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Thread: Horseshoe question?

  1. #11
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    May 2018
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    This post sure does bring back lots of memories. 60 years ago I made my first trip to this beautiful and alluring place. This first trip was about 1-1/2 miles below the Falls with a few later trips that summer, around the Big Horseshoe. The trips were so rough that I managed to walk out with pants torn all the way from the crotch to the ankles, more than once. Shoes and boots did not hold up much better. The rewards were fantastic and the love for that area has never waned. I've had more skins and bruises than a person needs in one lifetime from these tough waters. I have to take it a little slower now, but I always think of the great times that I've had down there.

  2. #12
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    Jun 2008
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    I’ve survived it several times. The first couple were touch and go, as the first I didn’t heed the warning and attempted to just climb out to the trail. That led me into the meanest rhododendron and laurel slicks I’ve ever encountered, after conquering that and summiting what I expected to be the ridge where the trail was only to realize I had to go down and back up another. I started out that day at 3 and got to my truck at 10 pm. Along the way I saw 2 rattlesnakes and tore most of the clothes off my body. Lesson, under no circumstances try to go out overland,period

    second trip a assigned thunderstorm blew up and the creek became a raging torrent of death. Recalling my overland experience I opted to go down stream where the trail comes close and get out. It worked but I basicallly swam, clung to brush or crawled through brush for several miles. Again, clothes torn and battered by the time I exited.

    The last trip I can recall, we camped at the campground in Cade’s cove and took bikes in to the parking area at daylight because the road was closed. Started fishing around 7:30 and got back to the truck about 4. Other than falling in a dozen times it was a smooth trip.

    as others have said the rocks are the slickest and meanest of any I’ve ever waded. Do not go in there alone, period. Allow plenty of time, do not go overland for any reason unless you want to test out your naked and afraid skills. And watch the weather forecast.

    Its a cool place but not for the faint of heart of flat lander who hasn’t dont much Park fishing

  3. #13
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    Mar 2015
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    Knoxville
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    One other thing I forgot to add was how with most streams in the park, you can in tough sections usually get out on the side and maneuver around. Abrams is not like that in most of its length. The sides are either steep inclines or very deep in silt which makes getting out really tough.

    I have waded just about all the major streams and a lot of lesser ones in the park, the main exceptions being Hazel and Eagle creeks and I am of the opinion Abrams is the toughest stream in the park to wade and especially taking into account the Horseshoe and itís remoteness and difficulty in getting in and out.

  4. #14
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    Mar 2009
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    Lafayette, TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Congleton View Post
    I have continued for my whole life to regret telling them how to do the trip.

    I tell you all of this because it can be a very dangerous place and certainly not one IMO to take on by yourself, or undertake casually.
    I appreciate your warning and I understand your regret.
    ďA man fishing for minnows, no matter how beautiful the minnow, is not after fish.Ē
    A man called Boomer

  5. #15
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    Mar 2009
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    Lafayette, TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayR View Post
    I would also recommend you take a life straw or equivalent and what little gear you might need if you do end up the night. Going in June will afford you the longest daylight hours which is a help.

    As as for the rocks, what makes Abrams really difficult (at least for me) are the slanted rock ledges that are common there. Those things are like an ice rink but on an incline. They are also covered in a fine layer of super slick silt. Studs might help, I just have felt.
    I have a sawyer mini that I use to filter water when backpacking, I was planning on taking that. I have felt and studs for shoes. I was thinking about wearing the studs. I hate to hike in that far with felt soles. They may hold up fine, but Im always afraid I'll tear the soles hiking to the stream. Probably silly since I wear them without a thought in the stream, but still I worry about it.
    ďA man fishing for minnows, no matter how beautiful the minnow, is not after fish.Ē
    A man called Boomer

  6. #16
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    Mar 2007
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    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSM Bigfoot View Post
    I fish the horseshoe or little shoe twice a year. Really good fishing but don’t underestimate the stretches in the beginning of the trailhead before the first ridge and water after the big shoe.

    If you plan on fishing the big shoe then start walking the Abrams trailhead and climb over the first ridge and then keep walking another 10 minutes and right before the trail starts to rise again over a second ridge get in.

    From here this will take you 9 hours to fish and that’s if you are constantly moving. I’d start around 8 am so you can be out by 5-6pm
    Good advice. I actually use to hike over the second incline and get in when the trail came back to the river. Sadly my day has come and gone for this adventure, but I did it 2 or 3 times a year for 30 years.Yes this area deserves respect and your full attention.

