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Thread: Bushwhacking

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    88

    Default snakes and fishin'...my favorite time of the year

    Being an avid snake finder and fly flinger, my favorite season is quickly approaching. even though I have very little experience in the park compared with Mr. Casada, my excursions in the park have led me to believe that snakes see us much more often than we see them.
    Case in point: late last summer, i was watching a couple of fisher folk along the tremont road. they were both in the stream, wearing waders and within 10 feet of a good snake-sunnin' rock. I was about 20 yds away, across the stream, in the shade and out of fish-spookin range when i saw a nice sized n. water snake slither up on the rock, facing the two fisherman who weren't 10 feet away. I watched them all for a few minutes and after several casts were made I told them about their new friend. I thought that was one incredibly sneaky snake. out in the open and nearly unseen. imagine what's waiting where we can't see very well. another reason i take a hiking stick wherever I go in the park.

    I'm not a professional nor have I ever been bitten by a venomous snake, but what i've seen and read about others' experiences leads me to believe rattler bites can be serious in a hurry. while most of the timber rattlers around here only have hemotoxin which acts on the blood and muscles, several specimens found elsewhere have been found to contain both hemo and neurotoxins, a concoction similar to, but not as strong as, some cobras. recently in field and stream, there was a brief story about a man who had supposedly received a dry bite. http://www.fieldandstream.com/articl...en-rattlesnake

    I wouldn't wish a rattler bite on anybody.
    as far as copperheads, generally their venom is not as strong. according to what I belive is a credible web site, http://www.healthline.com/blogs/outd...nakebites.html , between 2000 and 2007, only one person, a 51 year old male, died from a copperhead bite. the other report on that site also found that coagulapothy(profuse bleeding) was not very frequent in copper bites, though it did happen some.

    watch where you go and go. be aware of what could be there but as Mr. Casada pointed out, don't let the unknown deter your wanderings.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Gadsden, Alabama
    Posts
    1,033

    Default

    Here in alabama where some of us fish, we have the famous water moccasin or cotton mouth. These snakes are very aggressive. I know that first hand. I fish alot along the rivers around here where fallen trees and tall grass are always found. That is why I was thinking about chaps or gators as some are called.
    Romans 10:9-10 KJV

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    338

    Default

    Flyred, if you are wearing waders, you are gonna be just about as safe as you would be wearing chaps/gators. What is all boils down to is your comfort. I know there are snakes about, and I always look for them. Regardless, I don't feel unsafe at all clambering through brush, but I move easy and occasionally poke around w/ my rod to clear the path. If it makes you feel safer and less worried about it, definitely wear the chaps/gators. Nobody will tease you about it!
    I got no style, I'm strictly roots.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lenoir City, TN
    Posts
    988

    Default CS 31 - Blink and you'll miss it. Miss it and you could go missing also.

    This week I experienced what others have reported... I walked past the marker for backcountry campsite 31 on Porters Creek Trail. It is hard to see... even in bright daylight.

    The photo below shows the algae-covered marker and the campsite above the dry gulch in the background.


    The marker is on the right of the trail about 30 to 40 yards beyond the landmark pictured below.

    The log and two dead trees at the end of it are about 5 feet in diameter.

    Be careful out there.

    JF
    “Joe” Fred Turner
    sasMaps.com formerly SmokyStreams.com - I'm pretty much broke, but my posted links ort not be. Restoration underway.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    34

    Default

    [QUOTE=knucklehead;78687]Being an avid snake finder and fly flinger, my favorite season is quickly approaching. even though I have very little experience in the park compared with Mr. Casada, my excursions in the park have led me to believe that snakes see us much more often than we see them.
    Case in point: late last summer, i was watching a couple of fisher folk along the tremont road. they were both in the stream, wearing waders and within 10 feet of a good snake-sunnin' rock. I was about 20 yds away, across the stream, in the shade and out of fish-spookin range when i saw a nice sized n. water snake slither up on the rock, facing the two fisherman who weren't 10 feet away. I watched them all for a few minutes and after several casts were made I told them about their new friend. I thought that was one incredibly sneaky snake. out in the open and nearly unseen. imagine what's waiting where we can't see very well. another reason i take a hiking stick wherever I go in the park.


