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duckypaddler
08-17-2013, 08:10 PM
Got my fourth Pentax Optio in the mail this week. The six years I got from the first one, was better than the few months with the last one. Hopefully I can hold onto this one and it will last a while.

If you listened to the weatherman you would be stuck at home most days so I ventured out with Steve Darnell to chase some Brookies despite the prediction of afternoon storms. Steve's knee has been recovering well, and we finally put it to the test today. Hope he's still well tomorrow.

At the trailhead we found another couple who forgot something in car, and came back just in time to get some fly selection advice from us as they were fishing also. They were from Nashville and had both had a lousy day on the Greenbrier the day before. Apparently like many many people before them that Lower water just looked too good. There car was gone when we got back to the trailhead, and since they were fishing even deeper I wondered if they ever made it to the stream.

We hiked in and took full advantage of my off-trail short-cut that saved us .3 miles and some elevation through pretty open woods. We hiked down to the stream, and after 2 misses of other fish snagged this guy

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/005_zps42c18682.jpg

The scenery

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/007_zps965aa22f.jpg

Pretty soon I was into these guys

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/008_zps08e15867.jpg

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/011_zps1e41e3c1.jpg

Steve was reeling them in too

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/013_zps45257a38.jpg

Then I landed my Monster Brookie of the day. And if that wasn't good enough, he was a fin clipped Brookie, the first one I can ever remember catching. I remember seeing the samples in the fisheries fridge at the February water samples, and apparently this is one of the guys they caught. While I'm used to seeing fins rubbed off in hatchery fish, it seems rare in the Smokies.

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/018_zps56379139.jpg

And the centerfold

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/019_zps94459ff1.jpg

Unfortunately with the Brookies I was catching way too many of these guys

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/023_zpsa07aa8c0.jpg

If this isn't enough to satisify, you may just be asking for too much

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/026_zps8146c5bc.jpg

After Steve's first cast, I couldn't resist, and stole a fish from his hole. Bad Duckypaddler:mad:

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/028_zps6e4c2bc0.jpg

Will Continue

duckypaddler
08-17-2013, 08:18 PM
Steve landed this sweet Brookie

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/030_zps407c0423.jpg

I was still collecting dinner

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/033_zps2c6cacae.jpg

Pretty Polypore. Say that 3 times really fast

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/040_zpsef2021bb.jpg

Home sweet Home! I love me some Smokies

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/042_zps2632c62b.jpg

I was wondering if I had been transported to a rainbow stream for a few minutes

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/043_zps92f97953.jpg

Mushrooms ready for football season

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/044_zps34559838.jpg

The rainbows were out in force today:mad:. Luckily my boys are hungry:biggrin:

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/045_zps292db24f.jpg

Finally a Brookie

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/048_zps3aa27dfa.jpg

Steve working a nice pool that I didn't steal

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/051_zpsfc9a0b91.jpg

Will Continue

duckypaddler
08-17-2013, 08:26 PM
Back to Brookie Land - Phew

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/053_zps22c91b76.jpg

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/055_zps6b805d19.jpg

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/056_zpsca5d57b8.jpg

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/061_zps4cd7bdc3.jpg

49

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/065_zpsbd9b40c6.jpg

50

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/067_zpscc6f603a.jpg

I was done:biggrin: Steve working another sweet pool before heading home

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/068_zps6fa5dd77.jpg

And some coral mushroom on the way out

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/069_zps39e4069b.jpg

Great day, no rain, great partner in crime, great stream, Great Smokies

GREAT DAY!

And tomorrow nights dinner

http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q548/duckypaddler/Camera%20Number%204/071_zpse8307c5f.jpg

The-Sasquatch
08-17-2013, 09:30 PM
So are you guys cool w/ keepin' and eating the 'bows? Do you feel it helps w/ reestablishing a stronger brookie population?

The reason I ask is because up here we have a few streams designated "Wild Brook Trout Enhancement" areas. Only 5 streams in the state have them. They're no kill on brookies, but normal laws on all other species. I hear that some encourage the taking of the wild brownies in those streams so that they don't push out the brookies. I personally think this is a good idea, but some fly fishermen are severely against the killing of any trout, even if it means helping our native population.

