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Old 09-09-2009, 10:16 AM
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duckypaddler duckypaddler is offline
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Smile Ramsey's Prong 9-2-09 My personal 75th Park Aniversary Celebration

Since a good portion of the park was closed for the big wigs and Dolly for the 75th Aniversary Dedication, I decided to head to Ramsey's Prong for some Brookie fishing. I love Ramsey's! It's a place that is pretty isolated in the park, but beacause of easy access, still get enough use that one knows they probably won't be alone on the trail. Not a bad place for a solo adventure. As I got out of my car I see this young buck at the trailhead.



He looks at me taking his picture then scants off into the woods. I gear up and get ready for my hike. As soon as I start hiking I see the deer just ran a few yards off and was feeding in the woods next to a tree. He was very skinny and you could see the velvet on his antlers.



I then crossed the bridge and headed on my hike. While the Virgin forest doesn't start for several miles up the trail, it is still very nice forest and makes for pleasant hiking.



I was in hiking bliss making my way up the trail dreaming of that monster Brookie when I awoke from my stupor to see this!



Well it turns out I'm not the only one hiking this trail today. I guess that was bear scat I saw a few hundred yards back (like a big dog only really black). Ok well this bear isn't much bigger than a large dog which initially eases my worries until Junior comes out of the brush. Now I'm a bit more concerned as Momma bears with babies is a recipe for trouble. I'm only about 30-40 yards away which was a little too close for me. Momma didn't look to concerned and they both continued feeding.



About that time a group of 6 hikers coming the other way had stopped on the other side of her. While I was glad to see others, I didn't like the fact the bear and cub was stuck between us. We both waited and let the bear call the shots. When they got about 10 yards off the trail the other group passed on the trail. We talked a minute and said they saw the bear right below the parking area when thay started early that morning. I told them I was glad to see them, and asked that they wait for me to pass the bear before heading on. While it was a bit nerve raking for me, the bears seemed unphased as to anything being wrong. Just a day of foraging for food like any other, and it looked like this non native specie was not on the menu so I just passed on the trail. Once safely past the bears I tlooked back at what FCFLy referred to as "Bear Alley" on our last trip to the headwaters of the Middle Prong. I guess he knows what he is talking about. Check out this monster tree that had to be cut out of the trail. Some sweet forest for sure!



I soon make it to the turn around where Ramsey's flows into the Middle Prong. I rig up and head up for a great day. Within 5 minutes I met this friend. He's a native.



I'll follow up in a response post as I'm out of picture posting room.

To Be Continued..........
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:35 AM
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Smile Second Part

Here is another view of the above fish. He was probably the biggest Brookie I caught that day.



I worked my was up this tight little stream that I found conditions to be tighter than on Road Prong. I was soon rewarded with this nice little Rainbow!



While the fishing was not "On Fire" it was another excellent day of fishing in the Smokies.



Another Pretty Brookie. As I got a bit up the creek it seemed to open up a bit.



And a view downstream.



And if you think the pictures are nice, you should have been there. I love soaking up all this Smoky Mountain Goodness! So Refreshing!

Another nice Brookie



There are also plenty of blow downs as with any small stream in the park.



I made it about a 200 yards past the water quality measuring station only to find I couldn't see the trail to hike out on. So I proceeded to hike back down the streambed until I could see the trail grade and picked up the trail there. How much further would I have to fish up in order to get to the next bridge or easy exit point? It would be nice to know for next time. As I hiked back I wondered if I would see the Bears again, and continued to enjoy the beauty of the forest.



Some nice trees on the hike out. Another wonderful day in the mountains I thought I would share.

Good Luck & Happy Fishing!
James Locke
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:44 AM
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I too enjoy that part of the Park...when I was younger you could drive up to where the river forks....if you look really hard where you put in you can see where this used to be a turn around/parking area....the forest has pretty much taken over this area now...great photos...will be up there in about three weeks and look forward to fishing that area as well as Porter's Creek...caught my first trout there almost 50 years ago and can take you back to the exact spot even today.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:11 PM
Carlito Carlito is offline
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That is some great water, Duck. I was up there on 8/22 with friends (I believe I posted pictures last week), and we had a blast. LOTS of traffic on that trail during the weekends.

We also found that little feeder creek that comes in from the left as you are heading upstream. My buddy did some research, and I'm pretty sure that was Buck Fork. How far up it did you fish? We didn't go too far because it was so much smaller, but my buddy did catch a nice brookie in the last pool before it merges w/ Ramsay Prong.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:41 PM
lauxier lauxier is offline
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nice pics-makes you want to close-up(the store) and head for SMNP
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:56 PM
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Smile Buck Fork is at the top of my To Fish list

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlito View Post

We also found that little feeder creek that comes in from the left as you are heading upstream. My buddy did some research, and I'm pretty sure that was Buck Fork. How far up it did you fish? We didn't go too far because it was so much smaller, but my buddy did catch a nice brookie in the last pool before it merges w/ Ramsay Prong.
Just to be sure we're on the same page I was fishing Ramsey's Prong (follows the trailafter the turnaround from 40's). I have fished the headwaters of Middle Prong before to it's confluence with Chapman Prong (One creek past Buck Fork). It's some sweet water up there also. That's where I really wanted to go, but since I was solo I stuck with something next to a trail, so Ramsey's it was. Did you guys hike the manway back downstream from Buck Fork to confluence of Middle Prong & Ramsey's? Or did you just hike the streambed back down. While the manway isn't the best it sure beats scrammbling down the streambed. Here is a shot from 7-23 of my trip w/ FcFly at confluence of Buck Fork and Middle Prong.




I'm up for a Buck Fork trip if anyone else is. On the map it looks like the straightest stream in the Smokies.

And yes I saw you nice pics last week.

James
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:02 PM
Rebelsoul Rebelsoul is offline
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I always enjoy your pictures,thanks!
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:45 PM
Carlito Carlito is offline
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James,

Well, now I am a little confused. I think it was Buck Fork that we checked out, but I need to upload my GPS tracks to make sure. I'll check this evening and let you know for sure.

BTW, thanks for posting the great pix! I like the "mugshot" photo of that first brookie. You can really tell it had dark coloration.

Why is it that some are darker like that? When I fished the Kenai, we were catching lots of arctic char (which I understand to be very closely related to brook trout). Some of them were really darkly colored and had a hook nose, and our guide said that turn when they spawn. Do you suppose it is the same case for the specks? My buddy caught one when we were up there on Ramsay that was super dark like that too.

Cheers!

Carl
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