2010 REPORTS - OUTING'S & EVENTS
CFFC Fly Fishing News
"Trout Bum Tribune"
Stories and photos of CFFC club outings and fly fishing trips
2010 Year In Review Video By: Ben Bishop
November 2010: Wilson Creek Riverside Cookout, Mortimer NC
CFFC's last outing for 2010...the man upstairs blessed us with about a perfect day, Carolina blue sky, sunny, mid to high 60's and a bunch of nice folks enjoying a day on the river with friends, fellow club members and a few guests. We left Charlotte area at 6AM with some of our Countrys finest Project Healing Water Vets, Calvin Norton, Gerry Cooper and James Smith, heading to Wilson Creek for a PHW class on reading water. Chilly at 8 AM arrival, but nobody really cared much about the chill, the scenery along the river takes your mind off the temps....puts your mind squarely on the task at hand, fly fishing.
Special thank you goes out to our club members who donated generously of their time to help teach our PHW Vets some of their reading water skills, Rick Meeks, Keith Durrett, Dave McBurnie, Ben Bishop, Jack Cummings and Gary Jones all did a fine job teaching....THANK YOU TO ALL!
Several miles of Hatchery Supported and Delayed Harvest Trout water on Wilson Creek, there's plenty of room for everyone. Water level was quite low, gin clear, ice cold water, large numbers of 8" to 16" Rainbows, Brook and Browns taking pink & white eggs, San Juan worms, Y2K's and a variety of nymphs on the bottom of slow moving pools. On the tail end of one pool I had the fortune to catch 5 or 6 smaller 8" to 10" Rainbows on my favorite olive color dry fly on top water....it lasted for about an hour. If I had quicker reflexes I would have caught the other dozen or so that I missed. New club member Jay Kalter seemed to land the fish of the day, a thick 15"-16" holdover Rainbow on an egg pattern...nice!
Hungry from all this fly fishing, 20 or so of our club members & guests all gathered up at noon time for a simple burger, brat and dog cookout....simple-yet it filled the pie hole nicely! Back to fishing for the rest of the afternoon......... enough of this dissertation, here's some photos from Dave and Bob:
Keith & Gerry Calvin Sheila
Jack & Devin James Ben & Dan
Happy 25th Birthday Gary Jones
October 2010: South Holston River Weekend Outing, Bluff City TN
Well... it was indeed an epic weekend on the South Holston.
The weatherman cooperated as did the folks who mind the generation schedule. I think only one member got caught in a bit of a sticky whicket when the water came up for a pulse. He just waited a few minutes and the water went back down. Other than that, the TVA gave us all the time we needed to go after those fish.
Lips were indeed ripped! Not only on the fish but also on a club member! Thank goodness for barbless hooks.
We discovered a fantastic restaurant with service second to none. It was so good in fact it took no arm twisting to go back a second night. To cap that off the BBQ joint, once we found it, was indeed all it was cranked up to be.
Some prep work had to be done as our breakfast digested. Pictured below are Dave taking care of twisting up some bugs while gawkers gawked. Charlie and Dave lend the locals a hand making apple butter. Butterscotch Brown wild trout. This was one of those trips that you don't want to end and that makes you want to get back in the car and go back!
I want to thank the entire group for making this a real great trip. Can't wait to do it again!
- Peddler Jack -
'From the mountains to the sea...
October 2010: Wounded Marine Appreciation Outing, Bryson City NC
David Erik Radke
March 21, 1966 - November 21, 2010
Steve "Nightcrawler" Pattersons 3 day version of Marine Corps Fly Fishing Boot Camp was a huge success. Steve invited several of our country's finest young men to go up to Cherokee NC to learn to fly fish for the weekend, Purple Heart Medal- combat wounded active duty Marines from Camp Lejeune NC Wounded Warrior Battalion. We rented the Whistle Stop Lodge in Bryson City NC then took them out to Cherokee trophy waters on the Raven's Fork of the Oconoluftee river for some trophy rainbow action. Thanks to Robert Blankenship, Cherokee Hatchery Manager, there were more than enough colorful feisty trophy rainbow & brook trout waiting for us. Special thanks to Jesse Browns in Charlotte for loaning us Simms boots and waders for weekend. Thank you to Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association of North Carolina, CFFC, Dr. James Fryar, Berry Bean, Dan White, Todd Bowland, Rick Goforth, Paul Andrews for their generous donations.