PS-they aren't SO against killing trout that they don't stop pulling hooks through their lips and hanking them out of the water, risking a fish's death. Just sayin.

NDuncan
08-17-2013, 09:55 PM
It's all a matter of personal opinion. The trout in pretty much all streams in the smokies are somewhat over populated. I keep trout, all species and don't feel I am doing anything bad for the stream. That having been said, rainbows in Brookie streams are more likely to be taken by me than the Brookies. However I have been known to eat a pile of specs from time to time...

ChemEAngler
08-17-2013, 10:29 PM
Ducky,

Nice report, and congrats on a phenomenal day!

I have a question for you regarding your Pentax Optio. I used to carry my DSLR with me on the water, and last year my worries got the better of me and I bought an Optio WGII. I find that my results with this thing are very spotty, but I have been trying to shoot with mine in "P" - program mode. As is typically the case with P&S cameras, I have been spoiled by the fast shutter speed of my DSLR, and I find that a majority of my photos come out blurry with this camera. David Knapp once told me that he had his best results just shooting with the camera in either Auto or "Green" mode. Just curious what mode you shoot in.

P.S. One thing I find incredibly frustrating with this camera is that when I get all my settings correct in "P" mode, when I power off the camera it resets all of them to default. So, I have to go through the entire cycle again of setting the WB, Exposure, Metering, & AF Area.

duckypaddler
08-17-2013, 11:09 PM
Ducky,

Nice report, and congrats on a phenomenal day!

I have a question for you regarding your Pentax Optio. I used to carry my DSLR with me on the water, and last year my worries got the better of me and I bought an Optio WGII. I find that my results with this thing are very spotty, but I have been trying to shoot with mine in "P" - program mode. As is typically the case with P&S cameras, I have been spoiled by the fast shutter speed of my DSLR, and I find that a majority of my photos come out blurry with this camera. David Knapp once told me that he had his best results just shooting with the camera in either Auto or "Green" mode. Just curious what mode you shoot in.

P.S. One thing I find incredibly frustrating with this camera is that when I get all my settings correct in "P" mode, when I power off the camera it resets all of them to default. So, I have to go through the entire cycle again of setting the WB, Exposure, Metering, & AF Area.

On my optio under menu - under record Mode setting - under memory you can make camera remember a host of things. Your's may also have this option. I shoot in P mode 90% time. For fish close ups I always change focus mode to flower (macro), auto focus rest of time. Also while you can force faster shutter speeds by quickly pressing all the way down you will have lousy results, but if you press half way down and let it give you focus block you will be golden. if flash bothers pic, I may shoot one without a flash but I have never adjusted WB, Exposure, Metering or AF area (Except on whitewater where I use the snow mode:smile:) I also turn off the digital zoom.

I always am impressed with those willing to carry glass on the river. I for one am way too clumsy. I know I would fall and bust a lens or worse. My latest Optio - $45 shipped - Won't hurt too much WHEN I lose it:smile:

duckypaddler
08-17-2013, 11:22 PM
So are you guys cool w/ keepin' and eating the 'bows? Do you feel it helps w/ reestablishing a stronger brookie population?

In theory that's what I would like to think I am doing:smile: I know taking a dominant rainbow out of a prime lie might leave that space open for a Brookie, or I guess another rainbow could just hone in:eek:

But in reality the park data (lucky for us) says we fisherman have little to no effect on the stream so I am probably just bull sh*ting myself to some extent:redface:

But like Nathan said the streams in the park are overpopulated, and I know it so Taboo in the fly fishing community, and I have even asked our biologists point blank, but you will do no harm taking fish as most won't be able to sustain there size with the low food sources (minus the Browns who eat fish and can live 15+ years). So I don't feel guilty about taking them home. In many parts of country you may have 300 fish per mile where catch and release would be needed but with 3000-4500 fish per mile it's a different story:biggrin:

The-Sasquatch
08-18-2013, 08:18 AM
Gotcha. I've been known to keep a mess of brookies, especially when back packing and camping the back country. I've definitely been known to take wild brownies, especially when they're in our wild brook trout enhancement streams!

