Home Register Today's Posts Members User CP Calendar FAQ

Go Back   Little River Outfitters Forum > Fly Fishing Board > In The Backcountry

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 10-31-2011, 11:39 PM
Rob Johnson's Avatar
Rob Johnson Rob Johnson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winchester, Kentucky
Posts: 69
Default Nice job

Mr. Ducky Paddler I must say that along with the pictures that was the best thing I have seen written on this board in a while. Thank you. Good to see Mr. Casada back too. Nice thread.
__________________
You can't stay dry and one temperature all your life! ROB
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-01-2011, 12:11 AM
wisenber wisenber is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Knoxville
Posts: 11
Default

After reading that report, it looks like I'll be cancelling my reservation for 57 and looking at hitting Forney Creek this weekend. Thanks for the heads up!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-01-2011, 10:44 AM
duckypaddler's Avatar
duckypaddler duckypaddler is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Posts: 1,182
Smile Reply to Jim

Duckypaddler--First of all, I will acknowledge I was upset by your post about Left Fork, because I've fished there countless times in my life and feel I know the area as well as any in the remote backcountry of the Park. Second, this is my first post in many months, and it comes because Byron convinced me to return and your apology helped in that regard. Apology duly accepted, and I appreciate your kind words about my book.

Again Jim, I apologize. It was an off the hip response that in hindsight was something I never should have said. I’m sure you know this watershed as well as anyone could, and have experience that will take me decades to obtain

Now, let's turn to the matter of accessing (and leaving) Left Fork. I was some concerned about what you said about being misled that I just went back and carefully re-read my material on Left Fork, along with re-reading yours, and I am a little mystified about why you felt I misled you. Maybe you meant about the quality of the fishing as opposed to the geography. As for the former, using the Deep Creek Gap access is unquestionably the best way to get to the middle section of the stream. You can hear the creek from the Gap, and if you pay attention going down (and this is best done right where the trail from Poke Patch comes out to the Fork Ridge Trail) it is possible to get there without having trouble with rhododendron hells or much of anything other than maybe a log jam or two from fallen hemlocks.


The only thing I ever felt misled by was the print in your book on page 152 starting at the second paragraph as it relates to where to drop in at.

“A second way of reaching Left Fork, and one which puts you squarely in the middle of its finest fishing, is to take the Fork Ridge Trail………………………Follow it for just under 5 miles to the Deep Creek Gap, a point where the two forks come quite close together. There is a rough, virtually indiscernible fisherman’s trail going to the right at that point (the maintained trail drops off to the left and leads, after a quarter mile, to Poke Patch on the Right Fork).”

The problem this caused me in 2009, and what is clearly demonstrated in my picture with the thumbs down



is as Freddie stands on the Fork Ridge trail at the gap (if you look you can see where the trail even cuts left) there is a faint trail that goes to the right that is the remnant of when the Fork Ridge trail didn’t used to divert to Poke Patch, but instead follow Left Fork to the confluence of the Left & Right Forks.

Snippet from 49 map


You do not want to take that trail. I’m sure that may not have been the faint fisherman’s trail you were eluding, but as it’s pretty discernable trail obvious at the gap (the only one as a matter of fact) going in the direction you were saying and I would not want anyone else to make the same mistake we did. Not that I have any right to say what you should put in a re-print as I'm sure you will have one, but a statement like just drop straight off the gap in the path of least resistance, or follow the sound of the water would be much better IMO.



