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Old 10-04-2010, 09:37 AM
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Grannyknot Grannyknot is offline
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Default Action Packed Day 10/2/10

My wife woke me up Saturday morning itching to go for a hike. We picked out a national forest trail that we hadn’t explored before, loaded up the dogs, and hit the road around 9am. I brought my 4wt along with the intention to do a little fishing along the trail. We arrived at the trailhead on the TN/NC border at 10:30. I knew, from reading Byron’s fishing report, that bear season was upon us, so I told Amber that if we see any trucks with dog cages in the back, we should find another place to hike. The parking area and all road-side pull offs were empty, much to my surprise.

We took off up the trail and I hit a few of the lower elevation streams. This particular stream was the location of a TWRA brook trout habitat restoration project several years ago. I didn’t see any sign of habitat improvements on the lower stretches, but the Rainbows seemed to be rather large for the stream size. The average fish was between 8-10”.

Here is one of the better pictures I took:


As the day progressed, we started hearing dogs on the ridge tops. I hoped that they had found what they were after, and weren’t interested in what we were doing down in the valley. We ate our lunch, and I searched for any sign of brook trout, since I had noticed some fallen timber that had created some nice pools. An hour or so after lunch, some horse-back riders came down the trail, so we pulled our dogs off the trail and waited for them to pass. They were nice people and thanked us for taking our dogs off trail, since one of their horses tended to spook around dogs. We exchanged other small talk, they warned us about some bees and we told them about hearing some bear dogs moving along the ridge.

Shortly thereafter, the bear dogs came barreling down the trail barking and howling at us. They stopped and sniffed around us. Both were decent looking dogs with big radio collars on. Our dogs were on leashes, so both felt restricted and unable to defend themselves, so we decided to let them off their leashes. I yelled at the dogs to move along, but they weren’t interested. All of a sudden both bear dogs attacked one of our dogs, biting at her hind quarters pretty viciously. I wasn’t about to stand by and idly watch 2 trained hunting dogs have their way with my dog, so one of them became the recipient of a soaking wet size 11 wading boot to the lower jaw. It let out a yelp and both dogs took off down the trail. I hate to kick another man’s dog, but I saw no other option.

I was still interested in searching for the elusive brook trout in this particular stream, but Amber was pretty traumatized, and was more interested in heading back home. She was moving pretty quick down the trail and proceeded to cross the stream, without even rock hopping. It was at this point that I learned that the Korkers “Hiking Soles” are intended as hiking soles and not rock grippers. My feet went out from under me and I went down, spraining my left wrist a bit, and soaking every article of clothing on my body.

On the way out of the national forest, we drove by a little horse camp where the riders we had seen earlier were sitting by a small camp fire. I noticed that the 2 hunting dogs had made their way down there and were accosting everyone and everything in their camp. I could only imagine how the horses felt about the 2 dogs. Lucky for them the dogs followed our car out onto the highway. After all the grief those dogs gave Amber, she was worried about them being hit by a car.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:11 PM
Crockett Crockett is offline
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Thanks for the report Grannyknot. I have fished the north and some of its little tribs but not very often.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:00 AM
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Cody,

Are those korkers steel toe? haha I would have done the same thing man.

I'm glad you all were able to get out and enjoy some nice fall weather.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:54 PM
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MadisonBoats MadisonBoats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grannyknot View Post
...
Hope everyone had a great weekend.
Glad you made it out and fished. I hate that you had to deal with so much trauma; but, it sure makes things more worthy in the long-run. You need to get some kind of pepper spray or something. I would have probably stabbed those dogs with my river knife to protect my dog(s).

Thanks for sharing your trip with us....I admire your resolve to not let the challenges of your trip put a complete damper on the whole experience!
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:58 PM
2weightfavorite 2weightfavorite is offline
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Those dogs are lucky only to be kicked...I would not hesitate to shoot a dog, let alone a group of dogs attacking my dog. One more reason it is handy to carry... I have hunted all my life, and at times used dogs. I have never had my dogs get out of my sight.. I think its a tad rediculous to unleash your dogs, let them roam for miles free to pilage and plunder, while you track them with a radio signal from a truck.. it may be heritage, but it sure doesnt seem sporting. Did ever see a dog handler by chance?
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:02 PM
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Grannyknot Grannyknot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2weightfavorite View Post
Did ever see a dog handler by chance?
Never did see any hunters or "handlers". I assume they were way up on the ridge above me and their dogs caught my dogs scent down in the valley.

Last time I saw the dogs, they were standing in the highway about 3 miles from Hot Springs. Not the brightest creatures I guess.
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