View Full Version : Smokies Report..... or Not...

08-26-2012, 09:41 PM
I have been wanting to take my 4-yr son camping all year (a couple of cancelled trips with David Knapp included), and we chose to go this past weekend regardless of weather. We talked and planned for it all week long, and finally the day arrived. He had just two requests; 1 - that we go fishing and 2 - we roast marshmallows.

We got to the park around 3:30 and quickly set up camp at Elkmont. My son was anxious to go see the water across the street, so I had to hurry and get things up and stored.

Across the street there was this nice little tributary that was perfect for a kid to play in.

After some time splashing around, he asked to go fishing. We went back to camp and I started gearing up and noticed that something was missing. I checked my car, gear bag, and Fishpond pack, but could not locate my fly reel. I had used it the week before, and was pretty sure I had packed it. Unfortunately, I had to break the news to my son that we could not go fish. He was heart broken, but with child-like optimism he said "daddy you have your net, I can catch us fish with it." It was a very sweet statement, but I was still frustrated with myself for losing it.


So, he spent some time splashing around in the water with the net.

Anybody looking to fish Little River in the near future, apparently no trout are currently interested in the 4-yr old toddler fly or blue nylon death trap streamer.

Either way, it was enough to satisfy him, and the rest of the trip went very well (he got his marshmallows).

He got upset when we started packing up to leave, he wanted to stay another night. We are already planning our return trip, and this time the fishing stuff will be remembered. It was a wonderful time to be in the park. Elkmont was only about half full, the weather was perfect all day & night, and on the drive out there was not a single vehicle in any of the pull outs along Little River Road. This is my favorite time to be in the park, right smack in the middle of the quiet period between tourist seasons.

FYI, when I got home I found my reel. It was in a small compartment of my Osprey Stratos from last week's trip. The disappointing part is that I had my Osprey Stratos with me on the camping trip but did not check it because I thought it was empty.... :frown: My son just laughed and said "Daddy, next time make a list", even daddy's can learn from their 4-yr old children...

08-26-2012, 09:51 PM
It's great to be out there with children:biggrin:

I had mine out last weekend, and Thomas even got to help reel in a Brookie. In the end throwing rocks in the river was more fun for them.

Great place to make memories, with or without the fishing rods:smile:

Thanks for the report. At least you didn't forget the camera this time:biggrin:

I think your boy called it right - your a man in need of a list;)

08-27-2012, 05:15 AM
ChemE, mine just saw your excellent report and "when are we going" was the next question from Sawyer my 10 yr. old.

Thank you for an excellent post.


David Knapp
08-27-2012, 12:32 PM
Good stuff Travis! Glad you finally got out and its great that you are getting your son out and enjoying nature. Keep it up!!!

AL trout bum
08-27-2012, 01:36 PM
Nice trip! I don't have kids yet, but I can imagine that whether fishing rods were brought along or not, you had a memorable trip! Thanks for sharing..

Rog 1
08-28-2012, 08:59 AM
The fishing will come in due time....my son spent his first couple of years camping with me wading the shallows and getting up close and personal with whatever swam his way...and one time it was a big water snake that was up under a flat rock my son just had to have me lift for him...this is also a good time to start his intro to the entomology side of our sport...while he is in the water he can find all kinds of nymphs and waiting til he finds his first stick bait that is actually moving....have fun and enjoy the special times.

08-28-2012, 12:53 PM
I'm glad you remembered the two most important items.....the camera and the marshmellows.......enjoy the kids when they are young.....they grow up way to fast........

08-28-2012, 02:34 PM
Very cool.