View Full Version : Is it just me

04-24-2006, 11:10 PM
First the good news. Went fishing at the bridge at the confluence of the west and middle prong today. I got into town late and just wanted to get into the water. It turned out to be a pretty good idea. On my third cast of a bead head nymph I hooked up with a 13 inch 'Bow". Biggest I have ever caught in the Park and my first ever on a nymph. Nothing else for the rest of the afternoon, but I consider that a pretty good day.

Now the bad news. Possibly the reason the fishing went downhill is because of the 4 young men who decided to jump off the bridge. I know there is a big sign saying that is not allowed, but I guess these yahoos can't read. They each jumped 4 times for a total of 16 cannonballs within 25 feet of where I was fishing. Nothing like a little bridge jumping to ruin someones fishing. This is the 3rd time in 3 straight trips where I have had something like this happen to me. Last year it was two people and their dog splashing behind me just down stream from Tremont, and 2 years ago it was a mother throwing her kids in behind me in the LR. You would think 500K+ acres would be big enough to get a little solitude when you are in the river. Maybe I am just old fashioned enough to think that people should show some consideration for others, but maybe that is asking for too much now a days.

Thanks for letting me. Tomorrow I will be moving higher up, maybe that will give me more peace. :-/

04-25-2006, 08:17 AM
This is getting to be more of a problem everywhere. Hiking away from the crowds helps sometimes but I have spent considerable time hiking and still run into people. I guess we just have to learn to live with it in the future. Old fashioned consideration is a matter of education. I have found that the tailwaters are full nowadays with people that want to fish right on top of you. Sad but true. I try not to let these things bother me because if I do they win and my day is ruined.

04-25-2006, 08:33 AM
Have you came across anyone bathing in the stream yet? I have had that happen as well regardless of the signage and regulations.

04-25-2006, 11:53 AM
Thankfully no bathers as of yet. It isn't just a problem here. My wife and I go to Mich. every fall to fish the AuSable and Manistee. Up there it is the canoers. Some are very nice people who raise their paddles and drift silently by with a hello and how's the fishing. Others seem to go out of their way to be loud and intrusive. Talking to some of the regulars up there it seems it is becoming a bigger problem every year. They have the added problem of trash( beer and soda cans/bottles, plastic sandwich bags, chip bags etc.) being thrown out of the canoes by some of the jerks. From my experience in Mich. I would say it isn't totally generational, but it does seem like the younger you are the more likely the less consideration you have for others. And sadly gender doesn't seem to be that much of a factor. I have seen young women who were every bit as inconsiderate as young men. I know I am dating myself here, but women used to be the more civilized of the two sexes, but I am not so sure about that anymore.

04-25-2006, 01:31 PM
Not to be sexist but my only occurrences of bad behavior in the Smokies have been encounters with the females. One was a pair of college age students who had lawn chairs sitting in the middle of the stream to sun who unleashed a verbal barrage of four lettered words when I had the audacity to question it. The second was a lady that threw a Mc*******s bag down next to LR that her kids had just finished off. When I remarked that it was littering, her response was "that's why we have park employees". You are right about dating your age. If I had pulled either response when I was younger, my dad would have made sure I had a cauliflower ear to show for. It is unfortunate that the lack of respect crosses not only genders but also generations.

04-25-2006, 01:38 PM
I feel for ya there, FRW. God tests our patience with different stuff. Boy do I know this in other ways. Personally, I have had only one problem in the park after about 500+ trips. Two flyfishers decided the pool I was fishing on Abrams was big enough for all three of us ::). It did get under my skin a little but I just moved on and kind of chuckled. These buffoons were getting strikes from warpaints but they thought they were trout ;D. If you can get out during the week you will encounter less crowds. That is when I fish the park most, that and in the off season. But, spring is spring, you are bound to have more competition for the resource you are using.

04-26-2006, 09:35 PM
I wish ya woulda told me they were shiners! Guess that's why they were so bony and tasted so bad :).

Just messing with ya...

