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  #221  
Old 03-14-2010, 11:17 PM
Jswitow Jswitow is offline
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Default Some pics of late and a few lake run or winter fish.

Even though it was warm and in the 50's last weekend this is how the road to the backcountry looked.








Apologies, I had 10 pics pasted, (had to remove 2) and can't remember which is which, so you will be spared my comments! Some are of the backcountry and lingering snow, and ice on the creek. Others are from lower down on Snowbird after a snow this winter.
Hope you all enjoy, Oh, and GO CATS! (UK).
John
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  #222  
Old 03-15-2010, 11:25 AM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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John--I think I remember that's your name. Thanks for the fine and detailed report. I'm guessing you must have a home somewhere along Big Snowbird. I would amend one aspect of your comments. Although I haven't actually measured it, I'm pretty sure there's appreciably more than the seven miles of backcountry stream you mention. It is 3.5 miles or thereabouts from Junction (end of the road) to Sassafras, another half mile to the upper end of Mouse Knob Falls, another two or three miles to Middle Falls, another two miles to Upper Falls, and there's still a good amount of water and mileage left. I'd never really thought about distance until I saw your figure, but I'm reckoning that from Junction upstream there must be a dozen miles or so of fishing in Big Snowbird, not to mention more in feeders such as Sassafras Creek and Meadow Branch. One thing for sure--it is a jewel and, as you say, the finest speck stream in N. C. I don't fish the lower reaches much, but I've spent a world of wonderful times on both Big and Little Snowbird above their junctions.
I would note, for others reading this, that much of Little Snowbird is private water--Cherokee Reservation along with a private club which controls a couple of miles.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com
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  #223  
Old 03-15-2010, 11:41 AM
Jswitow Jswitow is offline
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Default Snowbird Creek

Thanks Jim, you are absolutely right. Seems like it is 15-17 miles off the back side of Hooper Bald to the end of the road (beginning of the backcountry trail). I've never made that hike, though I hope to do it in the next couple of years, hopefully when my son is big enough (to carry my pack!).
Best,
John
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  #224  
Old 09-27-2010, 12:15 PM
Jswitow Jswitow is offline
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Default Low Water !

I haven't been posting since winter, though I have had the occasional nice fish. We have a son who is 12 though, and in the 7th grade. He is into "stuff" these days that keeps us away from Robbinsville more than I like, but that's life, and I realize how quickly he is growing up. The lower creek (where I mostly fish) has been slow in the summer since the draughts of a few years ago. The fish seem to learn pretty quick that they can run to the lake and be safe from the draughts. Last weekend the water was 60 degrees and low. The rain Saturday night and Sunday [am] brought it up three of four inches, and hopefully today is adding to the water table over there as well.
Fall is on the way though, with the browns moving around and anxious! I do see Knox co tags often when I am up around the back country, nobody seems to post their results though. Either doing real well, or real bad, hopefully well . In the low water last Saturday I fished a little while with dries. I caught one 8 or 9" bow, pretty wild fish, and missed two more. One was exquisite; I'm watching my ant drift out of the bubbles for 4 or 5', then a decent fish just materialized heading down stream to follow the ant. He must have refused it, for I saw him "turn and burn" away, set the hook ....... to nothing. You all know what kind of a rush that is though!
Tight lines,
John
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  #225  
Old 09-27-2010, 10:51 PM
Dawgvet Dawgvet is offline
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John, I'm going to be headed up to the Snowbird area this weekend (we'll be staying at Rattler Ford campground on Santeetlah) and wondering if you had any tips on fishing around there. Mainly interested in Snowbird above Junction but not sure I'll have time to hike 5 miles in for the brookies. Any tips or input appreciated. You may e-mail me if you prefer at dawgvet2003@yahoo.com
Thanks,
Jedidiah
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  #226  
Old 09-28-2010, 10:29 AM
Jswitow Jswitow is offline
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Default Fishing in the Area - Big Santeetlah

