View Full Version : Beautiful Day in Cades Cove!

09-18-2007, 09:50 AM
Finally had a day off yesterday and it was just to beautiful outside not to be in the Smokies drought or no drought. Started the morning down at LRO picking up some of those "invisible" flurocarbon leaders thinking with the low water I would need every advantage I could get. After chatting with Daniel about a new vice, I decided to head up to Abrams creek thinking it had a larger source of spring type water sources and maybe little bit cooler water with better levels and there just always seems to be more bugs up there. Well, the fishing wasn't great but I did manage to catch 10 all together but only 5 were trout. All five where nice fisty rainbows around 10 inch range which I played and released quickly. #16 telico nymph was the order of the day though I did catch 2 later in the evening on a yellow sally. Also, the day turned into what seemed like a wild kingdom episode packed full of turkey, deer, black bears and one spooky grouse. I had just encountered a treed black bear about 10 minutes earlier when I flushed a grouse off the ground which scared me half to death! But all in all it was great day in the outdoors until I was driving out on the loop and ran into the most dangerous hap hazard species on earth- humans! I drove up to find about twenty people completely surrounding a cub taking pictures and the poor thing couldn't even get to a tree. Moma shows up looking very concerned. I tried to end the predicament by honking the ole jeep horn which only scared off moma bear but the cub unable to flee starts digging a hole in the ground. At that point I couldn't take it any longer and got out of my jeep and very sternly gave a few folks an education in what is considered a safe distance and the risk they where taking getting that close and encirciling a young cub. I was walking off when I heard somebody say "one of those d--- liberal enviromental tree hugging punks". Proud of it too Mr. as I drove off I mentioned 2 words whiched seemed to break up the mob, Park Rangers. I know the auto loop is there to get pictures of wildlife and I'm all for that but please use some common sense folks. Any who I hope you guys all get out and catch a few or as I did just have fun trying.

Chad Parker aka: liberal environmentalist tree hugger.

09-18-2007, 10:59 AM
Nobody would ever accuse me of being a liberal tree hugger, but I can assure you I would have done the same thing you did and maybe even been a little more red around the neck than you were. I bet any of the mothers in that crowd would have been quite upset if a group surrounded one of their children and was scaring the child half to death.

Unfortunately, comments about a mama bear protecting her cubs has become nearly a cliche and people just don't realize how incredibly dangerous an angry bear can be. The really sick part is when that mama charged the crowd to protect her cubs, that person who made the comment about you being a tree hugger punk would have most likely been the first one on his cell phone to his lawyer trying to sue the park service and demanding the bear be put down.

I think I know the cub and mama you are talking about. I saw one about half way between Abrams trail pull out and the exit a couple weeks back. Fortunately, that time, she was pretty far off the road and nobody had yet gotten out of their cars to chase her and the cub down.


Brian Griffing
09-18-2007, 03:21 PM
"red around the neck"....
sounds like most of my buddies...

09-18-2007, 09:21 PM
Hey guys don't get me wrong I didn't get beligerent with those folks. However, the plain fact is there was no park ranger around to do the job and it's not like you can call one up on your cell phone out there. I think most of those folks probably did not heed my warning. At least the bear was smart enough to not maul anyone and wind up destroyed later. Being called a liberal tree hugger was definetly a first for me. Never really thought of myself as a liberal anything but evidentaly one person thought my actions qualified me as such.
My mind is back to fishing and I think these guys spending Sept. targeting smallies are probably on right track. I actualy hooked a smallie in lower abrams yesterday on my little 4wt & it felt like it weighed 10 pounds though I'm sure it didn't. Did seem to put up a fun fight though I didn't manage to land the fish.
You guys take care and keep praying for better conditions which I'm sure will be just around the corner next mnth to 6 weeks or so.


09-19-2007, 07:33 AM
Chad, I'm sure there are very few rangers and even if you did get beligerant you did the right thing. Around here there is a shortage of game wardens due to funding etc. I believe it's every sportsman's duty to watch out for things like that, I hope and feel like that belief is shared by others. There are always a few, in the Marine Corps they referred to them as the 10 percent, that will cause trouble for the rest of us. Those folks should be ashamed badgering that little bear like that but they probably wouldn't have thought twice about it if you had not stopped. I'm glad, for one, that you took time to stop and correct them. We should all be concerned for the well being of the beauty God has given us to preserve and enjoy. -Bran

09-19-2007, 10:33 AM

Thanks from all of us out here for taking the initiative to say something to that group. I hope we all would/will take the same action in a similar situation. Folks just don't seem to understand the danger or the rudeness of their behavior sometimes.

Thanks again.