View Full Version : Stupi, stupid, stupid... What was I thinking??

Gerry Romer
05-28-2007, 10:55 PM
Woke up yesterday (Sunday) with this strong desire to fish Greenbrier. Probably had something to do with all the positive feedback showing up here on the board. Caught my son online and IM'd him to see if he was up for it. He shoulda said no, but thought yeah, why not... WHY NOT??? It's Memorial Day weekend, that's why not. We have to go through Gatlinburg, that's why not. But he didn't say any of those things and, in fairness, neither did I. So what was I thinking??

We didn't get out of Maryville until about 1:00 and that did not bode well.

Cut thru Wears Cove to Metcalf Bottoms and pulled up behind a Mercury Tracer with Kentucky plates driven by somebody who didn't have a clue how to exit Metcalf. I'm praying he turns right and heads back into Townsend, but, no, he turns on his left turn signal (which is more than I can say for a lot of locals). It's Memorial Day. Metcalf is full up with picnickers and traffic on Little River Rd. is relentless. After about 3 1/2 hours Kentucky decides to venture out for a left hand turn. Yay!! he makes it and I squeal out right behind him. We're on our way to SUGARLANDS!!!

Kentucky is a very cautious driver (understatement). Kentucky feels the need to brake thru every turn between Metcalf and Elkmont. Do you have any idea how many curves there are between Metcalf and Elkmont?? There's a passing zone just past Elkmont and before the Laurel Falls parking extravaganza... yeah... I blew right by him and headed to Sugarlands.

By the time I got through the parking lot at Sugarlands - the road backed up from the stop sign past the parking lot - Kentucky caught up to me. Fortunately (or so I thought at the time) he got in the right lane to head up to Clingman's Dome. We forged ahead into Gatlinburg.

About an hour and fifteen minutes later we were sitting in traffic looking for an exit from the madness! Gatlinburg city council must've been thrilled with the Visitor turn out. we finally hit 321 and headed towards Greenbrier at about 3:30.

Greenbrier was another story entirely. Swimmers. Not tubers, although there were tubes in evidence up and down the stream. These Memorial Day Visitors were really just interested in dipping their bodies into a cool mountain stream. Every bit of their bodies in every **** bit of that stream! I've seen swimmers up pretty high at Tremont and Elkmont, but nothing like what we saw at Greenbrier! There were swimmers all the way up to the top. We got to the Ramsay Cascades trail head and it looked like a K-mart parking lot during a perpetual blue light special! Just barely enough room to turn around and head back down.

Got to a spot just below the last wooden bridge and decided to try and work some of the smaller plunge pools and work away from the road where the stream splits.

Not 5 minutes into some decent water - I was starting to get some solid hits in a few little runs - a young Visitor couple decided to pull off into the trees right where I was fishing and come play in the water with me! Oh joy. Brett was fishing about a hundred yards upstream from me and he quit fishing when he saw the first flash go off.

Here's a couple shots of Greenbrier up high. As you can see, the water there is as bad as on the "peaceful side of the Smokies" -- low.



We talked about trying some lower water, but, honestly there wasn't anything lower that didn't have large live bodies floating in it.

So we headed back over to Elkmont. It's now about 6:30 and we've got absolutely nothing to show for our time on the road/water. And I was really looking forward to another trip through Gatlinburg on Memorial day. (What WAS I thinking anyway?) The one thing I noticed driving thru G'burg that would be cause for concern if I were on the city council or whatever - During BOTH trips thru Gatlinburg I only saw ONE shopping bag. Not a good day for stores although the Tourons were everywhere.

Elkmont just before sundown. Actually, one of my favorite spots just below Elkmont. What do our wondering eyes behold?? swimmers. at my favorite spot. just below Elkmont. bummer. so we blew past them about 300 -400 yards, pulled a u-turn and slammed the Rodeo up into the bank in the middle of a curve (and no Kentucky in sight!). I figured we'd gear up, hike in and fish our way back up to where the Visitors were swimming. By that time the hatches would be on and we'd be coming up from below so we'd have the element of surprise working for us.

Not the best plan, I'll admit, but what would you expect after burning up about a half day trying to find fishable waters at Greenbrier?

Brett lucked into a couple small Browns --


Then, right at darsk - just past dusk but not quite dark - I piked up a couple bows in fast water that fought like there was no tomorrow. Funny how one or two feisty bows kinda make up for a whole lost day in G'burg. Anyway, I brought to hand a couple of bows like this right at darsk...


Then, fittingly, as we were hiking back out to the road I happened across a UVG or Ultimate Visitor Gift.....


