After a night of rain, we were hopeful for a dry day but the forecast indicated that we would be exposed to showers most of the day so we opted for fishing close to the vehicle where we could make a run for it if we needed.
We started by the stream that runs by the Caldwell house. There were fish rising up under the foot bridge when we arrived. Most were small and only nudged the dries we were drifting. David managed to raise a decent wild rainbow under the foot bridge.
We continued up the stream, which looked very promising but we didn’t find many willing fish. Thinking that someone had fished up in front of us, we decided to move on.
We then took a quick visit to the old chapel and took a look inside. Palmer chapel is a very simple structure with wooden pews, and pulpit and windows to let light in. It wasn’t hard to imagine the people who lived here worshiping God in simplicity.
We fished Cataloochee creek as it ran behind the chapel. There wasn’t much of a gradient to speak of but the strong flow of the creek provided and endless series of pockets.
We fished dry dropper rigs and found wild rainbows that were willing to take both the dry and the dropper. I was reminded once again how fast the trout in the Smokies are. They will take a dropper and spit it out before you have time to react so you need to strike fast and firm. I definitely missed more than I hooked.
|GSNP wild rainbow|
About half way through the afternoon the showers moved in and dumped a fair amount of rain. By the time I got my camera covered and in my rain coat, I was quite wet. Wet wading in the cool afternoon, along with the chill of being drenched sent us back to camp by late afternoon to get some dry clothes on and warm up.
After cooking some dinner, we stopped and observed a cow elk grazing along the road side around the barn of the Palmer house before heading to a longer pool. As the evening darkness started to overtake the creek, a nice hatch of yellow sallies appeared. I had a few fish bump my dry but I didn’t connect by David managed to hook a pretty brown. As the darkness made it difficult to continue to fish we headed back to camp to rest up for the following day.
We expected the following day to be clear and a great opportunity to explore a long section of a higher gradient stream that David was interested in exploring.