    It amazes me how numerous northern water snakes really are. I see them every time I fish the Little River, or up in Tremont. And sometimes they can surprise you how far they get from water. I was walking on the Abrams Falls trail one time, just happened to look to my left in some downed timber / brush. There were quite a few snakes in there just knotted up and taking in the sun that just happened to be making it thru the trees and leaves. This was a good 50 ft away from the stream itself. So that tells me they are more numerous than we probably would believe.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Davidson, NC
    Posts
    35

    Default Cross country

    I'm going to try to steer this one back to bushwhacking. That cross-country camping is even permitted is new to me. In Rocky Mtn NP that had cross-country zones and you could reserve the entire zone, all of which was without trail access. It was awesome. Has anyone gotten a permit for cross country camping? I'm curious as to how picky & particular they are with those permits.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
    Posts
    1,035

    Default

    I've never had a problem getting a permit for it, but the places i have ask for one are usually remote without many trails and campsites. I get one almost every year to fish a popular stream that has a good man-way you can follow to the park boundary where it flows into a lake. I almost never see anyone and it's only a couple miles from a gravel road. If I were in doubt I would email or call the reservation office to ask about a given area. I'd also have a plan B
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    800

    Default Cross Country Camping...

    I never even realized that this existed in the Park, but given the restrictions there are only a few instances where it makes sense for fishing. It probably makes more sense in other parks (like RMNP) without the network of trails, etc...

    Crosscountry camping (from the Park Compendium)
    Camping in the backcountry is permitted only at established backcountry sites, except as authorized by a cross-country permit. Cross-country permits may not be self-issued and must be approved by a Resource and Visitor Protection Division employee. Cross-country camping (at other than designated sites) is permitted under the following conditions:

    • The maximum party size is four persons. The use of horses or other stock is prohibited.
    • The campsite must be at least one-half mile from any designated trail, one mile from any designated road and 100 feet from the nearest surface water.
    • Camping in spruce-fir, beech gaps or on grassy or heath balds is prohibited.
    • The duration of stay at each location cannot exceed one night and the same location cannot be used a second time on the same trip.
    • Wood fires are prohibited.
    • Campers are required to obliterate all traces of human presence upon leaving a cross-country camp.
    • Camping locations for each night should be as closely pinpointed as possible using natural landmarks or map coordinates and so noted on the permit. Trips are expected to follow the designated itinerary as closely as possible.

    Cross-country hiking is a special use and requires special equipment, training and/or experience. These regulations are an attempt to permit this special use, while minimizing the potential impact on natural resources.
    (b)(3) Camping within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water is permitted only at designated front and backcountry campsites.
    I can see that it would make sense if you fished one of the upper tributaries of streams like Hazel, Deep Creek, Fish Camp Prong, etc...It would have to be a half mile up the a tributary (to be away from a trail) and more than 100 feet from the stream...

    Interesting...

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

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    992

    Default

    Pete Cz--There are a number of places in the Park where this would be both viable and make sense. Examples which come immediately to mind, mainly because I camped in them long ago (I guess it was more or less legal, since my companion in each case was the son of a Park ranger, and he not only knew what we were doing but took us the trailhead from which we started:
    (1) Straight Fork Creek upstream of the "Million-Dollar Bridge." There's no trail in the drainage above that point, except at the utmost headwaters
    (2) The Left Fork of Deep Creek--Again, no trails serves this drainage, although the Fork Ridge Trail does run the main ridge between Right and Left Fork.
    (3) The Three Forks area of Raven Fork. No trail serves the Park portion of Raven Fork at all except one that crosses it at the confluence of Enloe Creek.
    There are lots of other examples--upper Bone Valley (Defeat and Desolation creeks area and similar situations in many of the smaller feeder streams on the Tennessee side. Not for the faint of heart and particularly not for the inexperienced.
    Jim Casada

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Dickson Co. TN
    Posts
    161

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flyred06 View Post
    Here in alabama where some of us fish, we have the famous water moccasin or cotton mouth. These snakes are very aggressive. I know that first hand. I fish alot along the rivers around here where fallen trees and tall grass are always found. That is why I was thinking about chaps or gators as some are called.
    Everytime I wade streams in the mountains the one thing I'm really thankful for is that I don't expect to see a cottonmouth face to face in chestdeep water,it's happened several times to me here in Mid. Tenn creeks,and they're aggressive for sure....and can bite underwater.
    I'll face a rattler or copperhead anyday...and we have them here too.

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