View Full Version : Last fishing this trip
11-25-2007, 09:36 PM
Well I was getting down on my fishing luck but kept trying. Went up and down river along the smoky mountain institute. Got a few strikes none brought to bank. Today I went down to elkmont. This was one of the coolest places I have been to since coming to the mountains, about 4 years. Guess this was an old village for either rangers or was private at one time. Will be doing some research on line shortly. If you have not visited this area would recommend. Anyway started fishing past houses there and got one very small fish on but he hopped off before landing. I was trying new technique for me by tying on a parachute with copper john behind about 15 inches. Was about half mile north of starting point. Wham!!! H:smile: ooked very nice 8-10 inch rainbow but of course realized at this point I did not have camera. Left in truck. Here was dilemma either stop fishing rush back to truck for photo of fish with possibility of it dying or release. It took less then 10 seconds of thought and fish was back for next angler. That's it for this trip will be back in DEC and sometime in April. I am from Pensacola and think I will give fly fishing a shot down there. We have speckled trout in the bays, have never thought about trying until now. Well good luck to all and Good Fishing.
11-25-2007, 10:17 PM
Those cabins were all private camps. I was fishing back there along Jakes Creek for a short time Friday, just before dark; I hadn't fished that area before, and I was struck at the waste of those camps being shuttered and slowly decaying. I swung by LRO after fishing, and Byron told me that the people who owned them were bought out by the park service and given 50-year leases when the park was established. He said that they started falling apart even before the leases expired - why sink money into a camp that would have to be abandoned in a few years? Anyway, it seems like a waste to me - the park could rent those camps out and make a lot of money on them. Other national parks had existing resorts that predated the formation of the parks - all the park service did was hire a private concessionaire to run them. Skyland in Shenandoah National Park is a prime example. For a park that probably needs more rangers and staff to manage the land, it seems like a revenue stream that has been squandered. I'm also amazed that an entrance fee isn't charged, but that's another topic.
Congratulations on your first Smokies trout...picture or no picture, you'll always remember it. Once you get your first one, you'll find more of them coming your way.
11-25-2007, 11:10 PM
I've had the same questions about those cabins for years. The Wonderland Hotel, also at Elkmont, was operated for a long time under a lease before finally being closed in the last few years. I would love to rent one of those cabins for a fishing week.
Great news on landing the rainbow - picture or not, the image will be branded on your brain forever. Hurry back for more.:smile:
11-27-2007, 12:07 PM
Great book on this area is "Last Train to Elkmont"....gives a history of this area and of the lumber company HQed in Townsend....will amaze you what lengths they went to in order to get timber out of these mountains....all those old cabins were privately owned at one time....big item would be where would $$$ come to fix them up and then to maintain them.....not enough right now to keep what there is in working order....the other problem would be the added pressure for infrastructure to accommodate additional need for electricity and waste water ..... the Little River is a designated wild water and the impact on its water quality would be compromised by a large influx of lodging accommodations.....just not doable....Elkmont is already the largest campground in the vicinity and why add that many more potential fishermen to the mix....
11-27-2007, 05:15 PM
A friend of mine's grandparents lived where the 2nd patio on the river is. His grandmother is still alive. I think I remember him telling me that his grandfather was killed logging. His grandmother feels they weren't given a fair price for the property. They had no choice in the matter on whether they wanted to sell or not. After listening to her talk, she doesn't feel any amount of money would have been worth it. To this day, she still hates the park and everything it stands for. If you want to hear an old lady curse, just pull up to the donation box at Cades Cove and ask her if she wants to donate. She'll give you the speach on how the government stole her property. I've been meaning to read "Last Train to Elkmont" for a while now, maybe I'll have to head to the bookstore tonight. I've got a bowhunt inside the fence at Oak Ridge this weekend and need something to keep me on stand all day.
11-27-2007, 07:55 PM
Congrats on your first fish in the park. You should definitely look into the fishing opportunities in your neck of the woods around Pensacola. There is some very good fishing for a variety of fish along the northern gulf coast. Redfish, trout, cobia, black drum, mackeral, bluefish, sheepshead, tarpon, and the list goes on. Go to a fly shop in the area and find get some info. I have heard great things about Dave and Gjuro at Shallow Water Expeditions in Santa Rosa.
Good luck when you get back to the park and get into the boundless opportunities of the salt.