Our volunteer guides did a great job teaching the basic fly fishing nymphing skills and putting our fly fishing Patriots onto numbers of quality fish both Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to fly fishing drill sergeants Steve Patterson, David Radke, Paul Andrews, Rick Goforth, Chris Roche, Ben Bishop for guiding, cooking chow, taking photos and making our Marines drop and give us 20 pushups everytime they broke off the tippet....the Marines learned quickly not to put too much pressure on those trophy bow's...or else Patterson will have you in the front lean and rest!!!
Late Friday afternoon arrival our Marine guests were greeted CFFC style with Ice cold Newcastle Beer and some char-grilled 16 ounce Porterhouse Steaks......far worse reception than getting your head shaved at Parris Island, SC.
Saturday reveille was 4:45AM, get your goat smellin' butts out of the fart sack, SSS, grab a quick cup of coffee and out the door to arrive riverside a o'dark thirty. Stars were still out, wild turkeys coming out of their roosts to feed in the fields, clean crisp mountain air and Robert Blankenship was waiting for us with his trademark large hot coffee. Our Marine students geared up & rigged up as the sun came up over the Great Smoky Mountains. The riggs were combinations of small streamers with droppers or tandem nymphy riggs with stronger 3x & 4x & 5x flourocarbon tippets, long leaders and strike indicators. All of our troops caught plenty of quality fish nymphing on the river bottom in deeper holes and fast deep runs. Hot chow was served on the riverside with more ice cold beer and soft drinks. The day was capped off with a Low Country Shrimp Boil and more steaks, beer, a cigar here or there, some custom fly tyin' & lyin'. Lights out was 10PM, we got up Sunday and did it all over again. Good time was had by all.
Trip Slide Show: http://youtu.be/pHkHNL9xVco
August 2010: Madison, Gallatin River, Henry's Fork, Last Chance ID
West Yellowstone MT/Last Chance ID CFFC club week outing. Attended by club members Wilke Tebbens, Jim Fletemier, Mark Van Donnick, Glenn Kellis, Joyce Sheppherd, Glenn Davisson, Bob Villers, Steve Hanna, Tim Bemisderfer, Tony Aldridge. Special thanks to Bob Villers for all his time and effort that went into planning the trip. Also a thanks to local MT guide Mike Spence for his expert guidance and for putting everyone on quality fish. Mike is a top guide and knows the importance of being in the right place at the right time...right river on the right days. Looks like Mike caught plenty of fish!
Trip Slide Show: http://youtu.be/VYPas7V-D9M
It was a beautiful week in the Yellowstone neighborhood. The mountains were glorious, the veiws spectacular, the cabins were good for weary and excited fly fishers. Mornings and sometimes late evenings were spent strategizing on the next moves....which rivers to fish, where to start the day, where to end the day, who's floating, who's wading and where. Evenings were spent winding down and eating great home cooked meals. Wilke Tebbens made a great deal with local MT guide Mike Spence for the week for guided floats. Mike was a great guide and put us all on fantastic fish. I know it looked like Mike caught all the fish in the photos, but we really did our part. Wilke & Jim and Tim & Steve went off the beaten path to ("secret") streams for real Montana & Idaho back country fly fishing. Others of us traveled back into bear country to fish the not so traveled branches of the Madison River and deep into Yellowstone National Park. Picture me singing a "doe a deer a female deer" as loud as I could. Startling bears, buffalo and tourists alike.
It was a good thing Jim & Wilke carried bear spray as they had a close enough encounter with a grizzly. We even got a little worried about them one night. Don't know what happened to those hoppers everyone was talking about before we left. I've got all sizes and colors and nowhere to use em'. Would you believe woolly buggers worked? Go figure.
