Carolina Fly Fishing Club


CFFC Fly Fishing News 

"Trout Bum Tribune"

                                                Stories and photos of CFFC club outings and fly fishing trips

Mitchell River Outing, 
Saturday, November 4, 2017

By Jim Mackey

Six brave souls showed up for the Mitchell River outing, four adults and two up and coming junior fishermen. The weather was a bit damp with drizzle, fog and moderate rain.  Other than a little discomfort from the rain it was great to be outside and on the water.  There was a lot of fishing with not too much catching.  However, as evidence shows, at least one nice fish was brought to net. 


Wilson Creek Outing, October 7, 2017
by Ben Bishop


It went well. Everyone showed up. We got everyone rigged and set up. People met and talked and helped.

Different groups went different ways. Tons of people on stream as expected.

We gathered for lunch and reviewed. Most people caught a fish or two. Everyone seemed happy. Some left right after lunch and others stayed a bit longer.

Fishing for me was a bit slow. Fish were unsettled as would be usual with a stocking earlier in the week. Water was as expected low and slow.

It was a good day with sharing, learning fellowship and enjoying the outdoors.

If I were to break down the parts of the day that were covered it would include: rigging, equipment basics, knots , fly selection, casting, mending, reading the water, on stream etiquette, and safety. All of those things are quite an agenda to accomplish in one day for multiple people. 

We are fortunate that we have so many members of the Carolina Fly Fish Club who generously give of their time and share their experience  to enable other people to grow their Fly Fishing abilities and enjoyment. Everyone was very helpful.

Thanks to all who attended and participated. I had a great day.

October 7Saturday Oct. 7, 2017 will be the Fly Fishing Festival in Bryson, NC. CFFC and the FFI will have a booth there and will be tying flys, casting lessons and having a good time. Hope to see you all there. Plus great fishing real close, plan to spend some extra some time there.

Healing Saturday – Charlotte

Check out this video about Healing Saturday by Mike Krzyzewski(head basketball coach for Duke University):
 When:   Saturday, September 30, 2017
              11:00 am to 2:00 pm
 Where:  JHG Financial Advisors
              1370 Briar Creek Road
              Charlotte, NC  28205
Please come out and join us with the family for Healing Saturday

  • Have some good BBQ from Midwood Smokehouse with Sir Purr from the Carolina Panthers
  • Meet and greet with some of your local veterans
  • Kids and adult fly tying classes
  • Casting demonstrations
  • Raffles and silent auctions for Fishing Trips, Fishing Gear and Flies from the following area fly shops and outfitters:
    • Jesse Brown’s
    • Great Outdoor Provision Co.
    • Madison River Fly Fishing Outfitters
    • NC Fly Fishing Guide Service
    • Orvis Charlotte
    • The Sporting Gent
  • Bid on several boxes of hand tied flies provided by some of our veterans and volunteers 

Click to see more information!

2017 CFFC Picnic @ Lake Norman State Park
September 16, 2017


The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a perfect picnic.  The catered food came on time and was fantastic…especially the mac & cheese along with all the pot luck side dishes, salads and desserts.  There was no need to go away hungry.


The Raffle committee put together a very nice raffle. And with the help of a young gentleman picking tickets out of the ticket shuffler, kept things moving smoothly.

The Deck of Cards Raffle for the TFO Reel was drawn also.  And the lucky winner was Gary Lautzenheiser from Concord, NC.  Congratulations Gary!


There was a nice group that attended Tradd Little’s fly tying session with at least five new tiers.

There was a nice number of beginner and intermediate fly casters attending the casting clinic in the morning.  

A big thanks goes out to Gary Jones and Lee Butler for organizing and running the clinic and the casting competition in the afternoon. And thanks also goes to Pam Johnson for her great pictures of the picnic activities.


Mark your calendar for August 25-27, 2017

WCNC Friday, July 21, 2017 

In case you missed the 11:00pm news, there was a great clip about Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and how fly fishing has helped veterans with PTSD.  Click here to view the clip.

July 18-20 CFFC Outing to the South Holston River in East Tennessee
by Rick Meeks

Six club members traveled to East Tennessee to fish the South Holston River and the Watauga River for several days. The weather was clear but very hot all 3 days. Generation schedules were not ideal but, were workable enough to allow for plenty of fishing hours each day.

On the upper SoHo, Sulphur hatches were strong. Fish were active. The water was a bit low and very clear, allowing for some nice site fishing. Two members chartered a float trip in the Watauga one day and had good fishing success. Other members concentrated on the SoHo and most everyone caught fish, both up river and down river.

Just as FYI, the fishing access restrictions at our housing location did limit access to some of our usual wade fishing water but, there was still plenty of river access and a number of nice fish were caught.

