Another Day Well-spent in the Smokies

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NCHillbilly

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Headed out early Friday morning to hit a couple creeks I haven't fished in awhile.

Breakfast of champions:
biscuit.jpg

Met this guy along the way. He'll be a nice one next year:

turkey.jpg

First creek was a good-sized one:

creek1.jpg

It's full of these:

bow1.jpg

bow2.jpg

And these:

brown2.jpg

brown4.jpg

Unexpected company. These things are spreading out all over the place now, good to see them doing well:

elk1.jpg

Mmmm....tree limbs.....

elk2.jpg

Fished a couple hours and caught a bunch of good fish. I hooked one really nice brown about 16", but he quick-released himself when I was reaching for him with the net, so no pics of him. He put up a heckuva fight on the three-weight in the strong current, so I didn't begrudge him his freedom. I know where he lives now.

Sun is getting high now, time to head up a tributary.....
 
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NCHillbilly

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This smaller creek is a tributary of the first creek, and it always seems to hold some really good fish for the size of the creek.

creek2.jpg


They were hitting good, I spent a couple hours catching fish after fish. Very fat and colorful, and strong fighters.

bow3.jpg

brown3.jpg

bow4.jpg

bow5.jpg

bow6.jpg

Everything was lush and green. Thousands of maidenhair ferns growing along the creek:

ferns.jpg

This 12" butterbelly wound up being the fish to hand of the day:

brown1.jpg

Starting to get into the afternoon, and I was having a great time. But something is missing for a day in the Smokies: No specks yet. Lets see if we can remedy that....
 
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NCHillbilly

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Started up a smaller tributary that usually has some specks:

creek3-2.jpg

creek3.jpg

At first, though, it was just more of these:

bow7.jpg

brown5.jpg

But, finally, after working my way upstream, I started getting into some little native jewels. Nothing of any size on the speck side today, but pretty little guys:

speck1.jpg

speck2.jpg


It was getting late, and I was tired, hungry, and happy; so I started the hike back out to the truck. Days like this are what keeps me sane and grounded. Doesn't get much better.


Fin.
 
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NCHillbilly

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You know, I think you could write a book about fishing in the Smokies. I'll help you do some more field research if you need new material.
You're welcome to help research anytime, man!
 

blood on the ground

🦌Cross threading is better than two lock washers.🦌
Absolutely beautiful place sir! Is that your first encounter with a elk outside the reservation?
The color on those specks is amazing!
Thank you for sharing!
 
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NCHillbilly

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Absolutely beautiful place sir! Is that your first encounter with a elk outside the reservation?
The color on those specks is amazing!
Thank you for sharing!
Lord no, I see them everywhere. In herds, sometimes. They first turned them loose in Cataloochee near where I live, and there are still scads of them in there, and they have spread out to all over the mountains on this side of the Smokies. Yep, there is a good herd on the Cherokee reservation and the GSMNP around it now, too, but they're getting to be about everywhere back in the mountains. I see elk or elk sign all over the place these days. There was a big 6x6 bull in my neighbor's hayfield beside my house a couple years ago. They are coming into big time conflict with a lot of farmers around here now. I've come close to smacking a couple with my truck in the last few years headed out before daylight in the morning. They are talking about opening a limited hunting season on them in NC. That would be great. Lot of delicious meat on one of those suckers.
 

blood on the ground

🦌Cross threading is better than two lock washers.🦌
Lord no, I see them everywhere. In herds, sometimes. They first turned them loose in Cataloochee near where I live, and there are still scads of them in there, and they have spread out to all over the mountains on this side of the Smokies. Yep, there is a good herd on the Cherokee reservation and the GSMNP around it now, too, but they're getting to be about everywhere back in the mountains. I see elk or elk sign all over the place these days. There was a big 6x6 bull in my neighbor's hayfield beside my house a couple years ago. They are coming into big time conflict with a lot of farmers around here now. I've come close to smacking a couple with my truck in the last few years headed out before daylight in the morning. They are talking about opening a limited hunting season on them in NC. That would be great. Lot of delicious meat on one of those suckers.
That would be great! Deer meat for a year on one!
 
I was in the Cataloochee country Saturday . Talked to a local fisherman driving a red chevy pu flatbed that seamed to know that country very well.
 
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NCHillbilly

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Pics like those are going to push me over the edge into the trout fishing world. I enjoy your trip reports.
It's addictive. Beware. Not just the fish, but where they live.
 
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NCHillbilly

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I was in the Cataloochee country Saturday . Talked to a local fisherman driving a red chevy pu flatbed that seamed to know that country very well.
That was probably one of my cousins. :) Cataloochee is just over the ridge from my house. I had ancestors who lived there in pre-park days. It's one of my favorite places on the planet, even with the extreme influx of tourists over the last few years. It's where I first learned to fly fish, and I still fish it often.
 

Rabun

Senior Member
Some days we just get to live the dream. I could feel that cool air off the mountain streams! Some gorgeous pictures...Thanks for sharing!
 

35 Whelen

Senior Member
"Days like this are what keeps me sane and grounded."

"They say you forget your troubles on a trout stream, but that's not quite it. What happens is that you begin to see where your troubles fit into the grand scheme of things, and suddenly they're just not such a big deal anymore." ~ John Gierach
 
Awesome NCHB - great pics of some beautiful fish and wildlife. Crazy to see Elk in NC.
 
Thread starter #20

NCHillbilly

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Awesome NCHB - great pics of some beautiful fish and wildlife. Crazy to see Elk in NC.
Well, they were here aplenty until we killed all of them. There are lots of Elk Mountains, and suchlike place names around here.
 
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