The water was cold where it was supposed to be cold, warm where its supposed to be warm and beautiful big water wherever we went.
Bear Spray $50...A week with good men, great cameraderie and fantastic fishing - priceless!
July 2010: South Holston, Bluff City TN
Back to the cold, gin clear, South Holston in Tennessee in July for an extended weekend, Thurs thru Sunday. The riverside accomodations provided at the Cornet family farm were just about perfect. The weather was nice for most days...temps in high 80's to mid 90's with constantly temps consitently in the low 50's, perfect trout waters. The Cornett farm provided a great base location for wade fishing behind the farm and worked well from a logistic standpoint for great access to variety of spots on the river. The lesson learned; if the TVA IS NOT generating do not try to float the river....if TVA IS generating there's enough water depth and flow to float via kayak, pontoon or canoe and fish those hard to reach locations. Tony Aldridge and I floated approx. +/-4 mile section of river above Bluff City down to the farm. The sheer numbers of quality trout in the river is amazing. Great recon, now we know a few locations that hold the greatest numbers. Just about all club members had various degrees of success landing nice 8" to 16" Rainbows and colorful Big Brown Trout by using #20-#26 Zebra & stripper midges, small Pheasant tail nymphs and emergers in the fast water runs and riffles. I had success landing several trout late afternoons, on slack water under overhanging trees on dry flies topwater taking #18-#22 Sulphurs, BWO's, King River Caddis....6x fluorocarbon 7x flourocarbon tippet held up on the small fish....the big fish snap the 7x like nothing when you start to put on the pressure, takes patience and a delicate feel to land the big boys in the faster moving water on 7x, the trick is to slowly move the fish to slack water to land em'.
The most memorable moment for me all weekend was not catching trout. It was standing on the bottom of a slow moving pool in ankle deep water, gazing downstream through a slight fog 4' off the water surface, peering 80 yards downstream watching Charlie McDaniels throwing perfect false cast loops, every one of the fifty or so casts-exactly the same rhythmic a rythmic succession. Perfect timing-almost like watching a slow motion movie, laying his fly and tippet gently on the water surface in seemingly slow motion, light as a feather. Perfectly presented flies. I stood there watching these perfect casts for :20 to :30 minutes, I totally forgot to fish...I was in total awe of the anglers patience and perfection.
What a great group of fly fish angling enthusiasts to spend the weekend with, Tim Jenkins, Rick Meeks, Dave McBurnie, Charles Lamm, Ben Bishop, Charlie McDaniels, Tony Aldridge, Dan Grose and two guests Ben Reinhold and Greg Qualls. Special thanks to our two special guests and their skilled tying of various #24 & #26 stripper midges...wow did they work tricking the trout!!!
May 2010: Beaverdam Creek, Wautaga, South Holston, Shady Valley TN
Shady Valley, Tennessee
What a trip!! Several members of the CFFC joined 35 other “Psycho Fly Fisherman” from around the southeast for a weekend of fly fishing and fellowship in beautiful Shady Valley Tennessee. The fishing was tremendous with most everyone catching a good number of fish. Club member Dick Handshaw fished a wild stream and reported his best dry fly bite ever landing several dozen wild rainbows. Club members David Alred and Tony Aldridge also reported great success on the Beaverdam. For Tony, this was his first trip to the area.
I also fished the Beaverdam, a known wild brown stream and had caught so many fish by 4.p.m on Friday, that I was tired of catching fish. I stopped counting after 70. It was an incredible day of fishing with the best fish both topping 17 inches. I lost a brown trout that head was as big as my hand, I did not realized I had hooked it, as I thought I snagged some brush in the creek, I lifted the rod to see if my fly would pop loose and behemoth this behemouth out of his lair. Once it realized what was happening, the fish simply rolled and slapped its tail on the water and it was gone after a dazed moment, I realized what had just happened.
