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  #31  
Old 01-17-2012, 06:56 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Like Eugene, I have real doubts about this being Tsali Rock. Obviously none of us will ever know for certain, but to me it just seems too small, by far, to have been utilized for a fairly extensive period of time. On the other hand, the cliffs Eugene mentions, and I'm certain they are the same ones I recall as being an area known for rattlesnakes, are the location I've always thought was Tsali Rock. It's all problematic, beyond anything approaching sound documentation, and quite interesting. Oddly enough, Sam Hunnicutt, who chased bears all through this area, never mentions it. Nor, I'm pretty sure, does John Parris. One would think that both of them would have been intrigued by the story.
After all, old Sam was through this area time and again (read his book Twenty Years Hunting and Fishing in the Smokies--just reprinted which means it can be had for $20 or so rather than the $1500 or thereabouts an original fetched), and John Parris wrote a little book on The Cherokee Story.
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  #32  
Old 01-18-2012, 12:31 PM
Crockett Crockett is offline
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Very interesting Duckypaddler and Jim! One thing I would wonder is if the rock you took pictures of James with the SMHC is the same place referenced in this article: http://www.smokymountainnews.com/iss...ack_then.shtml

"In the late 1940s, Deep Creek resident Ben Lollis, now deceased, took Bill Rolen, also deceased but at that time a park ranger stationed in the Bryson City area, to the rock overhang. There’s no cave. He told Rolen, “All the old-time hunters, loggers, and farmers call it the Charley Rock, because they were told by their ancestors that that’s where Tsali last hid out.” (The photograph Rolen had made of Lollis posed at the rock overhang is published here.)"

The photograph doesn't show in the link but if anyone has that pic or knows how to get it then we could definitely see at least if the overhang that the SMHC visited is the same one that Ben Lollis and Bill Rolen took the pictures of. Of course that still wouldn't prove it is Tsali Rock but would be interesting to see if it is the same place referenced back to the 1940s.
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  #33  
Old 01-18-2012, 01:55 PM
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David Knapp David Knapp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.E.Shuler View Post
I was glad to see the study conducted on Deep Creek again back in August. Had I not been working, I would have gladly taken the opportunity to help.
By most years records, I spend 130 days per year on Deep Creek. It is my home water, and I only live about three miles away. While I never really thought we had a decline in trout populations, I did seem to think we had an explosion of other species, such as dace, shiners, and sculpins. Since the droughts, the numbers of these fish have gotten higher. The trout population had, in my mind, not gotten any better or worse. I have noticed that numbers of bigger fish have declined.
The baitfish population explosion is very encouraging because that should help feed a new class of big fish on Deep Creek. Just part of the natural cycle. It will produce big fish again given time...
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  #34  
Old 01-18-2012, 05:50 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Adam--It's the same picture, and the story you are referencing was written by George Ellison. However (and I need to talk to George about this), Bill Rolen pointed out a different spot to me as the putative Charley Rock. This was the area Eugene Shuler describes high up on the ridge in the Keg Drive Branch drainage. That just makes it more of a mystery, although I think I have an educated guess as to what transpired.
I think Lollis likely showed the rock shown on this thread to Rolen and said it was Tsali Rock. Subsequently, I suspect Rolen did some exploring and walking in the area on his own (unlike today's Park rangers, he spent a lot of time off trail and in the deep backcountry) and decided that the ledge area was more likely.
I can be pretty specific about when he shared his information with me. It would have been 1956 or 1957 when his son, also named Bill, and I spent more than a week camping on Left Fork in the Little Dam area. He dropped us off at the head of the Fork Ridge Trail after having talked about Tsali Rock, mentioning that the area was notorious for rattlesnakes, and noting that there was a rattlesnake den in the area. While it wasn't in the ledges area but down on the creek, I had a close-up and personal experience with a rattler there. I climbed up over a rock at a dropoff in Left Fork and was staring a sunning rattler square in the eyes from a distance of about a foot. I pretty well cannonballed back to the pool below.
This is probably more than you (or anyone else) wanted to know on the subject, and about all I would add is that the rock of the picture duckypaddler shows, as he says, seems mighty small and inconvenient for a long stay.
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  #35  
Old 01-18-2012, 06:02 PM
Crockett Crockett is offline
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Thanks Jim I find this stuff fascinating. Thank you Eugene for posting too. I think I have seen your posts on the other fly fishing forum I visit.

Duckypaddler who led the off trail to Tsali rock and what was their story as to how they got the info that it was the spot?
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