Hi Jedidiah,
Sounds like you'll have a beautiful weekend up at Rattler Ford. Expect it to get into the 40's over there . I have had some good fishing up on Big Santeetlah, and several of the feeders are full of little wild rainbows. The next Valley east is West Buffalo, not the creek it used to be for fishing, since the small private hatcheries (that used to routinely flood!) had to close. But two creeks form West Buffalo; the left branch is Squally, again lousy with small wild rainbows. You should have some good water in the creeks after the rains of Sunday and Monday too. There are some big browns in Big Santeetlah, always be very quiet while approaching the tale end of a quiet pool there, you might be surprised at the fish you'll see lying in there. Big Snowbird above the confluence of Little and Big should be fishing pretty well, not a lot of pressure up there this year, even Labor Day weekend saw only about half of the campsites in use up there. I would have some dark nymphs in a good variety of sizes, maybe some red San Juans as well. Golden Stone nymphs with some weight on them, and a supply of terrestrials..... ants, crickets, even green weenies and yellow jackets. There have been quite a few yellow jacket nests over the creek this year, keep an eye out for them, so you're not stung, but also to fish a yellow jacket pattern near the nest within 25 yards up or down stream is usually a good bet. My favorite is about a #14 dear hair, I usually use a small indicator with it. When it sinks you'll be able to track the indicator. Hope you have a good trip. If I were going over I'd try to get you out with me. I'll be on the "Jack and Back" bike ride in Nashville area though..... wish me luck!
Any other questions, ask away.
As an aside; it isn't bear season, but it is dog training season. Last weekend we saw a small bear while mountain biking at Tsali, and right behind the bear came a couple of hounds on his tail! No hunting just training the dogs, but they will likely have the bears on the move this weekend. I have never seen a bear hound that was anything but friendly to people, and have called several owners (who were thankful) about their missing dogs. You may know a lot more about this than I, if so my apologies.
Tight lines,
John
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  #227  
Old 09-28-2010, 07:05 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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John--One thought and comment, since your mentioned the training season for "bar and hawg" dogs. It can be a real nuisance if you are camped in any of the dozen or so sites scattered along the Big Snowbird road above where Big and Little Snowbird Creeks joing. Several years ago I was camped there about this time of year with two ladies who had bought a trip I gave to a club to auction off along with my wife. We were all asleep, sometime after midnight, when I heard a ruckus at a distance, then saw headlights creeping along the road. It was one of the rare times in such situations I didn't have a gun, and I was more than a little worried. I grabbed a hatchet (the closest thing to a weapon I had) and told everyone to keep quiet and not shine any flashlights. The truck turned into the area where we were ever so slowly, and I just knew something bad was about to happen. Then I spotted a dog in the truck bed and dog boxes as well, and it dawned on me what they were doing. They were running the road with a strike dog to see if they could get a bear's scent. No danger, as it turned out, but it sure did ruin a good night's sleep.
Also, for anyone thinking about fishing this area, forget about it from the opening day of bear season until the closing one. There will be a pumpkin army on the loose and enough Plott, Walker, Blue Tick, and other hounds to start a canine Hallelujah Chorus. Besides that, you don't have a hope of finding a camping spot.
Jim Casada
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  #228  
Old 09-29-2010, 12:43 AM
Jswitow Jswitow is offline
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Jim offers some good
advice as usual. Don't think they allow the hunters to camp at Rattler Ford though.
Hope the weekend is great, and the fishing even better.
John
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  #229  
Old 09-29-2010, 07:02 AM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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John--That's likely right, although I thought Rattler Ford was a group campground. Has that changed? I mainly just wanted him to be aware of the fact that come Oct. 15, I wouldn't even think of trying to camp on Big Snowbird. For that matter, I wouldn't want to be fishing anywhere in the national forest in Graham County where there was a likelihood of hunters.
Speaking of Rattler Ford, have you (or anyone) fished Big Santeetlah lately? I understand that otters have virtually destroyed it, especially in the lower reaches.

Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com
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  #230  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:09 AM
Jswitow Jswitow is offline
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Default Otters - Big Santeetlah

Jim,
I have not fished it this year. That is a shame if so, but wouldn't doubt it. I see them on Snowbird as well. Last spring; 3 evidently a pup, mom and dad. They make an interesting chirp. Won't say what I would like to do with them though! And you are right, Rattler Ford is a group campground.
Best,
John
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