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Thread: Smokies Flies and Fly-Tying Traditions

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Tallahassee, Florida


    pmike...enjoyed reading your last post and your fishing days as a boy...I grew up in Jax about a block from the St. Johns River and spent many a day fishing for whatever would bite...your right about the regulations now....I am 63 years old and had to buy a license to surf fish for the first time this can only keep one red fish (grew up knowing them as red bass) that is within the slot of my best friends from college grew up in Bradenton and I can remember all the stories he used to tell about hunting and fishing in that area before it became did a boy from South Florida get into trout fishing in the Smokies....again...enjoyed your ramblings.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Piedmont of NC

    Thumbs up Older Smoky Patterns

    An article appeared in NC Wildlife Magazine almost 20 years ago thet had some artist drawings and photographs of older patterns. Many mentioned in the previous postings. That got me interested in tying. I got my first kit from Paul & Faye Hughes in Linville. Faye showed me a few flies from her youth, One called the Back Scratcher. That got me started. From there I met Kevin Howell, Roger Lowe, and Jim Casada. I've gotten their books and tapes etc to learn many of these patterns. They have shared their thoughts and ideas when I have seen them at show or their shop. Ilook forward to one day meeting Hugh Hartsell, Ray Ball and Walter Babb. Having a group at Troutfest next year would be fantastic. It would be a great way to keep these patterns and their history alive.

    Hal M

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default 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

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Tallahassee, Florida


    pmike....great background...while I am a natural born Floridian my Dad married a girl from Sevierville whose father never went anywhere without his fishing tackle. Since I was young enough to remember our family spent every summer in "the mountains". I remember the same Pigeon Forge that you do and the primary destination was Gatlinburg. My grandmother would actually put up stranded tourists when the one motel in Sevierville would fill up.
    I ate plenty of trout before I even realized where they were coming from...usually when my grandfather would leave the picnics we were on and head upstream with his fly rod. I caught my first trout on a fly over in Greenbrier when I was 13...50 years ago this summer and as you the hook was set fast and deep.
    I too got a late start and my 17 year old son has been fishing those cricks since he was five...finally got him to let go of the spinning rod and he has now claimed my favorite 2wt his own personal property. I introduced my best friend from college to this sport over 40 years ago and we now spend a week every fall in Elkmont camping and fishing....I would love to move a little closer to that area...I can remember leaving Jax after work on a Friday and driving all night to get to Elkmont at first light....would fish most of the day, spend the night with my Tremont on the way home and pull in about midnight Sunday....that would probably kill me now....
    Again, I enjoyed reading your posts and will keep an eye out for your exploits...Jim

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