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This Old Boat Floats!!!

August 11, 2011

Purdy ain’t she!? I think so, and after all my hard work, trials and tribulations she is back where she belongs. In the water (and turning heads I might add). I’ve got a couple of trips under my belt already that I want to tell you about but let me recap a little first. I saved the old girl from a dusty life in an old warehouse in Knoxville several months ago and most assuredly from a fiery death buy some board pyromaniacs. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it back to Nashville that night, boat or no boat. One of those severe spring storms was cranking up just as I started my return trip and the word on the radio (I would never check the Weather Channel radar on my smart phone while driving) was we were heading right for one another. The closer I got to the plateau the harder the rain got and stronger the wind blew. The radio was reporting a tornado within about ten miles from where I was driving. There was a lot of destruction that night but for me the rain just washed off about 5 years of dust.

This boat was born for the Clinch so it’s only fitting that she return. I drove to Knoxville for the cold water meeting at TVA and a couple of TU meetings and spent the next day floating the Clinch with old boat owner #2 Scott Rodgers. We met up with old boat owner #1 and builder of said boat Mike Bone on the ramp to show off her revitalized form and that my not have been a tear I saw welling up in his eye but he was so happy that she is getting back on the water he took a couple of pictures. Mike had clients that day so he couldn’t fish with us but I’m going to get him back in that old boat soon. Now, back to Rodgers, that bastard always catches the big fish. Do you know a guy like that? I mean I always manage to catch my fair share of fish and land a big one every now and then but that guy…sometimes he even calls it. Like a big league hitter pointing to center field, “now’s time to catch a pig” and boing, rod, doubled over. When that ball flies over the center field wall every player in the dugout and on the field may have some envy but they all know, damn that guy can fish.

Now, on to my home water, the Elk. I grew up on Tims Ford Lake; my grandfather worked on Tims Ford Dam and I caught my first trout ever and first trout on a fly rod on the Elk river. So I had to get some action down there. I took my friend Scott Cudd with me and we floated from the dam to Ferris Creek Bridge. TVA had that sweet sweet 350 cfs going; I tied on one of my favorite flies for Scott and he was whacking ’em before we were out of spitting distance of the bridge. Scott has one fantastic chili recipe, he has won several contests and even been invited to compete in the National Chili Cook Off Championship. So spicy food he likes. While we were stocking up on supplies at the Shell station in Lynchburg I stumbles across a bag of deep-fried in the shell Cajun style peanuts. Of course I bought them. The bag professed that they were delicious, shell and all. Nothing could eclipse the fishing that day but those peanuts came close. So close Scott is continually asking me to pick him up a bag every time I go back.  We saw and caught some very nice fish that day and my old boat took to the Elk like it was her home water too.

    Eric “Butters” Berkovsky and I hit the Caney one glorious Sunday morning. We were in the water at 6 am and as is true with the Caney, we were not alone. The water was coming on at 9am so we wanted to get a little float action in before the water hit us and catch a few fish. Butters also wanted to try his hand at rowing a drift boat. Butters wants to row, almost makes me chuckle. Anyway, we both hit several nice fish throughout the morning but the show stopper of the day was the nice, fat rainbow that came to the surface and completely devoured a very cool Summer Cicada fly Butters created. This was a huge tri-layer foam, rubber-legged monster he kind of patterned after one we sold in the shop but in different colors. I don’t want to give too much away, maybe he’ll give me one and I can post a photo and materials list on here soon. I let him row for a bit after the water came up and well, we’ve all got to start somewhere. Fortunately there was nothing for us to hit really but if anyone saw us at one point I think we did three full circles. We got the old boat off of the water without any damage and another river under her belt. And as luck would have it we found a Waffle House on the way home for a late breakfast.

Remember me mentioning ordering a fancy new custom-built trailer, yep that’s it thar in the background. She’s real nice, pulls straight, lights works, beautiful flat black paint job, roller works like a dream. So nice. In front of the trailer is me, my old boat, Stack Scoville and Paul Little. Stack and Paul are two world-renowned and champion fly tiers. Stack is here local and Paul is from England (no shit). Paul was in town teaching high-brow fly tying at Stack’s over the weekend and he stuck around to do a bit of fishing, American style and to speak at the Hendersonville Fly Fishers meeting. Jon Jordan, President of the Hendersonville club got me to take them fishing and where else would I take them but to the Elk. Now, remember a post back or so when I was talking about asphyxiation and killing brain cells, well it’s true. I missed two turns, one getting to the river and one getting back. I’ve made that drive a thousand times maybe more and I screwed up not once but twice. Fortunately there is more than one way to skin a cat and more than one way to and from the river. The Elk didn’t disappoint, they managed to catch a lot of nice fish and Stack pulled out one near hog size. That was the first trip with three people in the boat and she handled it perfectly.

So, my Old Boat is ready, trailer is ready, the fish are for real ready, the only question is; are you ready?! We take all manner of payment at the shop, cash, checks, credit cards. So come on down and sign up. Lets get on some water!!

Till next time…

One Comment
  1. JM Buice permalink
    October 2, 2011 3:57 pm

    I think she needs CASH written on the side…or maybe some bedazzling

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