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.
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
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
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