It sounds to me that where you ran into trouble was not so much getting to the creek but rather getting from it back to the Fork Ridge Trail.
( No I was quite happy with this route. While we did hit Laurel at the top, most if not any problem was simply slipping on the freshly fallen leaves. I think it was at least as easy as it would have been to hike out at Deep Creek Gap, and we didn’t have to hike back downstream. Anywhere else between these 2 spots, I don’t think I would want to tangle with as the rhodo looked pretty thick. I didn't mislead you in that regard, but I will readily admit that I should have said something about the best way out. It definitely isn't trying to scale the ridge from where you stop fishing back to the trail. Instead, it is much easier to retrace one's footsteps down the stream and return to the trail at the same place you dropped off at Deep Creek Gap. This is where Left Fork is closest to the trail, and it's much easier to hike up here than to bushwhack upstream. I know, because I've made the same "mistake" you did, not once but twice over the years, in thinking I could just do a bit of climbing at that would be that. If I ever revise the book I'll definitely say "retrace your footsteps." Also, it could probably be suggested with some justice that getting bitten by the same dog twice wasn't one of my more intelligent moments. About all I can say is that I remembered old-time hunters such as Mark Cathey and Sam Hunnicutt talking about egress around Keg Drive Branch and I let that inveigle me into terrain better suited to a billy goat that a human (and that goat better be prepared to eat lots of laurel on the way uphill).

If you felt you were misled because of my description of the fishing
(NO – not at all), that's another matter entirely. For reasons I don't pretend to understand, and other fishermen who spend a lot of time in the stream completely agree with me, Deep Creek has declined appreciably in recent years--it is especially noticeable in the last five or six. I've noticed it most in the lower regions but the situation prevails everywhere. I participated in a Park stream survey on the lower end of Deep Creek for two days back in August, and Matt Kulp sent me the results just last week. They pretty much mirror findings from a 1985 survey, but I know that for me fishing is infinitely less productive. Other locals such as Jim Estes and Jim Mills echo my thoughts on this. Maybe I've lost much of whatever ability I ever had, but given the fact I don't seem to have trouble elsewhere, that really isn't likely the case. All I know is that it is troubling and that I'm not the only one who has noticed the decline. I do find it strange you had no brown trout action, because browns are definitely a major part of the Deep Creek picture, from the mouth of the creek upstream.


I have volunteered for the park and worked with Matt Kulp a handful of times and have found him to be a man of character, and a scientist. I have also found him to be very honest and open with even answering controversial questions. I hope you have come to realize that we are all on the same side here and he deserves our support.

I realize this won't extract any thorns or repair any rod tips, but hopefully if will provide something by way of an explanation.
I’m must be a bit weird, but like the thorns, I guess I’ll call them battle scars. And thankfully the rod is a TFO so just $25 plus shipping, and I would only hold myself accountable for that.


And our route from the day.



Next time I'll head straight down at the gap instead of vering upstream. The rhodo we hit was in the last 2 elevation lines next to the creek.

Hope you understand where I am coming from, and not trying to insult you, and again welcome back to the fourm



Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-01-2011, 12:05 PM
Crockett Crockett is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maryville, TN
Posts: 700
Default

ah no Tsali rock then looking at your route I am guessing it is up closer to keg drive branch.
__________________
Adam Beal

http://gosmokies.knoxnews.com/profil...=2hvzainc23h5b

Hey Jack (JAB)...
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-01-2011, 12:44 PM
duckypaddler's Avatar
duckypaddler duckypaddler is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Posts: 1,182
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crockett View Post
ah no Tsali rock then looking at your route I am guessing it is up closer to keg drive branch.
Sorry, the twins make it hard to reply. Yes you are correct. If I'm not in New Orleans at my brothers for Thanksgiving, I will be on the SMHC hike to Tsali rock for sure. I was playing around with thier mileages on mapsource, and by looking at thier distances it looks like they have another way in there. I meant to e-mail ED or Mark about the route, but have been pretty busy. Let me know if you are free this weekend, I think I can get out, maybe even for an overnighter
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-02-2011, 05:09 PM
JoeFred's Avatar
JoeFred JoeFred is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Russellville, TN
Posts: 949
Default

Very nicely done, duckypaddler. Thanks for sharing.

Jim, thanks to you and other volunteers who assisted with the fish surveys in August that went into the recently published "2011 Deep Creek Fish Community Report” you spoke of.

