View Full Version : Somewhere between a Nice Day and an Epic Day...

Gerry Romer
05-20-2007, 12:45 AM
When I started off today I didn't have any particular premonitions... I just thought I'd kinda let things roll and settle where they will. You just never know what kind of day your gonna have when you do that and I think that just adds to the excitement... the anticipation.

Started the day driving all over Blount County car shopping with my youngest daughter. Bummer. She's driving a perfectly good '97 Jeep Cherokee that's only got 127,000 on it! But she wants one of those cute little Toyota Yaris things, or Mazda M3, or a Volkswagen Golf... I keep saying why make payments when the Jeep is free? and she keeps trying to come up with reasons (none of which hold any water). Speaking of water....

So after looking at cars and looking at new digs for rent - oh goodie, I get to move again for the third time in 18 months when previously we lived at the same place for about 16 years... I can't wait... Oh yeah, I went fishing.

Actually I headed to Metcalf Bottoms first, to check in on the first annual LROMBMCO and meet some of the members. Good job Budman!!! I hereby nominate you to head up the second annual LROMBMCO - after all you've got experience. After the meet and greet, I was just standing around waiting for the starter's pistol to sound the start of the LROMBMCO fishing tournament when I saw Hans sneak off to try and get a head start! I jumped in my Rodeo and headed out but I couldn't catch him. I tell you that Hans is one smart cookie - and tricky! Hans was one of only about 3 LROMBM's to park on the EXIT side of the Metcalf Bottoms parking lot loop. The rest of us suckers parked on the INBOUND side and had to go all the way around the lower picnic area to get out, so Hans had a heck of a head start to the best holes! So I haul out with somebody from Ohio hot on my tail but I figure I've got 'em all outsmarted anyway.

Last year, while fishing above Metcalf, I got Ranger-checked for the first and only time in the last 23 years in the park. While talking to the ranger, he mentioned that there were some really good holes below Metcalf and above The Sinks that held some really nice browns. So today, instead of taking my normal route thru Wears Cove to Mectalf, I decided to take Little River Road the whole way in and cherry-pick some holes to hit after stopping at the LROMBMCO. That's when I just knew it was gonna be a fantastic day on the water - I saw my first tubers of the season! I even spotted a beached whale just below The Sinks. I found good spot not too far south of Metcalf and began to formulate a plan.

There's a pull-off there, high above the stream that's just big enough for one and a half vehicles. Since I was just letting fate roll on, I thought I'd just park in the middle of the space to block out any competition, scramble down the bank, gear up, and go for the Smoky Mountain Visitor's Slam! I got to the turnout, no one had beat me to it, the race was on!!

It didn't take long. I was wading across the stream by about 6:45 and had about an hour before the hatches really came on. I stopped mid-stream just to watch the sudden rise of what looked to me like big ole March browns out of a pocket just below a medium sized boulder. Big, fat, juicy bugs - but no takers. I threw a Quill Gordon wet thru the pocket and let it drift bu no luck so I forged on. Once on the other side of the stream everything changed for the better. I told you there was a reason I wade across. And it's not just because I'm right-handed.

Once on the opposite side, I hiked downstream a couple hundred yards in preparation for fishing my way back upstream - I should say "CATCHING" my way upstream, 'cause I'm telling you that's when things really started to heat up and I WAS CATCHING! Using every bit of stealth and sneakiness I could muster, I crawled up to the edge of the stream. I was using my 8' TFO 4wt with the 6wt pocket water line and I had on my Blue Sky furled leader with about 3' of Frog Hair 6x tippet. I tied on size 14 Light Cahill with a BHPT dropped off the bend of the hook about 18" back. Second cast to a likely hole and WHAM!!! Sucker fought me like a real SOB but after about 20 minutes I had him to hand... At first I thought it was the rare all black natural, but on close inspection when I flipped it over, I was proved wrong. Nevertheless, I had my FIRST TUBE OF THE SEASON!!!!


To beat it all, he took the nymph!!

That's when I decided to roll the dice and go for the SMVS -- the Smoky Mountain Visitor's Slam... Crawling backwards down the shore of the same pool I found another likely spot and switched to a size 14 Quill Gordon with a small stone dropper. It took a little bit more work that the tube had, but soon enough I had my hands full with an equally rare, Right-footed, spotted, black Flip Flop!! Yeeeeehawwww!! The fight's not as good as a tube, I'll admit, but when they skip across the water it is truly a sight to behold. And to beat it all, he took the dry - note the dry in the bottom right corner about where your little piggy would be.


So I had tube, and a flip flop and all I needed to complete the Smoky Mountain Visitor's Slam out of the same pool on the same day was the elusive TUBE SOCK.

