Thursday, March 19, 2015

GSMNP - A Quick Report

I don't think I have posted a good report from the Smokies since 2012.

In 2013, my son and I brought my girlfriend, Sara, with us for her first visit to the Smokies...not a complaint but we did more hiking/sight seeing than fishing. However, Ross and I both landed a couple of wild rainbows when we stopped along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail for lunch.

After watching me land a few, Ross took control of the rod and after a few missed strikes, he brought one to hand.

In 2014, my (then) 14-year old son backed out for a girl so we canceled the July trip. Even though the planned July trip fell through, Sara and I went down at the end of September so I could run in the inaugural Great Smoky Mountain Half-Marathon. Again, we did FAR more hiking than fishing.

It was a VERY busy 4-day trip. On day one we made a difficult hike of 12 miles to Mt. Cammerer fire tower. On day two we went to Cataloochee so Sara could see her first elk - she also was able to hear her first elk bugle as the rut was on during this late September weekend. Sara's dad was an avid deer hunter so she knows how to spot deer and she spotted this cow bedded down in the treeline.

I was able to fish a few holes on Palmer Creek, which I had never fished before, and I was able to add another stream to my growing list of Smoky streams I have explored/fished. I caught this nice little rainbow right in front of a horse camp set up on the lower end of Palmer Creek.

From Cataloochee we went across Sterling Gap to Big Creek - another new stream for me. We hiked up to the Midnight Hole and Mouse Creek Falls. I was able to add another stream to my list, but I didn't take any photos. Trust me, there were several fish in the stream and this is one I've bookmarked for a return visit. This is a large, high gradient stream with house-sized boulders - just what I like!

Sara above the Midnight Hole.

Day 3 was the half-marathon. It had a few more hills in it than I expected, but I still finished in a respectable 1:54.

I don't have any current plans to visit the Smokies in 2015 but I hate to break the string of at least one visit for ten consecutive years!

Short and sweet!


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