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Thread: Backcountry Trip with my Son John W. Holbrook

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Beaufort, SC

    Default Backcountry Trip with my Son John W. Holbrook

    Last year I made a trip up to Cabin Flats with my son John. He wanted to find the engine from the F15 that we had read about on the blog here. We made the trip up only to get caught in a big thunderstorm that more than tripled the size of the Bradley fork, making it too dangers to navigate. We decided to try again on the Labor Day Weekend. We drove up after I got off of work, and didn't get into the Park until 0230 Saturday so I did not get any pictures of the drive in. At 0630 we were up and at a pancake place for breakfast, then we started up the trail.

    The trip up:

    John Wesley did a great job, he was motivated. We took a couple of breaks on the way up to rest....ok we took a couple of breaks so that I could wet a line. I caught several nice rainbows, mostly on a neversink caddis in yellow from LRO. We made it to 49 and set up camp:

    JW must have been worn out, because he immediately climbed in the hammock and took about a 3 hour nap. I set up the rest of camp and did a little fishing. I did not get any pictures because it was raining, and JW had the camera somewhere and all I had was my phone, that is not waterproof. I caught several nice rainbows and brookies, and another 15 or so smaller fish.

    I woke JW up and we made a bite to eat, then went exploring up the river to try and find the F15 pieces. I am glad that the water level was not too high, and about a mile up JW found part of a turbine. It was on the right side of the river bed, and up under some branches, I am really surprised that he was able to find it, but he did:

    The Safety wires were still in place:

    He marked the spot with some rocks:

    I will have to go with the distance that was posted on here previously, about a mile above hard for me to figure out distance moving up the river bed.

    Picture of the river:

    We came back down from 49 on Sunday, late morning. John Wesley wanted to find the single grave off of the Bradley fork trail, so we stopped so he could look. We ended up stopping at the wrong bridge, so I stayed there with the gear while JW went back up to the next bridge to look, about 1/2 mile. He came back and did not have any luck, and wanted me to go look while he watched the gear. I went up. The single bridge about 1/2 mile above the first double bridge on the trail, and the trail to the grave was 67 yards past that. I went back and let JW know where it was and he went back to find it:

    While he was gone I got to do some more fishing. I decided to put on a beetle pattern that I had gotten from my friend Patrick Fulkrod, and try for some bigger fish. I had gotten a couple of little rainbows and brookies when I saw this shadow detach from the bottom and take the beetle:

    I think it was about 15 or 16 inches or so, a really nice brown. I had caught these earlier:

    This completed my second Smokies slam of the year. It was a great trip with my son, and while it was not a "fishing" trip, it was productive in the time that I was able to fish. Great spending time with my son.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Knoxville, Tennessee


    Great report, thanks for sharing. Nathan and I have been planning for 2 years to get up there, hopefully we will make it soon.

    Great to spend time with your family in the outdoors. That water above Cabin Flats looks perfect size to me.

    And that Brown made the trip all by itself. lucky guy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Crossville, TN


    Looks like a fun trip! Way to finish off with that nice brown!
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Halifax, VA


    Nice trip and report!!! Love the turbine pic. You know I read something about that a long time ago but I can't find it now. I searched "Jet", "Turbine", and "F15". There is one other thread in 2011 that had a pic and brief mention but no detail. Anyone know "the rest of the story"?
    <(((>< In tribute to Ben, Duck Hunter extraordinaire, and man's best friend.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Beaufort, SC


    Try this link:

    You will have to read the whole post.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011


    Nice trip report!!! I see that turbine hasn't moved a whole lot since I was up there two years ago.......I do remember the brooky fishing to be fantastic!!! Glad y'all had a great time!!!
    Here I walk slowly, deliberately, taking it one step, one trout, one sunset at a time. -Harry Middleton

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC


    Looks like a nice trip. That's a nice brown too! The best part is getting to spend some time with your son. Get ready it won't be long now and he will be out the door. It goes by so fast, my advice to everyone is to spend all the time you can with them now. I miss my boy and the trips we use to take. We still fish a couple times a year, but I don't get to see him nearly enough.
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Lexington, KY


    Excellent report and that is one dutiful Brown trout.

    Having a trip in the backcountry with fly fishing for trout, Exploring the mountains, camping in your hammocks, and spending it with family, what else could be better.

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