3/29 in GSMNP
I decided that I needed a little decompression time yesterday, so I took the afternoon off and headed to the mountains. I thought, "it is Thursday and spring break is over, what a perfect time to go fish". I can honestly say that my logic was completely flawed. :confused:
From the time I left West Knoxville and parked at Elkmont, it took almost two hours to arrive at my destination. Apparently Niagara Falls is frozen over, because I lost count of the cars from Ontario. And for those not in the know, Little River Road is obviously a training ground for the tour de France. Either that or le tour de Little River was yesterday because I got behind a group of cyclists every other mile.
None of this deterred me because I was set on having a fantastic afternoon. Along the drive I discovered that lots of other people too thought it would be a good day to fish because I counted 11 fishermen from Metcalf Bottoms to Elkmont. Must still be spring break somewhere, maybe Ontario. :biggrin:
Still undeterred, I grabbed my gear and headed up the trail for one of my favorite sections of water. I was distracted many times on the walk in by the numerous beautiful flowers along the trail. Looking back I probably spent too much time taking pictures instead of fishing. Although, it was quite enjoyable seeing all the colors and the peaceful afternoon.
Eventually I got to the river and hopped in anxious to get started. Unfortunately, the fish did not get the memo, and I struggled for the first 30 minutes trying to find any activity. That is when it happened.... I heard a loud crash behind me and thought that a tree had fallen. Instead I was troubled to see dark clouds looming and lightning all around. Obviously, I was so focused on fishing and the water so loud that the storm snuck up behind me. Before I could get out of the river the storm was upon me. I managed to find a little rock outcropping to take partial shelter under while lightning flashed all around and the rain just roared. Thankfully I did pack my rain jacket just in case, but the intensity of the rain vastly overwhelmed my Mountain Hardwear Epic jacket. Also, I had been wet wading, so I didn't have the protection of my waders to keep my lower extremities dry. Finally after about 20 minutes the storm moved on up the mountain and I was thoroughly soaked. The temp had dropped 20 degrees (to 55), so I chose to call it a day. As I slogged down the trail for the car, I listened to the rumbling of the thunder farther up the river.
Even though I was wet and uncomfortable, I still paused to admire the flowers and all the recently energized wet-weather springs that roared to life. Sorry for no fish pics, but here are some of the stunning flowers:
Stunning pics of wildflowers ! If I ever win the lottery, I will buy the GSMNP
and only allow fly fishing folks entry after a license plate check. Just kidding !
I remember once being run off the road at Tremont by a car load of folks from Alaska !
Great pictures as always Travis!
Very nice Travis. I can't hardly bring myself to carry a p&s on a day trip. The DSLR is 10x the picture. I'm not as brave as you when it comes to the Clinch. Lets try to go sometime.
Are the top flowers what they call'' preacher in a pupit''? Nice.
I like the last picture Travis.
Sorry you got rained out.
I know how you feel. I left work yesterday at 4:00, headed toward Tellico Plains, and didn't get past the Knoxville city limits until 6:00 :frown:! Had the pleasure of setting up a tent in the rain with a headlamp on. Also wearing a Mountain Hardware epic jacket that soaked through in the first 5 minutes. Why I continue to pull that thing out of the closet is beyond me.
I like this time of year when the redbuds, dogwoods and flowers are blooming...nothing wrong with enjoying that.
Are those "trillium"? Up in Maine they call them "Stinking Bengamins" cuase they stink when you pick em.... and what kid don't wanna pick one for his mommy? Stinky fingers.
Beautiful pictures.... we've all seen enough fish and they all look the same.
Its funny you mention seeing so many people from ontario, I had a chat with a guy from ontario yesterday who was down camping at the Norris Dam State Park... They must have decided East TN was the place to be this spring!