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Stana Claus 07-21-2010 09:26 PM

Hi, y'all!
 
All around newbie here - new to this forum, new to fly fishing, really new to fly tying, but enjoying the heck out of all of it. Spent the last week or so reading the boards and the Journal Archives and it looks like a pretty cool place to hang out and pick up some good info. Hope y'all can tolerate a fair smattering of newbie-type questions.

A little background info: originally from the Gulf Coast area, ranging from Baton Rouge, LA to Mobile, AL and to Houston, TX before finally moving up here to Kingston, TN in 1995. Have always loved the mountains and started reading everything I could find about fly fishing in Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, etc as a pre-teen. Bought a cheap K-Mart Special fly fishing rig when I was about 14 and tried to teach myself to cast (with extremely limited success) on my Granddaddy's pond. Got frustrated and quit.

Turned 50 this past February and decided that I would spend my mid-life crisis learning how to fly fish for real so that when (if?) I finally retire I can get another motorcyle and go riding around in the mountains, stopping off to fish whenever I find some interesting water. My 14 year old son thought it would be cool to join dear old Dad in this little adventure, so we're learning together.

Took the Fly Fish 101 course at Pellissippi State back in March and picked up some good info. When my son was out of school for spring break in April, we took a 1-day private lesson at Little River Outfitters under the tutelage of Chuck Kline and picked up some more good info and some great on-the-water time. Didn't catch any fish that afternoon, but did catch a good case of fly fishing fever.

Spent the next month or so getting geared up, filling up fly boxes, etc. Made a quick trip over to Troutfest, watched Lefty Kreh's casting demo, bought some more flies, and watched several talented folks take a hook, some thread, and bits of feather and fluff and magically transform them into things resembling trout food. They made it look so easy I thought, "I could do that, and it would give me something to do in the evenings when I'm not out fishing". But, I figured I had better wait until I had actually caught some fish before I started branching out. Took the boy out for another day fishing in the Smokys and got skunked again. But, again, we had a good time together, even if we didn't catch anything.

When school finally let out, I took a few days off from work and the boy and I went up to Roan Mountain State Park to camp and fish some of the local waters. We finally figured out how to drift a nymph through a run and caught several trout on the Doe. Plus we hit the sulphur hatch on the South Holston and caught a few more using a variety of flies and some great advice we picked up from some of the locals. Since then we've made a couple of trips up to the Clinch in the evenings after work, but haven't caught much of anything on either of those trips. Of course, nobody else was catching much of anything either, so we didn't feel too bad.

For the last couple of weeks the boy has been out travelling around, visiting relatives and doing general summer vacation type stuff, and I've been tied up at work, so we haven't been doing any fishing for a while. I did make a run by LRO and bought some fly tying gear & materials and ordered a couple of good fly tying books (Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying, and The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying), and have been trying my hand at tying. So far I've tied up a few Wooly Buggers & Brassies, a metric buttload of Green (and Pink) Weenies, and am currently working on my Gold-ribbed Hare's Ears and Pheasant Tail nymphs. The first few of each pattern were a little rough, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it a little bit. Can't wait for LRO to start offering their fly tying classes again this fall/winter. I think I'll be ready for some professional help (in more ways than one) by then.

Here in another week or so things will be easing up again at work and I'll probably take a couple of days off to take the boy back up to the Smokys, or maybe we'll try some streams over toward Tellico. Either way, we'll get back on the water for another day or two before school starts back.

Gee, I guess that was a bit more that a little background. But that's where we're at, and I'm really looking forward to learning all I can from you folks. Hopefully, I'll be able to add some value myself somewhere along the way.

Trip 07-21-2010 09:40 PM

How's it going Santa. I am from Buras, LA and took a similar path.

Welcome to the board.

What type of bike do you ride?

