Just got back from my 10th annual father/son excursion into the Smokies and I must give my son his due. We started this tradition when he was 4 years old and all he could handle was one of those Mickey Mouse spinning rods. Two years ago something finally clicked and now my wife is telling me I should just give him my prized Orvis one ounce since I will never see it again.
We began our recent trip at Smokemont and fished Bradley and Straight Forks. My son Porter, started things off with an 11" rainbow up Bradley and then proceeded to outfish me the next day on Straight Fork. He managed his first single day slam and just left me shaking my head.
We finished up with three days of fishing over around Elkmont where I managed to salvage a litlle pride with a couple of 10 to 11" browns and actually got him to acknowledge that I might know just a little more than him...but he never hesitated to tell me where I should be fishing. He caught fish all five days we were on the water and got them in big and small water, wet and dry. The last day we ended up on Porter's Creek where I actually caught my first rainbow with my grandfather when I was 13.
My grandfather fished these mountains until he was 82 and I spent many a year learning by just watching him. My son is now the fourth generation of fly fishermen on these waters and even as a teenager thinks this "stuff" is cool and makes for a great vacation. I too think it is so "cool" to be watching my son cast over the same waters as my grandfather and still be able to bring these trout to a fly in some of the same pools that I remember watching him fish. Got to love these mountains....