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spotlight
10-07-2009, 09:45 PM
I fished today on the Little river and ran into Ray Ball one of the kindest and most awesome people I have ever met. I was fishing a spot, he rolled up behind me and asked how I was doing. I said I caught one, he pulled out a bag of 5 nice rainbows and layed them out so I could take a picture of them. For those of you who don't know, I am new to fly fishing, only 3 weeks into the sport so I was amazed. He said he always catches nice fish and that he had been to Ted Myers funeral today and wanted to come and fish for the day in his honor. He said they were good fishing buddies and I could tell he was upset. I met Ted briefly in the outfitters he was very helpful in tips for a newbie. My prayers go out to his family.

I told Ray that I hope one day to be that kind of fly fisherman, and he asked me if I would like a few pointers? Of course I said yes sir any tips would be greatly appreciated!.......He took my rod and said is what you need is a lil bit more leader and he tied on some tippet, next he asked what kind of fly's I had so I showed him, he then picked out one of his hand tied favorites from his fly box and tied it on and headed down to the water. He said now boy come stand next to me and watch and learn.....it wasn't two casts and he had a fish. I was amazed at his kindness and this technique he had. It was like the fly was just dancing on the water, like it was floating on air. Two more casts and he had another. He showed me how to use this technique and was teaching me how to read water. I have no clue why this amazing man was kind enough to do this but he did, and the conversation we had was priceless. I am very thankful that there are people like this man in the world. He couldn't say enough good things about his friend Ted Myers and said that he was the kind of person who like to help fellow fishermen. He shared fishing pictures and hunting stories for well over an hour. Today was one of the best days I think I have ever had while fishing. Thank you Ray Ball it was a pleasure meeting you!! Below is the link to my blog with a picture of the trout I caught and the five that Ray caught as well. I asked his permission to post them on here, thanks for sharing Ray and thanks for spending time with me today it was a real treat!!!

http://thetroutguy.blogspot.com/

nvr2L8
10-08-2009, 06:26 AM
Spotlight,
I remember a post similar to yours about a fly fisherman who happened to run into a guy on the stream named Jack (turned out it was most likely Jack Gregory, another one of the master fishermen in this area). Jack willingingly shared with this guy some helpful hints.

In addition to the lessons learned about technique and the hand-tied fly from Ray is a great lesson for all of us regarding sharing what we know with others about fly fishing. Seems it's an obligation and a blessing. If you look at the posts about Ted Myers, a lot of folks remember what he shared with them about the sport. Even a novice of three weeks has three weeks more experience than someone just beginning.

Learn and share.

JoeFred
10-08-2009, 07:51 AM
Nicely told, Spotlight. Thanks you for sharing.

JF

Paula Begley
10-08-2009, 08:26 AM
When I first met Ray I had a mental block about whether his name was Ray or Roy. My way of remembering a name is to do word association...so, I decided that I would remember Ray's name as "Ray of Sunshine"...because that is what he is to everyone he comes in contact with. Your post proved that, once again.

Thank you for sharing that, spotlight.

Paula

Bran
10-08-2009, 08:37 AM
That is just neat! Sounds like you got something money can't buy, I really admire that even though I have never met Mr. Ball.

spotlight
10-08-2009, 09:43 AM
There is no dollar amount you could put on the time I got to spend with him it was priceless and I am grateful I learned things that may have taken me a lifetime to aquire.... a great man he is...

Rog 1
10-08-2009, 09:51 AM
Loved your story....my fishing buddy and I were in the Park last week dealing with the high water over at Greenbrier when we met a gentleman named Zenith Whaley...a youngster of 95....we were at the trailhead to Ramsey Cascade where Mr. Whaley told us he grew up under a particular shade tree on the mountainside....he related how he had caught his first trout there when he was six years old and only stopped fishing when he said the rocks got too far apart....these chance meetings are too be cherished because the true "old timers" are becoming scarce.

flyman
10-08-2009, 11:06 AM
After watching him tie at Troutfest for about an hour this year I'm sure you were treated to a real show:smile: He is one of a rare breed now days, a true mountain man.

flyman
10-08-2009, 11:09 AM
When I first met Ray I had a mental block about whether his name was Ray or Roy. My way of remembering a name is to do word association...so, I decided that I would remember Ray's name as "Ray of Sunshine"...because that is what he is to everyone he comes in contact with. Your post proved that, once again.

Thank you for sharing that, spotlight.

Paula

Does anyone else that has met Paula wonder what she associates your name with? :eek::biggrin:

Rebelsoul
10-08-2009, 11:12 AM
That's a great story,I'm glad that there are people still out there who are willing to share some of their knowledge and be friendly.
I had the honor of meeting Ted Myers last month during my first visit to Little River Outfitters,he helped me in picking out some wading shoes as my old jungle boots have seen better days...he then asked me what type of fishing I had been doing and what I liked to try in fishing and where to go,then he took aout a map of the park and hi-lighted some places to go,and what to look for and tips on how to fish the places he showed me...it was a Sunday afternoon and I was on my way back home,I felt I had been to a place that was reminiscient of the fishing hangouts and stores in the old days when I was growing up,and I felt good.
He called me last week about an order I had placed and I felt like I was talking to an old friend.
Those types of people are getting fewer and farther between,so I admire him and Ray Ball and the people here who are helpful to others...even an old dawg like me who is trying to learn new tricks.

flyman
10-08-2009, 11:33 AM
I hate I never got to met Ted, sounds like he was a wonderful gentleman.

kytroutman
10-08-2009, 01:22 PM
Ray is hilarious to be around and can definitely give you some fishing tips. He amazes me how he climbs over the rocks, etc. to get to a fishing spot.

nvr2L8
10-08-2009, 08:25 PM
Flyman,

I'm going to try real hard not to imagine the name association possibilities. And thanks a lot for putting that question in my head.

Paula Begley
10-08-2009, 08:33 PM
I can't say anything without creating a ruckus, can I?!

First, let me assure all of you, all of the associations I create to remember people's names are positive! And secondly...some people are memorable enough that they don't require one. :cool:

Ray is a gem...the only reason he needed one is he reminded me, in stature, of someone I knew named Roy.

Paula


Sheesh.

nvr2L8
10-08-2009, 10:05 PM
Paula, dear, you are a ruckus.

Paula Begley
10-08-2009, 10:13 PM
Paula, dear, you are a ruckus.

Why, thank you, nvr2L8. I consider this the highest praise. :cool:

I just wonder how it is that flyman is always so successful in derailing a thread.

The real high praise needs to stay with Ray...who is one of the finest...if not THE finest person I've ever had the pleasure to call friend.

Paula

flyman
10-08-2009, 11:41 PM
I agree, that was a really nice thing Ray did. Sorry for the train wreck :redface:

spotlight
10-08-2009, 11:54 PM
Ray is hilarious to be around and can definitely give you some fishing tips. He amazes me how he climbs over the rocks, etc. to get to a fishing spot.

Yep you must have met him too then.... I am 43 in great shape and hike often and went he went over the wall and down to the river on what was just a ledge with a 40 foot drop off straight down I was like um I'll just watch from here......I have been on some steep trails in the Smokie's Eagle Creek Trail down from Spence Field was one of the worst but I wouldn't have done what he did it was like no big deal to him.

And so Paula you relate my name how?............lol I am sure I really don't want to know....