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CuriousLayman 02-18-2012 11:49 PM

Oconaluftee brookie
I don't fish there often, but today I caught a little brookie not too far up from the visitor's center (a good ways before tow string road turnout). I had not realized they were down that low. They are my favorite species, so it was a pleasant surprise!

JoeFred 02-19-2012 12:06 AM

A nice looking speck, CL. Thanks for sharing.

spotlight 02-19-2012 12:57 AM

Wow nice sized fish!

flyman 02-19-2012 05:21 PM

Looks like another Reservation escapee :smile: I've caught stocked brook trout from tribal waters a couple of miles up the Bradly Fork several times.

Jim Casada 02-19-2012 09:34 PM

I suspect Flyman is right. The tribe stocks plenty of brook trout and they regularly make their way up Luftee from Raven Fork.
Jim Casada

CuriousLayman 02-20-2012 09:16 AM

That makes sense to me. By the way Mr. Casada, I keep your book near the top of the stack next to my reading spot. It's my most used fishing book.

Jim Casada 02-20-2012 09:44 AM

CuriousLayman--Thanks, and I'll add a bit of "migratory" trout from the Reservation. The past couple of summers I have caught quite a few refugees from Raven Fork in Luftee, some of them as far upstream as Bradley Fork. I've caught both rainbows and brook trout and some of the former have been large fish. The flip side of the situation is that speckled trout (I refuse to call the natives brook trout and the difference in wording is an easy way to distinguish between wild and stocked fish) have made their way well down Bradley Fork in recent years. I caught one below Chasteen Creek and several just above it.
Jim Casada

swamp 02-20-2012 05:03 PM

Where does the park boundary begin?I pulled over at the blue ridge parkway, just before the visitor center, one day last year and walked down and started fishing my way upstream and came upon a sign informing me that I was fishing Raven fork trophy water.According to the road signs I was inside the park and on the oconaluftee river.

JoeFred 02-20-2012 05:38 PM

Swamp, it's a bit complicated. Shoot me an e-mail to info at saintclairmapping dot com and I'll help ya out.


Jim Casada 02-20-2012 08:16 PM

swamp--Park authorities, in what I consider a fine example of money talks and principle walks, ceded the stretch of Luftee from the Parkway Bridge to the juncture of Raven Fork and Luftee to the tribe (never mind that it flows through Park land. Well, to be more precise, one side of it is Park since the tribe managed a land swap which traded archaeologically significant bottom lands (where the high school sits) for mountain terrain of no significance whatsoever that is steep as a horse's face. If it sounds to you like this angers me, you would be right.
As for where you can fish without buying one of the ever costlier tribal permits, you can't fish Raven Fork at all until you are above Big Cove and in the Gorges area. You can fish Luftee anywhere above where its juncture with Raven Fork.
That's it in essence, and anyone who thinks the Park didn't shortchange anglers on this one isn't viewing things in the same light I am. Incidentally, the long pool on what is now tribal water which runs under the old stone bridge (built by the CCCs) opposite Cherokee High School was one of the loveliest in the whole Park, and full of wild fish, long before tribal authorities gained control or stocked the first fish from the Straight Fork Hatchery. Don't get me wrong, I'm not faulting the tribe here. I'm faulting Park bureaucrats who caved.
Jim Casada

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