On June 16th I took my 12 year old son John Wesley camping up to Smokemont. We stayed until the afternoon of 19 June. This trip was really a camping trip, but I did get in a total of 6 hours of fishing between Thursday and Friday.
We had a really nice time together....good food, great weather, and some memories made.
On Thursday we set up camp, then we went in to town to look for gemstones at one of the places there. Late in the afternoon we hiked up just past Chasteen creek and did a little fishing. I caught about 5-6 fish, and kept 2 rainbows and a brown, all at least 9 inches long. The green weenie took the most fish, but I did catch fish on the yellow stimulator that was on top of it. We then cooked some ribeyes on the grill at camp.
On Friday we took a trip up to straight fork. The weather was cool, I don't think it broke 65 all day. It was really nice. I caught another 4-5 fish, including one brown that was 12.5 inches.
On Saturday the plan was to hike up to Cabin flats and look for the F-15 in the river up that way. We left about 9:45 after a nice breakfast. It took us somewhere around 3.5 hours or so to get there. I was carrying about 50lbs and my sone had about 20lbs. It was challenging for my son, who had not done any hikes that were this long, as well as none in the mountains. He did a great job.
About the time we started coming down off the ridge going into 49....a big storm hits. Rain, lighting, and some gusting winds. We spent about an hour under an emergency shelter I made with and emergency blanket, and cooked lunch (Ramen and couple of slim jims). Lunch really hit the spot. After an hour it was still raining, and the lightning was still lingering. We went up the river a little ways, then decided to head back down. We then hiked back to camp. During this entire hike my sone did a great job. There was only 1 stretch of about a mile on the way back where I carried his pack...it was really his shoulders that were hurting, not his legs.
We were disappointed that we did not get to find the jet engine, but the river had risen rapidly during our last 10 minutes, and even if the rain had stopped, the river was not safe.
It did stop raining when we got back to camp, and we really lucked out. A tree at the corner of our campsight had fallen down....across the road and through a vacant site instead of ours. There were at least 4 trees down on and around the first 1/2 mile of the trail from Cabin flats.
Sunday morning brought more rain, and kept the river pretty muddy. We ended up packing up a little later than I wanted, but kept much dryer during the packing process. All in all a great trip. The following are the pictures from the trip:
Rainbow on green weenie
At D016 in smokemont
Quick break on the trip up to Cabin Flats
Trail going up
Another nice bow
Falls on the way
River level prior to the storm
River level after the storm
A little wet, but warm on the way down
One of the trees down after the storm