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Thread: Upper Deep Creek - 5.31.09

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Maryville, TN
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    800

    Default Upper Deep Creek - 5.31.09

    At the risk of crowding and ruining the creek (as was argued in another thread), I thought I'd share the great day I had yesterday.

    After a hearty Cracker Barrel breakfast with my beautiful wife, I headed out to LRO about 9am. The folks at LRO had been holding a St Croix Avid 9' 4wt for me to cast for a few weeks and I finally made it over there to check it out. Unfortunately I drove Ted nuts trying to actually cast the thing over 50 ft, so once he gave up trying to help me and told me to cast towards the bushes, I relaxed and really started feeling the difference in the rod. After spending way too much time wasting Daniel's, Bill's, Byron's and Ted's morning, I finally left LRO and headed up to Newfound Gap.

    I packed and repacked my small day pack twice to make sure I had everything and headed down the trail about 12 noon. As some of you may know, the Upper part of the Deep Creek trail is VERY steep and even though I made it down to CS#53 (4 miles) in 90 minutes, my legs were shot. I took my time gearing up (ate a few Granola Bars - Hans' favorites) and hit the stream about 2p. I decided that I wanted to get out of the stream at 5p, so I only had roughly three hours to fish. The sun was out, so the first few pools down near the campsite, the fish were a bit shy. The water was up quite a bit as well. In all honesty, it was better suited to kayaking in spots than fishing. Thankfully there are lots of Rhodies lining the stream, so I was able to pull my way along (after pausing and looking for rattlers hanging in them first, of course).

    After about 15 mins I switched from a #12 TroutDude xCaddis to a #12 Yellow xCaddis (Its really a yellow bodied CHC Caddis with flash, but that's more of a mouthful). The switch in flies and a slight change in the direction of the creek (and the angle of the sun) were all it took. The fish started eagerly taking flies. I was getting strikes and hookups from almost every fishable pool. Of course many of the normal pools were now whitewater adventures, so I wound up fishing a lot fewer sections of the stream than in previous years.

    The fishing was outstanding (but hard). I managed to catch a smoky slam many times over. I wound up catching my first Park brown of the year, as well as this nice 10"


    I also spooked a 14-16" fish while moving up stream. He just rolled into the current and was gone...I caught between 20 and 30 and yanked the hook on a dozen or so more.

    I managed to crawl out of the stream at 5:15p and hit the trail. About 1.5 miles above #53 I ran into a couple that were struggling hiking down from the top. They had way too much gear (the poor guy looked like he was wearing three packs cinched together - 60 pound, minimum). We chatted a few minutes and I gave him a few of the Yellow xCaddis to try and I started back up the trail. I made it up to the Mossy log (where the trail leaves the stream) and rested for a few minutes while trying to get ready for the steepest part of the trail (the last mile or so). From that point, after a long first climb, its about 7 inward bends and 4 switchbacks to the road (I had to come up with a few mental tricks to keep focused). I pushed hard and made it out in 40 minutes, but it was tough-tough going. The trail is not for the faint of heart, or folks who aren't in shape. The fishing was great but the hiking is VERY-VERY tough (is that enough of a disclaimer?)

    I made it to US441 just after 7p. As I tried to recover and unpack my stuff I realized that I could make it over to Elkmont in time for some "last light" fishing. I had not used my new Avid on the trip down to Deep Creek, so it would be a good opportunity to catch my first fish with it. That would be a proper ending to a great day.

    After taking my time, I made to below Elkmont to my new favorite pool by 8p and geared up. The rod was great. It casts more distance, much more effortlessly than my others and the extra length is great for keeping more line off the water. I wound up catching my first 3 rainbows with it. All 8-10" fatties that fought acrobatically. I stumbled out of the stream just before 9p and headed home. Tired. A great day indeed.