Overall, everyone had a good time fishing and socializing even after the air conditioner broke down on our second day. Everyone took it in stride and we all survived the night.

Largest fish of the trip was a nice 20” brown caught on 7X tippet. Thanks to the nice gentleman who waded up after the netting and offered to take a picture. 

Watauga River Camping Trip

June 22, 2017
by Steve "Nightcrawler" Patterson

Everyone had a great time and caught a lot of fish on the Watauga River at several locations. The fishing was great in front of the campground (Camp Stonefly) where several nice Brown Trout were caught: one by Ben Happach and one by Steve Patterson. Of course, Ben’s was larger than Steve’s!  The South Holston was also fishing great. There was a good Sulphur hatch. A big thanks to Rich Puco for sharing where to fish and what flies to use. 



First Fly Fishing Merit Badge Program at Belk Scout Camp A Success

by Bill Kalbas

On Saturday, May 13th, twenty boy scouts gathered at the Belk Scout Camp in Midland, NC, for a day of instruction on Fly Fishing.

Nine members Carolina Fly Fishing Club, including club president Dave MacBurnie, Rick Meeks, Jim Mackey, Gary Jones, Jack Cummings, Herb Broegmann, Charlie McDaniel, Frank Perry, and Bill Kalbas, along with Ms. CC King, a wildlife education specialist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Scoutmaster Dr. Stuart Tucker and several fathers from Troop 55, and Bert Fox, Scoutmaster of Troop 165.

Dave, Frank, and Herb taught the scouts how to tie a San Juan worm and a Woolly Bugger, which the scouts used to catch fish later in the day.  Gary, Jack, and Charlie taught casting, and Rick and Jim taught knots, rigging and entomology.  Bill was the merit badge counselor, and eight out of the 20 scouts earned their Fly Fishing merit badge.

“All hands were on deck” when it came time to mentor the scouts in catching a fish at the lake.

Though a long day, everyone had a good time.

A number of scouts and fathers said they want to do more fly-fishing and attend future CFFC meetings and functions with their sons.

Well done CFFC!


Thursday, May 18 to Sunday, May 21, 2017
Davidson River Four Day Camping Trip
By Rick Meeks

On Thursday, May 18, 10 CFFC members headed to the Davidson River Campground for 3 nights of camping and fishing. For fishing, the members spread out and covered a number of streams, including the Little River, upper and lower South Mills River, North Mills River and the Davidson. Fishing was fair with various results by the fishermen. Some rainy weather and high water impacted some fishing time. Everyone enjoyed the outing and especially the camp fires at night. We did have to pack up in the rain Sunday morning.
On Friday I got a real big surprise. In the AM we heard lots of thunder and had dark clouds but no rain. It seemed to clear up in the afternoon so I headed out. As I was getting my fishing gear ready at the car, a group of bicyclists rode by coming down the mountain. As they went by one of them said "heads up, there is a ton of water coming your way". I did not think too much of it as we did not have any rain to speak of. After fishing for about 30 minutes I was changing a fly and noticed something did not feel quite right. I looked up and the water was definitely moving faster and the trail that I had walked along to get to my starting point was under water. Water had already come up a foot or more. I said "wow, get out of here now", and I did. In just a few more minutes the river was even higher, rushing very fast, unwadeable and totally brown.
When I got back to camp, one of the guys new to the river asked me if the Davidson was a tail water. I laughed because I knew he had gotten caught in it as well. The storm we heard in the AM was at the top of the mountains, away from us. Looking Glass Creek was the one that was gushing into the Davidson and caused the high and brown water.
Now I will know that in bad weather, keep a better look out for sudden rising water.
It did come down a lot and cleared up by next morning.


April 18-20, 2017 SoHo Trip
Ramblings from a Rookie
Ben Happach


Caddis, trichoptera, sedge-flies, and rail-flies; whatever your name for this pattern, there’s nothing I can write about it that hasn’t been written 1,000 times before. I CAN mention how underappreciated that this particular pattern was by me until last week, when I found myself on the Watauga River in Elizabethton having possibly the best day of fishing I’ve experienced. (continued)

CFFC April 12th Meeting @ Bass Pro Shops

Kevin Howell of Davidson River Outfitters (DRO) came with five different presentations.  So our Director of Programs, Susan Hinsen decided to put it to a vote by the meeting attendees.  It was a unanimous vote for his "Improving your Trout Fishing Tactics".  It was an awesome presentation...thanks Kevin!

The Director of Membership, Jack Costa took some great notes of the program that can be accessed here -> Kevin Howell fishing tactics.pdf


 March 18, 2017 - North Toe River in Mitchell County, Spruce Pines NC. 

They had heavy rain in the mountains and when we got there the river was very muddy, trashy, high and fast. Only three members showed up at 09:00 and waited around till 10:00. We then decided to head over to Wilson Creek where the water was up (more of a normal level) and slightly off color. Fishing was very good with lots of fish caught by all.

Ft. Mill, SC
Spring Fly Fishing Classic

Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9, 2017
The club is demonstrating Fly Tying at Cabela's and needs tiers.  We also need helpers to help promote the club and fly fishing. You don't have to be a tier to be a helper...just have an interest in fly fishing!



Fly Tying 101

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Lake Norman State Park Visitor Center

The program was very well received.  We ended up with more students than expected.  Thanks to Dave MacBurnie, we had ample vices and material for everyone. Fortunately we had four tiers from the club helping with overseeing students.  All seemed to catch on quickly to the fundamentals of tying.


Everyone had a good time tying the Green Weenie, red San Juan Worm, and black Wooly Booger which are great fish catching patterns.

Stay tuned to the website as we are trying to figure out a good date for more fly tying in February or March.

Wilson Creek DH Day Trip
January 14, 2017

It was a cold threatening day for fishing but out of 19 registered members there were 12 that came out to brave the weather.  The water was quite low but a few good fisher-persons were able to catch and land fish.


CFFC Fall Nanty Outing
November 10-13, 2016

Everyone had a great time and caught a lot of fish!


November 9, 2016
CFFC Third Annual Banquet 
Annual Meeting

Once again Rick Meeks out did himself with the third annual banquet, with great food, lots of door prizes, many raffle items and great fellowship. 
Our President, David MacBurnie held the annual meeting and election of the Board of Directors for 2017. Following the meeting, David gave the blessing followed by each table being excused one by one to go to the food line.  



Be sure to go to Facebook for more great pictures of the raffle items and banquet.
A special thanks to the companies and individuals for their continuing support of our club.  Follow this link for more information. Supporters

Carolina Fly Fishing Festival

Saturday Sept. 17, 2016
Lake Norman State Park
10:00 - 4:00

All had a fantastic day with great weather and good food.


Casting Clinic    Work Release String Band



Tying with Tradd Little Casting Competition


Wednesday, August 10,2016
Bass Pro Shops, Concord Mills 
On August 10, 2016, Dave MacBurnie, president of Carolina Fly Fishing Club presented a check of $500.00 to Starr Nolan to support the Casting Carolinas program.  Casting Carolinas provides a comprehensive support and educational program for women surviving cancer.

Mitchell River DH Day Trip

Fishing started slow with most of the registrants heading to the end of Grover Cockerham gravel road. There were four "Women on the Fly" who settled in across from the farm house. By late morning the fish started hitting on anything green or pink. Once again the mop fly was a hit with the Delayed Harvest (DH) fish. 


Spring Nantahala Outing
April 21-24, 2016 - Bryson City, NC


2016 Spring Nantahala was attended by 9 club members. Lands Creek @ Hawks View cabin outside Bryson City, NC was a great place to stay to recuperate from a day on the river.


Comfortable beds, a great stocked kitchen and entertainment of TV, pool table, an outside fireplace or hot tub for relaxation.   



Fishing on the Nantahala was very mixed. Friday it rained all day, the river ran fast and deep and cold 48F. Most took to the Tuckaseegee in Bryson City that afternoon as the weather cleared up. For better fishing options, though a few who stayed actually caught fish. The second day most went back to the Tuck, outside Dillsboro/Webster on the South River Road. A couple went to the Cherokee Trophy waters nearby. Rainbow, Browns and Brookies were caught by all, in large numbers.



We received an education class and discussion of what to do when you lose your footing and fall in the river. "Stay calm and swim for the bank"! BE PREPARED WITH THE RIGHT GEAR first and foremost.  (Snug fitting wader belt, wading STAFF and good boots)

For flies, it seemed streamers /(Crazy Legs) in olive, brown or purple seemed to work the best. A Hares Ear nymph, tied with a 2x long shank in olive dubbing, copper rib and with a pink thorax  or a green and orange mop bug seemed to attract quite a few hits. Dinner Saturday night was at the "Cork and Bistro" where local bison meatloaf seemed to hit the group.



Sunday it was farewell and back to the Tuck or Cherokee for a couple of hours before heading home. Great trip, great fellowship and great fishing!!!

Thanks, Dan/Group Leader

Wilson Creek Day Outing
Saturday, February 20, 2016 by Steve Paterson Sr.

We had a fun day on the Wilson Creek Feb 20, 2016. Fishing was slow. The trout numbers down due mortality from poaching and mishandling. We did manage to catch a few fish. Dave MacBurnie showed first time Fly Fisher, age 16, how and where to fish and he caught his first trout, a nice 13" rainbow. Fishing will improve with Delayed Harvest restocking the first week of March. 

