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Old 11-09-2009, 08:59 AM
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jeffnles1 jeffnles1 is offline
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Those natives sure are pretty fish. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 11-09-2009, 11:16 AM
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Gorgeous fish Gary, that biggests one is a real beauty!! I'm glad you posted them, that's about as close as I'll likely get to one for the next few months till spring anyhow!
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:25 AM
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Troutman Troutman is offline
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Originally Posted by nvr2L8 View Post
Beautiful specs, Troutman. Never fished that far up on Sams. Did you start on Defeat Ridge and just keep going up from there?
Not sure the names of those ridges. I don't have the topo map with me at work right now but the trailhead begins there at the end of the gravel above tremont. Lynn camp to the left and sams/ thunderhead to the right.
Once you cross Thunderhead, the trail takes a high road above the river. The stream must be crossed several times and the trail can be tough to see in places. It has really become overgrown above the 4th stream crossing. It becomes basically a game trail and several trees have blown down and low growing knee high vines are taking over. Just follow the river contours, cross the stream when you have too. There were a few places that I had to crawl on my knees under rhodo to stay with the trail. The hiking stick is handy for sweeping for snakes! (copperheads blend well with the leaves).
I used to hike this trail 4 times a year with Jim Parks, John Swistow and others from the TU chapters back when we took quarterly acid depo samples. Lots of pretty water to fish on this stream and like so many other places, it does take a little effort. You won't hear any cars, or annoying motorcycles up there though! but the rewards can be great....

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Old 11-09-2009, 11:41 AM
pineman19 pineman19 is offline
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Charlie and Gary, Thunderhead Prong follows Defeat Ridge (the ridge is to the west of Thunderhead), and the Defeat Ridge Manway eventually crosses Defeat Ridge on the way to the peak of Thunderhead Mountain. I was looking at an old topo map last night and it shows the Defeat Ridge Manway, but not the trail along Sams Creek. I pasted a link for the Thunderhead topo below.



Last edited by pineman19; 11-09-2009 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:21 PM
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WVBrookie WVBrookie is offline
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Those are beautiful fish!!

I look forward to doing more exploring in the Smokies next season.

The Search for Native Salmonids
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:46 PM
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Grannyknot Grannyknot is offline
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The last time I visited the area, I found that besides the manway that runs up thunderhead prong, there wasn't really a trail going up Sam's creek.

It seemed to be a lot of climbing and rock hopping, rather than following any sort of trail or manway.

Maybe I just wasn't paying attention??
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:52 PM
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Bran Bran is offline
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I went up there just exploring back the first weekend of October. I only had a few hours and I realized when I got up on Sam's that I was overcommitted for the time I had. I turned and came back down to Lynn Camp and walked it a ways, when I returned to the truck at the bridge I decided to go down and sit on the old generator pedastall underneath. As the sun was setting and the shadows fell right I watched a nice Rainbow start to feed up top sucking something I couldn't even see. I got my camera and took some shots as he rose several times there before dusk.
The next day I came back and fished up high toward the bridge for awhile and caught a few little bows before going back down to Metcalf bottoms.
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