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Thread: Smokemont-Trout Unlimited Campout-September 24-27, 2015

  1. #1
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    Default Smokemont-Trout Unlimited Campout-September 24-27, 2015

    This past weekend was the Great Smoky Mountain/Little River TU annual campout at Smokemont on the NC side. We do two campouts a year, the first at Cataloochee in the spring and this one in the fall. Thunderhead8 with the Little River chapter and myself representing GSM made an early run up on Thursday to advance scout the area otherwise known as skipping work to set up camp!

    Little did we know due to no cell service or emails in the park the remaining members decided to cancel due to weather concerns. As we left town I had printed the Weather Channel hourly report for Thursday up until Saturday morning, I saw the all Friday rain but gave it no thought. Sometimes ignorance is bliss!

    We found out on Friday morning from a ranger of the remaining 10-12 members change in plan but kept our soggy Friday morning's plan to fish all day after waking up. I knew Mattblick was blasting in from Ohio come ...... or high water which is what we had on Friday as the first good rain in a while filled the streams and tributaries of everything from Newfound Gap down!. I also was sure Noel was on his way which if both he and MattB made it would give us enough for a great weekend of fun.

    Noel arrived Friday in the rain and set up as Thunderhead8 and myself returned to camp from fishing the high water in the Bradley and Oconaluftee. I had told everyone that I could almost guarantee MattB was on his way but as darkness fell and we prepared dinner I started to wonder. Literally as we sat down to the perfect camp dinner of hot kielbasa, onions and green peppers cooked in a cast iron skillet by lantern light, as we lifted the first fork bite, MattB walked up in the dark. Talk about perfect timing!

    As the rest of the guys set their gear up the more I realized our camp looked like an outdoor gear show. The four of us had every tent concept between us as the pictures will show.

    On the way in Thursday the elk were everywhere, note the mini-elk in the grass!



    "Welcome to the tent show which model can I show you today?"


    "Our standard cabin tent" (note the white bags floating in the air are early warning system for tent ropes in the dark!)


    Thunderhead8's 4-Season "Is it winter yet model"


    Why MattB carried the yellow two man tent, that Subaru was loaded with cigars!


    The winner for chutzpuh and ingenuity, Noel's version of "Look I'm a caddis emerging every morning from my tent cot!

    Amazingly with the back wall and canopy he was dry as a bone in heavy rains Friday, good job Noel! (gotta get him a nickname)

    Here is the obligatory fish shots, nice bow Noel!


    Bow 2


    MattB imitating the Flash giving me a cigar on the trail after fishing all day. It' not a blur he moves that fast!


    Just like Cataloochee the water is mere feet behind the trucks, natures lullaby!


    Those who did not make it we missed you but you have a second chance in October for another shot at it! Check with Little River TU for dates. Looks like an early fall in the upper elevations!
    "It starts with a raindrop, don't let it end with a teardrop!"

    "Nothing straightens out my mind like a twisting mountain stream!"

    Follow the Great Smoky Mountain Trout Unlimited website:

    http://greatsmokymountain.tu.org/

    FACEBOOK: http://m.facebook.com/GreatSmokyMountainTU/

    "A true conservationist is someone who knows that the world is not given by their fathers, but borrowed from their children."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Michigan
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    Looks like fun fall all to say.
    To Fish or not to Fish? That's a stupid question.

    http://www.tu.org/

  3. #3
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    Oct 2008
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    Talking

    Sorry I bailed

    I didn't finish up at NOC till 8 PM and by the time I got done with dinner it was 10:30. I decided with the rain to just bail and head home.

    Glad you made the best of it
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
    www.foamiefriends.com

  4. #4
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    Dec 2007
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    Maryville
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    Looks like you all had a good time. I was all set to come and got an email and then phone call that it was being cancelled.
    Unfortunately I won't get to make the next one in October.

    How was Saturday and Sunday?

    God Bless,
    Dances with Trout

  5. #5
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    Jan 2006
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    Good post BigSur. The four of us had a great time fishing, camping, eating, smoking ceegars, sampling some of Kentucky's better products (no, not race horses), and watching a full moon over a roaring campfire. Just doesn't get much better than that.
    “The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana.”
    ― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

  6. #6
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    Did anybody go up to Cabin Flats and get my Maui Jims?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denver1911 View Post
    Did anybody go up to Cabin Flats and get my Maui Jims?
    I'm afraid only Matt Blick would have been the only one that had the energy to get up that far, but I'm guessing with good whiskey and cigars even he was deterred.
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
    www.foamiefriends.com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dances with Trout View Post

    How was Saturday and Sunday?
    God Bless,
    Dances with Trout
    Dances your name was brought up often, especially when we were hungry as in "If Dances were here this would not be burnt!" and MattB saying "If Dances were here I would already have my slam for the year!"

