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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i've spent a few days descending into the gorge over the past few weeks. such an odd place to fish. some days, it's great. some days, almost nothing. never know what species you're going to catch, either (it's hatchery supported water). so much depends on what trail you take into the gorge, and what section of the river you wind up wetting a line. quick report: first day, caught a couple smallies, one decent rainbow and a healthy goggle-eye or two (2-inch grubs on a 16th-ounce jig head, mostly). next day, couple nice rainbows and a decent smallie on a small jerkbait (hd trout). next day, only trout, on the jerkbait and 2-inch senkos, but got the slam (two of each). it's all about finding the right pockets, especially closer to the falls.

side note ... i had fished the gorge more than a dozen times before i caught my first brookie down there, and that day we caught seven or eight, including a couple nice ones in the 14-inch range. then, no brookies again until last week. odd.

/steps onto soapbox

those of you who have spent time climbing into and out of the gorge know what i mean when i talk about the "linville look" that i saw often during those days. it's the combination of the weary eyes, slumped shoulders and halting gait as the hikers/backpackers make their way over the trail. people who haven't been down there always underestimate how taxing a day in the gorge will be. can't say this enough ... the gorge is not like most other places in north carolina. don't be fooled because you once did the "hike" to linville falls. everything else there is much more physically challenging, and not even remotely a "safe" place. it's an adventure. i always carry enough food/water for an extra day, because you never know what could happen. you mess up your ankle or knee, and you're sticking around because getting out of there ain't easy.

/steps off soapbox

you won't find numbers of trout like you will at wilson creek or helton creek, and you won't find numbers of smallies like you will in the new river. but, man, the gorge is a beautiful place, and considering the effort to get in and out of there, you'll feel like you've earned the fish you do wind up catching. already can't wait to go back.
 

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That gorge is some kind of hectic. I'm fairly certain there's not a more dangerous wading or paddling stretch anywhere on the east coast.
 

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Beautiful gorge. I love whitewater rivers/streams. However, my knees ache just looking at the photos of the hike you have to do to get to fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
here's a longer look at the gorge and some of the fish i've caught down there. put together this video last year, a compilation of pics from various trips i've taken down there with different folks ...

[video]http://bit.ly/1hrVBMq[/video]

(and, yes, i know my buddy is holding the rainbow incorrectly. he was a newbie, excited to catch his first trout, and we fixed that issue immediately ...)
 

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Very nice video and gives folks a good idea of what it is like. Made a few hikes and overnight trips in there when the kids were young...and organized a few scout outings. A neat area to explore and uncover some interesting spots in the backcountry. The gorge can be challenging but there area a few other areas that are equally (or more) rugged. Developments upstream have raised water temps and increase siltation, so I understand it is not the exceptional wild trout fishery it use to be...but still a good place to explore and test yourself. Thanks for posting!
 

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They have been just stocking fingerling browns, but they did some work in the gorge not long ago and found a ton of bows in there, none put there by the state directly though. Even surprised by buddy the biologist
 

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That gorge is some kind of hectic. I'm fairly certain there's not a more dangerous wading or paddling stretch anywhere on the east coast.
this^

From AW

"The same factors that make this run so incredible also make it a place where mistakes and misjudgments can prove to have dire consequences. The geology of predominantly granitic gneiss produces sheet like boulders that are angular and fall on top of each other in ways that produce many voids and gaps between them. When water flows over these boulders it also flows around, through, and under them. Also there are many instances where these boulder lie on bedrock, which creates hazards as well. Due to these circumstances, the character of the streambed is the most dangerous encountered in whitewater boating. Most rapids have many undercuts and sieves, and due to the way the boulders stack, changes occur frequently. Other examples of this type of streambed are the Lower Rocky Broad, the Lower Meadow, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The four things any paddler considering Linville must have are flawless boat control, water reading skills, scouting skills, and good judgment. In a nutshell, this is not the place for the inexperienced boater. Someone who triple crowns the Green everyday but has only been boating for 2 years is not necessarily ready to deal with the unbelievable amount of serious decisions that must be made on this run. Running things blind is a horrible idea, as often there is only one safe line or sometimes none at all with little warning. If you are a survival boater, keep driving over to Wilson Creek or Watauga, because the Linville WILL call your bluff."
 
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thanks for the video Ozark, Babel tower holds special memories of camping/hiking trips with my son. One hike downstream about 7 miles ?, we mistook a mountain peak and set up camp at a intersection of trails, only to find we were short of our trail to get out and back to the car. We found a 'primitive trail' to get up and out of there. It WAS called sandy flats trail, a oxymoron, as it was not sandy, never flat, and no trail at all. Actually pretty brutal half a day to the car.
 

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And I thought I was the only one that owned that CD lol. One of my fav. bands from those days. Kudos on the pics and the soundtrack. I've often thought about trying that. Is it possible to get a multi day permit to hike down and stay awhile?
 

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