I was unaware of the biomass of fish per stream mile down there. That is simply amazing. We have SOME streams with biomass like that (Big Spring in Carlisle, but the food supply is there to sustain MASSIVE size, and Spring Creek in the State College area), but those numbers are unreal for a consistent biomass. Harvesting legal size fish certainly won't have a negative impact! Heck, it may actually help increase the size of fish!

tlshealy
08-18-2013, 10:10 AM
DP Great post, really nice sized fish. I'm glad you finally got your camera, not that we don't enjoy your literary skills, but pictures help more with my Smoky fix!:smile:
Tad

Don Kirk
08-18-2013, 01:21 PM
Ducky,
That camera is a keeper. I am going to look into getting one tomorrow. Lovely, lovely, lovely
dk

2weightfavorite
08-18-2013, 01:41 PM
I am quite opposite of many people. I have no problem keeping brookies and bows, but I have never kept a brown. Browns always have been and always will be my favorite...

Brownie
08-18-2013, 06:25 PM
Looks like a great trip Ducky, congrats and thanks for all the nice photos.

ChemEAngler
08-18-2013, 09:54 PM
On my optio under menu - under record Mode setting - under memory you can make camera remember a host of things. Your's may also have this option.

Ducky,

That was it. Don't know how I missed that in the owner's manual, but that is what I was looking for. Thanks for the advice.

Brownie
08-19-2013, 08:16 AM
On my optio under menu - under record Mode setting - under memory you can make camera remember a host of things. Your's may also have this option. I shoot in P mode 90% time. For fish close ups I always change focus mode to flower (macro), auto focus rest of time. Also while you can force faster shutter speeds by quickly pressing all the way down you will have lousy results, but if you press half way down and let it give you focus block you will be golden. if flash bothers pic, I may shoot one without a flash but I have never adjusted WB, Exposure, Metering or AF area (Except on whitewater where I use the snow mode:smile:) I also turn off the digital zoom.

I always am impressed with those willing to carry glass on the river. I for one am way too clumsy. I know I would fall and bust a lens or worse. My latest Optio - $45 shipped - Won't hurt too much WHEN I lose it:smile:

Where can it be purchased at such a good price Ducky?

Bran
08-19-2013, 11:18 AM
Great post! Really enjoyed those bodacious speck pics!! I'm glad you guys had a good day and got a good meal to boot. I just took out a few that I kept from my last 2 Smokies trips, gonna grill them up tomorrow night for supper.
Sasquatch, I fished that creek in State College a coupel of years ago and several other nearby rivers. It was a little different but good experience. I stopped in the local shop and one of the guys there got in a conversation with me about warm water fishing and ended up giving me a couple of his flies he tied including a nice deer hair bug. Nice folks!

JohnH0802
08-19-2013, 01:32 PM
Great post and pictures, making me wish I was in the mountains. I went a long time where I would take less than 1% of my catch. After doing the research though on the numbers of fish and the size of the fish in the smokies I changed my tune. While I still do not keep many fish, I will normally take 5-6 fish on a 2-3 day trip. I actually think that we as a community have swung the pendulum so far over to the catch and release side of the ledger for our particular fishery. I think that keeping some fish is probably good for the smokies, but I still can't make myself keep many. I might keep 10-12 fish a year. I would keep more....if I could get up there more to fish! ;)

The-Sasquatch
08-19-2013, 04:00 PM
Sasquatch, I fished that creek in State College a coupel of years ago and several other nearby rivers. It was a little different but good experience. I stopped in the local shop and one of the guys there got in a conversation with me about warm water fishing and ended up giving me a couple of his flies he tied including a nice deer hair bug. Nice folks!

See, we have some nice folks north of the Mason Dixon line! I imagine you all don't have many limestone spring creeks down your way? Spring Creek is a dry fly fisherman's paradise in the spring time. It would definitely benefit from some harvesting though. There used to be BIG fish! Now there's a ton of fish, but nothin' big.

AL trout bum
08-20-2013, 01:27 PM
Sweet report! I, for one, am glad you have a camera again. That one fin clipped brookie, man what a specimen!