him..he makes it a very educational event for me.

Couple the information held in the history of the Smokies with the love of fly fishing....I can't think of a better recipe for success on a vacation.

Keep the ideas coming and if any of you would like to join us in our jaunts please feel free to contact me at cbarber@mchsi.com

Thanks again.