JF
__________________
“Joe” Fred Turner :: SaintClairMapping.com

Last edited by JoeFred; 11-02-2011 at 05:26 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-02-2011, 06:38 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 992
Default

Adam--I have exchanged e-mails with Baird Watson and others regarding Tsali Rock over the years. I have my doubts about the rock some call Tsali Rock just because it doesn't seem nearly large enough to function as a place to stay for any length of time or in inclement weather. I've often thought that a more likely location for Tsali Rock might be in the rattlesnake den area well up on the ridge in the Keg Drive Branch drainage. Old-time Deep Creek ranger Bill Rolen, who knew the Park as few did in the 20th century (and unlike modern rangers he spent most of his time in the backcountry, not the frontcountry), leaned toward that being the site. In truth no one will ever know.

I do find it curious that Sam Hunnicutt, who was in and out of that area time and again as a hunter, never mentions Tsali Rock at all in his rare little book, Twenty Years Hunting and Fishing in the Great Smokies. To my knowledge there's nothing hard and fast in the way of historical material on Tsali Rock, and indeed all sorts of myth surrounds the realities of Tsali and his place in history. Some historian, John Finger I think, has poked a lot of holes in the standard tale. A boyhood friend of mine, Rick Bryson, also has some interesting thoughts (in fictional form) in a book on Tsali.

It's interesting to wonder as we wander, but as someone who is (or was) a trained historian, I always treat this kind of thing with a considerable degree of healthy skepticism. Again, we'll never really know, and there's not even anything approaching certainty that Tsali actually took refuge on the Left Fork. After all, Sahlee Creek on the Right Fork could be named for him. Who knows?
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-02-2011, 07:12 PM
JoelO's Avatar
JoelO JoelO is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Franklin, TN
Posts: 132
Default

JoeFred,

In the last 2 tables of the report, it shows the trout density and biomass of different streams in the park. It mentions Straight Fork (above the gate)...where is the gate it is referencing? Is it where you come off the reservation and go back into GSMNP waters? If so, its showing that there are hardly any brown trout there. I have caught brown trout (albeit small ones) on Straight Fork but the ones I've caught were taken from just above the hatchery to the Hyatt Ridge Trail.



Straight Fork Lunker Brown.


Joel
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:11 PM
JoeFred's Avatar
JoeFred JoeFred is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Russellville, TN
Posts: 949
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post
And our route from the day.




Next time I'll head straight down at the gap instead of vering upstream.
DP, I like your marked map. Mac & I had discussed my creating two larger maps of Upper Deep Creek (for a different reason) to replace the single one which is about 1:29,000 scale, smaller than that of the USGS quad (1:24,000). I've not looked into where to best do the slicing, but a couple of maps at 1:18,000, for example, would enable more access details being added. However there are a couple of issues. One: the USGS quad basemap would be simply an enlargement with no contours being added to the existing ones at 40 ft intervals. Two: I'm not sure adding manways to a commercial map is necessarily a good idea (so far the only unmaintained path I have included is that to Sams Creek, one I have personally taken). I'm curious as to your and others' thoughts on the concept.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelO View Post
JoeFred,
In the last 2 tables of the report, it shows the trout density and biomass of different streams in the park. It mentions Straight Fork (above the gate)...where is the gate it is referencing?...
Joel
Joel, yes, I believe that is the gate to which the report is referring, but you might want to contact Matt Kulp for more specific info on the data. His e-mail address is on the report cover. In the sampling done sometime between 1990 & 2001, browns turned up all the way from the gate, beyond Hyatt Ridge and past Round Bottom, with brook trout joining in the soup up to around the Table Rock Branch confluence.
__________________
“Joe” Fred Turner :: SaintClairMapping.com

Last edited by JoeFred; 11-02-2011 at 11:10 PM.. Reason: Added "(for a different reason)"
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-02-2011, 11:07 PM
pmike's Avatar
pmike pmike is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 275
Default Hey Joe Fred

If and when ya do the updated maps of Deep Creek, I'd love to get a set. My son inlaw and I just hiked in the trail to Nick's Nest last week, (our first back country camp) and we are already dreaming of our next adventure.

By the way, it is so good to see you and Jim posting again and i am looking forward to reading after the both of you.

Mike
__________________
"Fly-fishing has many attributes, but none more pleasing than it's ability to liberate the young boy that still hides within me and to let that boy live again without embarrassment or regret, sorrow or anguish." Harry Middleton
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:26 AM.



Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.