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Old 04-22-2008, 08:39 AM
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ijsouth ijsouth is offline
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Default Who needs sleep?

Even though we were up for the better part of a week last month, we all knew that we would have to return sometime this Spring - one has to take advantage of the conditions. Well, the soccer season ended, and the girls had a week of standardized testing, so they didn't have much homework - so, we pointed the car north and started on our way. The plan was to leave home around 5pm, get to at least the far side of Birmingham, get a room and some sleep, then get up to the mountains the next morning, nice and refreshed. That is, that was the plan. The cold front that moved through the Southeast reached us right at 5, so I waited an hour to leave; no big deal, or so I thought. When we finally got going, we were ok with the weather until we got into Mississippi a bit - it was there that we caught up with the front. There was a lot of ponding on the roadbed, so I had to go a lot slower than normal. As a result, I decided to scrap the hotel plan, and snatch a bit of sleep at some rest stops. 14 hours later, we were in Townsend...so much for feeling refreshed.

I had an order at LRO waiting for me, so we swung by there and waited out the last of the rain. Since we were at that end of the park, and we had some success the last time we had fished it, we decided to go back to Lynn Camp. We met Troutman there, and we hiked up the trail together for a bit (BTW - nice to meet you in person Troutman, and that's one nice flyrod). He continued further up the trail, while we stopped to fish a section - that turned out to be a mistake on our part, for after a short while, we spotted another fisherman in the area. We hiked a good ways up to get out of his way, but he followed us, and seemed to be going back and forth, to areas we had already fished. I have no idea how long he was there, or exactly which sections he had fished, but it translated into very few strikes and no fish. After a few hours, we decided to leave and head over the mountains to Straight Fork. We went all the way to the bridge and fished above it. I had a few hits and managed to get one brookie to my feet before it got off, while daughter #1 caught one and lost one. We headed further down the stream, where I managed to get one 4inch brookie out of Hyatt Creek where it meets Straight Fork...that was my fish for the day. I threw everything I could think of at the fish in Straight Fork, but no takers. Just before sunset, there was a good hatch of mayflies, but the fish wouldn't rise, and I couldn't dredge them up with nymphs. So, we left, feeling more than a bit discouraged. At least the Blue Ridge Parkway was open, which helped us get to our room in Maggie Valley a lot quicker. Along the way, I saw the moon rising over the Plott Balsams, and had to take a picture:



The next day, after our ritual breakfast at Joey's, we headed to Cosby. We weren't really planning on fishing there this time, but after the skunking the day before, we wanted to catch some fish. We started where the Low Gap trail crosses the stream. I headed upstream with daughter #3, while daughters 1&2 started fishing. I hadn't gone very far when I heard #1 had caught something. I continued up, and after a slow start, got three bows and a brook to hand. Meanwhile, my oldest fishing below us got 7, all brookies. It seems that both species are sharing the water...a good sign. Here's one of them, with my assistant about to release it:



We hiked further up, and fished a section that I hadn't hit before. We all caught a lot more fish....I got an 8-inch brookie that was all head and tail - skinny cuss, but the longest brookie I've caught in that stream. I missed a couple of nice fish, but that's ok - we had a great time, and ended up with about 40 between us.

On a completely different note - ever wonder what happens to that water rushing down your favorite Smokies stream? Well, here's where it ends up:



This was sent to me by a friend of mine - it's a picture of the Mississippi River levee in Metairie, just upstream of New Orleans. The river is higher than its been in 10 years, and should be reaching a crest today. It's quite a sight - seeing a huge tanker ship passing OVER your head.
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:05 PM
Shaggy Shaggy is offline
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Looks like alot of fun. I need to try to teach my oldest daughter how to fly fish. She caught her first trout 2 weeks ago at a childrens fishing day at our local park pond, a 14 incher, thought it was going to pull her in! I have 2 daughters and another on the way(most likely another daughter) and it would be great if they would go with me to the streams! --
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:27 PM
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ijsouth ijsouth is offline
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Athens! We always stop at the Steak N' Shake there on the way home...it's a ritual - we pig out, because (and perhaps thankfully) we don't have them in Louisiana.

Don't underplay their ability to learn it fairly quickly...my oldest has gotten very good at it, and my twins - about to turn 8 - seem to be able to handle things well enough that, this next trip, they'll have their own rods rigged up.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:54 PM
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Brook Fan Brook Fan is offline
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Default Cosby

IJ

I hated that I missed the chance to met you at Cosby. I went Saturday instead of Sunday. I stayed tangled up most of the time but hey my experience has been in the tail waters, and this was my 1st GSM trip. I did get to see an orange belly as a Brookie went for my fly but I missed him.
But fish or no fish it was a great trip! Joe Fred and I will be heading back real soon. If I can't convince my wife of that then I'm sure he will persuade his daughter to let me go.

Hopefully my 16 month old daughter will enjoy fishing as much as yours.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:07 PM
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ijsouth ijsouth is offline
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Yep...we weren't planning on hitting Cosby at all this time; the last 2 times I've come up, I've hit it pretty hard, so I wanted to try some other areas - plus, I had to swing by LRO for an order, so we were already in the area of Tremont/Lynn Camp. We had done well there last time, but this time it was a big skunk, mostly due to us fishing "used" water. We also basically bombed at Straight Fork, so we all wanted to catch something...so Sunday, we were there. My oldest actually outfished me by a few, in terms of raw numbers, but I had the quality fish .

Cosby can be frustrating; it's a tight canopy in spots, and you end up making some creative casts. However, on the plus side, it's fairly easy water to fish - mostly one plunge pool after another. I don't think they were as turned on as they could have been - we took the temperature, and it was 49.2F...a few degrees more, and a sunnier day, and I think we could have doubled our count. We had to work a little bit...when the sun did peek through, they seemed to strike more readily. The thing to keep in mind with this stream is not to expect huge fish; I caught an 8-inch brookie this trip, and it's my best out of this stream. A 6-inch spec can be king of the pool. Just keep your casts short (most of the time, I'm just flipping a few inches of fly line and the leader) and hold as much of that leader out of the water as possible...also, if you had to pick one spot in a pool to try, go for the "corners" on either side of the incoming water at the heads of the pools - inevitably, there's a fish there, and it's usually the best one in the pool.

What section did you fish? We ended up going higher than we ever had, and it seemed both the quality and quantity improved.
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Old 04-25-2008, 12:25 PM
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Brook Fan Brook Fan is offline
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We enterted the stream a little past the 1st crossing after the amphitheatre. I'm not sure how far we went because we follwed the stream instead of the path so distance was a little confusing and I forgot to set my GPS to measure how far we went. I know from talking to the park ranger we should have kept going up stream and past the water tower. No biggie though we had fun and next time we will find the tower.
We are camping in Townsend the weekend of Troutfest and we are going to try our hand at trying to catch some browns and bows in the waters from that side of the park.
2nd time out in the park so I get to see what I learned.
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Last edited by Brook Fan; 04-25-2008 at 12:27 PM.. Reason: sp
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