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Old 07-13-2008, 05:27 PM
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mtnman2888 mtnman2888 is offline
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Default Campsite #49: Cabin Flats

Just got back from a camping trip up to cabin flats above smokemont for a few days of fishing. We started hiking about 7:30 friday morning with the 4.7 mile hike ahead of us. The bradley fork trail is an easy one and has relatively small pulls with nothing too challenging. We arrived at camp and quickly had everything set up in time to be on the water by a little before 11. We began our way fishing upstream and almost immediately we were catching fish. I was using a stimulator and Justin was using a home tied tennessee wulff. The gradient of the stream quickly turned steep a little ways above the campsite but flattened out again above a long series of cascades. Most of the fish caught through this section were rainbows but the specs began to mix in more and more the farther we got, we even ran into a couple browns. After a quick stop for lunch, we continued pushing upstream and were catching increasing numbers of brook trout and fewer rainbows. We eventually made it to chasm prong, which appears to be a little over a mile upstream of the cabin flats site. Chasm prong started out with a gentle flow but quickly turned into what you would expect from a headwater stream. At this point, virtually all of the fish caught were specs and they were still aggressively taking our flies. By about 5 we decided to head back and we made the long, and i mean long, journey back downstream to the campsite. It took us around an hour and a half of in stream wading to get back to the campsite, but we made it back and rested the rest of the evening.

Saturday morning we got up and were on the water by 7. We had originally decided to go back and fish above chasm in hopes of fishing frowning gap prong but we decided against it since we figured it would take a good 3 hour hike of in stream wading to get there. Instead, we went downstream below taywa creek and fished up. Once again, we were in to fish in no time using the same ol' trusty flies. We reached taywa creek and had already brought several fish to hand a piece when we decided to give it a try. Taywa is extremely tight and requires around a 30' climb up boulders to fish it. This stream was extremely cramped and a bow and arrow cast is all that is needed, along with about a 6' rod. We began fishing our way upstream but soon came to an impassable area choked down with deadfalls and rhododendron. We climbed back down the stream and made our way back on to bradleys fork. This section was comprised mainly of rainbows but browns mixed in as well. The farther we began moving upstream, the browns seemed to disappear and a few specs took their place. The fishing from taywa to the campsite seemed to be not quite as good as above the campsite, although we brought plenty of fish to hand.

It was a great trip with lots of fish caught and we explored a new area. I would like to make it up to frowning rock prong one day and check that out, but both of our feet were a little too sore to make that long of a trip upstream. On a side note, there was evidence of wild hogs as i found an area where the soil had been tore up, it looked like someone had run a tiller. Hope everyone got out to enjoy the good weather and boosted water levels this weekend. I will post some pictures later today or tomorrow when i download them.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:04 PM
pineman19 pineman19 is offline
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Thanks for the report Craig. I have fished just above the Cabin Flats campsite. The last time was last fall when water levels were really too low for fishing. Glad to hear it has recovered. The Cabin Flats area is really beautiful, and I need to do a backcountry trip as well so I can explore the headwaters.


Neal
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:06 PM
Fly_Man_Bill Fly_Man_Bill is offline
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Great report Craig sounds like you all had a good time fishing and camping in the back country. I hope to get to do some camping with my daughter later this summer.

May God Bless You...

Bill
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:18 PM
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mtnman2888 mtnman2888 is offline
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Here are those pictures that i promised:

View of the Smokies when I arrived Friday morning


Bradleys Fork above campsite 49


Nice sized spec


Justin fishing a nice stretch


Rainbow that fell victim to Justin's Tennessee Wulff


One last picture on the way out
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:28 PM
TJGregory TJGregory is offline
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Craig, your time behind the lens produced some nice results. You truly captured the beauty of high country trout and their habitat. I can't wait to head for the park's backcountry again.
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:36 PM
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nice bee balm pics....next time you go up, as you cross the bridge about the third time, bradley fork gets on your left, look at the bank to your right,,,,a path will go up...it leads to a single grave of a child
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:22 PM
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Elk riverrat Elk riverrat is offline
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my son and I spend a week up there in June of 1986, only saw one other person and it was a hiker that stopped late and spent the night. Don't remember his name but do remember he was an engineer in a battery plant in Florida, he fell coming down the trail from the AT, he was cut and bruised all over.

We had a ball, I think of that trip often, son is married and 28, I'm 50. My first wife was dealing with breast cancer and it was one of the few long trips we got to do in 3 years. She passed in 1989, I remarried 4 years later and ever time I've tried to take my new bride to Cabin Flats it is always closed due to bears, I've pretty much given up. Glad to hear you got to camp and had a good time.

You will cherish these trips as you get older.
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:57 PM
psnapp psnapp is offline
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Thumbs up Thanks!

MM2888 -- great pics and thank you for sharing! Beautiful fish!

Phil
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:24 AM
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mtnman2888 mtnman2888 is offline
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Sam,

That is neat about the grave i wish i would have known about that before we went up there so we could have stopped by.

It was a good trip and i would like to plan another trip up there sometime to fish some of the other tribs even further up like frowning rock prong!
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:22 PM
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BlueRaiderFan BlueRaiderFan is offline
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Is the first picture of "cabin flats?" What is cabin flats? Thanks.

BRF
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