This photo was taken on the bridge entering the old Elkmont Resort area in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I recently spent 14 days in the park fishing, hiking and taking photos. I like this particular photo because it looks like how I feel about nature. The woods are dark and mysterious and filled with all sorts of creatures big and small. Some of them are harmless, like the beautiful salamanders that hide under rocks along the river. Some of them are a little scary like the slithering Copperheads that I saw every day while fishing. This is where the wild things live. It adds to the adventure of fly fishing in the park. I wish I could say I caught a lot of fish while I was down in the Smokies. The truth is I only caught one. Not only is it a challenge to sneak up on wary trout. It’s also a challenge to find a place to fish where there are no people wishing to escape the summer heat. Then there’s the weather. Thunderstorms occurred every other day. The water would be too high to fish for a day or so, then another storm would come a few days later. Better keep your fly rod in the car. That’s what I did. But, on the last day I broke the tip off my rod. Dont ask me how? Maybe it was all that camera equipment I had rolling around back there? At least it didn’t happen on the first day of my trip. Anyway, I tried all sorts of patterns and techniques. What the fish liked the most were yellow stimulators. The pattern I purchased from the Little River Outfitters was too big though. So I stopped at the fly shop in Gatlinburg and bought a smaller one. I did hook and lose a big one with the larger stimulator. But they don’t stay on very long when the hook point is broke off….which probably happened when I hooked a tree on a previous cast. I guess I forgot fly fishing rule #643 ~ Check your fly and tippet after snagging a tree. Anyway, despite the high water, Copperheads, chiggers, and hoards of tourists I had a blast. I wouldn’t trade my time in the Smokies for anything.