Four crazy guys, well maybe only one crazy guy and 3 companions, decided to hike to camp site 24 over the April 18th weekend. The ages of the four shall not be revealed beyond the disclosure that one was over 50, one was so close to 50 that he can smell it, and the other two, well, they are so young it is disgusting to even think about it. Anyway, at least two of us weighed our backpacks prior to leaving home. They were both in excess of 40 pounds. Anyway, we arrived at Elkmont around 12:30 Friday afternoon, after stopping at LRO, of course, to spend the minimum required entrance fee of $20 worth of flies. I think I actually spent $36 as I had flies that I had tied, but I needed tippet and a spare leader, and, well, a few flies. We checked in and headed for site #24. It is really hard passing all that good-looking water on the way in, especially when carrying a 40-pound pack. We arrived at camp 2 hours later (no wise cracks from you young guys who make it in 1 hour and 15 minutes). We set up camp and then went fishing. Everyone caught a fish which is good considering two of the four were veterans, but 2 were somewhat new to GSMNP fly fishing. The fish were really hitting dry flies Friday afternoon. Saturday, the young guys awoke to water in their tent (ha!). We fished Saturday morning below camp. Fishing was somewhat slow that morning although everyone did have some luck. In the afternoon, one of the young guys said he wanted to catch a Brook trout, as he had never had that experience. I agreed to take him up to campsite #30 to try our luck with the Brookies. On the way, he stopped to fish and never made it to camp #30. So, I walked another 1.8 miles there and back for nothing. Well, I did have some fishing luck. The water was 48 degrees at #30. By the way, he did catch a couple of Brook trout together with a lot of rainbows - all on dry flies. The walk out on Sunday afternoon was tough. We did not stop and made it out in about 1.5 hours. I still have not recovered. Here are some pictures. I did get a slam which made the pain worth it.
Four crazy guys went in and four came out - all with smiles and memories that will mellow with time.