The weather was comfortable, the water temps were good. Saturday’s fishing on the South Holston became a little hot in the late after noon as the temps had climbed to around 85 or so. It felt good when I actually sat in the river while I re-rigged a new leader.
Late evening brought an absurd Sulpher hatch that had 18-20 inch fish rocketing 2 feet out of the water to snatch escaping bugs. Big fish of the trip went to club member Jule McDowell’s oldest son who hooked up with a 25+ inch brown trout that he battled for 10 minutes before being broke off. Then he proceeded to hook up with its cousin.
Late evening weather in Shady Valley brought several severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, heavy rain and powerful lightning displays. In all 4 tents were ripped, shredded or blown away, the “big azz cook tent” became air born even with 3-4 guys hanging on to it. Basically, it was a normal PFF.
The fall PFF trip is going to be held on some private land right on the banks of the South Holston. October on the Holston is hard to beat. Hope to see some of you there.
May 2010: Helton Creek, Ashe County NC Kid's & Dad's Weekend
April 16-18 was the annual Kid's & Dad's Camping outing on Helton Creek. This has grown to be quite a large gathering.This year again there were nearly 50 kid's, dad's and granddads who made the trip to Helton Creek Camp Ground in beautiful Ashe County, North Carolina. CFFC club member Aaron Christensen amazed all with some outstanding home style pork BBQ that has become a tradition for this trip...step aside Bobby Flay. The weather held for the entire weekend, no rain and moderate temps during daylight and at night. All the kid's caught fish, played in the creek, got dirty and wet....Oh, and had WAY to much sugar and stayed up WAY past their normal bed times. All the dads enjoyed the fellowship. The camp obsession for adults was again the Corn Hole Tournament (Horseshoes with bean bags). The best and most important part of the trip is always dads spending some quality time with their with their kids.
April 2010: South Holston River, Bluff City TN
Aprils long weekend outing to the Southeast U.S. premier fly fishery, the South Holston river in Bluff City Tennessee. We were blessed to have such a wonderful host, James Cornett at Holston Castaway's. A private 80 acre farm on the banks of the South Holston was the perfect setting for some pristine water and wade fly fishing. The weather was perfect, sunny and high 50F to mid 60F degrees and sunny all three days....what a great spot. A great small group of gents, Dan Grose, Jim Sweitzer, Chris Roche and club guest from Mills River, North Carolina, Paul Andrews. The fly fishing was superb, Paul, Dan and Jim all caught their fair share of beautifully colored Brown trout and healthy Rainbows....all caught and quickly released.The recipe for success was #20 & #24 Black Zebra midges with a small amount of flash, lead on your line, strike indicator 36" above the lead, some success was had as well with #18 Pheasant Tails and soft hackles bouncing off the bottom. All trout were healthy fighters with gorgeous color. Chris finally had success Friday evening at 7:00PM on a dry # 22 BWO trailed by a #24 BWO emeger 5" in tow on top water. Watching the large trout take top water...that's what its all about. Dinner was grilled 2" NY Strip Steaks with Paladin's salad, cold Newcastles for dessert. Saturday fishing was superb once again, all caught several fish and once Paul gave Chris an #18 Pheasant tail he started lighting it up with the rest of them. Saturday dinner was Low Country Boil- 3lbs #21-30 jumbo shrimp, Andouille sausage, potatoes and corn simmered in a fume de' poisson of Clam juice, Bay Leaf, Vidalia Onion, Clamato, spicy V-8 Louisiana Louisiana crab boil seasoning....ice cold Newcastle Ale desserts & cigars. Great house on the riverside, Sunday was a repeat of Friday & Saturday. What a lousy time we had....NOT!!! LOL....that's right-you should be jealous!
