A couple of guys I originally met on a fishing forum these past couple of years and I have got past the screen names and friended on that website that friends people. Recently Todd (aka technowannabe) messaged Fox and I about doing an overnighter in the Smokies soon and we were both game. A stream none of us had fished was chosen for the destination. Before it was time to go Fox had to pull out making it a two man trip.
I arrived mid morning, a few hours before Todd. It was hot and humid already and the trail was a little more steep than I expected, but not bad for most hikers. I'm a pitifully out of shape smoker and needed to stop several times to catch my breath, and replace what I was sweating out. At a half mile a tributary about equal in size joins the other half, and from this point on up the stream went from mid sized to small. Somewhere around 1 3/4 miles I found the site that would be home for the night. After camp was made and the rod was strung, I was ready to see what this beautiful creek had to offer.
The water was stained, as I had heard it has a tendency to be. There were the usual mix of cascades and pools along with alot of blown down trees. I made a few drifts and landed a trout near camp. Upstream from there was blocked by blow down so I decided to scout from the trail above camp. It climbed up and away from the stream for a ways, and around a quarter mile I turned back to gather some firewood and rest until Todd arrived.
After a swing in the hammock, I awoke to the sound of thunder. I saw a hat sticking out above the brush moving double time up the trail. Todd had arrived. We had both read after the spot was picked that it was one of the less aesthetically pleasing campsites in the park but neither of us agreed. After setting up his gear we hit the trail to find more water above camp. Eventually the trail and stream met again and in we went.
After pushing our way through the rhododendron choked stream it became evident that although it was itself fishable, there was little room for hooksets or even a bow and arrow cast with the long fly rods. The blowdowns didn't help either. Without either of us catching a trout we turned and headed back down the trail.
On the way back to camp we ran into a bear walking up the trail. We were many miles away from where the Hazel creek attack happened recently, and although the bear scattered upon seeing us we were still a little bearanoid.
A little bit upstream I coaxed the largest creek chub I have caught (or horny head if you prefer) into eating a large black nymph. A couple more drifts in the same run produced a nice rainbow.
Todd had yet to find a trout on the end of his line. The water seemed to be a little bit warmer and mostly hold creek chubs but we kept on working our way up, utilizing the trail to navigate the blowdowns. It was starting to get hot and the fishing seemed nonexistent at this point. We tried the traditional trout patterns, some streamers, and everything in between. After slipping and landing in the water, and a few close calls myself, Todd declared we were getting tired and should probably go. I wasn't ready to admit it yet, but he was right.
Todd working the hole
The trout eluded Todd but not due to lack of skill, stealth or effort. Slow fishing is an understatement. However I still had a bitchin time and made a new friend. Thanks for the chub pic and hope the leg is looking better dude!