My dad had a little hellbender encounter on the Hiwassee several years back. He was fishing and felt something scratching around on his leg and thought he'd stepped down onto a submerged stick. Dad reached down to pull the protruding end of the "stick" out of his pants leg and ended up instead with the tail of what he later said was about a 16 inch helbender. The thing had been clawing its way up his pant leg, probably thinking it was a safe haven of some sort. I've never seen a 60 year old man move that fast across the water. I was rolling and gave him all kinds of grief over it until he later showed me what one looked like. (They have a mounted one at the Sugarlands visitor center). I immediately understood, and from that point forward I never cracked on him about it again.
Last edited by Mark_Cathey; 05-16-2008 at 11:03 AM..