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Thread: Trail to Raven Fork from Smokemont

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    nashville
    Posts
    71

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    Jim, unless you'd like to keep it a secret, I'd love to see a photo of this 'lovely pool' you talk about. I live in Nashville and have fished the Smokies once, and that was this past summer. It was a fantastic trip and I can't wait to get back! I can imagine what catching a fish would be like in such a remote and beautiful part of the Smokies...but it makes me really want to see what it really looks like!

    (I am not trying to find out any 'honey holes' or anything like that...and if a picture would jeapordize this for you or anyone else, than that would be fine and I would completely understand.)
    "I wish I was fishin'..." -me

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    257

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    I would like to second Flynuts request for a picture of three forks if anyone wants to share. Concerning Flynuts caution about giving away any secretes I can attest that for anyone that makes it there they have more than earned it. I tried for three day and dont think I ever got even close. Well at least from the direction I was trying.

    Can you say "Hurt Locker"

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    992

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    Flynut--It's no secret. The pool at Three Forks (where the three feeders come together to form Raven Fork proper) is deep, crystal clear, full of specks, and incredibly remote. It is shown, albeit it a tiny vintage photo, on page 396 of my book. I don't have a modern photo.
    Jim Casada
    www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    992

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    Mac--There is no easy way. The old access down Breakneck Ridge apparently has become so overgrown and indiscernible as to be a non-starter, and making one's way upstream from the Enloe Creek campsite would be an all-day slog (and that's the easiest way). I haven't been there in years and suspect that less than twenty people make it in any given year. Most of those who do probably camp illegally since distance and difficulty really work against getting there from anywhere in a single day's round trip.
    Jim Casada

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    181

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    Jim
    I read your book and it is a absolute delight. Thank you for sharing the history with us younger folks. I do have one question and I mean no disrespect at all by it. I have noticed that you have openly shared information about some very special places like three forks. I have fished that spot since I was a little fella with my dad and would be hesitant to give out any info to some of my fishing partners, much less on a internet message board. I am only 31 years old, but I have been fishing these streams since i was 5 years old. My dad and granfather have informed me of all these "special" places and they seem sacred to me. Maybe its silly to hide this info, but I have noticed how open this board has become with speck streams and would like to see what you think about it. Again, I mean no disrespect to you what so ever and I look forward to more of your insight to come.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    992

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    WNCFly--One of my Grandpa Joe's favorite sayings was: "A man's got to have some secrets." For years I harbored such secrets when it came to trout streams--lots of them--and there are still some places outside the Park, mostly speck streams, I will not write about. They are just too fragile to take the pressure.
    However, after a lot of soul-searching, I decided that if I was going to write what I hoped would be something approaching the definitive work on fishing in the Park, anything short of completeness would not work. Also, I realized that with very few exceptions the truly special places in the Park, Three Forks being among them, have their own built-in protection never mind whether they are written about or not.
    That protection takes the form of difficult of access. How many people are willing to exert the energy and effort to reach Three Forks? or upper Jonas Creek? or Defeat and Desolation Branches? or the Left Fork of Deep Creek? or Ledge Creek? or Straight Fork above the "million dollar bridge"?or any of dozens of others? The answer is precious few, and therein lies the protection of such places and their salvation.
    Beyond that, I had to consider the element of selfishness. I just turned 68 years old and have to recognize, whether I like it or not (and I don't) that I'm not as "catty" as I once was and that getting back of beyond is much more of a challenge for me than it used to be. Yet why should I deny others the joys I've known not just for years but for decades? All of this posed for me, and will continue to pose for others, a huge conundrum with no easy or complete answer.
    Obviously I made my decision and will stick with it, hoping as I do so that the simple fact of writing about remote places will strike a fine balance between concern for and love of such places and realization that I have opened the door to them at least a bit.
    Hopefully this rather lengthy answer will give you some insight into my thinking process. Of course I would love to hear other regulars on this forum who have lots of decades in the Smokies behind them weigh in on the matter.
    Jim Casada
    www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com
    All of these thoughts coursed through my mind as I worked on this book,

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mid Tennessee
    Posts
    919

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    For my two cents, I'm going to agree with Jim on this one. Lack of easy access should provide the protection. Second, most folks release their fish even though there appears to be a changing tide that some fish should be kept for the health of the fishery. Regards, Silvercreek

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Burlington, KY
    Posts
    89

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    What are the thoughts on the 25-year study? My interpretation was that high water events had a greater affect on the fluctuations of populations than did fishing pressure (stream closings).

    Also, earlier this week I finally finished Mr. Casada's new book. All I have to say about that is: AMAZING! I have read a few "guide" books for destinations across the nation and this one is head & shoulders above the others. This book has such a personal touch to it and the history is incredible. With 12 pages of bibliography, Mr. Casada has done his homework (and a great deal of reading).

    As I read the book I earmarked a few streams, one being Raven Fork and Three Forks - I must see this pool now. I love rugged and I love a challenge.

    The other stream I earmarked is, I believe, above this landmark:


  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
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    992

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    WVBrookie--Thanks for your most gracious comments. As for the study, I assume you are referring to the ongoing Park study of specks. As far as the impact of fishermen is concerned, researchers have concluded man's impact is minimal to non-existent; hence, you can once more creel specks.
    Also, this is tacit recognition of what I have long felt to be the case in many Park streams, no matter what species of trout they held. Keeping the occasional mess of fish to eat does no harm and may in many cases actually be beneficial. Park streams, mainly because of relative infertility, tend to be overpopulated (I know, if some of you are shaking your heads, I've had those days myself when it seemed like there was only one trout every 500 yards). You can usually tell if the heads of mature fish are big in comparison to their bodies. In such situations keeping a mess of fish may actually be good management.
    I personally eat fish from time to time and absolutely love them, although probably 19 out of every 20 I catch is released. If you don't want to keep trout that's fine, and if you want a streamside meal in a backcountry setting, that's fine too, in my view.
    Jim Casada

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Burlington, KY
    Posts
    89

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    ....I am haunted by waters.

    I went home from work yesterday, pulled Mr. Casada's book back out, and checked out the photo of the Three Forks pool he referenced. Well, I had a dream last night that I was fishing that pool. I really need to get out on the water somewhere! 80+ days since my last fish!

    Chris

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