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Old 01-18-2006, 04:40 PM
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Sage Sage is offline
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Default Wildlife encounters while fishing

If you have fished the park for long, I'm sure you have stories to share of wildlife encounters. This may be a good place to share your experience with others so we can enjoy them also. One of the many benifits to fishing the park is the surprise encounter with ____________ ?

For the past few years, my best friend since 2nd grade (Chip) and I have fished the park on New Year's Day. One year we fished the Tremont road. As we were fishing, I looked upstream to see if Chip was catching anything or not. He was 30 yards or so away from me. While I was watching him, a doe seemed to levitate down into the stream directly between us. We never heard her. It was awesome. She took a careful drink, glanced at us both and vanished into the woods as if she were a ghost. After she had gone, we stood dead still for a moment re-living the past few moments as if it were a dream.
We did not catch any fish that frigidly cold day, but what we did catch was a glimpse of the Park at it's best.
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Old 01-18-2006, 05:37 PM
castaway castaway is offline
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Default Re: Wildlife encounters while fishing

With that pleasant encounter, I will report the opposite. While climbing out of the river in Tremont. I reached up towards one of the cracks in-between boulders, pulling myself up towards the road. About a foot from my fingers were two timber rattlers wedged inside. Luckily, I still had some footing and pulled myself away before the snakes had any time to react to my presence. Beautiful creatures, but I'm sure I'd be saying different if one decided to lunge at me.
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Old 01-18-2006, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Wildlife encounters while fishing

Castaway- Beautiful creatures indeed, best viewed from afar. Nice reaction time and good story.
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Old 01-18-2006, 07:23 PM
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David Knapp David Knapp is offline
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Default Re: Wildlife encounters while fishing

Great stories! I've had several close encounters with deer while fishing. I've scared turkeys that were apparently trying to roost. The explosion of wings overhead probably scared me worse than the bird... . Last week I had a first though. I was fishing at Tremont when I saw something moving just upstream and up on the bank. I looked and here came a wild boar trotting along. That was the first one I've ever seen so it was quite a thrill .

David Knapp
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Old 01-18-2006, 11:51 PM
stuart stuart is offline
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Default Re: Wildlife encounters while fishing

I don't fish the park but have ran into about all of the above on the water, except the rattlers "thank god".But maybe a few Copperheads. Me and a bud had a fawn swim right in from of us on the upper Clinch here in VA smallmoth fishing this past spring. I have had the crap scared outta me but grouse, seen the wild boar like mentioned. That was kinda scary. My first encounter with one. Everyone thought I was nuts, until word got out that they had moved into this fairly remote area. This is the first report of them around there. I love to see things like that just makes the day seem so much more special. My bud "says" he had a moutian lion water in the Clinch river right below where he was standing. He was around a brushy bend and seen it clear as a bell he says. Had to be a cat and a really big one as big as a dog. But still not a dog certianly a cat. He is a really trustable person, even a deacon in the church. But I didn't see it so I don't know? On his defense it was a really dry summer so that could explain it coming near town for water.

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Old 01-19-2006, 08:46 AM
knoxphil knoxphil is offline
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Default Re: Wildlife encounters while fishing

Great stories, all.

Like Stu, I've had the "pleasure"of stumbling upon a copperhead, only it was in the park, and the circumstances were much more akin to castaway's - watch those rocks!

Early one misty morning high up Tremont, I heard a noise and looked up - there were 3 otters making their way down the bank. Playful critters. They looked at me but didn't seem spooked, and went on their merry way.

Had four or five deer cross Roaring Fork a few feet upstream from me once.
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Old 01-19-2006, 10:40 AM
appalachian angler appalachian angler is offline
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Default Re: Wildlife encounters while fishing

Deer, otters and coperheads...oh my! I always enjoy seeing these fine specimens of Gods' creation too. I am often intrigued when watching a Kingfisher swoop down and pick up a warpaint shiner or similar query. I am yet to encounter a wild boar or Black bear on the stream, But I'm sure that day may come. These are much of the allure of fishing the park. The is so much more to flyfishing for trout than casting a fly. I'm not sure that the feeling is absorbing the nature around me or Nature absorbing me. It has been said that trout don't live in ugly places..Is that the truth or what? When I'm on the stream, in the park, far away enough from the din of passing vehicles and the voices of tourists, I am totally disconnected fromthe rest of the world. I am amidst some of the finest handiwork of the Creators' hand, and I am drunk on the moment. A true spiritual high that could not be duplicated or synthesized by any drug known to man.

Thank you for starting this thread and sharing the stories! Ya'll have painted the picture for me.

AA
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Old 01-19-2006, 10:47 AM
Woody Woody is offline
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Default Re: Wildlife encounters while fishing

I to have encounter most of the above and then some. Thats what makes fishing in the park so intresting. For me most of the more rewarding sightings seam to happen just before dusk or first thing in the morning.

Regarding "Snakes" I have seen rattlesnakes also. I remember one last year that was a thick as a baseball bat and must have been 6 foot long. I was told that pit vipers avoided the streams and rivers because the dislike the sound of the runing water. I personal don't believe that bit of infromation. I have also heard that there are some streams like the Roaring Fork that have significantly more snake ("rattlers") then others. Has anyone heard anything about that.

Im coming down from DC and will be attempting to fish the Roaring Fork this weekend. Maybe I shoud invest in a pair of Kevlar Waders.


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Old 01-19-2006, 05:09 PM
Fly Flicker Fly Flicker is offline
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Default Re: Wildlife encounters while fishing

I've fished Roaring Fork quite often and never seen a snake there. I've seen more snakes around Tremont than anywhere else.

They probably won't be active this time of year anyways.
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2006, 06:33 PM
Chip Maner Chip Maner is offline
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Default Re: Wildlife encounters while fishing

Snakes are great, and I even like the skunks that have shared the riverbank with me from time to time, but I am always disheartened by stories of boar in the park. My favorite of all these stories, however, is the very first: Rock Hopper's surreal encounter with that deer. I should also note that I have encountered many great critters while fishing in the park, none very much more wild than Rock Hopper, himself! What a moment that was, when time almost stopped for a meeting of wild things at Tremont.
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