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Kris
06-02-2013, 01:44 PM
Left the house yesterday morning for the mountains. I stopped off in Townsend for some breakfast and a chat with the guys at LRO. Then it was off to the middle prong of the little river. I went up above Tremont caught a couple decent sized bows and had a lot of little ones nipping at my dry flies. I sat down a rock on streamside to change out fly and dropper, with my feet sitting in the cool water, when a copperhead swam out from beside the rock within inches of my ankle and headed for the opposite shore. What a day to pick to start wet wading!

ChemEAngler
06-02-2013, 02:26 PM
Left the house yesterday morning for the mountains. I stopped off in Townsend for some breakfast and a chat with the guys at LRO. Then it was off to the middle prong of the little river. I went up above Tremont caught a couple decent sized bows and had a lot of little ones nipping at my dry flies. I sat down a rock on streamside to change out fly and dropper, with my feet sitting in the cool water, when a copperhead swam out from beside the rock within inches of my ankle and headed for the opposite shore. What a day to pick to start wet wading!

Sure it was a copperhead? Northern watersnakes are often mistaken for copperheads, and the fact that you saw it in the water leads me to believe it was the non-venomous of the two.

duckypaddler
06-02-2013, 04:47 PM
Sure it was a copperhead? Northern watersnakes are often mistaken for copperheads, and the fact that you saw it in the water leads me to believe it was the non-venomous of the two.

That would be my vote. Unless it has a big triangular head, the color pattern is so close to a copperhead it will raise a few hairs for sure:biggrin:

If they are a watersnake they put off a nasty smelling musk if you try to catch one. I watched a buddy learn the hard way in my teen years;) I always just leave them alone.

flyred06
06-02-2013, 05:35 PM
I agree. Last week when we first got in town we pulled off by the water and seen 2 snakes in the river then. Same colors as the copperhead but round eyes and normal heads.

Dances with Trout
06-02-2013, 09:39 PM
I was in my float tube on Little River below Walland last night and saw a northern water snake about 6' away from me. Fortunately he went the other way quickly. I did keep a warey eay out for him the rest of the evening.

God Bless,
Dances with Trou

Don Kirk
06-02-2013, 11:27 PM
I am the first to admit that northern water snakes look a lot like copperheads, especially when you first see them between your legs. This is why I stomp the snot out of them before properly IDing serpents later at autopsy. A vivid case in point is what happened last week to Craig Haney, our Editor-At-Large for STM. He let Aubie, his 7 year terrier (not sure what kind as all of those Scots look alike to me), on the front porch of his home at Bluff Park, (a nice area of Birmingham with 7/24 electricity) where the mutt was promptly nailed on its nose by 18-inch copperhead. S700 worth of anti-venom later the pup is scrappy and expected to recover. Unfortunately, according to Craig, the copperhead did not survive the incident. It was cleanly dispatched by a Remington 1100 spitting #7s. No vet bill for the viper. What was it Tecumseh Sherman said about copperheads? Oh yeah, the only good copperhead is a dead copperhead.

chechem
06-03-2013, 07:42 AM
Education is its own reward.
;)

TylerG10
06-03-2013, 08:04 AM
If you want to see snakes, head to the Hiwassee. I've never seen so many snakes around a river.

Crockett
06-03-2013, 10:12 AM
Last year I tubed down the Little River with my family from around the park entrance down through town. There were hundreds of folks out tubing that section that hot day. Some boys camping at the Tremont campground next to the river had affixed a rubber snake (which looked very much like a copperhead) to the end of a line and casted it up over a tree limb out over the stream. They had the other end on a fishing rod and when people would tube under that tree they would release the line and let the snake fall right down on top of them. I have never seen so many people screaming and carrying on. We stopped and watched they just kept doing it over and over.

By the way I saw a timber rattler crossing Tremont Rd. on Saturday afternoon on its way to the river.

gills
06-03-2013, 10:14 AM
Copperhead or northern water snake... i give them all the right of way.

HuskerFlyFisher
06-03-2013, 10:44 AM
As a side note...

I live out in the Texas panhandle, a world away from most of you guys. My brother in law is a rancher (a real cowboy, on horseback every day). Several years ago he went to rounding up rattlesnakes on his ranch as certain areas were infested with them and when they bite cattle, it makes the cow very sick and can even kill them.

The times to "hunt" for rattlers are in the spring and fall, when they are near their dens. There have been seasons when he has caught HUNDREDS of the critters from a single area!

He sells them to some folks in Oklahoma by the pound, ALIVE.

