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NDuncan 10-07-2012 12:31 AM

10/6 A Day in Cataloochie (Pic Heavy)
So I had the day free today, and I knew that I would spend it in the park, but I couldn't decide where. After fishing in the Townsend area, yesterday, and the close proximity to my work, I figured I can go there on an afternoon pretty easily and wanted to go somewhere a little further away. I was going through a list of possible places - Elkmont, Roaring Fork, Twentymile, Greenbriar, and Cataloochie. I eliminated Twentymile first, because at its lower elevation, I figured I can go there later. I didn't want to drive out to Elkmont because I figured it would be flush with fishermen, and Roaring Fork requires the Motor Scenic Loop which means lots of Tourons, taking pictures of squirrels just like they have at home, which left Greenbriar and Cataloochie. I finally decided on Cataloochie because I fished Greenbriar last weekend.

As I went down I-40, my first glimpse of the mountains showed lots of clouds:

But when I got to the Pigeon River Gorge, it seemed like they were starting to lift

Deeper in, you could see the leaves changing colors

By the time I got up on Cove Creek Road, the

The Valley looked great, but the elk weren't out

There were lots and lots of people in the Valley today, and it took a long time to get to the end of the road. I got rigged up and headed down the Pretty Hollow Trail. There were lots of piles of fresh horse manure but I didn't see another person or horse.

When I got to the split below CS 39, I took the Palmer Creek Trail and hike up it. This trail, for the most part, while it follows the stream, is usually pretty high up off it, and there aren't a lot of places to easily get down to the stream

About 2/3 of the way to Lost Bottom Creek, there was a good access point, which only required a short steep path down, followed by a little bit of a Rhodo beast to get through.

The fishing was good, a mix of rainbows and brookies

In all shapes and sizes

Taking Droppers

And Dries

There are lots of big fallen trees that lay across the stream

I caught about 1 fish per run, usually after that the pool or run was thoroughly spooked

NDuncan 10-07-2012 12:39 AM

I usually found at least one fish or hook-up per run or pool

This blown down tree is a nursery for a bunch of rhodo.... So I guess unless it gets washed out, in a few years, this stream is going to have a rhodo wall :eek:

Some more fish

Last year, this massive blow down had a giant pool built up behind it. When I fished here in April, it had blown out underneath but a bunch of it was still left there

View from the top

It left a big pile of gravel that got built up in the pool

The back Side

NDuncan 10-07-2012 12:57 AM

Further on up, the fish kept coming

Out of fast run, I caught this 10 inch rainbow


He deserves another shot

Another Rainbow

A long cascade

NDuncan 10-07-2012 01:08 AM

At the top is the confluence of Palmer and Lost Bottom Creek

Lost Bottom Creek:

Notice the footbridge that's part of the Palmer Creek Trail

And Lost Bottom Creek Brookie

A tiny Bow from Palmer, above the confluence.

And one last Brookie

So I then decided to hike back down,

A view of the creek from above

I still had some time left, so I decided to do some stream-bagging and went a fished a couple of holes on Pretty Hollow Creek, and managed one brookie, which I didn't photgraph. And then I decided to fish some more on Palmer Creek below the junction of Pretty Hollow Creek, and amazingly, caught a 7" brown. I knew they were in Cataloochie creek, but I hadn't heard of one that far up. I guess there aren't any barriers, but it still seemed strange...

Streams Fished and Caught Fish on: THREE
Species of Trout Caught: THREE

First Smoky Slam, A full day of Fishing

Oh Oh

On the way out, the Elk were out.... BONUS.

Breck 10-07-2012 06:44 AM

I 've never been, so thank you for my trip thru your post. Showed my boys and they were excited to see the elk.


Bran 10-07-2012 10:51 AM

What a great trip, thanks for sharing this, really enjoyed it!

NDuncan 10-07-2012 02:24 PM


Originally Posted by Breck (Post 103544)
I 've never been, so thank you for my trip thru your post. Showed my boys and they were excited to see the elk.


You should take them! The hike up to CS 39 is mostly flat and very easy for a smokies trail, it's under 2 miles, so even taking your time it won't take much more than an hour to get there. The elk had been frequenting the campsite last winter. It was busy last yesterday, There were at least 7 people there last night, just based on who I passed on the trail. Ive camped there several times and only once was there more than 2 other people there. If you fish pretty hollow creek, know that it is very tight conditions near the campsite, if you hike up the trail there is a lot of good open water that is full of Brookies, but you have to hike a long way up to get to a point where it is easy to get to the creek. Doable as a an all day trip up from 39 and back, but kinda strenuous. The water on Palmer near PH creek is easy access but if you work up the stream, you wil be returning by stream because it is quite a ways (a mile or so) before you will reach a place where you can get to the trail, which may be hard to see from the stream since it will be above you. It is about 2 miles to where lost bottom creek comes in and there the trail is obvious.

duckypaddler 10-08-2012 01:03 PM

Nice Post
You've been hitting the streams hard lately
Good Job:biggrin:

Oldman 10-08-2012 03:42 PM

Fished the same streach last month did OK but not great. Camped 2 nights at 39 with no visitors overnight but plently of folks day hiking. I Remember the big log jam....its going to take a whole lota rain to bust that thing up. The coolest thing for me was the elk bugling during the night...made me feel good that nature can return to what it was given time.

bluefish 10-12-2012 08:53 AM

Wonderful telling of a wonderful trip. Thanks!

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