My biggest problem was at the Y at the Townsend park entrance and the boys who were letting their dogs, a pit bull and boxer run loose. It was fine till the dogs started growling as they began stalking me as though I were intruding on their territory. Yet another great reason for carrying a large industrial strength can of pepper spray.


04-26-2006, 10:23 PM
I think RFowler said it best, it's just "God testing your patience." I'm in no way defending the actions of people that most of us would consider to be rude, but how do you respond to those people? How can you teach them? What can they learn that they can also pass down to others, and ultimately, generationally to their kids, etc? Remember, many of the people visiting the park have never had the opportunity to be in such a great and peaceful place. They don't know how to act. Many bring the city with them. It's our job to help them bring a little country back to their home. That's what it's all about for me. Though it's tough, that's what it should be about for all of us. Trust me, I can get a good bit of road rage driving the cove to Abrams Creek and 100 "touron" cars stop for a groundhog. In retrospect, I realize that I was the one acting like a moron. Please understand, I'm just trying to encourage all of us to take a step back and look at the big picture...and I'm talking mainly to myself. I, for one, would take the bad times anyday over no times at all. Can I get an amen brother?

Also, I'm glad there are postings on here about these situations. Even the thread about stream etiquette between fishermen. It's a great resource for people who have never visited to understand how they should treat others when they come to the GSMNP. Let's keep it coming.

04-26-2006, 10:53 PM
I'm not saying this would help the local economy at all, but I've often thought (usually while searching for a place far enough up stream in which to fish) that the state Legislature should call for an expensive but mandatory 3-week safety course for a license to "tube" inside the park; tubing and lawn chair sitting in the middle of a stream. What is that phenomenon, anyway?

"I've got a lawn chair and a cooler and I know just the stream I'm going to occupy for the weekend"

I say these horrible things "tongue n' cheek," of course, and understand that the park should be enjoyed by all walks of humanity, *but in my own selfish manner, I pretend to justify the tubing license this way: We now pay $46 annually for the priviledge to engage in a harmless outdoor activity called catch and release fishing....So, one license for a harmless outdoor activity deserves another, then again, how much of the park's resources are spent rescuing Fly fishers from the park each year?

Knoxville News Sentinel
By MORGAN SIMMONS, simmonsm@knews.com
July 10, 2005

Bob Miller, spokesman for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, said the park rescues a fair number of tubers a year, and that foot injuries are the most common type.

"Tubing has the potential to take someone from knee-deep water to 20 feet of water in only a few feet," Miller said. "Like any form of water recreation, it comes with its own hazards."

04-27-2006, 09:29 AM
Excellent post GeK. The thought of someone getting angry over a child, or a grown-up for that matter, asking how the fishing is going in a National Park is nuts.

04-27-2006, 11:28 AM
For the most part I ignore the idiots like our cannonball boys. For those that stop to ask how the fishing is going I am polite and converse with them even if it is for way too long(anything over 5 minutes is too long). As for the young boy and his father I would have probably talked to them more hoping that maybe the young man would someday come to enjoy the sport.

I like the idea of a license for tubing and lawn chair sitting ;D. For us out of staters it is $80+ now to enjoy the opportunity to try and outsmart a small brained, aquatic vertebrate, using very expense equipment, tossing out life-like imitation of bugs that someone spends painstaking time to create, hoping one fish out of thousands on that particular day on the particular stretch of water might be interested in one of the many we have at our disposal, and exerting way too much patience and brain power doing all this only to throw him back if we are lucky enough to bring him to hand(For the record I don't even like fish very much and seldom eat it. I have consider hunting but there is no catch and release with quail and pheasant so I stick to trap and skeet.). If you tried to explain what we do down here and on other small streams across the nation to someone from another planet they would probably deduce that there is no intelligent life on earth.