Come visit West Texas some time!

tnflyfisher
06-03-2013, 11:01 AM
Not sure how relevant some of this other information is but yes, likely a water snake so no worries. In the unlikely event that it was a copperhead and did actually bite you, it wouldn't amount to much more than a spoiled afternoon of fishing. Painful as it may be, with proper care you would be fine. Timber rattlers on the other hand are another story... Only other snake you will likely see is the northern black racer, which I see the most. A harmless snake but can become very aggressive and will bite if not left alone. Remember that all snakes at least in the GSMNP are to be left alone and certainly not killed...

Regarding the venomous pit vipers that reside within the Smokies, it takes a lot of energy for a snake to produce and store venom. They need it to survive and will in fact ration it out at times. They can tell that we are not food and will often bite without injecting any venom at all. This is referred to as a dry bite and is often a defensive move for the snake. Along those same lines, it is also thought that younger, less mature snakes have not learned how to ration their venom yet with a bite often emptying their entire venom reserves. Something to remember when you think that the small baby copperhead you come across might be somehow less dangerous.



Tight Lines,

Don Kirk
06-03-2013, 04:04 PM
I agree about killing copperheads and rattlers in the park. You do not want to get caught doing so. This pretty well rules out shooting them unless you have a silencer (this are readily available on the Internet). Were I to kill a copperhead in the park, and I am certainly saying I would, I would however dispose of the carcass off trail and probably not report my action at the Sugarlands. Heaven knows the rangers have enough to do guiding people to see lightening bugs than to waste their time arresting you dispatching one more headache (waiting to strike...) and pistol wiping additional information from you would be a waste of valuable time and resources. Of course, if you are Catholic, I would recommend getting off your chest the next time you go Mass. We Holy Rollers fess up using our DIRECT LINE, you know, sorta cutting out the middleman.

Grannyknot
06-03-2013, 04:35 PM
killing snakes in the wild is bad juju for me.

The Principal
06-07-2013, 08:13 PM
Natural reaction tought from birth in my family.

flyguys
06-08-2013, 08:37 AM
Don Kirk, In reference to a prayer after dispatching a snake to the great beyond, my favorite plea to soothe my soul is: Dear Lord, forgive me for taking the life of one of your critters; but then again, better him than me!!:biggrin: flyguys

Kris
06-08-2013, 09:26 AM
Don Kirk, In reference to a prayer after dispatching a snake to the great beyond, my favorite plea to soothe my soul is: Dear Lord, forgive me for taking the life of one of your critters; but then again, better him than me!!:biggrin: flyguys
Amen brother!

Kris
06-08-2013, 09:31 AM
Hey I have a machete that I keep in the garage for hacking down those stubborn weeds that will not die with the weed eater. Would it be in appropriate to carry it with me when im fishing in the gsmnp? Haha Just kidding!

flyred06
06-08-2013, 01:09 PM
I refer to snakes as the beady eyed hand puppet of satan. I get this from the garden of Edan.

The Principal
06-12-2013, 10:49 PM
Now flyred06 I know how much you love rattle snakes.

Streamhound
06-13-2013, 11:18 AM
Hey flyred I thought you called lawyers "the beady eyed hand puppets of Satan" :biggrin:

bigsur
06-13-2013, 11:35 AM
It's not just snakes to look out for, with the Clinch releases this week so strong, I made a quick trip Tuesday night to one of my Smokey mountian after work holes to get a fix. On the way back I turned into Metcalf near dusk to take advantage of the bathroom facilities. I was talking to a gentleman and his wife about his fishing day when he said " Is that a coyote?". Not more than 20 yards from us working between the picnic tables like a bird dog on point was a good sized coyote about the size of a small thin german shepherd. Seeing one that close and not caring about us at all was kind of startling, he never looked at us and could have cared less. There wa a family in the next parking area so gave them a heads up and headed home. So now add coyotes to the snake, bear, falling limbs, too fast water, and crazy tourists list!

TylerG10
06-13-2013, 12:34 PM
So now add coyotes to the snake, bear, falling limbs, too fast water, and crazy tourists list!

