10/29/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Little Yellow Quills (
Heptagenia Group)
3.    Needle Stoneflies
4     Slate Drakes
5     Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
6.    Grasshoppers
7.    Ants
8.    Beetles
9  .  Craneflies
10.  Great Brown Autumn Sedge

Rained Out
I spent about an hour riding around in the park yesterday waiting on the rain to stop
but it didn't. In fact, I don't think it let up much all day long, although it didn't ever rain
very hard. It's very early Saturday morning and the Little River gauge is showing a
flow of 307 cfs. I think we probably received a little more rain than was expected.

The precipitation map shows from an inch to an inch and a half in a few areas but
most of the park is showing from three-quarters to an inch of rainfall. The rain should
end by 8:00 AM this morning. I will drive up to Sevierville and check on the
smallmouth. I'm hoping the higher water will give me enough cover to sneak up to
within casting range but I'll just have to wait and see.

Funny Things Happening
There's several weird things happening around our home in Pigeon Forge that I will
share with you. Before I get to the weird things, I wanted to comment on the leaves.
When they first started changing colors and getting beautiful, I noticed it was a week
or two earlier than I remembered it being in previous years. Notice I said
"remembered" and that may be the problem with this altogether. I sure didn't write
anything down or document it. What hit me was the fact that I had told about fifty
different people who live out of state that the best time to visit the Smokies that the
last week of October. I also pointed out that most people tended to come to early
before the colors were at their peak. Well, guess what? I have never seen the leaves
any prettier than they are this morning around our house. We are several feet higher
in elevation than most of Pigeon Forge and there's still lots of leaves on the trees.
Some are deep, dark reds, some bright oranges and others pure yellow. I can look
out the windows or sit on the porch and never get bored just looking at all the different
colors.

I'm feeling better because for the past two weeks or more, I though I had mislead
people about the best time to come to the Smokies. Now, I'm feel like I gave them
some good advise, at least for the lower elevations. The only downfall to this is I think
it's getting to be about the last day this will be the true. The leaves are coming down
rather fast, and with wind or no wind. In fact, they are coming down so fast it is
causing a driving problem.

When you make the last sharp turn to come up the steep hill to our house, if the road
is wet, unless you have your vehicle in 4 wheel drive, you won't make it Night before
last, Angie couldn't get up the hill. She forgot we had 4 wheel drive and has never
used it, so she went around the circle the long way where there's less decline to get to
our house. I thought it was funny until I tried it later yesterday morning. I had to go to 4
wheel drive to make it up the hill. That's the first time I can ever remember having to
do that. There are so many leaves on the wet asphalt pavement, its almost like driving
on ice.

Here's another strange thing. You cannot walk in our front yard without slipping and if
your not very, very careful your feet will fly out from under you. It too, is on a rather
steep slope but this time it isn't the leaves. It's the acorns. I have never in my life seen
so many. They almost cover the ground solid. Walking in the yard is like walking on a
skating rink floor wearing roller skates. I'm going to have to wear my golf shoes to
rake the front yard of not only leaves, but of acorns. You would just have to try
walking in the yard to believe it. Come to think of it, I might find a use for those new
rubber sole, cleated wading boots I've only used once. I'm still not completely healed
over my fall from slipping on one of the round landscape rocks in the yard.

Another strange thing I've noticed is the that the turkeys are ignoring us for some
reason. For the past four years we have had wild turkeys visit the small plot of grass
across the street. I haven't seen them there but a couple of times in the last two or
three months; however, If you drive down the hill about a block, where there are three
homes and three streets that intersect, you will spot them frequently.

Why are they avoiding our much more secluded area, yet always seem to be around
the houses down the hill? I have a good idea as to why and I'll bet you do too. No,
surely the neighbors wouldn't feed them, or would they?

We can't even feed the birds. Black bears show up within a day of our hanging a bird
feeder anywhere around the house. We learned that the hard way. The first one we
tried had a ski rope that suspended it from a tree broken and the birdhouse
destroyed. We thought it may have been a raccoon that chewed the rope into. When
we purchased another one, put a new nylon rope on it and hung it from a tree limb,
we discovered it on the ground the next morning completely torn apart. The two inch
diameter limb was broken off the tree. I weight 190 pounds and I will assure you I
could have hung from it without breaking the limb. I also couldn't destroy the cedar
bird house without aid of a hammer or some type of tool. That all happened when we
first moved to Pigeon Forge from Gatlinburg. We thought we had escaped the bears
but it wasn't long before we begin to see black visitors in Pigeon Forge. It's not exactly
a pleasurable occurrence to see a large one peeping in the glass window of the back
door..

Copyright 2011 James Marsh