It was a tough choice betwen 18 and 93, but decided to try some relatively unknown territory by going out to Twentymile. I took the boys; Jack, 7, Nolan, 5, and Eli, 3. I was hoping for some easy to access fishing near the campsite, water for the kids to play in, solitude, and a good time. We succeeded on all accounts.
After about a 2 hour drive down the Dragon (which was cool at first but after a while was just tiring) we arrived at the Twentymile ranger station around 11 am. We quickly got suited up and started down the trail.
Since so few people head out, I tried to get a few pictures of stream. below the intersection of Wolf Ridge trail and Twentymile trail I didnt get much of a look at the stream since it was 100 ft from the trail with plenty of brush in the way.
Above the intersection the trail rises high above the creek. There were only a few places that looked accessible from the trail, and it was still a difficult climb. The creek itself look choked with rhodo and fallen trees like this HUGE tree. The picture doesnt do it justice.
We finally made it to campsite 93 around 1pm (the kids take lots of breaks). Here is home for the night.
The kids began exploring, finding millipedes, salamanders, and building dams/throwing rocks.
I rigged up a parachute adams w/ a green weenie dropper. The first few places I tried above the campsite were very silty, almost muddy, and I got no strikes at all there. I went down below the campsite and found faster water that looked clearer.
And on the second cast caught my first double!!! and even better the rainbow that hit the dry was a keeper. The bigger one was ~8 inches.
Another section below that area that was better suited for swimming than fishing.
Found a water snake sitting right above where I caught my third and final rainbow. Luckily he was a keeper too (the trout, not the snake).
We excitedly went back to camp and got the fire started. We were having trout with dinner!
Trout before dinner.
Here is the rest of the spread. Dutch oven corn bread on the left. Salmon patties on the foil in middle. Trout are wrapped in foil baking between the logs.
When I was getting the trout ready Jack had a great idea. Instead of just putting lemon-pepper seasoning on the fish (which is all I brought because I didnt really expect to catch trout) he suggested I save some of the stuffing I brought for the salmon patties and stuff the trout with it. What a brilliant kid I have! Here is the result.
My goodness that was incredibly good trout. I got maybe 4 bites, the kids tore up the trout. You can believe the kids will be requesting "Jack's Stuffed Trout" for dinner from now on.
After dinner was smores time, Texas style.
We washed up and were all in bed by 8:30. Its amazing how dark it gets out there, at least before the moon rises all the way. Jack and Nolan took the hammock, Eli and I slept on the ground.
We woke up the next morning, around 7:30, and while I was getting breakfast going, Eli yells "Black Bear! Black Bear! Black Bear!" and I turn around to see a large cub high-tailing it up the mountain side. Eli was so excited that HE was the one to see th bear first. I was excited that it stayed well away, and momma bear never showed up.
I finished breakfast, grits with summer sausage, and hot chocolate for the boys coffee for me (thank you Folgers for the singles pack, I cant stand instant, why did it take so long for someone to put coffee in a tea bag?).
While I packed, the boys continued terrorizing the salamanders and crawdads. I thought about fishing some more, but I figured I was already at "Hero" status with the fish from yesterday, so I packed up the rod and left well enough alone. Around 10am we headed out again, 1.5 miles back to the car.
We swam again, found more unusual bugs, and flowers, talked with a ranger, and finally made it to the car by 1pm. The boys had a good nap riding down the Dragon with the windows down.