Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Howdy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    NC side of the Smokies
    Posts
    19

    Default Howdy

    New member here. I grew up and have lived for five decades on the NC side of the Smokies, been fly fishing the local streams for about 40 years. I cut my fly fishing teeth on Cataloochee, Big Creek, and the local little speck creeks under the wing of Verlin and Ethan Evans, Jack Bradley, and several of the other local fly-fishing old timers. I was lucky enough to have some of these guys, who were already getting old in the late 70s and early 80s, take time to teach a stubborn, punk kid a few things about fishing and fly tying. It's still a work in progress, and I will never reach the level of those old guys, but I've had a lot of fun along the way. I have a deep love for these mountains, their streams, and the wild trout that live in them. These days, I mostly fish smaller creeks for specks and wild fish; but I have also gotten hooked on fly fishing for smallmouth over the last few years. I'm looking forward to discussions on the forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Norris, TN
    Posts
    2,163

    Default

    Welcome buddy. I am sure you have some great information and stories to share as well. One tip; use the Search feature in the forums to look up some great topics and discussions.
    “Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
    These give us the ultimate human freedom... The
    power
    to choose, to respond, to change.”



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville/Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    267

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by just a hillbilly View Post
    New member here. I grew up and have lived for five decades on the NC side of the Smokies, been fly fishing the local streams for about 40 years. I cut my fly fishing teeth on Cataloochee, Big Creek, and the local little speck creeks under the wing of Verlin and Ethan Evans, Jack Bradley, and several of the other local fly-fishing old timers. I was lucky enough to have some of these guys, who were already getting old in the late 70s and early 80s, take time to teach a stubborn, punk kid a few things about fishing and fly tying. It's still a work in progress, and I will never reach the level of those old guys, but I've had a lot of fun along the way. I have a deep love for these mountains, their streams, and the wild trout that live in them. These days, I mostly fish smaller creeks for specks and wild fish; but I have also gotten hooked on fly fishing for smallmouth over the last few years. I'm looking forward to discussions on the forum.

    You sound a lot like myself. About my age and like you, love to chase brookies. I have also started down the smallmouth trail. With the streams we have in and around Knoxville, smallmouth opportunities are good. I am also working in south central VA and within some really good smallmouth streams such as the James hence my desire to get more into smallmouth.

    Good luck and welcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
    Posts
    1,062

    Default

    You keep some pretty fast company Hillbilly. I'm sure you crossed paths with some others like Frank Coffey, Bennie Craig, and Charlie Messer. I grew up on the NC side and spent a lot of time at Cataloochee as well. I knew Jack Bradley well and spent many a morning drinking coffee with him at his campsite. I always brought him a loaf of bread and his favorite bonded sprits (Evan Williams) when I was going camping in the valley. I miss those days before the elk came.
    Last edited by flyman; 01-29-2018 at 06:27 PM. Reason: 42
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    NC side of the Smokies
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flyman View Post
    You keep some pretty fast company Hillbilly. I'm sure you crossed paths with some others like Frank Coffey, Bennie Craig, and Charlie Messer. I grew up on the NC side and spent a lot of time at Cataloochee as well. I knew Jack Bradley well and spent many a morning drinking coffee with him at his campsite. I always brought him a loaf of bread and his favorite bonded sprits (Evan Williams) when I was going camping in the valley. I miss those days before the elk came.
    I knew Charlie well, lived right down the road from me, and we were cousins of some sort. Knew Frank vaguely (but enough that I still have a stash of that tan Dayco plastic to tie Coffee nymphs with, ) but, sadly, I never knew Bennie personally. Me and you have probably drunk coffee and/or EW together at Cataloochee at some point back in the 80s.

    I miss Catalooch as it was, too-no fee, two pit toilets, mostly empty campground, running poker game at the Caldwell camp, many of us staying there half the summer and driving out to work on weekdays.

    I remember one day, it was the middle of summer. The water was low, and nobody was catching any fish over about 6" long. A bunch of us were sitting over at Verlin's campsite tying flies, and this Florida feller walked by. He had a baitcasting rig with about 20# test line, and a 6" auger-tail plastic worm with the orange curly tail, Texas-rigged with about a 1/2 oz. bullet weight dangling off the end of it. He went walking toward the creek, and we were all laughing at him. He was gone about five minutes, and came back totin' about a two-foot brown, and asked us if it was big enough to keep. He said that trout were a lot easier to catch than bass, that one hit on his first cast.

