View Full Version : What lengths will you go for fishing?

02-06-2007, 10:24 AM
Hello all! I was looking at a map yesterday of the south holston area because i'm thinking of going there this weekend and realized how close i was to the area as well as the cherokee national forest. I found myself saying, "It's only 3 hours away, I can definitely do that in a day." Then i realized just how far i would go to chase a good trout stream. I'm about 4 hours away from townsend and LRO, a little over 3 hours from the NC side of the smokies and i wouldn't think twice about trying to do that trip in a day. However, it's also 4 hours to go to the beach, and there is no way in hades i would do that trip in a day, it would at least have to be a two night trip! I've never even thought about the south holston and cherokee national forest being so close, i guess i just figured it was farther away than that and never investigated it, but i think now i've opened up a whole new can o' worms and tons of new trout streams on my list to visit! It's exciting to say the least!

I thought that this was interesting and was wondering if anyone else has found that they would go to great lengths to do something fishing related that they normally wouldn't do if it had to do with anything else.


02-06-2007, 10:43 AM
Ah Grasshopper, you are well on your journey to bliss. I personally can't wait for the day that I-66 is completed so I can have a straight shot to the Virginia foothills that would cut that trip in half for me. I currently drive about three hours every weekend or every other weekend to fish the Smokies or in NC. While on business, I will often detour of I-40 and fish in western, NC. When I first got my drivers license at age 16, my parents allowed me to drive to Maggie Valley and Cherokee for the spring trout season (unaccompanied too, how many parents now would allow that to happen). That was 30 years ago and I haven't stopped yet.

02-06-2007, 10:49 AM
I have made more than one 13 hour drive to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan just for a day and a half of Brook trout fishing. There is not much else I would willingly make that kind of a drive for just a day and a half.

A couple years back I drove to Michigan for eight consecutive Saturdays just to steehead fish for the day. It was about seven hours round trip but gas prices have put an end to that much driving.

gary <*))))><

David Knapp
02-06-2007, 10:49 AM
My limit is around 4 hours each way and I've only done that once or twice. This is if there isn't anything closer though. I have enough water to pick from that I usually don't drive more than a couple of hours on day trips...

02-06-2007, 11:18 AM
I live close to the Smokies so I don't drive very far for fishing. Bird hunting is another story though. I've driven 4 hours one way for bird hunting in middle tn about a dozen times this year. I usually have someone with me to help with the drive. We get up at 3 AM, leave by 4am drive like **** to get on a field at sun up then hunt until dark and drive back home. I've done it by myself a few times but I got pretty sleepy 3 hours into the return trip and let my dog get in the cab of the truck with me tokeep me awake. The only problem with that was that after about 15 minutes he was curled up in the passenger seat asleep.

Rog 1
02-06-2007, 11:22 AM
The magic of youth....while in college and for a short time after there was actually a closed season in the Park.....there was no fishing allowed from September 15 thru April 15.....on many occasion I would drive all night from Florida (about 500 miles) to be on the water that first magical day....would fish all that day and half the next and drive back home....part of the fun was that you never knew what to expect ....one year it would be ice on the line and the next you would be in short sleeves with all the wild flowers blooming...something like that would probably kill me now but about this time of year those thoughts still return....

02-06-2007, 11:44 AM
I live in knoxville, so townsend is not too far away, but as long as I don't have to be back at a certain time, i'll take the 2 hour drive over to bryson city, NC no problem to fish deep creek. what's funny is that I don't consider it to be very far away, but I've taken people over there before (non fly fisherman) and they can't believe I drive that far just to catch a fish. then I usually think to myself, " wow, that is pretty far." I got my best friend into fly fishing a little a couple years ago. I said "let's go over to deep creek" "where is it?" he said. "up in the smokies" So he tells his wife he's going up to the mountains for a little while to fish with me. "ok" she said. well we fished all day, ate at a restaurant in cherokee. what time did we get back? after midnight. she hasn't let him go fishing with me since. also, while abrams is not that far away, having to drive on the loop, it takes FOREVER. about the same 2 hours. but the drive is always enjoyable. if money were of no consideration for me, I'd travel some where alot farther probably every other weekend. I've only been fly fishing for a few years, so I'm still exploring all that's around here. but like mtnman2888, I too have recently thought about how many streams are within a weekend trip of here. heck, I'm not even too far away from saltwater. I've heard, and maybe someone can back this up, that in europe you can fly from country to country for under $50. if it were that way here, I'd be all over the map.

02-06-2007, 11:49 AM
Don't know about flying for $50 but I do know that you can get a Eurail pass to take the trains to any country for about that price.

02-06-2007, 12:19 PM
Pre kids-no limit!

Post kids- about 3-4 hours each way? When my son gets old enough to hang with me I'll be back to no limit!