My best story is when my wife and I were fishing the South Toe over by Mt Mitchell back in 1998. We both looked like something out of an Orvis FF catalogue casting drys and nymphs and catching nothing. Then a local pulled up, got out of his truck with his two kids, took out a can of corn(no lie), put a kernel on a hook on the end of a cane pole(not a bamboo rod a cane pole) and gave it to his daughter, she was all of 10, who proceeded to catch one big rainbow after another(I believe she ended up with 5). After watching for awhile we engaged him in converation about his methods. He told us that the fish in the South Toe were all hatchery fish and didn't know beans about flies, but that the corn looked like the pellets they were fed at the hatchery and that is why they went for them. His continued success only reinforced his story. We by the way caught nothing with our expensive gear even though you could see nice size 'Bows" swimming in the river. After that we decided that if we ever fished there again we would buy yellow egg pattern flies(though I guess we could just buy corn).

All that said I enjoy every minute I am on the water, every minute I am at the local fly shop talking about what particular pattern is working on what particular stretch of water, every minute I spend getting in and out of my waders, putting on my vest, tying on the fly du jour etc. In fact I don't even mind a little intelligent conversation on the water from time to time. I only get to do this once a year here and once a year in Michigan so I cherish my time spent on the water. I consider it special.

04-28-2006, 03:34 PM
I certainly didn't want my first post to be about this. *But, I just couldn't keep my mouth shut (fingers still). *Maybe, the tubers and lawn chair sitters outnumber fly fisherman, and we're interfering with their activities. *The park was created as a multi-purpose vacation spot. *Public land is for the use of the public and I don't want someone telling me what I can and cannot do on it, within reason. *I fish and hunt almost exclusivelly on public land. *Not that I don't have access to good private land. *I just choose to hunt and fish on the public land because it is there for my use. *When people quit using it, they will parcel it up, and sell it. *People that do not fish, don't always know what is considerate and what is not, just smile at them and move on.

Maybe I've spent too much time in a bassboat this spring,
however, that's my 2 cents worth wether you wanted to hear it or not.

04-29-2006, 12:37 AM
Buzz saw,

You've obviously never had a jet skier get tangled-up in your Carolina rig :). Also, your post may not have been aimed directly at mine, but my fingers went ahead and returned fire, anyway, just for the purpose of healthy debate

I say these horrible things "tongue n' cheek," of course, and understand that the park should be enjoyed by all walks of humanity...
I wrote that into my previous posting to emphasize humor ;D.
"National Park Status" means no one will ever "parcel it up" ever, for any reason; "National Forest status" denotes less regulations. :D
Unfortunately, Over the last 230 years or so, a great number of state, local and federal officials have already outlined (in detail) what you can and cannot do on public and private land. :-X

Perhaps motorists out-number bicyclist, and the bicyclist are infringing on the motorist's activities. :'(
Much of the the GSMNP is categorized as a Rain Forest and was created as a Nature Preserve.
At least 98.5% of the population has a basic understanding of fishing; its the word, "considerate" they have trouble with. >:(
Yes, this is what I do with my Friday nights ;)

Fish on!

05-01-2006, 09:46 AM

Thanks, for the reply. You were correct that my first post wasn't directed at you. You were also correct that I have never had a jet skier get tangle up in my line. However, I've had my marker bouys stolen by jet skiers, twice, on 2 different lakes. I have no idea what jet skiers would want with them. I'm glad you did the research that I was unwilling to do on my first post. What got to me was the fact that about everyone that posted was complaining about the activities that I have done and probably will continue to do.

Yes, I have:

* tubed in the park

* sat in a chair, in the river, drinking refreshments, listening to Jimmie Buffet, in the park

* jumped off a bridge into the river, in the park

I guess the first step to any addiction is admitting that you have a problem.

To be honest with you, these are the reasons I go to the park anymore. The place is just too darn crowded. If I want to get away from it all and do some solitary fishing, I go to Cherokee (not the stocked sections, unless I'm looking for dinner). I'm sure there are trout at some of the places I've fished that have never seen a fly. The only time I fish in the park is when my girlfriend wants to fly fish in the evening after work.

I guess what irked me with the start of this discussion is that there are 700+ miles of streams in the Park. If each miles has approximately 50 fishable pools. That is 35,000+ places for a person to fish. There are approximately 5 bridges in the park with water deep enough to jump into. That meens that for every 1 bridge worth jumping off, there are 7,000 places for a person to fish. Maybe we should be more considerate to the others using the Park. * NOTE, There was no research to any of the numbers used in this paragraph, they are an estimate off the top of my head, however I consider them to be conservative.

