Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Teaser Site Goes Live

After countless hours of reading up and studying on many different topics, the "teaser" page for my new site is up and live.

 The page was actually finished a week or so ago but I ended up changing the design several times before deciding on this one, I hope everyone likes it. Rest assured that a fully fleshed out version will be out as soon as possible. I'm unsure of a time table at the moment since school is starting back up in a couple weeks but I will definitely have it up sometime in the fall. 

I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I hope will give you, the reader, something new and exciting to look forward to when it comes to fly fishing websites. I have lofty goals for this site and I'm sure it will end up being a work in progress as I continually improve it, so bear with me. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy the graphic that I put together and will anticipate the day that I pull the curtain back on the whole site. If you have any questions, email me at the address at the bottom of the webpage.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hands On with Photoshop CS3

I got my hands on Photoshop CS3 and have briefly messed around with it. After reading up a little bit on it, I have quickly learned that it is a daunting, although very powerful program. I tried my hand at it today for the first time with the help of a book and here is the result:I took three pictures and blended them together. It took a frustrating hour to get it right, but of course that was the first time I have played around with the program. I think the program will give me the opportunity to be creative and come up with some great images.

This sort of relates to the fact that I haven't been posting as much lately. I've got some things up my sleeve but I'm going to keep the curtain over it for awhile until I'm satisfied with the initial stage of my project. I will still post when I get a chance, but most of my free time is being spent working on this project. When I get done, I hope to have something that experienced fisherman and newcomers to the sport alike will enjoy and embrace!

As always, if you have any comments or even suggestions, feel free to leave a comment and critique my first effort with photoshop.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hiking Big Creek

This weekend brought a good time to go hiking with my girlfriend and get her personally acquainted with the Great Smoky Mountains so we decided to try Big Creek. I have never been there before so I thought it was a good opportunity to scout out some new water, plus it is about as close as many place in the Smokies for me. 

We got insanely early and were there a little before daybreak. After putting the finishing touches on our packs, we headed out and on our way. Since there were no other people out, we decided we better stop and get some good pictures of both the midnight hole and Mouse Creek Falls on the way in instead of on the way out for fear of swimmers.
We continued our way up the relatively easy trail enjoying the scenery along the way. We eventually made it 5.1 miles to the walnut bottoms campsite and decided to go out in search of Swallow Fork. Unfortunately, I had made the costly mistake of accidentally leaving the map at home so we set out not knowing what was in store for us. After a hearty mile or so hike up the Swallow Fork Trail with no sight of water we decided to turn back. On our way back, we were snuck up on by a couple deer who seemed to be just as interested in us as we were to them. 

I was going to fish around the campsite but we decided to start the hike back to get a little closer to the trailhead. We ended up going all the way back to Mouse Creek Falls before we rested. There my girlfriend took up a rock with a book while I rigged up my rod and started fishing. Immediately I got into fish who were attacking my parachute yellow fly. I only fished for about 15 minutes before we were bombarded my swimmers and decided to call it a day. I ended up bringing 7 fish to hand and missing many more, although none were any size. This creek appears to be full of fish and I would love to fish up in brook trout territory.

We made it back to the trailhead at about 3 and had a very nice chat with an elderly couple who were the campground hosts. I can't post a report on this without tipping my hat to my girlfriend. This was her first serious hiking trip with a backpack and she did well. Although she was sore she never complained and did a great job. I didn't mean to take her that far but she wanted to go and she can't wait to go back. Looks like I have a keeper. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Successful Backcountry Trip to Campsite #49

Sorry I'm a little late I've been busy since I returned. Our backcountry trip worked out nicely with the boosted water levels from the rains last week. When we arrived, the water was up and a little muddy but that quickly wore off and the water turned clear again. Our first day of fishing was rather adventurous as we pushed our way upstream about 1.5 miles and then had to return to the campsite in stream since there was no trail. We caught lots of fish, mainly rainbows and specs, and got to spend some time in a truly remote area.

The second day we headed downstream and fished up to the campsite. Although the fishing wasn't quite as spectacular as the day before, it was still good and I even managed to net the Smokies grand slam.

This is a beautiful area and one that offers limitless opportunities for an angler willing to explore it. A relatively easy hike will get you access to the lower 4.7 miles of stream, above that it is all accessed by in stream wading.

As a sidebar, I added the function to subscribe to this blog at a reader's request, hopefully it will be useful.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Camping Trip This Weekend

Sorry it's been awhile since the last post, things are busy right now but I'm trying to catch up. As you can see, the poll has ended and surprisingly there were lots of people who are hesitant about backcountry fishing, presumably because of their lack of knowledge on fishing those types of streams and the backcountry in general. Thanks for all of your input.

On tap for this weekend is a camping trip to the Smokies. I'll be getting up at about 2:30 a.m. tomorrow morning and after a quick stop for some coffee and gas I'll be off for my destination: the upper reaches of Bradley's Fork. The recent rainfall has definitely helped things out and I'm looking forward to a great trip. Hopefully the water will be up some with a little color to it and those brookies will be hitting the top with reckless abandon. There will be plenty of pics and a summary of the trip when I return.

In the mean time, I hope everyone gets out to fish this weekend and take advantage of the recent rain.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Just wanted to drop in and give updates on a few things that are going on. First, thanks for everyone voting on the poll. If you have time, leave a comment and let me know what you think about the topic.

In case you haven't been over there yet, check out David Knapp's Blog on fly fishing in East Tennessee. He is an incredibly talented fisherman who is at home on both tailwaters and mountain streams, something I have failed to do up to this date. He currently works at LRO for the summer so stop in and say hello if you are around. He also posts regular trip reports on his blog and the LRO message board and they are always an interesting read embedded with some great pictures. He is one of the lucky few that get to go fishing as much as most of us dream about.

There will be no fishing for me this weekend, but instead I will be getting ready for next weekends backpacking trip to an undecided locale to the Smokies. I'll make sure and keep you up to date as to our plans.

In the mean time, hope everyone had a safe holiday and hopefully you were able to get out and enjoy the outdoors this weekend. Did you going fishing? Drop a comment and let us know where you went (no secret stream names if desired) and how you did.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Poll Results

I know I'm running a little behind but I wanted to go over the poll results and give you my thoughts. The topic was which side of the Smokies did you prefer to fish and NC won out over Tennessee 7 votes to 4.

I was actually a little surprised that it wasn't at least a bit closer. To me it boils down to what type of fishing you like better. TN has much better roadside and easy access fishing than NC, but NC has an enormous amount of quality water to fish, most of it backcountry fishing. Personally, I enjoy the NC side better because of the abundance of water to fish in the backcountry. My two favorite streams are located on that side of the park, Deep Creek and Ravens Fork. There are also a couple of real gems that fish better than what has been said.

Tennessee is definitely more "family friendly" which is ideal considering it's proximity to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, the family vacation hot spot of the mountains. There is a bunch of high quality roadside water like the East and Middle Prong of the Little River and even convenient brook trout fishing with Walker Camp Prong, Road Prong, and Lynn Camp Prong when they get finished with the restoration project they are about to start.

You really can't go wrong with either side of the park as they both offer something that is hard to find these days: a little foresight into what Heaven might actually be like. So go out and enjoy the Smoky Mountains, and while you're at it, do your part to help conserve and protect this wonderful park by becoming a Friend of the Smokies.