I had see one near the head of the pool as I was wading across earlier but I figured I'd spooked him and he'd gone to bottom so I started scoping out the bottom near the tail of the pool and - be still my beating heart - there in a fairly shallow channel lay a pair of 'em. Hot ****! You hardly ever spot a pair of 'em this early in the season but this was truly my day. I quickly cut off my dry and went straight nymph (and y'all know how much I hate nymphin'). I tied on a size 10 Hellgrammite and went for it. I knew I only had one or maybe two good drifts cause these guys spook so easily. And these guys were HUGE! They had to be at least size 10-12 over-the calf 18 inchers with 3 bright blue stripes each. No takers on the first drift so I risked a second... no takers. I gutted it out and risked a third drift thinking the water might just be moving fast enough and the light might be just low enough to pull it off. The third drift was the ticket! WHAM once again. And we're off!! You know how tube socks will make a run for the nearest boulder in a channel and try and wrap you around it to break you off?? Well I though I had outwitted him by getting neatly above the nearest boulder so I could bulldog him out and away. That sucker spun me around and made a break for the shallow riffle. I couldn't believe it... he broke me off going the opposite direction in fast water! Who'd a thunk it??

I then took a real risk. I thought that maybe enough time had elapsed since I had waded across the stream, so I decided to crawl back up to the head of the pool and go for that big guy I spotted on my way in. I switched to a size 12 BHPT and cast into the fast water and just kinda high-sticked my way down the channel which was really weird since I was laying on my back... Anyway, second cast and we were on! This guy had some real fight in him. He ran me back and forth across the channel until I finally turned his head, dropped my rod down to sidearm him and brought him to hand. Imagine my crushing disappointment then when I dropped my net and came up with this...


Yes, Hans, I packed it all out with me. As I hiked my way back to the car I kept imagining the conversations in all those cars passing me on the road as I'm luggin all my gear plus a tube and a flip flop... Man, those stupid FF'ers will do anything to get to their secret honey holes... OMG! Now they're floating to their holes!... Is he coming or hiking back up for another ride???... I didn't know you could fish WHILE YOU TUBE... COOL!

Oh, and yes, Byron, I threw them in your dumpster on my way back thru Townsend. Just Kidding. I brought them all the way to my dumpster here at Olympia. After all, if you're gonna go for the Smoky Mountain Visitors Slam, you've got to play by the rules: THIS SPORT IS NOT CATCH AND RELEASE

Gerry Romer

David Knapp
05-20-2007, 12:59 AM
Too funny, you had me rolling! Awesome report!!!!

05-20-2007, 01:03 AM
I nominate that for one of the best posts I've ever read. Hilarious! I'm almost in tears from laughing. I can't believe you actually caught a tube, and a flip flop! at least you packed it out. I'd have probably dropped it on the river rat's doorstep. gerry, I didn't see you at the cookout. but really, I didn't get a chance to talk with very many people. I had my head buried in a plate of food, and when I looked up, everyone was gone.

05-20-2007, 08:05 AM
Fantastic report Gerry.... Nice fish too!

05-20-2007, 09:05 AM

In all honesty, I'm not smart enough to realize what I did. I ended up parking on that side of the pavillion due to being there early and the other side had a bunch of cars parked there. It worked out great though. BTW, I'm not sure that flip flop meets the size regulations in the park. http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/images/icons/icon7.gif

It was nice meeting you and I hope we can all do it again some time.

Paula Begley
05-20-2007, 10:53 AM
OH MY!!!!! HAHAHAHA!!!!! THE TEARS! That is the funniest thing I have read in a long time!

Great post, Gerry!


Gerry Romer
05-20-2007, 12:14 PM
Hans -

I did measure him at a legal size 10-11 Men's, although I truly cannot picture a man wearing a white spotted black flip flop. I'm thinkin' it must've been a very large Smoky Mountain Visitor of the female persuasion... after all they're not that uncommon in the Park this time of year and I had spotted that beached whale earlier on my drive in...


05-20-2007, 12:44 PM
You should get that mounted. Those white spotted species are rarely seen this time of year. Great story and picts Gerry, I don't think I got around to meeting you yesterday, I think after filling up with BBQ everyone was in a hurry to stake out some real estate for the evening hatches as redc4man put it........Troutman

05-20-2007, 02:15 PM
I guess real estate is not my business... I went to Milsap and didn't have much luck. I came back to Maetcalf to find Trevor and caught a nice Brown though. It was good to see everyone. I'm starting to have a little interest in the smallies thanks to Troutman. I'll give it a go sometime soon.


05-20-2007, 09:42 PM
Excellent post Gerry.

I loved every moment of it. Thanks for the laugh!

05-20-2007, 10:22 PM
At least you didn't catch a body! That would give a new meaning to "tuber alert"!!!


05-20-2007, 10:29 PM
Your thread really cracked me up---That is why Sunday nights are great on the forum...

05-21-2007, 10:38 AM
I ran into the elusive dirty dipper, but it was land bound so I guess it would not count for a slam. Does it count if the items for the slam are not in the water?
Soory Hans could figure out how to pick it up to take out of the park untill I was in Maryville. Da. I had forcepts.

05-21-2007, 06:25 PM

I won't hold it against you I wouldn't wanna' pick it up either. HA HA.