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ifish4wildtrout 03-19-2010 02:53 PM

First Time Smokies Trip
 
Hello, I am planning a back camping trip in the next few weeks to Cataloochee. I am planning to stay at #39 and fish for 3-4 days.

I have never been there and this will be my first solo trip. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for me.

I was also wondering about how clean the water is in that area. I do plan to use my filter.

I am new here at this site, but it seems to be a really cool place with plenty of fishing and camping talk. :cool:

Carlito 03-19-2010 03:53 PM

Welcome, amigo. I hope your first trip is fun, safe, and successful. The water won't make you sick if you wash your dishes with it or anything like that, although there may be some sediment due to recent rains and snow melt, depending on how soon you intend to go.

What kind of advice are you looking for? A word of caution... you are likely to get more advice than you need ;)

ifish4wildtrout 03-19-2010 03:55 PM

Just wondering about drinking the water, where to fish, bears, general safety, etc.

I'm planning on going in about 3 weeks. Plan to fish all the tributaries in the area.

Tarheelflyfishing 03-19-2010 04:37 PM

If your going to drink water from a stream, make sure you purify it with purification tablets (or boiling it). It's also a good idea to scoop water up into a towel or shirt to filter out any loose sediment.

Speck Lover 03-19-2010 05:12 PM

Take your time driving into Cataloochee, because the road engineer's philosophy was one good turn deserves another. There is not a lot of room for error on the gravel portion of the road. If you're planning on going in three weeks, keep an eye on the weather. I hate to even mention the word snow, but it is not out of the possibility that time of the year. I camped there during the last week of April a few years ago in the snow. Cool or even cold nights (as in the 20's) are highly possible.

Bear, elk, and a few boar are in Cataloochee. The bear won't bother you if you don't bother them or inadvertently invite them over for snacks. Hang your food supply. Snakes shouldn't be an issue that early in the year. However timber rattlers and copperheads are present. As for planning on fishing all the tributaries in Cataloochee, you'll never do it in 3-4 days. You should have a large time on your trip, it's one of my favorite locations in the park.

Mundele 03-19-2010 08:01 PM

Definitely treat the water. Smokies streams are amazingly clear (barring recent rains) but I still wouldn't drink it. "beaver fever" could ruin an otherwise great trip.

I like Aquamira. It's easy to use, lighter than a filter and doesn't mess up the flavor of the water, as far as I can tell.

Be prepared to "bear bag" your food, toothpaste, etc. Smokies campsites have bear hangs. If possible do your cooking away from your campsite (far enough away so that any spills won't draw them to your camp).

--Matt

ifish4wildtrout 03-19-2010 08:12 PM

Thanks for all the responses. As I stated, this forum is great.

I do plan to filter my water. I have a Hiker Pro. Do y'all suggest chemical treatment in addition to the filter?

Speck Lover 03-19-2010 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ifish4wildtrout (Post 78285)
I do plan to filter my water. I have a Hiker Pro. Do y'all suggest chemical treatment in addition to the filter?

I have used an old Sweetwater Guardian (now called a MSR Sweetwater) Filter in Cataloochee and elsewhere in the Smokies, and I've never had any problems. I personally don't think chemical treatment in addition to filtration is necessary, but that's just my opinion.

GrouseMan77 03-20-2010 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speck Lover (Post 78288)
. I personally don't think chemical treatment in addition to filtration is necessary, but that's just my opinion.

I use a Katadyn Vario and love it. I can fill a 32 oz. in about half the time that it takes my buddies. Also agree that a chemical treatment is not needed.

TightLines 03-21-2010 01:07 AM

I have a MSR Sweetwater to, and you can drink from just about any watering hole.


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