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MIKE*A

Smokie Mountains National Park

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Last weekend, The wife and I shot down to Townsend, Tn. to celebrate our 15th anniversary. We were actually about 6 weeks late in celebrating, but it was the first weekend we had free. I've driven thru/flown over the Smokies countless times, but never took the time to stop and truly appreciate the views. It's only 5 hours away from our house so after last weekend, we decided a return visit is definitely in order. we chose Townsend because it sits right at the entrance into the park and is a small quiet town as opposed to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. We rented a small cabin for the weekend and had a very enjoyable time. Within 5 minutes of driving into the Nat'l park, we ran across mama bear and her 3 cubs frolicing on a hillside, unfortunately by the time either of us thought to reach for the camera, a school bus loaded with kids pulled up behind us and promptly emptied out about 50 screaming kids......needless to say, the bears disappeared....At first, I was a little upset, but then realized the kids were just very excited at seeing the bears. I didn't bring a rod w/me because I wasn't planning on being there very long and.....it was my anniversary.....but next time.....lookout! There were countless small streams running every which way thru the park, all allegedly loaded with native Brookies and some stocked w/Rainbows as well. I did see a few fisherman, but not many. I'm sure the deeper you hike into the park, the better your chances for some quiet, uninterrupted fishing. Townsend is a very tiny town composed of a small IGA, a Subway restaurant and a Pizza Hut as well as a couple mom & pop type family restaurants and a couple antique/souvenir shops. I knew there was a fly shop there and it wasn't hard to find.....I resisted the temptation on saturday out of respect to my wife and our anniversary, but on Sunday, when she said "I can't believe you haven't stopped in there yet".....I took that as an invitation to go in! It's called "Little River Outfitters" and I was quite impressed! It is an Orvis endorsed shop(privately owned), all of the staff were quite helpful/friendly and when they saw me looking at rods, offered to throw a reel on any I wanted with the suggestion I step out the back door of the shop and make a few casts on the "Little River".......One quick glance at the wife told me not to push my luck.....but it was tempting! I couldn't walk out of there w/out dropping about $50.00, but oh well. I will say they had the most impressive selcetion of fly trying materials I can recall ever seeing.......If you are ever in the area, you need to stop in!IPB Image

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I went to school in Knoxville a few years back and fished the park jillions of times. What is impressive is that there is no entrance fee to this national park. (as there shouldn't be to any of them) The trout are small, by MT standards, but the farther you walk up the trails, the better the fishing gets.

Little River Outfitters is indeed one of the coolest fly shops that I've ever been in. It beats anything that I've ever seen here in the Rocky Mountain west. I remember couches by the front door with a stack of magazines and running water playing over the stereo. I went in one day because it was pouring down rain. I just sat around for awhile and read magazines without anyone making me feel like I needed to spend a lot of money just to be in their shop. In return for the feeling that I was welcome and didn't need to spend a lot of money just to hang out, I bought all my materials there and recomended them to many for the 2 years that I lived there. All fly shops could take a lesson from those guys.

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Glad you enjoyed our neck of the woods. Personally, I like the NC side better than the TN side, but either one is loaded with beautiful views and unspoiled streams. Yes there are brookies if you get upstream far enough, but there are also some very nice browns and rainbows at lower elevations. One thing you may not know, though. In the GSMP, either the NC or the TN fishing license is honored, regardless of which state your are actually in, so, come and enjoy fishing the whole park.

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I'm glad you had a good time Mike. My second home is in NC, about an hour and a half east of the GSMNP. I haven't fished over that way in a couple of years, but when I did, the fishing was very good. Great pics, they make me 2nd home sick. :lol:

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Thanks for the pictures....It's nice to hear that the IGA is still in Townsend! I was born and raised in the Knoxville area, it still feels like home, although its been awhile since I have been in the area..

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Thanx guys,

It is definitely a beatiful area......I think I mentioned earlier, I had my eye on a nice little 7' 3wt TFo that would have been perfect......I was one step from heading out the back door of the shop to try it out...... :P ...bad timing this trip.....I will definitely be heading back!

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hey Mike funny story My family went to cades cove last week while I was chaing rainbows on the middle prong of the little river(near Townsend), and well...do these look familiar? :D

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Sorry, I am terrible at posting pics. If somone can tell me the proper way to post a pic ( I am technologically challenged), i think I have pics of those bears for ya.

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Ceallagh.....I would love to see those pic.s! I am technologically impaired myself......but I somehow managed....go to the top of this page and click on "photo gallery" and then "upload photo" and you should be home free.

 

Mike

 

 

http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?showtopic=365

 

I found the tutorial post on photos that might help you!

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