May 11, 2012

Fly Fishing The Smokies With Owl Jones - The Finale On The Nantahala

Part 3 of a 3 Part Series. (Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE)


After a day of dawn to dusk fishing, it felt good to sleep in a little bit on Sunday morning.

Unfortunately, we wouldn't be sleeping too long, as the Nantahala and her trout were calling.  Camp broke down and packed up very quickly, and before you knew it, Milliam had everything loaded into the bed of his truck (I bet that guy is good a jigsaw puzzles) and we were ready to go.

Before we were able to escape, two representatives from the Children of Elias did stop over to thank us for the use of the lighter the prior morning.  Actually the one-sided converstation went something like this...

"Thank you a-gain for the ligh-ter...
we brought you some coo-kies...
and a pray-er card...
E-li-as loves you..."

(Okay I made up that last part about Elias).

Being a nice gesture, Owl thanked them and they walked off...only to return no more than 5 minutes later.

"If you don't like the coo-kies...
we will like these..."

And wandered off again, back to the mothership.

Not to be one to pass up free food, we teared into the napkin wrapped parcels.  After taking a first bite, Owl almost gagged on the blueberry corn muffin.  Meanwhile over in raisin cookie land, I now know what dog biscuits taste like.  Ungrateful?...yes...but cognizant of the effects of ingesting rat poison, let's just say we stopped eating then and there.  Well except Milliam, who despite acknowledging the robust sawdust flavor and consistency, ate two full cookies and brought the others for the road.  Farewell Smokemont.

Enough of, fishing...

We drove a little bit around a bunch of winding roads until we finally made it to the Nantahala, a much larger river than the small streams we had been fishing the prior two days; one which we pretty quickly found out was also recently stocked.

Full of stupid stockies

As far as the details of this outing, there weren't many.  Throw out a weighted nymph or woolly bugger, let drift, jerk on the retrieve, catch fish.  I think I caught 6 or 7 within the first 20 or so minutes.  14" rainbows and 10" brookies were the norm, with a random brown tossed in there for good measure.

This pattern followed for the next 5 or 6 hours at each of the pull-offs we stopped at.  The only thing that slowed us down was hunger (quickly remedied by Oscar Mayer) and then an imminent, although shortly lived threat of rain.

At the last pull-off of the day I had the unfortunate pleasure of slipping on a rock and going down hard to my knees.  While I wasn't hurt, my rod tip was, but quite honestly with all the catching that day, I didn't mind a bit.  Rod tips can be replaced...and if they can''s not like I own just one fishing rod.

After that, a bit of hijinks ensued.  Cover your eyes PETA.
I not so proudly present the premier of, "Smoky Mountain Bridge Fishing."

A bad backcast...luckily no tractor trailers were driving through

With that bit on nonsense over, the EPIC Smokies trip of 2012 sadly came to a close.  We headed back to Georgia, stopping only for some BBQ on the way, and listening to the M.C. Hammer channel on Pandora all the way back.  Pandora gave Naughty By Nature a lot of play time love.  I didn't complain.  Owl did.  Don't mess with his toot-toot.

Once back at Owl's house in Gainesville, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mrs. Owl, who I thank for the extreme hospitality and clean shower and towels.  (I hope I didn't make too much of a mess of the bathroom.)  I think that was first time I'd ever gone 3 days without a shower, and ripe was not the word.

The next morning would bring some light Atlanta traffic, the airport, and a flight home.  Thank you Owl & Milliam for a great time and patience you had with this too often errantly casting Yankee.  If you're ever interested in heading North, Pennsylvania & I will be happy to host a future outing...we've got plenty of trout well as hotels...


  1. what trout streams? LOL you could send them further west ya know...............

  2. Unfortunately, "Every Riffle also includes every rock...Ouchy! You had a fishy 3rd day alright...Now, it's time to get out here to the West!!! = ) And I promise that we won't give you coo-kies... or singing...ha!

    1. I was asleep this morning...I just noticed SQUATCH!! Mike, you are hilarious.

  3. Looks like a great day and I like the Arizona Wanderings product placement there. Well done. When are you coming to AZ?


    1. Hey no problem, I was actually rockin' a blogger t-shirt every day of the trip. AZW just happened to be the day the most fish were caught. Coincidence???

  4. (loud applause) well done Milliam, Owl & Mike! The kind of fishing adventure that everyone can enjoy. Praise Elias.

  5. Sounds like a fun trip. Glad you guys got out and gave it a whirl...

  6. LOL...woo boy. You write it funnier than it happened. ;) Some clarification is in order, however. :)

    It's not a "prayer-book" LOL - it's called a "tract" and it basically offers you a free gift. I didn't figure you were interested, esp. considering that the cookies seemed like an attempt at murder, so I tossed it. ( They really were, honestly, the worst cookies I've ever tasted. And the muffins were CORN muffins with blueberries. CORN muffins. nasty.)

    As for the bridge fish, my last comment says it all: " least not from one this high." I have been known to fish from a bridge, but not with a fly rod and again, not from 30 ft. high. I'm sure that trout was just fine as I released him as gently as I could. He was like a "smart bomb" and managed to land in the water, and not on the rocks below. I think. Whatever. It's a trout, not a baby.

    And finally, that toot toot song was the anomaly of the trip. People were talking about music and something ...look, I don't remember why I brought that up but it had something to do with my cousin's radio JD friend and suddenly( by the power of the interwebz and 3G ) there it was. And we couldn't just listen to a little of it ( it's not a great song, trust me) we had to listen to the whole thing. But at least one good thing did come of that. We got to sit there and watch Silent Bob try to buy a Snickers and see the return of knee-high boots and blue jean shorts manifest before our very eyes. Milliam was pumping gas. Sorry, Milliam.

    It's hard to believe it came and went so fast. It was alot of fun. I think next year Mike, you should meet us over at Penn's creek or something. The Letort maybe - like I told you, I've fished there and I am a MASTER at spooking it's lovely little trout. :)

    Thanks for coming down. Glad ya had a good time.

    1. Prayer book...tract...either way it was something I wasn't gonna read. Don't be embarrassed by the toot toot.

  7. Mike, I appreciate all of the compliments. It was great sharing a camp and some fishing streams with you. You're welcome to come on back again.

    As for the cookies...I didn't make it past 2 bites. I think I got in 2 bites only because they were called cookies and I figured there had to be a good part somewhere :). I did however finish off a blueberry corn muffin...It wasn't something I'd go looking for, but it was edible. The cookies...I should have kept one to see if even my dog would eat it. They were flat out aweful. Still a great gesture on their part though. Its the thought that counts, right?

    1. Thank YOU Milliam, every compliment was well deserved.
      And I don't know about those cookies...seemed like every time I looked up on that last day you had one in your hand.

  8. Groups like those Elias people scare the crap out of me. And just think, if you had to eat that stuff all the time. Yuk.


    1. Yeah, something tells me twinkies aren't in the Elias menu.

  9. And just in case someone reading this goes all nutty about the long distance release: Folks, the DNR throws trout into the air from the back of a truck on that very bridge. So the trout I released was treated better than when he was stocked, minus a hook in his face. These are stocked trout, and in 3 weeks that river goes from C&R to "Keep your limit" harvest. The fish swam away just fine. Again, he's been on that ride before as have millions of other stocked trout in NC, GA, SC and TN. And if you're going to go all nuts over a stocker trout.....I don't know what to tell ya. We don't worship fish down here.

  10. Great series of reports Mike. It sounds like it was a true adventure Owl-style.