Howdy Rog 1 (my apologies for hijacking or being a distraction)
I see you are over in Tallahassee, another of Florida's beautiful areas. I was introduced to the Smokies as a kid of about 6 or 7 when my family began to travel yearly to Tiger, GA for our annual vacations. Cannon's Cabin's, run by Bertha Cannon was our base camp of sorts and we would travel all over the region on day trips only to return to our cabin in time for dinner. Mom was an excellent cook and would always pack us a picnic for lunch and then buy an prepare allot of local produce and meats for dinner.
The funny thing is that we never went fishing as kids in the mountains though my Dad had been very active in Boys Scouts and the outdoors as a young boy and into his adult years. In fact his Dad, my grandfather was among the small group of men that purchased the land for Camp Flying Eagle and began what became the "Sunny-land Council" of the Boys Scouts of America in that region. Unfortunately Dad never did much of anything like that with my brother or I. I do recall seeing others fishing and even have some images indelibly etched into my mind , of folks fishing the mountain streams, especially all along the Oconolufftee and through Cherokee. as well as over toward Pigeon Forge and through Gatlinburg. I still recall when Pigeon Forge' main attraction was the Pottery Barn and Moonshine Museum (smile).
I have such fond memories of those mountain vacations that their memory more often than not brings tears to my eyes. They were and will always remain among my fondest memories throughout life. My wife and I have for the most part continued to family tradition and for the past 15 or so years we have vacationed at and visited Townsend, TN every time we had the chance. I recall whining one day to her about how much as a child I had wanted to learn to fly fish and even told her of my Dad's refusal to ever take me/us, to which she replied, "there's nothing stopping you now!". My lightning fast mind realized she was onto something and I went to several of our local stores in Jax to purchase and assemble a monstrosity of a fly fish rig. the rod was a 5/6 weight with a reel that was 4/5 weight and weighed what felt like 10 pounds. I took this with me the next time we went to Townsend and fished in through town a bit. All I caught were some war paint shiners or chubs, but that was all it took, I was hook and the hook was well set. My wife must have been impressed with my reactions because the next Christmas when I asked what she'd like, would you believe that she asked me to take her to a local fly fishing store and buy her a rig as well, next came the waders and she has been hooked as well as me. She did much better on her first outing, catching several trout in North Georgia on the Toccoa.
If that wasn't bad enough, we were blessed kinda late in age, (she was 40) but don't tell her I said so (smile) to have our third daughter. As a baby Vic was very colicky (sp?) and one of the only things that seemed to comfort her was for me to hold her belly down on my arm while watching outdoors and fishing programs. As soon as she could hold it, I bought her a spinnig rod and Barbie vest, at three she told me that although she has a spinning rod, she didn't have, but needed a fly rod...and on it goes...
"Fly-fishing has many attributes, but none more pleasing than it's ability to liberate the young boy that still hides within me and to let that boy live again without embarrassment or regret, sorrow or anguish." Harry Middleton