My brother and I have just returned from our annual spring fly fishing trip. I wanted to share a few stories and photos from our trip I hope you enjoy.
We started our trip on Saturday April 14th, with plans to meet in Bryson City for the night. After checking in at the Sleep Inn Hotel we drove to the end of the Road-to-Nowhere and dropped one of the vehicles off for our return trip. On the way back we stopped at Jimmy Macs for an Elk burger and desert.
Early Sunday morning we gathered our gear and headed up to Clingmans Dome for our departure on the Forney Ridge Trailhead.
It was impressive with all the trail work that has been completed on the first part of Forney Ridge trail. It did not take long before we were on the Forney Creek Trail and passing the first CS 68. We soon learned that there are two CS 68 locations with the second being closed for “Aggressive Bear Activity”. This is the first time I have ever seen two sites both posted with the same campsite number.
Continuing down the trail we made great time getting to our first night’s stay at CS 69. We wasted no time in getting our camp setup in hopes of having plenty of time to do some fishing.
With the second half of the day still left we hurried to get our fly rods setup and started fishing above CS 69. You can see that the stream is small but with plunge pool after plunge pool. We would take turns leadings and once the lead person caught a fish we would switch places. We mostly used 16 Simulators or Parachute Adams during the first days fishing. The fishing was great with plenty of rainbows brought to hand and two to three times that many missed. We did not catch any Brook trout around CS 69.
Monday morning we planned to hike down to CS 70 and spend the entire day fishing back to CS 69. In this picture you can see the foot bridge that takes you to CS 70. The stream size was closer to our liking for the two of us and the rainbows along this section of the stream were very aggressive and fought hard. We mostly used a larger Simulator or Never Sink Dry Fly with a smaller Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail or Hairs Ear dropper. Another great weather day and fish numbers were some of our best.
This picture shows the average size of the rainbows that we were catching. The surprising thing was how strong these fish are.
Tuesday we had planned to take a slow morning packing up camp with a long breakfast break and then hiking downstream to CS 71. Reviewing our map we check the locations of the three creek crossings that we crossed the day before during our fishing trip. This picture shows our first crossing with all our gear.
Here you can see CS 71 with the well-known Chimney stack. In the left hand side of the picture you might be able to see our camp setup in the background. We only fished a couple hours upstream Tuesday and we both landed about four or five rainbows. Again we used the Dry Fly Dropper combination.
Wednesday we had plans to fish the entire day upstream. Tuesday night and almost the entire day Wednesday we had rain. With all the rain we had received we ended up having a slow start but at about noon we decided to go ahead and fish upstream even though it was still raining. We changed our fly fishing setup to using double bead nymphs with an indicator. We held close to the edges and looked for the slower eddies to fish during the rain. We were amazed that we continued to catch fish all day even though it never quite raining until late that evening.
At about 6:00PM we were about half way upstream from CS 71 to CS 70. It started getting late so we looked for a safe place to cross the stream because of all the heavy rains. Once we got to the trail side of the creek to our surprise we saw two people jumping up and down screaming and yelling at us from the trail. We walked to the trail and meet a young man and lady that had flown in from Florida the day before and had just gotten married. Earlier that morning around 11:00AM they had went on a hiking trip at the Road-to-Nowhere. They told us they had gotten lost all day in the rain. They were wearing short sleeve tee shirts, blue jeans and tennis shoes. The young man told us he had 1 bar cell service at the top of the trail and had been talking to 911 trying to get someone to rescue them but did not know where they were. We all hiked back to the top of the trail and the young man called 911 again and we told them we would be at CS 71. Once at CS 71 we gave them dry clothes made them some hot coffee and waited for the forestry service to come. At about 8:20PM a Forestry service man made it to CS 71 and escorted them out. What a day Wednesday had been.
This picture shows an old road bed upstream from CS 71 on the opposite side of Forney Creek. This road bed went for a long ways upstream and it was impressive with all the hard work that went into this road that is not in use anymore and almost completely overgrown.