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Thread: 1st foray into the backcountry

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Terre Haute, IN
    Posts
    21

    Default 1st foray into the backcountry

    After months of preparation, I finally made my first backcountry trip to the Smokies. With that, I can also tell you all that my wifeís hatred for this forum is at an all time high! You all just keep giving me new ideas for ways to spend my time and money. Since first coming to this site to research trout fishing in the GSMNP, Iíve taken up fly fishing, fly tying, rod building, and now I can add backpacking to the list. She quips all of the time that we are going to need a bigger house for all of the gear that Iíve accumulated.

    My oldest daughter and I set out last Thursday as soon as she got out of school and made the five hour drive to London, Kentucky to spend the night so that we could give ourselves most of the day on Friday to hike into campsite 24. Of course, we had to drop by LRO on our way in and upon getting out of my car we were greeted by this guy:

    [IMG][/IMG]

    After picking up a fishing license and a few odds and ends, we made our way to Elkmont and were able to begin our adventure. I couldnít have asked for a better day for a backpack than this.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    We finally made it to the campsite by around 2 pm. We probably spent too much time taking in the sites as we didn't leave ourselves any time to fish once we got camp set up and gathered up and processed our firewood. Oh well, that was part of the experience for us too as we don't get the chance to make it down to the mountains very often. At least we were able to enjoy a nice fire that evening:

    [IMG][/IMG]

    We got up the next morning and fixed a fine meal of dehydrated hash browns and bacon. It definitely hit the spot considering that it was only 28 degrees when we got out of the tent. I will say that I'm glad that we did our first backpack (Hoosier National Forest) back last March on a night that it dropped into the mid 30's. I learned a lot from spending most of that night shivering and restless. After reinforcing our previously inadequate sleeping pads with additional foam pads and throwing a warm Nalgene bottle in the ends of our sleeping bags, we slept great and were oblivious as to the sub-freezing temperature outside.

    By 10 am we finally set out to do what we came for:

    [IMG][/IMG]

    We started next to the campsite and within 15 minutes I caught what would end up being our only fish of the day:

    [IMG][/IMG]

    After I caught the first, I told my daughter that our mission was to get her a fish. The deal was that once she got her first, all bets were off and we would start leap frogging each other up the river. Unfortunately that first fish never materialized for her and I spent most of the day trying to help her with things like casting, reading water, stalking, etc. She did manage a couple of hits, but was terribly late on them. I also had a couple hits and misses just working some of the water that she had already worked. She did have one exciting moment when she had a take that actually peeled into the drag on her reel a little bit but before I could blurt out for her to set the hook, she lost it. Despite her not catching one, that one moment left her feeling good about the day. The next morning, we got up early so that we could haul it back to the car and grab a hot breakfast. We did throw a couple more flies, but it was to no avail.

    All in all, I have to say that it was a great trip. My daughter, despite not catching a fish, had a blast and was posting pictures of her adventure as soon as we had cell signal. Iím already working on plans for my first solo backcountry trip sometime early next year. Itís definitely gonna be a long winter waiting for my next chance to come down.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maryville
    Posts
    1,140

    Default

    Awesome report!!! Glad you were able to introduce your daughter to the backcountry.
    My posts are worthless without pictures

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Glad to hear your trip went well. My son and I are due at campsite 24 this week for an overnighter. Accuweather is predicting 31F in Gatlinburg. Looking forward to the hike. Love me some Smoky Mountain backcountry fly fishing

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Awesome! Sounds like a great trip!

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