02-06-2007, 01:34 PM
I will drive to gsmnp about 3-1/2 hours. perfer to make a overnight trip. kytroutman, my parents would let me go backcountry in the wv mountians with just another friend when we were 13 or 14. Someone would drop us off at the Cranberry backcountry and pick us up in 3 days. Had a great time. But I would have to think real hard to let my son do that. Even 30 plus years ago we ran into some horse people that invited us for dinner. One advantage of horses is you can bring coolers in. Needless to say we were lucky that in our condition after the dinner that we didn't get last or ate by a bear. But boy were the ramps good with beer. I don't remeber much other than losing the trail and waking up the next morning on a fireroad somewhere. So lesson learned for some people 13-16 is to young for a solo trip. ;D

02-06-2007, 01:36 PM
Great responses! For a one day trip, 4 hours is the absolute max for me, but i will do it and won't think twice about it. I have options that are closer to me than the smokies, but there's something almost magical about it and i will bypass many other trout streams to go to the smokies alot of times. I haven't been as much as i would have liked but hopefully that will change this year. I live just north of charlotte, so it's a pretty good haul to any trout stream, i think the closest is at least an hour and a half. I'm still young, though, and i can guarantee that i will make those long travels in search of great water. If it weren't for the responsibility of work, there would be no limit, but i probably wouldn't have the funds to do such things either.


02-06-2007, 02:44 PM
Ah man, this is a good one!

One Sat back in November I had a basketball tourny game I played in that lasted until noon. I brought all of my fishing gear with me and when the game ended, I jumped in the jeep and drove all the way up to the Chimneys. Basically ran about a mile and a half up the trail. I wasn't even able to fish for 2 hours before it got dark. The next day I was up at 5AM to meet redc4man and do it again.

I get ADD when I start to think about FF. I'm pretty irrational and will do whatever it takes to get out onto the stream.

02-06-2007, 06:53 PM
Sounds just like me, maybe we need to go fishing sometime :)!

It's not only about doing crazy things just to go fishing for me, sometimes it's about buying fishing stuff. I mean i can find any excuse humanly possible to buy anything fishing related no matter if it's $20 or $100's of dollars, there's going to be a reason that i HAVE to get it. On the other hand, trying to get me to go out and eat lunch or anything else like that is about like pulling teeth. Oh well, i guess it's better than other things i could be spending my money on....... I'm buying a house hear soon, and i'll admit to making sure that i have adequate "fishing capital" when it comes to planning out my budget. Is it going to far when you put off buying a house because you won't quite have the money to go fishing as much as you want?????



02-06-2007, 07:41 PM
My wife was talking to some friends after church the other day and she says & I quote..."He grumbles and has to be pushed out of bed in the morning to go to work, but he'll get up at 4:30 in the morning to drive to the Caney and fly fish."
I stood there and thought about that...

Your dad-gum right!!!
I get all flustered when I go to and I buy way too much gas station junk food when I go. I'm so hyped up on sugar and adrenalin (? spell) that it's a wonder I can tie a fly on when I've reached my destination.

I was in Knoxville one time and on a whim, drove up to the Park to fish for about an hour before dark with a cousin.

Then I had to pick my wife up and drive back to Nashville to work the next morning. "All that and you only got one bite?"

I stood there and thought...

Your dad-gum right!!!

I love to drive and fish.

02-06-2007, 08:35 PM
Yeah, to me the drive to fishing is one of the great things about it. I'm so excited that i'm just chock full of energy. Now the drive home is a different story now......

02-06-2007, 08:36 PM
Well, it's a little over 9 hours from my house to Tremont, and I don't mind it at all. Of course, I can't pull that off all the time, but if the job, kids etc allowed for it, I could. I love getting out on the highway, so the distance doesn't bother me.

I know there are opportunities for trout closer to me, but I like the small freestone streams. Of course, I'm living in "Sportsman's Paradise" here, and I love fishing the marshes too...two different types of experiences, both good.

02-06-2007, 09:55 PM
i live 45 mins away from the GSMNP, and 20 from the clinch. So i don't do much travling. I have to great trout waters too close to me to travel

02-06-2007, 10:02 PM
Yeah just go ahead and rub it in why don't you?

I dream every day about being in a situation like you are, just minutes away from great trout water in every direction. Maybe one day.......... Until then, i'll keep driving ridiculous distances to fish and love every minute of it.


