View Full Version : Another Great Day on the Mystery Stream!

05-21-2012, 10:43 AM
Nathan and I both got passes for an all day excursion Sunday, so we went back to our little mystery stream that seems to have seen little to no action in a long while. In the past we have headed up from a trail crossing and worked our way upstream, but this time we wanted to hit the far upper reaches, so we followed an old manway for a while, and then jump off into the river. It was an beautiful day, and we were not the only ones out enjoying the day. Shortly in the hike on the manway we ran into this guy, though as mean as he played he was really a friendly at heart. He didnt strike at me once.


Reading my altimeter, and Nathan using the GPS feature on his iphone, we determined it was time to bushwack from the manway down to the stream. I was fishing a yellow neversink and a pink weenie, and on my third cast, my first fish of the day was a 10 inch rainbow.


He came out from under the rock on the left of this pool to take the dropper.


Right after that catch, I was climbing upstream, when I saw something cat sized run across the brush on an island ahead. I turned to tell Nathan when he pointed and yelled, and I turned around to see a HUGE adult Barred Owl fly up to a tree branch. He paused, looked at us, and as I tried to get my camera up, he flew off, and he never made a sound. I've never seen an owl in the wild and was awed by their size, beauty, and stealth.

This fishing was great. It wasn't "easy" in that anything worked, but as long as the dropper was the right depth (not too long, not too short), dry was the right size, not too big, the fishing was very consistent.








This 9 incher came from the rock to the left of the run.



to be continued......

05-21-2012, 10:50 AM
We both ended up with a limit kept, and probably around 20 fish caught each. I'm not very good at keeping score.

Gratuitous guts shot. I was surprised at how many crayfish we found. Evvery fish I kept had crayfish in it, even the smallest one.


The haul.


Around 2 we started looking for where the manway crossed the stream for our way back out.




Let's just say it doesnt get much use, and the going was still pretty slwo for a while. I don't know what was worse, the rhodo, or the briers.


On the long hike out, I nearly ran into this juvenile barred owl. I guess he was learning to fly, and was just resting on a branch right at eye level. He "clicked" at me as a walked to near, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. He sat quietly and let us take several pictures before we moved on and let him rest.


All in all, it was great day to be in the Smokies.

05-21-2012, 11:51 AM
Nice report and great pictures - - as those younger than me might say on the sighting and photo of the owls: "way cool"!

Y'all musta been in "the boonies" to encounter reptiles and fowl (and fish).

Thanks, for sharing the experience.


05-21-2012, 03:24 PM
Outstanding report. Those are some dark rainbows, and that one is the darkest I have ever seen. Very cool.

05-22-2012, 08:05 AM
I'm glad you guys had a stream to yourself on Troutfest weekend. I fished with Steve Darnell after the acid water sampling for the park and was amazed that we were the first ones on 4th to 5th bridge Road Prong, but spider webs rarely lie. Besides his loss of cell phone just a couple hundred yards above 4th bridge (tight crawl) it was a nice day. Fishing wasn't great, but some really nice fish landed. It's hard to manage expectations after some great days in the park:eek:

I have some guesses of where you are, but will e-mail them to you not to spoil your mystery:rolleyes:

05-22-2012, 09:15 AM
Yeah, I figured if anyone has been in the area, they could figure it out from the sparse clues. But it's nice knowing there is a stream to go to with expectation of knowing noone has beat you to it that day. Send me an email with your guess!

jbell1120 at gmail

05-22-2012, 10:30 AM
Great post JayB I sent you my guess. I love posts like this and your subtle clues.

05-22-2012, 12:22 PM
Gotta add some more pics....


My first of the day.


The view upstream


They were mostly hitting the dropper Green/Pink weenie for the most part. In the afternoon I finally got tired of the dropper and just fished the dry and they were hitting that. I guess the conditions were just such that the dropper was affecting the drift enough to cause them to ignore it...


The fish were so cooperative they were literally leaping several feet in the air.... This is actually one Jason was pulling from the creek and managed to snap this at just the right moment...


Fishy water indeed...




The Rhodo Tunnel:

You will notice that I managed to capture some light orbs... Indicating that the rhodo tunnel is in fact haunted...


The manway was visible for the most part... This what it looked like when it was easily seen, there were some places where it practically disappeared.


Just got to include the owl again. That was the coolest thing I have seen the park in a while.

05-22-2012, 04:50 PM
Very, very nice...that owl was really cool. Nice feesh too.

05-22-2012, 05:10 PM
Awesome! Especially the owl. I'd say it'd be a good idea to keep this one a mystery. :)


Middle TN Lee
05-25-2012, 09:11 PM
Great photos and trip. Love the owl/snake pics as well.