    My favorite Jack Bradley quote from back when I was a dumb kid:

    "You see your feet there in the water? Yeah? Well, what makes you think that the fish can't see them too?"
    Last edited by just a hillbilly; 01-29-2018 at 09:20 PM.
    Specks: the other pink meat.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Norris, TN
    Posts
    2,163

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by just a hillbilly View Post
    I knew Charlie well, lived right down the road from me, and we were cousins of some sort. Knew Frank vaguely (but enough that I still have a stash of that tan Dayco plastic to tie Coffee nymphs with, ) but, sadly, I never knew Bennie personally. Me and you have probably drunk coffee and/or EW together at Cataloochee at some point back in the 80s.

    I miss Catalooch as it was, too-no fee, two pit toilets, mostly empty campground, running poker game at the Caldwell camp, many of us staying there half the summer and driving out to work on weekdays.

    I remember one day, it was the middle of summer. The water was low, and nobody was catching any fish over about 6" long. A bunch of us were sitting over at Verlin's campsite tying flies, and this Florida feller walked by. He had a baitcasting rig with about 20# test line, and a 6" auger-tail plastic worm with the orange curly tail, Texas-rigged with about a 1/2 oz. bullet weight dangling off the end of it. He went walking toward the creek, and we were all laughing at him. He was gone about five minutes, and came back totin' about a two-foot brown, and asked us if it was big enough to keep. He said that trout were a lot easier to catch than bass, that one hit on his first cast.

    My favorite Jack Bradley quote from back when I was a dumb kid:

    "You see your feet there in the water? Yeah? Well, what makes you think that the fish can't see them too?"
    Wow! What a wonderful experience. Look forward to more of your posts.
    “Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
    These give us the ultimate human freedom... The
    power
    to choose, to respond, to change.”



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Best thread in a long time. Thanks for the stories.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
    Posts
    1,062

    Default

    Frank Coffey caught more "BIG" fish than anyone I knew. He knew where the big fish were and he knew the conditions that would put the odds in his favor. I still have some of that tan Dayco material myself. He also tied that Stone Creeper pattern with a dark colored material as well. It kinda looked like a deep purple color. I use to love to hear Jack talk about growing up in the Hurricane. He told me his family had a hollowed out log, kinda like a dug out canoe. The water ran through but they blocked off the ends and covered it to keep trout in. He also told me about his father taking him and his siblings fishing on the lower end of Cataloochee before there was a dam that formed Waterville Lake. He say they fished with a long cane poles with bait. They would fish most of the night and would sleep on the river bank out in the open if they got tired.
    Last edited by flyman; 02-02-2018 at 02:26 AM. Reason: Genetics have been cruel to me
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Norris, TN
    Posts
    2,163

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gjbu View Post
    Best thread in a long time. Thanks for the stories.
    I agree...reading it was like I was living it...I love these type of posts.
    “Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
    These give us the ultimate human freedom... The
    power
    to choose, to respond, to change.”



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    NC side of the Smokies
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flyman View Post
    Frank Coffey caught more "BIG" fish than anyone I knew. He knew where the big fish were and he knew the conditions that would put the odds in his favor. I still have some of that tan Dayco material myself. He also tied that Stone Creeper pattern with a dark colored material as well. It kinda looked like a deep purple color. I use to love to hear Jack talk about growing up in the Hurricane. He told me his family had a hollowed out log, kinda like a dug out canoe. The water ran through but they blocked off the ends and covered it to keep trout in. He also told me about his father taking him and his siblings fishing on the lower end of Cataloochee before there was a dam that formed Waterville Lake. He say they fished with a long cane poles with bait. They would fish most of the night and would sleep on the river bank out in the open if they got tired.
    I hadn't fished the "Hairrikin" in many years, went in there last summer one morning just for old time's sake. Still rough as a **** cob with lil wild browns sprinkled around in what water isn't vertical. My grandpa and his brothers used to spend a week camping and fishing and frying and eating fish at Dick's Trail on the lower end of Cataloochee every year. They'd spend most of the week before going around knocking down wasper nests for bait. They liked to fish at night, too.
    Specks: the other pink meat.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •