Exploring the Smokey Mountain National Park

If you like the mountains as we do then one of the best places to see some scenic beauty is in the Great Smokey Mountains. Cathey and I usually make at least one trip a year to the Smokies. On this trip we meet our daughters family there for a few days…

If you like the mountains as we do then one of the best places to see some scenic beauty is in the Great Smokey Mountains. Cathey and I usually make at least one trip a year to the Smokies. On this trip we meet our daughters family there for a few days of relaxing. One day was spent at Dollywood with the grandchildren in Pigeon Forge. We seldom spend anytime in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg because both places have become so commercialize. 

The main attraction for fly fishermen is the spring fed Little Pigeon River flowing through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. I have to fish it before I retire my fly rod. My son-in-law fished the river some years ago when they were visiting Gatlinburg with his family and landed numerous rainbow. Most all the trout in the river are stocked rainbow and brook trout. Very few wild trout are landed near the towns.

B. T. and I wanted Bryson and Cash to see the mountains up close so we spent the better part of another day exploring. Their sister Laelyn went shopping with Mom and Meme.

We were above the clouds atop Clingman Dome the highest point in Tennessee. The ranger told us we were 6,775 ft. up. The hike up the steep trail nearly a mile was a workout. There were benches along the way for breaks. Many individuals made the hike up to the summit to stand on the big concrete circular platform for an awesome view.


A little rock climbing on the way up------how I wish I had this stump in my front yard. 



The spruce trees were still draped with clouds as we made our way under the tree canopy. The ground was a soft sponge of decayed spruce foliage that had build up over time; very comfortable to walk on.  I don't know the name of the mushrooms that dotted the forest floor. I do know they were not Portobello.


A lot of blow down in places simply because of the thick growth of the spruce trees. Cash soon realized he needed that jacket. Down below the temp was in the 70's a top the dome it was in the 40's. 

 The shirt says it all!!

Nothing like spending time with the grandchildren!!!

 



Fort Collins Fly Fishing Lessons: Hire a Guide or Instructor?

Today’s Blog Post

Many people need a fly fishing instructor/teacher, not a guide.  Read why. 

Client Testimonial 

I recently spent a day fishing, and most importantly, learning, with Mark Foley.  Full disclosure, I’m a beginner, sometimes frustrated, fly fisher.  I had been out once before with a guide who was great at tying on a fly, pointing me to fish, and saying “put the fly there.”  When I couldn’t place the fly “there”, because I couldn’t cast that accurately, he just picked another spot or moved us.  We caught fish and it was fun, but I knew this time I wanted something different.  I wanted to learn the WHY and HOW of fly fishing techniques.  And that’s what I got with Mark.  He patiently answered my questions about equipment and fly choice, then coached me on rigging up and tying knots efficiently.  He helped me understand how to read the water and find fish.  He coached my casting technique, presentation, and drift. 


When I did catch fish, he showed me ways to safely land and release them.  He patiently untied wind and bad cast knots, all with an easy going disposition and sense of humor. I learned more in one day with Mark than I have after several seasons muddling my way through videos, books, and advice from friends.  As a retired teacher, I definitely know there’s a difference between knowing how to do something and how to TEACH something.  Mark is a teacher!  Best of all, he’s just an all around good guy, and I look forward to working with him again in the future. 

K. Bunning.  Granby, CO

Today's Blog Post

Many people need a fly fishing instructor/teacher, not a guide.  Read why. 

Client Testimonial 

I recently spent a day fishing, and most importantly, learning, with Mark Foley.  Full disclosure, I’m a beginner, sometimes frustrated, fly fisher.  I had been out once before with a guide who was great at tying on a fly, pointing me to fish, and saying “put the fly there."  When I couldn’t place the fly “there", because I couldn’t cast that accurately, he just picked another spot or moved us.  We caught fish and it was fun, but I knew this time I wanted something different.  I wanted to learn the WHY and HOW of fly fishing techniques.  And that’s what I got with Mark.  He patiently answered my questions about equipment and fly choice, then coached me on rigging up and tying knots efficiently.  He helped me understand how to read the water and find fish.  He coached my casting technique, presentation, and drift. 


When I did catch fish, he showed me ways to safely land and release them.  He patiently untied wind and bad cast knots, all with an easy going disposition and sense of humor. I learned more in one day with Mark than I have after several seasons muddling my way through videos, books, and advice from friends.  As a retired teacher, I definitely know there’s a difference between knowing how to do something and how to TEACH something.  Mark is a teacher!  Best of all, he’s just an all around good guy, and I look forward to working with him again in the future. 

K. Bunning.  Granby, CO

Quality Trout in the Sipsey

We finally get a break from the tremendous heat we have experiencing here in Alabama. Today’s high was 87 which is quite a contrast from the 100’s we have been experiencing. As I left the house this morning for the Sipsey a cool breeze was blowing with…

We finally get a break from the tremendous heat we have experiencing here in Alabama. Today's high was 87 which is quite a contrast from the 100's we have been experiencing. As I left the house this morning for the Sipsey a cool breeze was blowing with no humidity. One of my fishing buddies was going to met me at the pump station near access five. With fly rods already rigged we headed for access six. As we enter the gorge we were met with some really cool windy weather, which made me glad I was wearing my long sleeve shirt. To our surprise there was no fishing, so we had the place to ourselves, which is unusual. There was no surface activity at all so nymphs fishing deep was the choice to begin the morning.
This crystal clear tight seam produced the first trout of the morning. I was fishing one of Alan's Soft Hackles drifting it through this seam when it was inhaled. I was standing above the seam and letting the hackle drift through the fast water. I really like to fish this pattern because there are very few ways to screw up the presentation. Just cast out and let it do the work. 
I'm glad I was fishing my 4 wt. because I don't think I would have landed this trout fighting it through the fast water. Thanks to Charles for netting him and getting the pic. A big thank you to Alan for tying up some killer patterns that is working for me on the Sipsey. 
The trout was released to fight another day. I lost two other trout that was this size simply because of hook set and fast water. The hackle proved to be the fly of the morning, after a really slow start. No trout for the first hour and half, then this beauty made my day!!!