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About Damn Time

Started by Yallerhammer, June 03, 2017, 16:36:03 PM

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Yallerhammer

June 03, 2017, 16:36:03 PM Last Edit: June 03, 2017, 16:41:05 PM by Yallerhammer

The last couple months, I've been in SC catching crappie, bass, and catfish; I've been down on the coast catching reds, sea trout, and flounder; but the one thing I Haven't done lately is hit a little mountain creek or two. Time to fix that.

Yesterday morning I packed up the truck and headed so far back into the Smokies that there weren't even any granola-munching, cairn-building backpackers. The goal was a small creek that I'd never fished before. After getting down into it, what ensued was the most rewarding morning of speck fishing that I've had in years. I knew it was going to be good when my first cast brought an 8-inch speck to hand, and the second cast to the same hole fetched out its twin. The speck-fest continued for a couple of hours, in which I probably caught 50-60 specks, and at least half of them were over 7 inches.

The bad news for ya'll is that I forgot my camera in the truck. I didn't think about it until I had my first fish in hand. I had hiked a considerable ways from the truck and climbed/slid several hundred yards off into a gorge, so I wasn't about to go back after it. You'll just have to take my word for it.

After that, I fished a more accessible but still semi-remote creek for a couple hours. Small browns and rainbows were most of the take at first, but as I got a ways up, I started picking up specks too. The fish were plentiful and hitting good, just small. I did catch a pretty little brown about 10" that was camera shy.

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Time for lunch.

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After I ate, I hiked back into another small stream that I haven't fished. It was a good 'in. I caught nice specks until the sun and my energy both started sinking low.

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I had a really good day, and I really needed it.

Fin.

Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff

Dougfish

That's a full, fun day! Absent minded, indeed.

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk

"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

Yallerhammer

Quote from: Dougfish on June 03, 2017, 16:52:29 PM

That's a full, fun day! Absent minded, indeed.

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk

Touche.  ;D  0:0
Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff

Dee-Vo

That's some real good back to the world shit. Kudos to ya for getting out there. A multi-creek day, a hell of a way to hit the reset button.

- What's the 7th picture of?


Yallerhammer

Quote from: Dee-Vo on June 03, 2017, 22:12:11 PM

That's some real good back to the world shit. Kudos to ya for getting out there. A multi-creek day, a hell of a way to hit the reset button.

- What's the 7th picture of?

Elk tracks. Many miles from where I have seen elk sign before. They are spreading out throughout most of the park and surrounding areas now instead of just in the hub areas like Cataloochee and Cherokee.
Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff

Dee-Vo

Quote from: Yallerhammer on June 04, 2017, 08:36:15 AM

Quote from: Dee-Vo on June 03, 2017, 22:12:11 PM

That's some real good back to the world shit. Kudos to ya for getting out there. A multi-creek day, a hell of a way to hit the reset button.

- What's the 7th picture of?

Elk tracks. Many miles from where I have seen elk sign before. They are spreading out throughout most of the park and surrounding areas now instead of just in the hub areas like Cataloochee and Cherokee.
I see. Deer track was my initial thought. I forgot to take into account the area in which you reside. I seen some while I was up there a while back. Damned things are massive.

Phil

The last two brookies are mighty fine.

I like wild rainbows (and browns) just about as much. They're all good. Taste good too.... 0:0


BrookieHunter

 Elk tracks far from cataloochee seem to be more common these days. I fished a stream on private property in maggie valley last week that had evidence of Elk and also possibly porcupine.

looks like a great trip for some specks!!


Yallerhammer

June 05, 2017, 06:11:03 AM #8 Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 06:12:40 AM by Yallerhammer
Quote from: BrookieHunter on June 04, 2017, 21:25:14 PM

Elk tracks far from cataloochee seem to be more common these days. I fished a stream on private property in maggie valley last week that had evidence of Elk and also possibly porcupine.

looks like a great trip for some specks!!

Maggie is full of elk, and some Russian boars too. No porcupines, though. The closest porcupine is probably in northern West Virginia. What made you think porcupine?
Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff

BrookieHunter

Quote from: Yallerhammer on June 05, 2017, 06:11:03 AM

Quote from: BrookieHunter on June 04, 2017, 21:25:14 PM

Elk tracks far from cataloochee seem to be more common these days. I fished a stream on private property in maggie valley last week that had evidence of Elk and also possibly porcupine.

looks like a great trip for some specks!!

Maggie is full of elk, and some Russian boars too. No porcupines, though. The closest porcupine is probably in northern West Virginia. What made you think porcupine?
At the end of the day we returned to the landowners cabin to thank him and he told us his dog had caught a baby porcupine. My first thought was that we don't have porcupines, we walked down to where the dog was to check it out and the animal that the dog had cornered didn't look like anything i'd ever seen. With my mind already made up that we don't have porcupines I just automatically decided it was a baby groundhog until I got home and did some searching of the web. found this  http://maps.iucnredlist.org/map.html?id=8004.

Yallerhammer

June 05, 2017, 09:59:20 AM #10 Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 10:01:27 AM by Yallerhammer

That's weird as hell. I don't know where that map data comes from, but it contradicts every other range map I've ever seen. As far as I know, there are no porcupines here, and that's pretty 100% sure knowledge. I live very near Maggie, and my family has been here since the late 1700s. I have spent most of my fifty years in the woods, walking, hunting, and observing every kind of critter and plant I can find down to insects, lichens and liverworts. I spent many years trapping, and roaming the woods day and night with bear hounds, coon hounds, and beagles. I have never seen or heard of a porcupine here, and no one I know has ever heard of a porcupine here. The biologists for the national forest or Smokies national park have never seen, found, or recorded one, either.

My guess is that it was a baby groundhog, they are thick right now. Or maybe someone's escaped pet hedgehog? Of course, the former Soco Gardens zoo near there had all kinds of weird critters, maybe one went AWOL? I've heard tales of the anaconda that escaped from there and was found by an old guy mowing hay. He went running up the road hollering that there was a giant "sarpint" in his field. Somebody asked, "A big snake?" He said, "Hell no-that thing done passed being a snake about ten feet ago. " :D

Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff

Yallerhammer

Maybe this is where the data came from:

Quote

North American Porcupine   Erethizon dorsatum

Lee et al. (1982, p. 7) state that "There is some reason to suspect that the Porcupine and Fisher may have once occurred in the mountainous portions of North Carolina, but their presence in historic times cannot be substantiated." Kellogg (1939), in an "Annotated List of Tennessee Mammals", says "Mercer ... found the dried feces and quills of a porcupine in Bigbone Cave near Elroy, Van Buren County, Tenn. During the recent rearrangement of the mammal collection in the National Museum, a left mandible of an immature porcupine labeled as coming from 'a Tennessee cave', but with no other data, was found." Linzey (1995) says "Hall (1981) indicated that its range may extend through the mountains as far south as the Smokies. Jawbones of porcupines have been recovered from archaelogical [sic] sites west of Chattanooga in Marion County, Tennessee".

Thus, though there is some evidence that Porcupines might have occupied the mountains of Tennessee into the 19th Century, there seems to be nothing on record of even sightings from North Carolina, much less reports of specimens or carcasses.

Women want me, doughbellies fear me.<br /><br />Little Debbie Prostaff

hcrum87hc

Great stuff.  I spent the weekend in Atlanta at the Blade Show, which was fantastic, but I'm still a bit jealous of your weekend.

Jeremiah 17:7


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