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.