My Smokies favorite place with Freddie and Nathan
Well today it finally happened. I got to go to the place I have been longing to be for at least the last 6 months or more. A place that immediately overwhelms your senses with its pristine beauty, but also a very rugged place that most should stay away from:frown:. With private land access that must be secured ahead of time, tribal water issues, and a few locals that are downright scary:eek:, it's a place that is hard enough to get into, and that's where you enter the paradox of Heaven and ****. Heaven to your senses, but don't get distracted because one bad move and the consequences are likely fatal (not trying to BS anyone).
Originally Nathan and I were planning to fish with his Biology Professor buddy, but he couldn't get free so I texted Freddie to join us. After a night of Margaritas and a bad UT game he almost forgot to join, but at the last minute came to his senses and met us. We headed past the hot rods, over the mountain, and filled up for some breakfast before heading to my buddies house to park. From there we headed past a few dogs and up the mountain for 700 or so feet. While the vertical gain is enough to feel like it will kill you, you dare not speak or stop as you hike past the scary neighbor's house. A man that threatened a good friend of mine's life, and I hope to never meet. We soon hit the mountain top and since we weren't totally defeated yet thought we might be up for a party. Unfortunately the party last year must have gotten too rough cause the party trailer decided to play Humpty Dumpy and took a great fall.
Guess we will have to stick to fishing for the day. Fountain Drink anyone?
Glad to be safely in the park
We dropped down too early, and thanks to Nathan dropping some waypoints last time on his GPS we reconfigured and dropped in a bit upstream to avoid a pool that is next to impossible to get up. Glad to finally see the creek.
Freddie was regretting wearing shorts after his Nettle-a-thon drop in. But who wouldn't want to drop in to this
A Sense of Awe and wonder.
I look over to the rock Freddie and I sheltered from a storm on one of my first trip here.
Here Freddie obviously remembered which pool I lost that 14-16 inch Rainbow in
A beautiful 60+ foot cascade that if it was easier to access would have thousands of tourists flocking to see it
Freddie cautiously walks the plank to get to a sweet pool. I remembered how hard it was to cast and not lose your footing on the 45-60 degree slope of granite and I was happy to pass it up
Climbing more than fishing in this section. Unfortunately we remembered only after a tough scramble to the left that there was a easy place to go on the right. Here Nathan climbs up to an incredible pool
While this is one of the prettiest falls on this section of stream, these three big boys were having none of it and flanked far left.
We came out at 3 pools. Nathan took the top, Freddie took the middle, and I took the bottom. I caught 2 and saw another small pool just downstream. I cast downstream but couldn't get proper drift and started to climb down to fish it proper. Then I thought what if I slipped. Headed up to see how Nathan and Freddie were doing.
Freddie was tearing it up
I wasn't doing too bad myself
This one was much darker than picture would let you believe.
And here is the best reason to fish a dry/dropper combo
Here Nathan finishes up after landing 4 from this pool
Freddie was convinced that there were more to be had
Granite is as slippery as it is pretty
I was going to describe this next picture but no words needed
Day going great for everyone at this point
I don't know what else to say.
Thanks for sharing your trip.
Apparently you have to say 3 hail Mary's if you ever decide to run this in a kayak. Heard of Class 5. This is 5.3! While other drops may be more visually impressive, it blows my mind (By someone who actively paddles whitewater) that this gets run.
And the view from the top. In my head I hear a hardcore kayaker say, "Just go straight down the middle, but don't hit the rock"
Back to fishing
And I also got the first place trophy of the day
Here is Nathan fishing a sweet pool
Unfortunately this is probably the last shot of Nathan and his fishing rod:frown:
Razorback - AKA Nathan's Nemesis
On Nathan's first trip here he had a real close call right above a drop where one must do a sketchy move to get on the right side of the river to go upstream. He slipped and fell and luckily stopped on a small rock above a real nasty drop that wouldn't have ended well. He dropped his rod when that happened and as it floated downstream it got hung up on a strainer for just enough time to allow me to recover the rod. This time the water was much higher so that leap of faith was out so we opted for sketchy move B (No good choices). On the way to that spot you had to slide down a rock ledge to cross and somehow Nathan dropped his rod:eek: He watched it drop and even 2 times the top surfaced for a split second. I quickly put myself out to capture position after the first time, but luck wasn't on our side. Nathan even fished a big branch several times to try and get it and I tried time and time again with my rod. It was over 10 feet deep with good current in outflow and razorback below that so swimming for something you couldn't even see didn't look to be a good option. No rain till next weekend and a snorkel trip might be a slim shot but unfortunately it's most likely gone.
Nathan played the good sport and told Freddie and I to keep fishing but we were pretty close to our last out and only fished a couple more pools
I stepped over a rock to get to the next pool and didn't even notice this fellow till after I stepped right over him. He just laid there still.
And while I try to not get too bothered with snakes and such, it is a bit unnerving to see this right before to are about to climb up the mountain through piles of rocks. Lets just say I was REALLY looking
And we even saw some Purdy flowas on the hike out
Great Day minus the rod casualty. And Mac my buddy loved your gift. Sorry we couldn't make it happen last week
Finally one place in the Smokies i dont recall. We seem to share a passion for being off trail.
Cant wait for winter to find more elusive bluelines.
This is a reenactment to help Nathan remember the moment and for the rest of us to get a good laugh.
I can only say this because I have been in the exact same situation in that area. :p
I think I can, I think I can, I hope no one is watching.
This could hurt if I fall, wonder how deep that water is!!!
Can someone help, put down that camera and help me !!!
Thanks for sharing a wonderful adventure in the Smokys, Maybe next time you will be able to include more pictures of me and Colby in that same area again.
Keep them coming. :biggrin:
Amazing! I still need to do that trip with you sometime. Glad you guys stayed safe despite the lost rod. One of my favorite areas of the Park but I still haven't done that stretch...
Great trip report, that's how ya do it!:smile: You guys every try coming in from the top?
Great report guys, don't know if I could make that trip but I'd sure like to try! Keep the great reports coming.
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