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  #21  
Old 08-06-2009, 10:05 AM
Crockett Crockett is offline
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gmfishe I am a local and one of the younger guys you are talking about. I fished up the west prong of the LR last night not another soul and it is right next to the road! I fish tremont a couple of times a week and see 2 or 3 guys down on the 5 mile stretch of the middle prong but have yet to run into anyone up on Thunderhead not to mention Sams Creek lol. I am starting to think there was more people fishing these places back in the 50s and 60s than there are now. Back then people would get outdoors and away from the TV. Now they are all trapped in front of their tv and no one is out there off trail up in these places unless its a Saturday and the weather is nice I guess. Maybe thats why I don't see all these masses of people since I fish weekdays only. Anyway I will be up on Thunderhead Tuesday night bracing myself for the oncoming crowd
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  #22  
Old 08-06-2009, 03:15 PM
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BlueRaiderFan BlueRaiderFan is offline
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I would love to have seen the park back in the 50's, but I wasn't even close to being born. I guess my father got to fish it though.
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  #23  
Old 08-06-2009, 04:11 PM
gmfishe gmfishe is online now
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Crockett......I fish weekdays only as well, because of the crowds.......fished a road accessible stream in the park yesterday and didn't see anyone and went back again today and saw 4 fishermen.......however, I have noticed a marked increase in trash and fisherman trails on this stream.........don't have any numbers or facts, just what I have observed.
You are right .....fishing late you won't see as many fisherman .....they just haven't learned when to fish yet.
GM
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  #24  
Old 08-06-2009, 05:18 PM
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Rog 1 Rog 1 is offline
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I began fishing the Park when I was 13 or in 1960....began fishing with my cousin and grandfather....saw a lot more local fishermen back then....one thing I used to see a lot of that I don't see anymore is fishermen with cane poles....the original "high stickin"...would watch these guys walk the bank and drift wet flies thru the runs and pockets and catch more fish than anyone with one of those fancy rods....I too do most of my fishing during the week when I am up there.....
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  #25  
Old 08-06-2009, 08:22 PM
Dawgvet Dawgvet is offline
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DK,
Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your report. Great to see a family involved in the outdoors together. I must say the pic of Raven Fork is one of the best photographs of a stream I've seen in a long time. Very good composition and lighting. I have borrowed it as my desktop wallpaper!
Thanks,
Jed
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  #26  
Old 08-06-2009, 10:22 PM
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PeteCz PeteCz is offline
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Default Great Report!

Great Job DK!! Thanks for the pictures and the report.

A very sensitive subject indeed (at least we're not talking about guns...).

Quote:
I am starting to think there was more people fishing these places back in the 50s and 60s than there are now.
If you talk to the Park biologists the belief is that before the drought the streams in the park had been underfished. While fishing should have been poor this year, instead it actually thinned out the weak fish and the remaining fish have had less competition for the limited food sources allowing them to grow larger than in previous years. If anything we need to encourage more people to fish or we will get back to the point of overcrowding of the fish populations. Over the years the number of people fishing has gone down. We need more positive stories of the fun and adventure of fishing to attract people to our sport.

Does that mean that when a stream is named as productive that it may get more attention than it should? Perhaps. But there are only a finite number of people fishing the streams right now. So anytime spent on Enloe Creek or Bunches Creek, means an extra rest for the fish in Walker Camp Prong or Sam's Creek. I usually hike 2+ miles in to fish on any given weekend and almost never see another person fishing (even on LR above Elkmont). The productivity of streams comes and goes. Mother Nature is quite resilient. Let's not all run around and act as if the sky is falling.

If you are uncomfortable naming streams, that's fine, no one can blame you. I have been much less forthcoming with trips to fairly easily accessible streams myself of late (LR above Elkmont is terrible, btw ). But when I go into someplace remote, I usually try to share my experiences so that someone else doesn't make the same mistakes I made (like bushwacking down a ravine...). And they can also judge for themselves whether its worth the effort.

Quote:
I don't think you have to worry about the area being overfished--it's too tough to get to, and the lack of trails along the main stream adds more protection. I would venture to guess that not 20 people a year venture up any of the the three forks which form the big pool at Three Forks, and the same is true for the upper part of the Gorge.
I believe Jim is right (and he's been around long enough to comment on such things). That area has been discussed a lot on this forum in numerous threads. But I can think of maybe 2-3 actual reports in the last 3 years...

Lots of great opinions by everyone (as usual).
I'll get off my soapbox...
__________________

"Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut."
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  #27  
Old 08-07-2009, 09:15 AM
Dawgvet Dawgvet is offline
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Just wanted to weigh in on my opinion of the disclosure issue. I personally believe, and recent surveys reflect, that fishing participation numbers are slowly decreasing. Therefore we need to help encourage all the people we can to fish as much as they can. If this means giving them good info on where to go, then I think the pro outweighs the con. If we try to keep all the best fishing to ourselves, then who will help us take care of ther resource. I'll be glad to tell anyone where I fish and even show you what limb to cast under if you'll meet me there. I think there is more than enough great water in the Park for all of us and then some. Active, passionate participants in our sport are the most valuable asset our sport can have.
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  #28  
Old 08-07-2009, 09:43 AM
gmfishe gmfishe is online now
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Dawgvet...Are the "recent surveys and fishing participation numbers" for the GSMNP or nationwide?

There is no way that fishing participation in the GSMNP is on the decline....just look at the number of guides that have popped up in the last 15 years.
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  #29  
Old 08-07-2009, 10:32 AM
Dawgvet Dawgvet is offline
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I was referring to both nationwide numbers and in the Park. You can reference some of Byron's recent fishing reports where he cites numbers of angler hours in the park and they are steadily decreasing. Check with Head Fisheries Biologist Steve Moore as he will have more info. I think the demographics have shifted towards fewer, but more affluent, anglers who will pay for a guide but overall hours spent fishing in the park by the masses has decreased. Check some back issues of Field and Stream and American Angler as I have seen survey results posted in both magazines. Not exactly something they want to over-hype but it is real. I firmly believe we need all the people (read: votes, dollars spent to support game management, calls to politicians, butts in seats at management meetings, etc.) we can get.
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  #30  
Old 08-07-2009, 02:39 PM
Jswitow Jswitow is offline
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Default Great Report !

Sounds like you all had a great trip! I have fished up there once, am in pretty good shape now (run daily). Even though we had a great day of 11 years ago, I have not been back. There were three tents there where the trail/bridge crosses the creek, I was amazed. Did get a 10" brookie up there that day. I could have run Hyatt Ridge back then, not anymore, it is a bear. Anyway people may make the trip, but like me most won't find the time, or have the interest to go back............. though after reading your post I may have to get up there again! The rush won't last though. Thanks again for the post.

PS: I had a rabbit swim the creek on Snowbird a couple of weeks ago, it was a young one. The big yellow lab with me just watched it swim across and never went after it, I think he was chicken!

Tight lines,
John
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