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Old 08-08-2011, 06:11 PM
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Smile Tremont 8-5-2011

I had a great solo trip for Brookies on Friday. Ran by LRO to find the whole family working and used up my gift card I got for Father's Day. Arrived at the creek and got rigged up. While rigging, I ran into some tourists who were looking for Spruce Flat Falls. I gave them directions then they walked up to check out the river. As I finished getting everything together, I realized I forgot a water bottle. Luckily the people I gave directions to came back and had a cooler full, and kindly gave me one. I thanked them and headed up the trail. Just as I started I noticed a bait bucket at the bridge I looked for people fishing close by (right next to clsed for fishing sign), and even spoke with a group of hikers that were coming back who hadn't seen anyone. I put it in my trunk and headed out. I joined the I-phone club several months back, and now have a MP3 player in my pocket so I have been listening to some music while I hike in and out in familiar places. Usually I just it on established trails, then it goes into my pocket when I'm in the stream or off-trail, but this manway I'm intimately familar with so I felt plenty comfortable with it on (Although I did take them off while passing Rattlesnake Rock). On the hike in it was apparent the stream had flash flooded recently. It's amazing what mother nature can do in a brief few hours. I took a few pics, but nothing that really shows what it looks like. I usually hike up a lot further, but today tried some of the lower stretches. The fishing was great for this time of the year. This year, the mountains have had frequent enough rain to extend the good fishing which in my opinion is usually getting slow this time of year. I also found out the hard way that the Brookies were indeed spawning. I only took a couple more males after that. I fished for about 5 hours when I realized that with all the plants laid down from the flood I missed my last crossing and didn't realize the trail switched sides and spent about 15 minutes looking for the trail on the wrong side of the creek. After a short hike downstream to find the next crossing, I easily found the trail out. On when the I-phone and I started my hike out. In a half mile or so I ran across a steaming (yes at 90 degrees out) pile of bear crap. This should have clued me in, but I just sunk into my music and had a lovely walk out. That was until a 300 pound Bear scared the living Sh*t out of me as it was 10 yard away Luckily he ran the other way. I quickly pulled off my headphones and continued my hike as I hope he didn't want the 4 fish I had with me. I went without the phones for the rest of the trip to the car

Another great day in the Smokies

Pics - http://www.duckypaddler.com/sams-creek-8-5-2011.html
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:27 PM
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Nice report. The bear would have scared me, too.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:30 PM
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Quite an outing, dp. Thanks for reporting. Fortunately the story didn't end with the big bear grinnin' and pickin' his teeth and sayin' "can you hear me now?" I couldn't resist, friend.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post
I had a great solo trip for Brookies on Friday. Ran by LRO to find the whole family working and used up my gift card I got for Father's Day. Arrived at the creek and got rigged up. While rigging, I ran into some tourists who were looking for Spruce Flat Falls. I gave them directions then they walked up to check out the river. As I finished getting everything together, I realized I forgot a water bottle. Luckily the people I gave directions to came back and had a cooler full, and kindly gave me one. I thanked them and headed up the trail. Just as I started I noticed a bait bucket at the bridge I looked for people fishing close by (right next to clsed for fishing sign), and even spoke with a group of hikers that were coming back who hadn't seen anyone. I put it in my trunk and headed out. I joined the I-phone club several months back, and now have a MP3 player in my pocket so I have been listening to some music while I hike in and out in familiar places. Usually I just it on established trails, then it goes into my pocket when I'm in the stream or off-trail, but this manway I'm intimately familar with so I felt plenty comfortable with it on (Although I did take them off while passing Rattlesnake Rock). On the hike in it was apparent the stream had flash flooded recently. It's amazing what mother nature can do in a brief few hours. I took a few pics, but nothing that really shows what it looks like. I usually hike up a lot further, but today tried some of the lower stretches. The fishing was great for this time of the year. This year, the mountains have had frequent enough rain to extend the good fishing which in my opinion is usually getting slow this time of year. I also found out the hard way that the Brookies were indeed spawning. I only took a couple more males after that. I fished for about 5 hours when I realized that with all the plants laid down from the flood I missed my last crossing and didn't realize the trail switched sides and spent about 15 minutes looking for the trail on the wrong side of the creek. After a short hike downstream to find the next crossing, I easily found the trail out. On when the I-phone and I started my hike out. In a half mile or so I ran across a steaming (yes at 90 degrees out) pile of bear crap. This should have clued me in, but I just sunk into my music and had a lovely walk out. That was until a 300 pound Bear scared the living Sh*t out of me as it was 10 yard away Luckily he ran the other way. I quickly pulled off my headphones and continued my hike as I hope he didn't want the 4 fish I had with me. I went without the phones for the rest of the trip to the car

Another great day in the Smokies

Pics - http://www.duckypaddler.com/sams-creek-8-5-2011.html
Ducky,

Scary experience!

The wife and I were up on Middle Prong above the last bridge and before the trailhead on Saturday morning. Surprisingly only saw one other fisherman along the road on the drive out. I did see two guys fishing off one of the bridges with some saltwater spinning rods while driving in, maybe they were the owners of the bait bucket. I didn't see them with one when I passed, but figure they are as good of a suspect as anybody else up there.

I saw the signs of the recent flash flood down lower as well. Water level had recently been about 3' higher than the current level, and my 8.5 month wife had some concerns about sitting down there and seeing that water level. Fishing for me was a little slower. Only landed one small bow, and had one other get off. Missed probably a dozen strikes on the dry, but still a slower day than I am used to.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:35 PM
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Wow, Ducky that's a good day! Congrats...I had a big bear coming down the hill on me at the first bridge on the MP and he ran as well...he was larger than any bear I've ever seen in the park.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:39 PM
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So I take it after that there were hot steaming piles of crap on the trail?

Awesome report, that is my favorite area to fish as well, my go to stream usually, funny that we have never bumped into each other up there. I have yet to see a bear in that area, but have sometimes seen evidence of their presence. Thanks to the report from last year, I am extra cautious around 'rattlesnake rock' now i'm going to looking all over for bears now, too.

The bait bucket- do you think that could have been accidentally left by a group from the tremont institute? I have seen them up there twice in the past month with groups of people and lots of different buckets collecting insects and aquatic invertebrates in them.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
a steaming (yes at 90 degrees out) pile of bear crap.
Yes! We have definite proof that a bear does do-do in the woods! Now, if we could get some fuzzy pictures of Bigfoot.
I'm more worried about people than bears. I talked with a retired USFS employee that stated at least one person is murdered every year on the AT for food, money, cothes, credit cards, or whatever. He added that doesn't get a lot of publicity.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:58 PM
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I have really wanted to fish up there as well. With all these reports of bears and rattlers... it sounds like this area has a large concentration of both! Is this any different than other areas of the park? Just curious...

I have never run into either so I guess I should just consider myself lucky...

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Old 08-10-2011, 09:13 AM
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Love it James! The deal with that area is it isn't very hard to get too but feels very remote at the same time. Something about the area once you make the last crossing of Thunderhead on the way to Sams kind of gives me the creeps.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crockett View Post
Something about the area once you make the last crossing of Thunderhead on the way to Sams kind of gives me the creeps.

I know what you mean when - you can't hardly hear the creek anymore for that flat stretch above both creeks, but I realized that that's just because you're being watched
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