March 2010: Raven's Fork Oconoluftee, Nantahala, Deep Creek, Cherokee NC
March 5th, 6th and 7th trip up to Chestnut Lodge in Bryson City North Carolina was a great trip with a great bunch of fly fishing friends...it just doesn't get any better than this. The scenic drive up gazing off in the distance at the snowcapped Great Smokey Mountain National Park was inspiring. Club members, Bob Villers, Charlie McDaniels, Charles Campbell, Cameron Binnie, Ben Bishop, Mark VanDonick, Chris Roche, Tim Jenkins and Steve Patterson all came away with renewed enthusiasm for the past time and sport they love...fly fishing. Kudo's to Steve "Nightcrawler" Patterson for his efforts to organize this outing....great job! Friday fishing at Cherokee trophy waters provided some memorable trophy Bows(see pics below). The day ended with a 5 gallon pot of hot and hearty beef stew, cold beer & "stomp" served up by the somewhat roaring fire....thanks to Kingsford starter fluid. A nice cigar, another hit of "stomp", a fart or two, some more BS stories and off to bed Friday night. Saturday several folks hit Raven's Fork of the Oconoluftee River in Cherokee for some trophy action...Patterson, Jenkins and VanDonnick ruled the day with their steadfast nymphing techniques...yeilding several bows. President Bishop had a good day on the Nantahala River with holdover fish eating his properly presented dry flies on the sunny 60F degree day. The day ended at Chestnut lodge with a hearty Low Country Shrimp Boil...8 lbs of Jumbo shrimp, Andouille sausage, redskin potatoes and corn....more ice cold beer and "stomp"....a cigar, some more BS stories, a minor Democrat vs. Republican spat or two then back to something we can all agree upon....fly fishing. Sunday provided more good weather and great fly fishing in Cherokee....Deep Creek proved to be more challenging doing die hard recon for wild Brook trout. Great trip...graded a 9.975 out of 10.
February 2010: Wilson Creek, Mortimer NC
The club February Wilson Creek outing was moved back a week due to heavy mountain snowfall and frozen river. I recall a very picturesque drive up I-40 gazing off at the snowcapped Pisgah Forest mountains off in the distance. February 20th was a balmy 48F degree NC Winter day and daytime temps warmed slightly the higher the sun crept into the sky and hit the river. The first stop on Wilson Creek was the old Mill site, plenty of holdover fish to watch, difficult to catch though....trout were hugging the bottom in their deep holes and not moving very much. Greg Pizzuto and Ben Bishop had the best secret strategy ( no real secret here-small streamers on the bottom... olive & brown woolly buggers). A group of about 14-15 hearty fly fishing die hards and a couple of friends from Project Healing Waters with delicious Venison Stew met up at noon at Mortimer picnic shelter with us for some of Ben Bishops hot chicken bog...it was just about perfect too! Stick to the ribs good. Afternoon fishing was a bit slow for all, picking up, catching and releasing occasional occaisonal holdover Rainbow or Brook on those bead head nymphs bouncing off the bottom. Good day, good fellowship....and a good lesson learned about the importance of fly fishing with a partner and keeping within eyesight of each other! Use the buddy system...help your buddy net his fish quickly, take the trophy photo and release the fish quickly as not to harm the fish.
January 2010: Toe River, Spruce Pine NC
CFFC Club Ice Breaker trip to the N.Toe River "Mountain Heritage Waters" in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. A hearty group of 15 fly fishing club member Vikings & their guests braved the mid 30F degree temps and stiff wind on the riverside on Saturday, January 23rd. 2010. Club served up some piping hot chili, coffee and hot drinks. Fishing was surely slow this chilly Winter day... however a few of the experienced nymph fishers caught their fair share of holdover Brown, Rainbow and Brook trout. The recipe for success was tandem nymph rigs drifting on the bottom into slow deep holes, woolly buggers with various droppers of hares ears, scuds, San Juan worms, and egg patterns..lots of split shot on line and close attention to strike indicators did the trick. Wilkes homemade Apple Pie was the hit of the day. One group from Project Healing Waters hit Big Rock Creek in Bakersville for some private water action while another group tried their luck at Cane Creek in Bakersville...the "Nightcrawler" was the only lucky one on the Cane that day. Skunk was the word for the other 3 of us on Cane Creek.