I know that bridge jumping is illegal in the park, but so is speeding, and I haven't seen anyone complain about that on this board. Maybe I will after I post this.

05-01-2006, 08:27 PM
Hey fellas,

I've led him out into the open; now let him have it....a confessed Tuber/ Lawn-chair sitter :)

But seriously folks, I can admit my gripes are of selfish nature; it seems everyone fights over the easiest road-accesible waters; especially during the summer months. I agree with the earlier post that concluded, we just have to "laugh it off" at times.

My "laugh it off" moment came when my wife and I rented a cabin on the Little River, one summer, I tried several mornings to be the first one on the water; thinking if I just got up-early enough, I could get in at least an hour maybe even 2 hours of fishing. After my first attempt I should have stopped trying, but each morning, around 7:00 am (usually by my 7th cast), I'd spy a flourescent orange floater-craft headed in my direction with the occupant always saying something like: " Caught anything yet? Man, I saw some big ones back up there by that rock..."

That guy (and his friends) actually thought they were helping me with a valuable, first-hand fishing report; which I kindly thanked them for, then asked if he'd seen the nest of Copperheads down stream. Kidding... since that trip (long-ago) I've learned to seek out some of the other 700 miles of fishable water and to fish the vehicle-accessible portions of the Little River only when the water is cold; As someone mentioned, summer weekdays usually aren't overly crowded, either...

Fish On!

--<' \ <><><><><><>~

05-02-2006, 09:05 AM
I only get to do this once a year here and once a year in Michigan so I cherish my time spent on the water. I consider it special.

Maybe you should consider a guide next time. I know I would if I only fished a couple of times a year :-/. My take is that you don't know much about East Tennessee. A guide could take you places that you would enjoy and maybe have a little solitude to boot. Come fish in February and see how much competition you have. And another thing, there are LOTS of places to fish in East Tennessee other than the Smokies. I like the Smokies too, but when it's super crowded I avoid it or go places that are hard to get to. Plan you trips here accordingly. That is what a good guide or outfitter does.

I'm sure there are trout at some of the places I've fished that have never seen a fly.

Are you serious? :-? As far as the swimming and lounging in a particular river goes, I say more power to 'em. But courtesy goes both ways. An uncourteous angler would be one that barged in on a group of people swimming and casting a 1/0 wiggle minnow amongst them. Wouldn't ya say? ;)

05-02-2006, 12:33 PM
While I have experienced tubers and swimmers in my favorite fishing places, I'm happy to deal with it in the GSMNP. I most often fish the Davidson in NC. The crowds there seem worse to me than anything I have experienced in the park. I do understand the frustrations with tubers and swimmers b/c I have certainly had them myself on occasion. However, the park to me is actually a bit of a break from what I see in NC. Ultimately, if they mess up some of my fishing for a day it's not the end of the world, I tend to get much more frustrated with food and drink that they leave behind.


05-05-2006, 10:10 AM
For all of our gripes, I found these listed from a list of suggestions submitted to the US Forestry Service. A little humor goes a long way.
Forest Service Feedback
These quotations are actual comments left on Forest Service registration sheets and comment cards by hikers completing wilderness camping trips.

"Escalators would help on steep uphill sections."
"A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call."
"Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness."
"Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands."
"Ban walking sticks in wilderness. Hikers that use walking sticks are more likely to chase animals."
"All the mile markers are missing this year."
"Found a smoldering cigarette left by a horse."
"Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill."
"Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests."
"Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow in the winter."
"Chairlifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them."
"The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals."
"Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at night with flashlights."
"A McDonald's would be nice at the trailhead."
"The places where trails do not exist are not well marked."
"Too many rocks in the mountains."
"Need more signs to keep area pristine."