Stana Claus 07-21-2010 09:52 PM

Back in college, and for several years after, I rode a Yamaha Maxim 650. When I got married and started having kids, the wife begged me to get rid of the bike and not get another one until the kids are out of the house. As she put it, "Once the kids are grown you can kill yourself on the d****d thing if you want to and I won't care!" Four more years and our son will be out of high school and I will immediately be in the market for a Goldwing-style cruiser. Until then I just watch them go by and dream wistfully of that day.

old east tn boy 07-21-2010 09:54 PM

Welcome Stana Claus! Ex Houston refugee here back home where I belong but enjoyed my stay back in the early 80's. Spent two years in a sky scraper doing consulting engineering work till the recession hit town. Best thing about the Houston area was Galveston Island, loved that place, absolutely great sea food at some of those beachfront restaurants.

As you have discovered this is a great place to gather advice and swap tall tales. Good luck with fly tying, its fun and is a second best to fishing when you can't get to water. Keep trying the Clinch, it'll pay off soon.

Trip 07-21-2010 10:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stana Claus (Post 83471)
Back in college, and for several years after, I rode a Yamaha Maxim 650. When I got married and started having kids, the wife begged me to get rid of the bike and not get another one until the kids are out of the house. As she put it, "Once the kids are grown you can kill yourself on the d****d thing if you want to and I won't care!" Four more years and our son will be out of high school and I will immediately be in the market for a Goldwing-style cruiser. Until then I just watch them go by and dream wistfully of that day.

lol, my wife tried that and I bought two more bikes. :biggrin:

Stana Claus 07-21-2010 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by old east tn boy (Post 83472)
Welcome Stana Claus! Ex Houston refugee here back home where I belong but enjoyed my stay back in the early 80's. Spent two years in a sky scraper doing consulting engineering work till the recession hit town. Best thing about the Houston area was Galveston Island, loved that place, absolutely great sea food at some of those beachfront restaurants.

As you have discovered this is a great place to gather advice and swap tall tales. Good luck with fly tying, its fun and is a second best to fishing when you can't get to water. Keep trying the Clinch, it'll pay off soon.

I was working for Bechtel in Houston when my daughter was born and decided I didn't want to raise a child there. Plus we had horses at the time and couldn't afford to buy any acreage that was less that an hour and a half commute to and from work. Fortunately for us, Bechtel had an office up here in Oak Ridge and I was able to swing a transfer. We fell in love with this area and you couldn't get me to leave now for love nor money.

The one thing I do miss though is the food. Anything you wanted from anywhere around the world, there was a restaurant that served it and served it well. Up here everything is cooked to death and covered in brown gravy, and catsup is thought to be spicy!

Stana Claus 07-21-2010 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trip (Post 83473)
lol, my wife tried that and I bought two more bikes. :biggrin:

Well, I mainly got tired of finding her a quivering mess of nerves about ready to call out the search parties anytime I was more that two minutes late getting home when I was out on the bike. When she started making lists of how to spend the life insurance money I finally gave in and sold the bike. :frown:

Trip 07-21-2010 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stana Claus (Post 83477)
Well, I mainly got tired of finding her a quivering mess of nerves about ready to call out the search parties anytime I was more that two minutes late getting home when I was out on the bike. When she started making lists of how to spend the life insurance money I finally gave in and sold the bike. :frown:

brutal, well fly fishing is fun though. Just don't let her find out about the bears, hogs, and snakes.

NDuncan 07-22-2010 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stana Claus (Post 83475)
The one thing I do miss though is the food. Anything you wanted from anywhere around the world, there was a restaurant that served it and served it well. Up here everything is cooked to death and covered in brown gravy, and catsup is thought to be spicy!

I totally agree with that! I grew up in Houston and lived in Texas my whole life until last year. I still cannot get used to what passes for salsa in most 'mexican' restaurants around here. Ketchup with bell pepper with a couple of exceptions. We have resorted to bringing back big supplies of spices, chilis and the like that you just cannot in good quality find here and have started mastering making dishes that we took for granted.

Stana Claus 07-22-2010 11:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stana Claus (Post 83475)
The one thing I do miss though is the food.

You know, my mom gets upset when I say that since she still lives there. Oh, well. :redface:


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