Wednesday, July 9, 2014
My husband and I are going camping this weekend with the express purpose of fly-fishing in the small streams of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We've not used our 1966 Cox Camper in a couple years, but I absolutely love camping in the trailer that I grew up in. It's still in amazing condition because a: they don't make things like they used to, and b: it's been very well taken care of for the last almost 50 years. Hopefully it will serve us well again when we haul it up and over Newfound Gap to Smokemont Campground near Cherokee, NC.
The plan is to fish above the campground in Bradley Fork, possibly even moving up into Chasteen Creek. We will probably give the larger Oconaluftee River a go while we're there, but we'll stay in the Park to fish because hubby doesn't have a NC fishing license (a TN license is valid as long as you stay in the Park). Anyway, much of the Oconaluftee that isn't in the Park is on Cherokee Reservation land and that requires a different type of permit altogether. I've also heard that Raven Fork is a nice stream, but I'll have to ask someone once we get over there how to get to it if we decide to fish that stream.
In preparation for this trip, we've been trying to learn more about fishing techniques that are particularly effective in the small streams we'll be in over the weekend. An excellent resource that we've found valuable are some online videos (from YouTube) created by R and R Fly Fishing, a husband and wife duo that runs a guide business in this area. They have their own YouTube "channel," so you might want to check it out. They both seem knowledgable and eager to help other anglers improve their techniques and thus, their success. We've learned much about how to hide and not disturb the water any more than necessary in order to entice these native trout to take what you present to them. We've also learned a bit about presentation and what types of flies to present at various times of the year. I hope that we are able to schedule a trip with them in the fall, but for now, we'll just try to apply the lessons we've learned in their videos.
Another thing I wanted to share in this post is a wonderful Car Camping Packing Checklist that I stumbled on this week. This has definitely helped me gather our gear as we get ready to use the trailer that I don't get to use often enough. Most of my camping the last few years has been quick tent setups or backpacking trips and these gear lists are very different. I thought others might find this list helpful and it's printable so you can literally use it as a checklist as you pack. Just click HERE to see the entire list in its printable form:
I'd love to hear about your adventures camping and fishing in the Smokies. What are your favorite streams and/or places to camp?
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Once in a while, one of my hikes is so special that it literally defies words. It has happened once before--last summer when I spent 4 days on the AT in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It has now happened again, and again the hike was on a section of the AT, this time near Roan Mountain, Tennessee from Carver's Gap to 19E. This trek was supposed to be 14 miles, but by the time we were done, my Fitbit (and my hamstrings) told me it was a 17.2 mile hike completed in one glorious day. As I said, words cannot come close to describing the vistas that surrounded us the whole way across those Roan Mountain Balds, so instead, walk with me here and enjoy a small window onto Heaven!