In case the detail gets lost in the upload, yes, Daniel... it's a Pamper. I'm guessing it went about 14 ounces... but it was dry in the trees so it didn't have the full weight of the stream behind it...

Lastly, (Yes, I'm trying to cram a lot into one post) my car needed some serious washing. So today was car washing day. Way past due. Remember we've had no rain lately in the park and I've been fishing up the gravel section of Tremont a lot. And then we drove up about 8 miles of gravel road at Greenbrier. My green Rodeo was gray. So, remembering what someone had posted here about pressure washing felt soles, I decide to try it on my felt soles.

Another plus for Korkers!! You know those big clamps on the wall of the car wash bay where you can hang up your floor mats and wash them? They do a real good job of clamping the Korkers soles right at the toe plate. So I pressure washed my Korker soles right up there on wall alongside my car mats and they came out just peachy!! Even lifted the nap back up!

So there you have it. A fishing report on a stream that I don't get to but once every couple of years (I'm thinking that I need to fish Greenbrier in the early Spring or late Fall), a brief but necessary comment on Visitors, and a shameless plug for Korkers boots.

Seriously though... I felt bad for all those folks who came here this weekend thinking they could find peace and quiet and solitude on a mountain stream like Greenbrier. I can think of a couple members of this message board who were planning trips to fish Greenbrier... I hope they did better than I did, or, if not, I hope they come back at a time more favorable to their fishing desires.

Gerry Romer

05-29-2007, 02:13 AM
Thanks for the report...you confirmed what my common sense was telling me - avoid all touristy areas this weekend. When I found out that I would be, unexpectedly, getting Memorial Day off, I thought about hopping in the car and driving up - I'm glad I didn't. I'll be up the weekend after next - hopefully, there will be some rain by then, and a few less swimmers.

05-29-2007, 07:47 AM

Greenbriar is only fishable from Ramsay Cascade Trailhead upstream, in the months from May until October. I have fished it during weekdays lower but I can't gurantee solitude.

David Knapp
05-29-2007, 08:22 AM
At least you caught fish... I get behind those slllooooowwwww tourists fairly often. Last time I was up there for example...:mad: All the crowds have me hiking further and further it seems.:biggrin: Now that's how you find solitude...

05-29-2007, 09:07 AM
I've only fished Greenbriar once - back in February. Even then, it was packed with hikers; the only thing missing was the swimmers. I can imagine what a mob scene it was.

05-29-2007, 10:23 AM
Gerry Nice Post, Graet Pic's

05-29-2007, 11:25 AM
Sir, I believe you had the misfortune of picking up my wasted time/fishless/skunk-i-fied GSMNP fishing trip luck. It must have all floated over to the TN side of the park and you probably ran right through it just before getting behind ole Kentucky. Because as much as I hate to say it, seeing as how your trip was not the best - because you somehow absorbed my bad luck that I've had since early March, I had one of the best days of my life in the park, on a stream that's known, but not fished much....and upstream of the road where there is no trail. The guy an hour behind us had a somewhat lesser experience I'm srue - his face looked plum disgusted when we met him coming back to the car, wading down the creek we'd just spent 4 hours fishing. We told him where we'd stopped though and it wasn't far from whre he was.
Anyway, we caught fish in every pool. all three species in the same crek( although only one brown), saw no one until we were headed back, and rescued a bootless hiker on the way out!
Then, we spent the next two days in a wilderness area, caught fish until we were tired of catching them( well, not my crazy buddy who can fish 24 hrs straight, but he shoulda been tired of catching 'em!) and had no mishaps like last year( where we spent a night in the woods without meaning to and i really came close to being in trouble with dehydration - long story).

Anyway, I hate that you had such a bad time, but from the sound of it - you must have taken my bad fishing trip ju-ju with you, and I thank you for it, even though I'm sure yua didn't mean to aquire it! I owe ya lunch somewhere and the beverage of your choice - and I mean it!

05-29-2007, 06:26 PM
;) Nice pics Gerry. Sorry about the diaper, I ment to take it with me.;)

Fishlicker..........Owl is that you?

05-29-2007, 09:26 PM
is it just me, or are those yellow sallies crawling all over that diaper?

05-29-2007, 10:36 PM
Gerry I ran into that same diaper last week. I could bring myself to pick it up.
Was in there Sat pm with a great hatch, caught one nice Brown. Went down the river not the trail so I missed the pamper this time.

05-30-2007, 04:04 PM
Fishlicker/Owl/good-for-nuthin trout bum.....yep, that's me.

Your avatar sure does look familiar. Be ye friend or foe? The latter of which may be the more likely, but the least desirable! :)