    If you use the right entrance and exit points there isn't really any bushwhacking involved. Use the Abrams Falls Trail and hike downstream and fish back towards the parking area.

    1.Before you hike up and over the shoulder of the ridge identify your get out point. Walk down to the river and mark it someway. This time of year the trail is difficult to see from the river. Most of the time you will see someone walking by, but don't count on it.

    2. Keep moving, you can't possibly fish all of the water in a day by yourself.

    3. Stay on the left side of the creek headed up stream. Plenty of water, and you'll put too much effort into crossing back and forth. Not to mention rising water. If you get caught on the wrong side of this stream with rising water, you're screwed.

    Be careful and have fun
    Last edited by flyman; 05-31-2018 at 02:03 PM. Reason: genetics have been cruel to me
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
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  7. #17
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyman View Post
    Good advice. I actually use to hike over the second incline and get in when the trail came back to the river. Sadly my day has come and gone for this adventure, but I did it 2 or 3 times a year for 30 years.Yes this area deserves respect and your full attention.

    If you use the right entrance and exit points there isn't really any bushwhacking involved. Use the Abrams Falls Trail and hike downstream and fish back towards the parking area.

    1.Before you hike up and over the shoulder of the ridge identify your get out point. Walk down to the river and mark it someway. This time of year the trail is difficult to see from the river. Most of the time you will see someone walking by, but don't count on it.

    2. Keep moving, you can't possibly fish all of the water in a day by yourself.

    3. Stay on the left side of the creek headed up stream. Plenty of water, and you'll put too much effort into crossing back and forth. Not to mention rising water. If you get caught on the wrong side of this stream with rising water, you're screwed.

    Be careful and have fun
    I hadn't considered #3. Staying on left side is definitely the way I'll go, thanks for this.
    ďA man fishing for minnows, no matter how beautiful the minnow, is not after fish.Ē
    A man called Boomer

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Knoxville, Tennessee
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    One piece of relevant info that others have left out is there is now a stream gauge on Abrams.

    https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?03518100

    I believe you would want 50cfs or less on that gauge to keep it at a safe level for fishing. I have done Abrams once a few months ago kayaking and had some friends in there the weekend before. Their trip was 90cfs falling to 70, and my trip was about 95cfs which was a solid paddling low and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to fish that day.

    While I agree it's a tough area, and you need to be properly prepared, there are much tougher places in the Smokies. It does have the slickest rocks in the Smokies. The slickness reminds me more of a tail water. Just make sure to pay attention to time, and know where you are, and don't be stupid, 10 essentials, yada yada yada.

    Have fun, enjoy the wilderness, and like the Scouts say be prepared.

    Side note SMHC did a Charlie's Bunion off-trail 3 months back or so. They went up Lester prong and at at the Bunion top split into 2 groups to return 2 different ways. The one group is hiking down and hears yelling. They track 2 guys down, one who fell 30 feet off a cliff onto his hip. They read something on GoSmokies, must have skimmed over the part with repeated warnings, and headed in with no flashlight, supplies etc. They were 1.5 miles above Campsite 31 and if these guys didn't just happen to be close they would have been in real trouble. They had to move the guy 100 yards to an area where the helicopter could drop down basket. Didn't get him out till 845 which back then was way after dark. Poor SMHC hikers had to hike that back out at night. Just don't be THOSE GUYS
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
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  9. #19
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    Mar 2009
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    Lafayette, TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post

    I believe you would want 50cfs or less on that gauge to keep it at a safe level for fishing. I have done Abrams once a few months ago kayaking and had some friends in there the weekend before. Their trip was 90cfs falling to 70, and my trip was about 95cfs which was a solid paddling low and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to fish that day.

    W
    thanks for that, I can't swim lol
    ďA man fishing for minnows, no matter how beautiful the minnow, is not after fish.Ē
    A man called Boomer

  10. #20
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    May 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by hungNtree View Post
    thanks for that, I can't swim lol
    Wow! Right here would be a good place to take this discussion in another direction. If you can't swim, stay off of Abrams Creek, have someone along with you, or at least have some type of floatation gear. I can guarantee you that if you go around either one of the Horseshoes, or below the Falls, that you will be swimming. I don't say this jokingly.

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