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Old 08-17-2013, 08:10 PM
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duckypaddler duckypaddler is offline
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Talking Camera #4

Got my fourth Pentax Optio in the mail this week. The six years I got from the first one, was better than the few months with the last one. Hopefully I can hold onto this one and it will last a while.

If you listened to the weatherman you would be stuck at home most days so I ventured out with Steve Darnell to chase some Brookies despite the prediction of afternoon storms. Steve's knee has been recovering well, and we finally put it to the test today. Hope he's still well tomorrow.

At the trailhead we found another couple who forgot something in car, and came back just in time to get some fly selection advice from us as they were fishing also. They were from Nashville and had both had a lousy day on the Greenbrier the day before. Apparently like many many people before them that Lower water just looked too good. There car was gone when we got back to the trailhead, and since they were fishing even deeper I wondered if they ever made it to the stream.

We hiked in and took full advantage of my off-trail short-cut that saved us .3 miles and some elevation through pretty open woods. We hiked down to the stream, and after 2 misses of other fish snagged this guy



The scenery



Pretty soon I was into these guys





Steve was reeling them in too



Then I landed my Monster Brookie of the day. And if that wasn't good enough, he was a fin clipped Brookie, the first one I can ever remember catching. I remember seeing the samples in the fisheries fridge at the February water samples, and apparently this is one of the guys they caught. While I'm used to seeing fins rubbed off in hatchery fish, it seems rare in the Smokies.



And the centerfold



Unfortunately with the Brookies I was catching way too many of these guys



If this isn't enough to satisify, you may just be asking for too much



After Steve's first cast, I couldn't resist, and stole a fish from his hole. Bad Duckypaddler



Will Continue
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:18 PM
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Talking

Steve landed this sweet Brookie



I was still collecting dinner



Pretty Polypore. Say that 3 times really fast



Home sweet Home! I love me some Smokies



I was wondering if I had been transported to a rainbow stream for a few minutes



Mushrooms ready for football season



The rainbows were out in force today. Luckily my boys are hungry



Finally a Brookie



Steve working a nice pool that I didn't steal



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Old 08-17-2013, 08:26 PM
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Back to Brookie Land - Phew









49



50



I was done Steve working another sweet pool before heading home



And some coral mushroom on the way out



Great day, no rain, great partner in crime, great stream, Great Smokies

GREAT DAY!

And tomorrow nights dinner

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Old 08-17-2013, 09:30 PM
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The-Sasquatch The-Sasquatch is offline
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So are you guys cool w/ keepin' and eating the 'bows? Do you feel it helps w/ reestablishing a stronger brookie population?

The reason I ask is because up here we have a few streams designated "Wild Brook Trout Enhancement" areas. Only 5 streams in the state have them. They're no kill on brookies, but normal laws on all other species. I hear that some encourage the taking of the wild brownies in those streams so that they don't push out the brookies. I personally think this is a good idea, but some fly fishermen are severely against the killing of any trout, even if it means helping our native population.

PS-they aren't SO against killing trout that they don't stop pulling hooks through their lips and hanking them out of the water, risking a fish's death. Just sayin.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:55 PM
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It's all a matter of personal opinion. The trout in pretty much all streams in the smokies are somewhat over populated. I keep trout, all species and don't feel I am doing anything bad for the stream. That having been said, rainbows in Brookie streams are more likely to be taken by me than the Brookies. However I have been known to eat a pile of specs from time to time...
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:29 PM
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Ducky,

Nice report, and congrats on a phenomenal day!

I have a question for you regarding your Pentax Optio. I used to carry my DSLR with me on the water, and last year my worries got the better of me and I bought an Optio WGII. I find that my results with this thing are very spotty, but I have been trying to shoot with mine in "P" - program mode. As is typically the case with P&S cameras, I have been spoiled by the fast shutter speed of my DSLR, and I find that a majority of my photos come out blurry with this camera. David Knapp once told me that he had his best results just shooting with the camera in either Auto or "Green" mode. Just curious what mode you shoot in.

P.S. One thing I find incredibly frustrating with this camera is that when I get all my settings correct in "P" mode, when I power off the camera it resets all of them to default. So, I have to go through the entire cycle again of setting the WB, Exposure, Metering, & AF Area.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemEAngler View Post
Ducky,

Nice report, and congrats on a phenomenal day!

I have a question for you regarding your Pentax Optio. I used to carry my DSLR with me on the water, and last year my worries got the better of me and I bought an Optio WGII. I find that my results with this thing are very spotty, but I have been trying to shoot with mine in "P" - program mode. As is typically the case with P&S cameras, I have been spoiled by the fast shutter speed of my DSLR, and I find that a majority of my photos come out blurry with this camera. David Knapp once told me that he had his best results just shooting with the camera in either Auto or "Green" mode. Just curious what mode you shoot in.

P.S. One thing I find incredibly frustrating with this camera is that when I get all my settings correct in "P" mode, when I power off the camera it resets all of them to default. So, I have to go through the entire cycle again of setting the WB, Exposure, Metering, & AF Area.
On my optio under menu - under record Mode setting - under memory you can make camera remember a host of things. Your's may also have this option. I shoot in P mode 90% time. For fish close ups I always change focus mode to flower (macro), auto focus rest of time. Also while you can force faster shutter speeds by quickly pressing all the way down you will have lousy results, but if you press half way down and let it give you focus block you will be golden. if flash bothers pic, I may shoot one without a flash but I have never adjusted WB, Exposure, Metering or AF area (Except on whitewater where I use the snow mode) I also turn off the digital zoom.

I always am impressed with those willing to carry glass on the river. I for one am way too clumsy. I know I would fall and bust a lens or worse. My latest Optio - $45 shipped - Won't hurt too much WHEN I lose it
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Sasquatch View Post
So are you guys cool w/ keepin' and eating the 'bows? Do you feel it helps w/ reestablishing a stronger brookie population?
In theory that's what I would like to think I am doing I know taking a dominant rainbow out of a prime lie might leave that space open for a Brookie, or I guess another rainbow could just hone in

But in reality the park data (lucky for us) says we fisherman have little to no effect on the stream so I am probably just bull sh*ting myself to some extent

But like Nathan said the streams in the park are overpopulated, and I know it so Taboo in the fly fishing community, and I have even asked our biologists point blank, but you will do no harm taking fish as most won't be able to sustain there size with the low food sources (minus the Browns who eat fish and can live 15+ years). So I don't feel guilty about taking them home. In many parts of country you may have 300 fish per mile where catch and release would be needed but with 3000-4500 fish per mile it's a different story
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:18 AM
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The-Sasquatch The-Sasquatch is offline
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Gotcha. I've been known to keep a mess of brookies, especially when back packing and camping the back country. I've definitely been known to take wild brownies, especially when they're in our wild brook trout enhancement streams!

I was unaware of the biomass of fish per stream mile down there. That is simply amazing. We have SOME streams with biomass like that (Big Spring in Carlisle, but the food supply is there to sustain MASSIVE size, and Spring Creek in the State College area), but those numbers are unreal for a consistent biomass. Harvesting legal size fish certainly won't have a negative impact! Heck, it may actually help increase the size of fish!
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:10 AM
tlshealy tlshealy is offline
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DP Great post, really nice sized fish. I'm glad you finally got your camera, not that we don't enjoy your literary skills, but pictures help more with my Smoky fix!
Tad
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