I guess you cannot plan the weather. We knew going up that the weather would be bad and the water tough to fish. We went anyway because we knew it would be the last chance for a while. We stayed at the Elkmont campground. Day one we fished the Bradley Fork at the campground first thing in the morning.
We were hoping to possibly catch some brown trout, but the water was stained and high, and the leaves were thick. We fished for only an hour or so, then decided to head out to Straight Fork.
When we got to Strait Fork, the water was high and a little stained, but not too bad. We had pretty good luck with some decent rainbows and my buddy Larry caught a 10-inch brown. The location was great. Here is a picture of a 9-inch rainbow:
As we fished the river kept rising and the leaves kept getting worse. We finally decided to move later in the afternoon, and went up to Beach Flats Prong. We were hoping the water wouldn't be as high here, but we were mistaken. The water was so high you could not safely wade, so you had to bust through alot of mountain laurel to get anywhere. The area was beautiful though.
We did see a bunch of people pulled over on the road, standing in the road and overall being not too smart, taking pictures of a black bear cub in a tree.....all I could think of was that mama bear was not going to be too happy with all of these people around.
On the bear note, I saw 3 bears this trip. The one in the tree mentioned above, a bear on the other side of Bradley Fork from me about 20 yards away, and another one on Sunday in the Straight Fork:
That bear was crossing the river about 80 yards from where we were fishing, and I caught it crossing the road. Sorry the quality is not too good, not a great camera for taking distance photos, and I have enough common sense to not get too close to wild animals, particularly those that could hurt you.
As you can see from these pictures the Straight Fork was still high and moving on Sunday:
This was our first trip to the Straight Fork, and we will definitely be going back. I did manage to hook a beautiful 12 inch rainbow on Sunday, but I was standing in about 3 feet of water and had no good way to land it, so I played it for a while and finally lost it when it ran down stream. The water was just too high and fast for me to go after it safely.