Just finished "last Train to Elkmont" a couple of weeks ago. Very good read, it's amazing to me how far up the railroad went, almost up to Clingmans Dome. they even had a swinging railroad bridge. Another intresting thing was teh splash dams. Before the railroad was built, they would build a dam on Little River near Elkmont that had a gate that would open in an instant to cause a flood of water that would float the logs clear down to where the old trains are in Townsend. Men would ride the logs the whole trip. That had to be better than any ride at Dollywood. Highly recomend the book if you fish Little river much.
11-27-2007, 11:51 PM
Perhaps I should have phrased my earlier post better...the park COULD have done something with those camps. Clearly, it's too late now to fix them up. The point I was trying to make was, when the park was established, they could have done something with them and have a really first-rate facility, much like a lot of state parks have; a lot of them have cabins that were built by the CCC or WPA, and they're in high demand. It would provide a revenue stream for the park that could be used in other areas (like fisheries management, for example). As for it bringing in a horde of new fishermen, I doubt it - I would imagine the cabins would be for people whose idea of "roughing it" would be a Holiday Inn. Anyway, the point is moot - the cabins are too far gone, and it isn't going to happen. I just think it's a waste.
11-28-2007, 12:46 AM
Congrats on the rainbow. Hopefully the mountains will get some decent snow this winter and bring the water levels back up for this spring.
Riddle me this Tim? My dad and I like to go down to St. Joe and go fishing for Specs. I would love to hear if you have any success catching them on fly. We usually catch quite a few on spinning tackle but I think I want to take my fly rod next time and see what I can go with it.
11-28-2007, 09:47 AM
I did get the chance to search on line for info about that area. Looks like a lot of weathly people used it for getaways. I was reading where there was a private group called Appalachian something and would not let some people in their club so, the guys got together bought some land in the area and created their own. I guess some things never change. I know it was unfair the way the government takes what they want also. It would have been cool though to have kept all those old places up. People would have paid well to stay there, especially if they would have been kept retro.
I have done a lot of fishing around the gulf here, just never tried fly fishing. I guess we will get after it. But the smokies is where I really love to fish, have wanted to since I was young, next goal is to save for trip out west to Montana, Wyoming or somewhere like that. Well thanks for the congrats, I did have one bad thing happen, I guess when I left Elkmont, I did not have one of my pockets on my vest zipped, and dropped a lro container with about 10 flies in it. Did not realize it until I was packing Monday. But that is a good excuse to order more. Well good fishing and be safe to all.
PS Search Elkmont on web and you will read some really fascinating stuff about the rise and fall of area.
11-28-2007, 12:07 PM
The only evidence of a splash dam that I have ever been able to find is on Lynn Camp Prong above the cascades....there is still part of the base of the **** across the stream with a nice little pool behind it....when I first saw this 30 years ago I just figured someone had dammed up a swimming hole....but reading the book these dams spanned the whole gorge at these points and were about 10 ft high...when the water backed up and the logs were in place they would open the dam up and the water would splash down the river hence the name....on Tremont this would take the logs down to the Wye and they on into Townsend.....I would imagine it would have been quite a site seeing that mass going over the cascades and would not have wanted to be anywhere near there when it happened.
12-07-2007, 04:39 PM
Sorry I missed this when it was current. That really is a neat area of the park. Must have looked very different when there were few trees around. There was some discussion several years ago about trying to save maybe 10 of the more significant cabins in Elkmnt and turning them into rentals. I think it was decided they were too far gone.......... a shame, for some were very interesting, and in my opinion add to the place. It was said that they were adding bacteria to the creek that might not be safe for the campers (old septic systems). I wonder if that could be the reason for the better fish in the stretch from there to Metcalf bottoms, more nutrients for the bugs to feed on? Congratulations on that first trout. The dry/dropper is a great searching method. The Smokys do have a way of getting a hold of you, making you want to come back........... and what better excuse for spending time there, and really getting immersed in it, than waiving a flyrod?!
Good luck in the salt.
12-07-2007, 05:50 PM
the OP was fishing above tremont. that area was a job corps center prior to the institute taking over...and now the institute is going to modernize.
Elkmont , on the other hand, i still the subject of much controversy as to the fate of the buildings........common discussion focuses on resstoring 17 designated cabins in the area....including the spence, chapman, and RR heads houses. i have had field training with eric kreusch, park archiologist in there and been in most of them...the higdon cabin has the bathtub fallen through the floor.
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