    Seriously, Saturday was beautiful partly cloudy/sunny, the water dropped overnight Friday from chocolate milk to crystal clear and back to relatively low compared to the day before on Friday. The best fishing day for me was Sunday, we broke camp by 10AM, left MattB at a new camp site to fish a few more days (hope he is dry and catching em'!). I headed back over the gap and (hit you know where I go)as I headed home and fished Sunday from about 12PM to 4PM. The water on the TN side was low but was able get on the side that is always too deep to get to and worked up to where you like to go, changed from a stimulator to a #18 elk hair caddis on 6X and started pick-pocketing holes and riffles in very low choppy water just like Yoda (Byron) always writes about and we always forget to do! Grabbed about 5 bows from little to about 6 1/2, ended a great weekend with my chair on the beach with a cigar and drink, contemplating my navel and the universe before driving home to hit the salt mines Monday. Hit LRO to pick up a item for a friend's son, talked to Dan & Paul, ran into Josh and saw the LRO class coming in from a fun day on the water. No wonder I am tired, but grateful for a weekend of fellowship and fishing in one of the most beautiful places on earth to live!
    "It starts with a raindrop, don't let it end with a teardrop!"

    "Nothing straightens out my mind like a twisting mountain stream!"

    Follow the Great Smoky Mountain Trout Unlimited website:

    http://greatsmokymountain.tu.org/

    FACEBOOK: http://m.facebook.com/GreatSmokyMountainTU/

    "A true conservationist is someone who knows that the world is not given by their fathers, but borrowed from their children."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denver1911 View Post
    Did anybody go up to Cabin Flats and get my Maui Jims?
    Quote:From Duckypaddler
    "I'm afraid only Matt Blick would have been the only one that had the energy to get up that far, but I'm guessing with good whiskey and cigars even he was deterred."

    Denver as you can see from Ducky's quote above as usual he sullies the physicality of his elders. When I am at Smokemont I like to start my day with a trail run up Bradley, up Chasteen to Hughes Ridge, back down the loop to camp! Then I wake up from that crazy dream, get up make sure no one like Ducky is trying to fix low fat anything, or cereal with stix and twigs and make sure I maintain the diet of champions and great fisherman everywhere: bacon fat, biscuits with butter and eggs & cheese with more butter washed down with gallons of coffee!. It worked for generations before us as they rock hopped, hiked and climbed their way thru the rhodo for a shot at a fish, I stand before them and declare just as they did: "What the blank is cholesterol and who drank all the shine?

    Oh yeah your question, made it up past the intersection but never as far as Cabin Flats. We divided the days up with time on both Bradley and then dropping down to the Oconaluftee as the water rose and fell during the day. Long answer to your short question, unless MattB went back up the trail Sunday, a very hip bear may be scaring hikers while looking sharp in your Maui Jim's
    Last edited by bigsur; 09-29-2015 at 10:34 AM.
    "It starts with a raindrop, don't let it end with a teardrop!"

    "Nothing straightens out my mind like a twisting mountain stream!"

    Follow the Great Smoky Mountain Trout Unlimited website:

    http://greatsmokymountain.tu.org/

    FACEBOOK: http://m.facebook.com/GreatSmokyMountainTU/

    "A true conservationist is someone who knows that the world is not given by their fathers, but borrowed from their children."

  10. #10
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    Jul 2010
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    Springboro, OH
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    I had a great time at the camp out. It was really great meeting 2 new people; hopefully I can connect with old and new friends from the TU chapters again soon. Bigsur, I'm surprised you didn't get a picture of those dreaded albino death caterpillars. Thunderhead 8 and I read the memo about the uniform for the weekend, why didn't you and Noel?

    I'm going to hijack and tack on my trip report here with so many mentions. I just about floated back to Ohio yesterday with all of the rain last week. I can highly recommend the cheap Frogg Toggs rainwear. My North Face rain jacket wet out quickly as usual, even though I renewed the DWR. I bought the Frogg Toggs as a backup but it filled the main role Monday through Sunday. TNF Hyvent DT is garbage.

    I didn't make it up to Cabin Flats, sorry Denver1911. I spent a lot of time reading in my hammock, but did quick trips on Kephart Prong Sunday and Collins Creek Monday. Tuesday I headed over the mountain and had a bit of Little River fishing Tuesday afternoon until it started pouring. I stayed at Dock's Tuesday night and fished the LR again Wednesday afternoon. I saw a lot of people out enjoying the day. Guide who drives the green compact SUV; I saw you with the client and marked your spot.

    Had to switch my plans for Friday and Saturday nights; the park called and strongly suggested I not stay at #23 due to flooding. I still managed a one-way trip and shuttle. I hiked Bote Mountain to #18 and West Prong out. It was a lot shorter hike than I had hoped for but still got my fix until next time.

    Thanks again bigsur for the invite; it gave me an excuse to extend my visit from 5 days to 9.

    - Matt -
    Last edited by mattblick; 10-05-2015 at 03:37 PM.

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