Most alarm clocks either play music or buzz. On day two of the trip, our alarm was neither.
Oh, sor-ry, you are not with our group.
Do you happen to have mat-ches or A ligh-ter?"
Yeah, our alarm was one of the friendly cult members knocking on the tent flap looking for fire. I suppose in all their fun the night before they were ill-prepared for the morning's
It was probably okay that they woke us up anyway, we had a full day of fishing in front of us. Two stops were on the agenda - both in search of wild brook trout. First "The Meat Grinder," second "28 Step," which are code names for not-so-secret streams, but as a guest, I'm not one to reveal their identities.
After a little ride, we arrived at the Meat Grinder and was greeted by this...
A sign to turn away? Beats me, but regardless we headed down the trail to the stream.
No more than 5 minutes after reaching our starting point, what do you think happened? A Guy on a Buffalo sighting? Nope, we wouldn't dream of being so lucky. Rather the sky opened up and it flat out started pouring!
|Milliam taking cover|
The rain eventually cooperated a bit allowing us to fish some dry flies, but much like the prior day we didn't have much luck.
After a few hours of fishing every little bit of available slack & pocket water, the score was Milliam 2, Owl 0, Me 0. The fishing was actually so slow this giant ball of foam stopped us in our tracks....and...it was...hyp...no...tiz...ing....
|Nice hat Owl|
Upon giving up on the Meat Grinder we hiked out (in a very, very, very roundabout way) and decided to head back to the car and get some lunch and pick up some local trinkets in nearby Cherokee, NC for me to bring home to Lilly. She scored a sweet (albeit) cheezy and politically-incorrect Indian headdress. I could actually write an entire post, if not a whole entire other blog, about the amazingness of Cherokee, NC, but I'll leave it there...for now.
|A #5 served with a side of color coordination|
After the brief stop in town, we were off to the upper reaches of the Smokies to fish "28 Step," a smallish stream that Owl guaranteed to have a ton of feisty Appalachian brook trout in it. I kind of found the spot intriguing because it was relatively open and not choked by rhododendron like the previous two streams we fished.
"The water's so low...where's the water?"....was the first thing I heard when we arrived at our starting point. Undeterred, the three of us moved ahead, with Owl and Milliam allowing me to lead the way and drop my dry fly into the tiny little pools first. For the first 45 minutes, fishing was slow...damn slow...as in no fish...but eventually, even a blind worm finds a bird...or something like that...
|I was told this is "average" sized. It's not the first time I've been lied to.|
Heck, I even managed to catch another one when Owl suggested "tenkara-ing" a fly beneath a small foot bridge...the fly didn't stand a chance.
I believe we all ended up catching a few, but Milliam was the big winner pulling this trophy wild brookie out of a hole toward the end of our outing.
After that, the day was pretty much over. Milliam & Owl insisted on driving around for about an hour to re-live some sort of fishing adventure in which they got lost and pretty much had to spend the night outside and had nothing to eat but raisins (which Owl threw out). I think he wrote a post about it once HERE.
Retiring to camp again for the night, we settled back in by the fire again, telling stories about ridiculous fishing headwear, blog posts that never made it to "publish," and yellow roller skates, RATT bandanas & gold sequin shirts. Diagram below.
|What might have been...|
Oh, and of course, we were again serenaded to sleep by our friends from the cult of Smokemont...who it was now clear had gathered to wait for the mothership's arrival via the trans-galactic vortex created by the SUPER MOON!
Up next...the Nantahala...