Gerry Romer
02-07-2007, 01:38 AM
When I was young and _________________________ (fill in the blank) I used to drive from Columbus, Ohio, to Estes Park, Colorado, about five or six times a year. Not so much for the fishing as for trhe Coors ;D. Mind you, this was long before Coors set up regional breweries and the only way you could get genuine Coors east of the Misissippi was to go and get it yourself and bring it back. A friend had a Triumph TR6 and used to pack some in the car, some in the trunk, and strap a couple cases to the luggage rack!! Got some of the strangest looks on I-70 ::)

This has really been a great thread. It's made me do some serious thinking about how I view my clients and their personal passions. For instance, I have a couple who just live for their trips to Destin. They don't go for anything in particular... just the sun, sand and surf. If they could go every weekend, I'm sure they would. From Maryville that's what? about 9 hours each way? I guess Destin is their Brookie. And I've got tons of clients who plan numerous trip to Myrtle Beach! Those are the ones that both amaze and amuse me :-? :-? I swear, it seems like every June, Myrtle Beach becomes a far-flung suburb of Maryville -- and locally we laughingly refer to Myrtle Beach as "Pigeon Forge by the Sea" ;D.

Meanwhile, I get up every day and look to the East to make sure that "My Mountains" are right where I left them the night before. For years, I just took them for granted. They just sat there, giant humps on the horizon. When we moved here in '84, we couldn't get enough of them. I've got pics of the wife and kids up in Cades Cove back in the day when they would actually travel with us. And I used to get up every Saturday at about 4 am just to be at the gate at dawn so I could avoid the early morning loop road traffic and get an early jump on the Abrams trail, huntin' bows.

Now, years later, I read about all these people driving 4, 6, 9 hours just to fish and enjoy "My Mountains" and I can't believe I've squandered all those years. They are my backyard... and I haven't played in them enough. Well, thanks to LRO and this website, I've taken steps to correct this situation. And Byron, Paula and daniel have happily taken all of my discretionary income in their efforts to assist me ) *;) ;)

Hope to meet some of you long-distance fishers on the stream in my backyard this Spring!!


02-07-2007, 01:59 AM
great post gerry. I too think I take for granted living around here and being so close to the mountains. don't get me wrong, I love these mountains and fish them all the time. I would even go so far as to say that the smokies are part of my identitiy. but when I hear of all these people driving all these distances to come and fish here, it makes me realize that maybe I don't appreciate them the same way those that don't live around here do. haha, myrtle beach. growing up, I took about 80% of our family vacations there. it really was not uncommen to see someone you knew while you were down there either. if you wanted to go really exotic, you'd head for panama city, and if you wanted to be fancy about it, you'd go to destin. last time I went to panama city, a few years ago, it was a totally different place. like pigeon forge on a bottle of jack. if I had a family, I'm not so sure I would take them there anymore.

02-07-2007, 06:41 AM
I think that it's probably natural to take something for granted after having it for awhile, no matter what it is. I know that sometimes i take for granted things in my life, like work for example, and then i realize how lucky i am and what others go through. The smokies, to me, is a place unlike any other that i know of. There are other trout streams closer, much closer, but there is something that draws me to it and makes me want to bypass all those other trout streams.

As we all know, part of the beauty of fly fishing is that it's not about the fish at all. It's about getting out in the wild, getting away from everything, and leaving all your troubles behind in the busy world that it is and going back to the roots. I think that is part of what makes the smokies so special for me. It is such a large area that is basically untouched and if i want to get away, then i can. Every other person that i meet in the park and LRO is friendly because it seems that, like me, they just want to get away and go to the most gorgeous place on earth and share some time with mother nature and all the wonders that you can find in the smoky mountains. To me, that's the reason that waking up and 3:00 am and driving 4 hours to go stand out in the freezing cold (or soaking rain or blazing heat, fill in your own adjective) is all worth it and i wouldn't think twice about doing it!


02-07-2007, 10:00 PM
Good evening to whom ever is reading this in cyber space. I live close to Wellston Oh. I start my travels in April to the cranberry out of Richwood WVA. Theres still a few unpublished native brookie streams I try to visit a handful of times till november. Driving non stop 3.5 hours one way. I can not discribe the enjoyment of releasing a 10" brookie back into the wild ( after a picture ) Only sad part the one day trip went from $20 to $80. So I save my lunch money. I must say I made it to the smokys in 2006 for the first time actualy 3 times last year there is so much territory to explore. Perfect with a 7' 3wt only problem 6hours to the bass pro shop on the interstate

02-07-2007, 11:31 PM
There is definitely something about the mountains...while my dad's side of the family has been in New Orleans since circa 1845, I was born in D.C., and lived in northern Virginia until I was 9. We used to go to the mountains all the time, since it was so close. The sight of the Blue Ridge rising above the Piedmont is simply beyond words. So, I appreciate the setting, as it is entirely different from here.

Of course, I've brought people from out of town down into the marshes, and they're amazed at all the water, grass, etc...the maze of bayous, cuts, duck ponds, lakes and bays. So, I guess the perception is shaped by your surroundings. If I lived up in the Smokies, chances are I would start taking them for granted; that's just human nature.

Bottom line...I love trout fishing in these small freestone streams...it's well worth the drive.