Lost in a Dream with Mac & Colby
Something calls me to the Smokies on a regular basis. I'm sure it might be the relaxation, the fun of fly fishing, or the biodiversity that fills my spirit. I feel instantly connected and immersed with my environment there, and always head home feeling recharged and ready to take on my life. Then there are a few places in the park that are even more special. They give me a feeling that defy words, and can only be described as some sort of religious experience. These places are often virgin pockets of forest that have never been touched by man, and also tend to be in areas without trails nearby.
This forum has been very kind to me as it has linked me up with individuals who share the same passion of remote places, and allowed me to learn about many of them. Freddie Mize (FCfly) really took me under his wing when I was starting to fly fish, and opened up a whole other world to me to whom I am truly greatful. Since then I have tromped and tramped through some pretty remote place with Mac, Colby, Crockett, JayB, and even met NDuncan for the first time at 3 Forks. It nice to share these places with others who share this passion. Not only do you want to share these places for others to take in the beauty (and maybe some fishing), but selfishly also to know if my senses are working properly, to see if these places are as special as I think they are, or if I'm losing it.:eek:
Mac had contacted me about 6 months ago saying he would be in town Memorial Day weekend and we made plans to fish on Saturday. Our original destination was probably the hardest section of stream to fish in the park, but unfortunately with all the Spring rains the water was just too high and might have been a death sentence so we changed our destination. Being Memorial Day weekend also meant the park would be a zoo, and we would need to find water that was not appealing to most to insure we had fresh water.
Mac's brother Colby lives not to far from me in West Knoxville, so we met at his house where we would drive to meet Mac at the Cracker Barrel to load up on breakfast before heading to the mountain. We made a quick stop at the "Other" fly shop :redface: for a few choice flies and were off to the trailhead. Took a while for everyone to rig up, and a quick check of all the cars there were no Brookie plates or TU stickers so maybe we were safe:smile:
We hiked in slow, with plenty of "old man" breaks for Mac. We were chatting like a bunch of women, and made it through the trail part in no time. Since it was still early we put in 300 hundred yard below out original plan to add extra fishing for out day. I got a bit cocky and said first cast and we'll get one. While I was wrong about that it wasn't just a minute before I had my first fish to hand.
Buzz can you please clarify whether it just the first fish pic that is mandatory, or first pic of each species caught that day? Just in case, first Brookie
Just a few minutes into our original destination, I must have been feeling religious as I decided to baptize myself after making a leap of faith onto a rock that turned out to be coved with the super slimy stuff. Luckily Mac and Colby missed my move, but Mac looked up (probably from me cussing) to see me getting out of the water from my neck up. Luckily this time of the year this only meant ringing out clothes and staying in the sun and not a return to the car.
Refreshed from my baptism, I caught my best rainbow of the day. I call him "Bronze Bug Eye".
Mac wasn't doing too bad either
Macs best rainbow of the day
And in the water
It wasn't just rainbows there were plenty of these guys
Awesome pool after awesome pool
Will continue in next post
This pool was awesome minus the tree in the heart of the run
Mac felt up to the challenge and was rewarded
I wasn't doing too bad myself
While the fishing was good for me and Mac, for Colby the fishing was
Sneaky bastard creeping ahead of us:rolleyes:
Colby's best rainbow of the day
Colby with his 10 7/8 prize fish of the day. A little skinny, but the biggest fish of the day (Don't let Mac tell you otherwise) for any of us
Mac was starting to wear out at this point. Tired and feeling defeated by his brother out fishing him, Mac needed to take a break:rolleyes:
Pool after pool after pool. Boy I'm glad this place is remote or It would have MUCH more pressure
Colby was inspired by my earlier baptism and decided it was time for some stream side yoga. Notice Mac laughing his *** off in the background
We continued our way upstream all the time hoping we would find the manway out.
Then I found the spot Crockett and I couldn't find on our way out last time. This time it was right on my waypoint. Trees that were down in river were even still there only shifted by high water. Today we would take the standard exit upstream.
Look plain as day today. Perfect pool after perfect pool
Plenty of these guys
This place just left everyone feeling great
The "Exit sign" we were looking for. Took 2 pictures to capture
Sweet relief - the manway
Getting to be not in good shape. Old broken limbs were only way to define trail in many places, and it took all 3 sets of eyes to keep us on track unless we were in the tunnel sections. Many hemlocks have fallen plus 10-15 other blow downs made for breaking our way through several places. Still better than more than a mile of stream walking.
Mac getting up close and personal with the rhodo
We soon exited the manway back on the stream and just several hundred yards from the trail out. Happy to be back in one piece and as Freddie says, "Glad to fish another day"
Just another great day with my fellow LRO forum members in a slice of heaven:biggrin:
Until next time (Monday;))
Excellent report, sounds like a great trip. Thanks for sharing.
Thats enough!!!!! I'm going fishing!!!
Thank you for the posts. I' m very happy to see that your are getting out so much this year. I promise to contribute more shortly.
Thank you for keeping it and paying it forward.
Great post again, and some really nice fish. That's my favorite place in the park, but I haven't been there for a while because of high water. Thanks for posting all the great pics, makes me want to start planning another trip down.
First fish. Always get a pic of the first fish. Now, if you're in a place that you might catch a slam, always get a pic of the first fish of each type. You don't have to post them if you catch one larger. Most of my trip reports are 50% fiction, so without proof, it sounded good, but didn't happen.
Excellent report. Makes me want to make some mac & cheese for lunch. That's a really cool pic of Colby casting.
Great report DP, looks like you had a good day. That's a great looking stream. Hope I can get up there before long.:biggrin:
It was magical. Loved being out in the wild, hanging with great people, catching fish. What else is there to say? Thanks, James!
Very nice I am jealous. Looks like the water was at good level too.
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