There are three local tiers in Bryson City who sell flies. James Conner, Richard Bowers, and Robert Shuler. The fly tier is probably Richard Bowers. He just lives a bit farther up the road from Ronnie, and I think they are about the same age. I see Richard most days, he still ties some of the best Smokies patterns I've seen. James still ties every day, and Robert stopped a couple years back because of his arthritis. I don't sell any that I tie. It takes the fun out of it for me.
Getting into Raven Fork can be done a couple ways. The guys who kayak the gorge section have made freinds with the Cherokee man who owns the land on the lower end you have to cross to get access to the stream. I don't remember his name right off. He's a pretty decent guy, and is in one of the new kayaking films produced this past year. If you go to Boater Talk, and American Whitewater, you maybe able to get some "beta" on raven Fork and contact info for the land owner there. Most folks start on Straight Fork below Round Bottom and cross the ridge to Raven. Its a nice little hike.
Before you guys go, and I know Ronnie ia aware of this, but watch the weather closely. If we get rain, the gorges get nasty very fast. More flash floods happen there than any other area. Many of the old timers here call that area "the water bowls", and the stories of flooding and drownings are many, eerie, and probably true. I've witnessed first hand three of these floods in as many years. I would hate to be in the gorges if it happened as it would be fatal.
Last edited by T.E.Shuler; 01-17-2012 at 05:23 AM..