View Full Version : Church II: The Glory Hole

Gerry Romer
08-27-2007, 11:09 PM
Somehow that just seemed an appropriate title.

I'm not sure how I'm gonna work this. I can only post 8 pics per post and I've got I've 54 pics..... hmmmm. I ain't stayin' up all night. I think I'll take a zip drive to Byron and let him decide how many more, if any pics he wants.

For tonight, let's start with the Glory Hole. In the first pic, I was standing on the rock that forms the western edge of the glory hole, looking upstream toward the bridge.


For those who need a refresher, the Glory Hole is (was) a deep pool locate to the right of the second bridge going up Tremont. At the first bridge, the stream passes under the road and comes out on the right hand side. Just before it passes back under the road, it forms a large pool with a structure in the bottom. I now present, The Glory Hole 8/26/07:


I'm guessing that the Glory Hole at normal flow is probably about 6' to 7' at it's deepest center. On Sunday it might have been 4' at it's deepest. I stood on the main rock watching the fish on the bottom struggling. There may have been a 20" brown in this hole at one time, but the biggest fish I saw was about 8". Here's a view of the rock I was standing on and the "pool" from the bridge over the stream...


And a view looking upstream of the bridge...


Of course a visit to the Glory Hole wouldn't be complete without a pic of the ever-present tubers.


Back downstream at the first bridge, I snapped a few pics of rocks that may not look all that familiar at first. The first is a wide shot of the deep pool under the first bridge. The last time I fished this hole this past Spring, I had to wade around the backside of the support column on the right since that was the only spot where I had confidence of my footing. Seeing it now, I know I could walk right around either side of it.


Here's the pool under the bridge, followed by a view upstream from under the bridge.



I think that's my 8 pic limit so I'll have to pick this up in another post.


Gerry Romer
08-27-2007, 11:40 PM
Picking up where I left off...

Here's a shot of what's left of the first decent pool above (upstream of) the first bridge. The first time I fished this pool a few years ago, it was a late spring evening and I happened upon a Canada goose on a nest on a little island in the middle of the stream. That little island is the brushy growth area just left of center in the pic.

Heading back upstream, at the Glory Hole there's a measuring stick planted n the shoreline opposite the rock I was standing on. I decided to get a few closeups of what I assume must be a flood stage marker. I think it measures inches above maximum stream flow. I could be wrong, but that's what it looks like. Byron, help me out here...


Next in line, the start of the gravel road at the institute. This became a favorite spot of mine this year. The roadside channel in the pic below once yielded 6 good size bows in about 15 minutes. Right now it could barely yield a flow...


The scary skinny water at Spruce Flats freaked me out. This used to be very difficult wading year 'round... strong flow and large underwater structure. Without the water it just became a matter of walking across the structure. Here's a view across the stream looking towards Spruce Flats Falls.

Here's a view upstream at Spruce Flats.


And, of course, Spruce Flats Tubers.


That's another 8...

Gerry Romer

David Knapp
08-27-2007, 11:49 PM
Thanks for the pictures... Its hard to realize how bad it is until seeing pictures like this. That is really depressing I must say...:frown:

08-28-2007, 12:35 AM
I couldn't agree more with Plateau Angler, that is truly depressing. Hearing Byron and my folks talk about the drought is one thing, to see that water that I used to be so familiar with is another. Thanks for the photos, they are very sobering but help those of us that are not there to appreciate the magnitude of the situation.


Paula Begley
08-28-2007, 07:39 AM
Thanks for posting, Gerry.

That is just so hard to look at...words fail me.


08-28-2007, 07:46 AM
Ditto Drew, thanks for the pictures Gerry, I don't know if it will be record book proportion but it brings home how bad it is. We are seeing the lake beds now, here in Bugg's Island, and last time that happened was around '98. The springs are drying up, the creeks are standing still, and the rivers are just remnants of what they were 6 months ago.
I was wondering with Gerry mentioning the large Brown and the Glory Hole, is anyone seeing many fish kills? We stayed in Gatlinburg last week and the stocked fish down there were washing up more than usual. I know it's usually one here or there but there were a good number of fish washed up in a relatively short stretch of river. I was assuming they just couldn't adapt fast enough to the temp. and low oxygen levels.

08-28-2007, 07:59 AM
The really bad thing is, it's bad in that section of the park all the way to the top; I took a look at Walker Camp Prong on Sunday, and it looked just like those pictures. Again, the contrast with the streams on the North Carolina side was striking. I'm going to research the weather patterns in the park - there's definitely something to this.

Also, I was reading an analysis of the drought on the Huntsville station of NWS; this drought started in 2005, and some locations there are as much as 50 inches below normal for the three year period - that means it will take a few years of above average rainfall to recharge the aquifers. Now, I don't think it will take that long for the mountains to catch up, as the aquifers there are far shallower than the limestone beds of north Alabama, but the point is the soils are very dry, and will need a good soaking before the water can seep down lower where it needs to.

08-28-2007, 11:54 AM
That hurts to see it so low and still.
This past spring I cuaght a 14 rainbow there on a quill gordon.
I am very concerned about the fish that are having to make it in these difficult conditions.

Great pictures and info.