Brad Weeks
05-05-2006, 10:19 AM
I'll challenge anyone on fishing "intrusions". A couple of years ago, I was in the middle of the Hiwassee at low water when I was stunned to confront the Hovercraft Club of Atlanta. These machines used unmuffled aircraft engines to lift them on a cushion of air. After one almost ran over me, I lost it, and began throwing rocks, thank God I dont carry a gun. I was within a mile of the Powerhouse!! At any rate, the local police, county, state and Fed. met these idiots at the take out. It is illegal to use any type of engine on a scenic river. As I have aged, I find it much easier to simply move on when confonted by these intrusions. A few years ago, if someone was in the water I planned to fish it would ruin my day, now I see it as an opportunity to explore new water. Days on the water are too important to let someone else ruin them.

05-06-2006, 12:44 AM
Maybe you should consider a guide next time. I know I would if I only fished a couple of times a year . My take is that you don't know much about East Tennessee. A guide could take you places that you would enjoy and maybe have a little solitude to boot.

Actually I have been coming to the Park for more than 30 years. The first 20 spent hiking(including a small section of the AT) and camping, and the last 10 spent fishing. I have also spent some wonderful days fishing outside the Park on the Clinch and Holston in TN and the Davidison, North Mill and South Toe in NC. I guess I come to Townsend now because it is close to the water. I can leave my motel room and be on some beautiful water in 15-20 minutes. I know that leaves me open to meeting other people along the river and that is fine, the Park belongs to everybody. It is just the really stupid stuff like kids repeatedly jumping off a bridge 20 feet from me or a mother throwing her kid in the water at my feet that I don't handle too well. I went aways above Tremont a couple of days while I was down this year and had a pretty quiet time.

As for hiring a guide, I suppose a guide could show me some waters I might not normally go to, but my objective is to get away from people and a guide kind of defeats that purpose. I work surrounded by people 5-6 days/wk for 8-10hrs/day, when I come to the Park I really do, to quote a famous actress "want to be alone" So I will continue to make my yearly pilgrimage to the Park each Spring, deal with what come up and ocassionally come on the forum to vent if that is all right.

05-06-2006, 01:06 AM
;DHovercraft club of Atlanta......Thats a got to be the best one i've ever heard.... absolute craziness ;D

wait... uh-oh.... looks like they have some pictures from their Smokey Mtn Cruise? couldn't resist doing a little research :o

TNTROUT: Is this the guy that ran over you?



05-08-2006, 12:57 AM
I must say....That looks pretty darn fun! Reminds me of the old Boy's Life (scouting magazine) advertisments about building your own hovercraft. If I had only seen that picture 13 years ago......

05-08-2006, 01:51 PM
Thanks for starting this thread. Unfortunately, some people find your view on solitude and respect for others to be a foreign concept and they feel the need to criticize. I, for one, share your view on both items and applaud you for taking the time and having the conviction to start this thread. Just as we can't control those who do not allow us the space we would hope for on the stream, we can't control what is posted on this board.

Thanks again,
Rock Hopper

05-08-2006, 09:16 PM
That's funny, man (I say that shaking my head of course.) I think that would be enough to give any of us a coronary thrombosis. You did good by just throwing rocks ;).

Nothing wrong with solitude, mister. Just throwing a few ideas out at ya. I agree that it was very rude of the people you have had trouble with but it's just part of the Smokies. As I understand it, the GSMNP is within 500 miles of half this countries population. Or, one third. A big number of people none-the-less. Winter in the Smokies is my favorite time to fish. A lot less fish but you won't see many people either, you'll probably be free of any splashing kids too. From what I've read, it seems you'd rather have solitude than a high fish count.

and ocassionally come on the forum to vent if that is all right. Sure! As long as we are free to post our opinions as well. My post wasn't meant as a lambaste or anything.

05-15-2006, 11:35 AM
From what I've read, it seems you'd rather have solitude than a high fish count.

RFowler You have hit the nail on the head. I love it when I hook a nice size fish and bring it to hand, but what I really love is the beauty and solitude that comes with going into the mountains for the day and enjoying the scenery, the quiet and the chance to commune with God and nature for awhile.

I have enjoyed and, honestly been surprised, by all the comments that this thread has generated. I am a member of a number of message boards covering subjects as unrelated as trucks, politics and Home Theater equipment and this is one of the nicer ones as far as comments is concerned.