My buddy Trey was wanting to do a Smokies overnighter, and it didn't take too much convincing to get me to go
After breaking down 5 different trips, he basically just told me to pick a place. Making the mistake of buying my backcountry permits early already proved a waste of money as Smokies conditions can change on a dime, and I'm glad I waited. The forecast was calling for rain Sat through Mon, and not just the brief shower kind. We decided on an nice easy overnighter at Cataloochee, and since the forecast was lousy opted for one night instead of two. Only 2 other people had a permit that night so there should have been plenty of water even if they were fisherman.
We followed a Florida SUV in with a TU sticker and was glad to see him turn down the gravel road on the lower stretch of water. While I didn't have to worry about the Boogerman on this side of the Holler, I think the ghost of Turkey George may have been wading upstream of me putting the fish down
At the trailhead a young guy with his girl in tote made a mad dash to get on the trail once they saw our fishing gear on our backpacks. There was no time for hello, or coordinating to make sure everyone had fresh water. Ran into an older gentle man who was very friendly on the way in who was fishing with another guy who was working a beautiful pool just upstream. We moved on and in 20 minutes or so were at our campsite. We set-up, coordinated where we wanted to fish, and headed for the water.
I hiked up the trail to where I thought I would be high enough for fresh water. While the trail wasn't too far from the stream it was a scramble. The first site I saw was wet boot prints and the guy and his girlfriend quickly working upstream After a cuss word or two I worked back up to the trail. While there was a beautiful drop down point a quarter mile up, I played nice and kept hiking giving him 4 or so hours of fresh water before I dropped in. I had a beautiful stream that seemed the perfect size where I dropped in.
While the action was much slower than my trip earlier in the week, it wasn't long before I had a few fish to hand.
Continued to work my way through some beautiful water.
Cool strainer pile that blocked whole river
And the cool gravel bar it held above it
Not a bad place as far as scenery goes
Will continue as I'm out of picture room
Well the fishing wasn't great but the scenery was awesome, then all of the sudden went completely flat. I went into ultra stealth mode and picked up one or two in the next hour, but I was working far too hard for Springtime. Then I saw some splashed water ahead of me. The ghost of Turkey George might just be upstream. Then it got much worse, a WET BOOTPRINT
As I continued to work upstream my fears of a run in with the ghost of Turkey George subsided as I caught up to the other fisherman ahead of me. He was a nice guy who almost immediately told me to take the fresh water from here as he had told himself that morning he wanted to catch 32 and had just caught 32 and was done for the day. I told him I'd be happy to walk way upstream and let him keep fishing. After a comment about we both thought how unlikely 2 fisherman would run into one another out here we headed back to the trail. I immediately started picking up fish and soon was at the confluence of Lost Bottom.
I worked several hundred more yards of stream then decided to hike back to camp. Enjoyed some trillium on the way back.
When we got to camp we realaxed, drank some of my homemade Pinot Noir, and feasted on filet mignon grilled on my new titanium grill (1.15 oz) as well as some loaded mash potatoes with real buttter bacon and freshly grated cheese. Had some pretzel rolls wrapped in foil and toated them to perfection. It's my opinion Mountain House has no place in my campsite
It sprinkled a bit through the night, but probably not more than a 1/4 inch, and the hemlocks still had dry ground beneath them. While i forgot to protect the firewood from the rain, it didn't take too much to get it going again. I sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee by the fire as Trey slept in. Once he woke up it had that feel like it was gonna get nasty as we packed up out campsite before it got bad
As we hiked down the trail to fish there was a mysterious egg in the trail
Maybe you country boys can help this city slicker identify it. Not sure if it was a goose egg brought in by a horse person and discarded, or if indeed it was from a Smokies bird. Here is Trey posing with the egg for scale
It wasn't too long before we hit the water as the rain set in
Will continue again
Fishing fresh water is much better. Within a few minutes
Then my first Rainbow of the trip
Even in the rain the scenery didn't let down
The rain was getting heavier and we knew from the forecast it wasn't gonna be getting better.
It was starting to get pretty cold wading in the rain and knew it was time to bail. I watched Trey fish another pool then we headed back
Then on the way out I saw a sign
As we neared the trailhead I heard a thundering sound. Luckily it wasn't the weather, and I bet the roads here will look better in the next few weeks.
And if the ton of pictures weren't enough here's more: http://s1163.photobucket.com/user/du.../Purdy%20Holla
Until the next adventure
I've seen ducks make their home in different areas of the park. I guess a goose could too. Nice water and feeshes. Looks like a good time.
Wonder if that is a Ruffed Grouse egg? It would be pretty cool to find one although a little strange for it to just be laying in the middle of a trail...
Very nice thanks for the pics and report! Nice to see you have switched over to the old standard neversink and pink weenie.
Thank You for sharing. Glad this rain is on it's way out. Got the chance yesterday to at least get out to the river and look at it. Chocolate milk and swollen with all the rain down this way.
Hope to see you soon.
Looks eggzactly like a wild turkey egg.
That's what I was thinking as well.
Originally Posted by Oldman
nice report. beautiful scenery. thanks for posting.
Romans 10:9-10 KJV