    "Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Waynesville, NC
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    Sounds like a good day! That last mile and a half or so is a tough one isn't it...when i worked trail crew last summer in the Deep Creek Ranger District we had to walk that several times and I'll say that when you do that a few times a week, it don't take long to get in shape. It sure does feel good after you are done though and makes me thankful that I am able to do things like that. Glad you had a good day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Greeneville, TN
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    Great report Pete,

    I need to fish that part of Deep Creek. Been on my to-do list for a while. I am very impressed (I am not kidding) that you were willing to endure the tough hike in and out for a few hours of fishing. Sounds like it was well worth it considering your success.

    I plan on being in the Deep Creek campground Thursday night, then move up to site #60 for Friday night. May move up to 59 on Sat. depending on how many horse are in the camp and how my ole body is holding up.

    Later,


    Neal

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Maryville, TN
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    Neal, enjoy your trip! I'm envious. I have to go to Detroit on Thursday.
    Leave some fish for the rest of us...I hope to camp up that way sometime later this month, as well. I really want to try out the area between 59 and 54. I can't imagine it gets that much pressure...

    "Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut."

  5. #5
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    Greeneville, TN
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    Let me know when you are ready to go Pete. I'm pretty sure there will still be more of that area that I haven't explored yet, and if not, I will be willing to do it again.


    Neal

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    257

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    Pete, Thanks for your excellent report on Deep Creek. Memorial Day weekend I went to the Deep Creek Campground to take my first look at Deep Creek. This is going to be added to my to do list.

    As a side note, one of the reason I enjoy this message board over others that I have found is because of everyones willingness to share their experiences and "invite" others.

    I have been able to try new streams and campsites that I would have never known about without this information sharing. In my experience there is plenty of water for people to find if they want to get away from everyone else.

    Its just my opion and I know everyone has their own but I would hate to see everyone discontinue providing stream, trail, and Campsite information.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Its just my opinion and I know everyone has their own but I would hate to see everyone discontinue providing stream, trail, and Campsite information.

    Thanks again for sharing.
    Mac, Thanks for the approval. As you stated, there are lots of folks that disagree, and to be honest, I usually only comment on areas that are either hard to get to (so that others can decide if its worth the effort) or are hearty enough to withstand whatever extra pressure that they may get (or may not).

    Before the drought, the Park biologists actually felt that the streams were underfished and the streams were overcrowded with fish. The thought was that we should even keep some of the fish that were caught to help thin out the crowding. Since the streams are somewhat nutrient poor, the streams can only support so many fish and as much as we would like to think we are good at catching them, as a fishing community we have a marginal impact, if any at all on the fish populations. Obviously the drought changed that dynamic. Right now, the fishing seems excellent with the surviving fish growing bigger and fatter than in previous years. And next year should be even better.

    And with 800+ miles of streams to explore and 90% of fisherman fishing within the first 1 mile of each stream that starys from the pavement, I think we are safe to comment on those hard to reach ones...I've learned alot from the folks on this board and try to keep up my end by "paying it forward". I hope that everyone on here will do the same...

    "Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Maryville
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteCz View Post
    And with 800+ miles of streams to explore and 90% of fisherman fishing within the first 1 mile of each stream that starys from the pavement, I think we are safe to comment on those hard to reach ones...I've learned alot from the folks on this board and try to keep up my end by "paying it forward". I hope that everyone on here will do the same...
    Great post Pete. I also like to disclose the harder to reach spots. I know most are too hard to reach for the average fisherman. If someones interested in taking the effort to reach these destinations, I would like them to know that the fishing is good. I also fish alot in the evenings roadside and usually don't say exactly where this is because they are so easy to get to and there are enough roadside areas to get to that specifics don't need to be mentioned for good fishing. Hope that makes sense.
    My posts are worthless without pictures

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Knoxville, TN
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    PeteCZ, forgive me for getting off topic, but your thread got me thinking.....

    Someone here used to have a backcountry fishing website/blog link in their signature. Anyone remember who it was or what it is? It was something like backpackingfishing or backcountryfishing.

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Waynesville, NC
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    i believe that is mtnman2888 or something like that

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