Does a fox count? I was fishing down by the church a few weeks ago and probably an hour before dark I heard a few Mallards start splashing around and quacking really loud so I looked over and there was a big orange fox that was coming down the side of the bank right toward them. I pulled my phone out thinking I was about to see something worth getting on video and the fox went behind a fallen tree and never came back out. There must have been a den behind it.

waterwolf
06-13-2013, 03:36 PM
Being afraid of coyotes is a little over the top. There is almost no critters in the east which pose a threat to a reasonably intelligent person who doesn't do idiotic things

bigsur
06-13-2013, 04:00 PM
Unless your four years old, from Ohio and holding a Bojangles chicken leg at a picnic table!:biggrin:

TylerG10
06-13-2013, 06:31 PM
Being afraid of coyotes is a little over the top. There is almost no critters in the east which pose a threat to a reasonably intelligent person who doesn't do idiotic things

However, if it is a Wolf, be very afraid! :biggrin:

Crockett
06-13-2013, 09:01 PM
Here is a good coyote story that happened to me at night in Cades Cove a few years back. Imagine being surrounded by what sounded like a hundred Coyotes closing in on you at once and you will get the picture ;)

http://gosmokies.knoxnews.com/forum/topics/1060157:Topic:22494

Of course these circumstances don't normally happen and coyotes don't normally scare me except for this once.

waterwolf
06-13-2013, 09:46 PM
I've been coming out of south Alabama swamp after dark when they get cranked up all around you in the dark. So close you can hear them in the leaves. First time is a little unsettling but after a second you realize there is no danger and having a high powered rifle helps ease the tension as well

Streamhound
06-14-2013, 11:43 AM
I imagine having a high power rifle soothes most wildlife tensions

waterwolf
06-14-2013, 12:08 PM
I imagine having a high power rifle soothes most wildlife tensions

For sure, but even without the rifle after being around all our critters for most of my life there is nothing to worry about. I'd worry more about getting sprayed by a skunk than any of the predators. And take every single predator over a run in with yellow jackets or bald faced hornets.

On snakes, when I lived in Alabama we would wade rivers for bass and the cottonmouths were numerous. It wasn't uncommon to see a dozen or more in a day. It gets unnerving late in the day when visibility goes down, but luckily none of us ever got bit. I respect the venomous snakes in the south, but am not afraid of them. I give them their space and watch where I put vulnerable body parts while out and about

Streamhound
06-14-2013, 12:17 PM
hit a ground hornet nest one time mowing the back yard. another reason to dislike lawn care.

I give the snakes a wide birth when fishing since they can be plentiful around my lakes in KY

dwardmba
06-15-2013, 07:28 AM
As a casual observer / listener I have noted a few trends:

1) Snake sightings = good fishing / good hunting. Seems like whenever someone spills the beans in a public manner someone else always says "oh but my oh my there are a whole lot of snakes, copperheads and rattlers in there - fierce ones too that are not scared of people". I now write off locations if I can't locate at least one anecdote about the copperheads in the area.

2) Every snake in East TN is a copperhead.

3) Copperheads have an amazing ability to carry hoses & rope and have a propensity to leave them behind as evidence of their passing. This observation is based on five years as a homeowner's association president in a very urban neighborhood that has what I believe to be the highest density of copperheads in the world... And excellent fishing in two small lakes.

Bonus:

Urban coyotes sightings associated with recent departures of neighborhood cats / dogs are usually made by the wife of the neighbor who was recently complaining the most about the missing cat / dog bothering their garden, bird feeder, garbage can etc.

Dave

tnflyfisher
06-15-2013, 08:54 PM
Definitely sounds legit... :biggrin:
The fierce copperhead, least poisonous snake in North America.. :rolleyes:


Tight Lines,

Streamhound
06-16-2013, 09:51 AM
Copperheads that's nothing
I am completely unsure but claim the snakes around the lake are either cobras or worse than that hoop snakes :biggrin:

77punk
06-16-2013, 11:32 AM
in greenbriar one day a few years back, i was standing on a rock a few feet from the bank, fishing with a green weenie. yes, i was a noob at the time, and when i got done scaring the crap out of everything in that particular hole, i turned to see a big water snake on the shore where i hoped to exit. i have dealt with these before and know they can have a mean streak. i spent a few minutes trying to gently coax it along with my rod tip, but this only aggravated it into biting my rod. so i decided to use a technique that has served me well in the past when i was stuck on a big rock with copperheads and no other way out. i slapped him across the back with my rod tip. most snakes get the hint and head outta dodge, but this one didn't. instead it had a score to settle with me, and dropped into the water and was coming after me. i simply jumped over it as it got close to my rock, then used a long stick to hurl it into the middle of the river as it was following me back to shore. i hated to do that, as i used to keep several species of snake and reptiles, and have a great respect for all herps. but this thing had an aggression i have never seen before, with the possible exception of blood pythons