CFFC Fall Picnic at Latta Plantation
Saturday, September 12, 2015

The day started off cloudy with light drizzle and rain showers in the area.  However, that didn’t stop these dedicated fly fishers from coming out to the fall picnic.  As you can see from the pictures, Bob Thomas cooked up a large pot of delicious low country boil.  For those that didn’t care for that type of food, there were hamburgers and hot dogs.  The potluck side dishes were fantastic along with plenty of deserts to satisfy the sweet tooth. 

Gary Faulk presented a well organized raffle along with a lot of really good and useful items.

Fortunately the rain held off so those that wanted to test or fine tune their casting skills with certified casting instructor Jack Cummings, could do so in the large field next to the pavilion.


  Adding potatoes to the pot                                 Setting up the side dishes


Yummmmm!                                                     It sure got quiet


Enjoyed by all                                                       Those fantastic deserts


Bucket drawing and raffle table                         Waiting for the raffle to begin


Women on the Fly (WOTF)                                 Casting instruction

CFFC September Fly Tying Session
Bass Pro Shop, Concord Mills Mall
Wednesday, September 9, 2015

We had three tables set up for different levels of fly tying with Herb Broegmann, Gary Jones, and David MacBurnie as instructors along with Jack Cummings as a floating helper.  All had a great time tying flies for delayed harvest (DH) fishing.  Some of the flies tied were the Egg, Sham-Wow & Squirmy Wormy patterns.  Gary had the girls tying patterns of his famous gummy tail attractors.

All took home several flies that can be used on our fall outing on Wilson Creek on October 10th.  We hope to see you all there.




CFFC August Outing

South Holston River, Tennessee

August 6-9, 2015

Six of the CFFC members traveled to East Tennessee August 6-9 to fish the South Holston and Watauga Rivers. Water levels are still high in the lakes and the dam release schedules were less than ideal for wade fishing. However, we were able to get plenty of fishable hours in on both rivers by closely monitoring the water releases. We were able to fish the South Holston all day on Saturday. The sulphur hatch was light but steady, especially on Saturday. Dries, emergers, and midges worked well. Most everyone caught fish, from a few to some good numbers. As usual on these trips, the attendee provided dinners and breakfasts were outstanding. We eat well. Evening lying and tying was fun. We have very interesting members from new fly fishers to very experienced. It is great to hear their stories of where each has fished, varied kinds of fish sought, and some personal background into their families and careers. We also watched some very good videos on fishing tactics and bug life.

Some of the fish stalkers:


Some lying and tying and maybe a little drinking:


Great snacks after fishing in addition to the outstanding dinners:

Mostly good weather and beautiful water:

And fish were caught (hmm, reminds me of a Monet)”

Beginner and Intermediate Casting Instruction
July 18, 2015

We all met at the Frank Liske Park this morning at 9:00.  What a well kept, clean park with a gorgeous pond.  Gary Jones couldn’t have picked a better place for our casting instruction.

Gary had us test our casting abilities and then assigned persons to either the beginner group or intermediate group.  Three instructors/helpers went with the beginner group and three instructors/helpers went with the intermediate group.  Everyone had a great time and showed a marked improvement with their casting. 

If anyone wants to improve their casting ability, this is definitely the class for you.  Everyone today had a very positive experience and look forward to the next class.





CFFC July Outing
South Holston River, Tennessee

July 9-12, 2015

Five members of the CFFC ventured to Bluff City, Tennessee, for our July trout fishing outing on the South Holston River. This was the first visit to this area by two of our attendees and the very first fly fishing trip for one of the attendees.

Unfortunately, the TVA was releasing water from the Holston Dam 24 hours each day on Thursday and Friday. A small window was available for fishing one stretch of the river early Saturday morning until about 9:30 AM. The release schedule did not eliminate our fishing opportunities, however. There are a number of streams to fish in this area and we elected to fish the Watauga River in Elizabethton. The water release schedule was more accommodating and provided us with fishing opportunities for the better part of Friday and Saturday. The weather was good and fishing was pretty good. All of the trout caught were rainbows.

All of the attendees enjoyed the comradery, good food, fly tying, endless stories of fishing and other outdoor adventures and the opportunity to get some fishing in on what was new water to everyone. 






CFFC Stone Mountain Outing

Saturday, May 9, 2015

There were nine CFFC members that attended the pre-Mothers Day outing in Stone Mountain.  Attending and catching fish were Todd Bassinger, Mark Farrell, Linda Hickle, Roz Hollifield, Dave MacBernie, Jim Mackey, Rick Meeks, John Personette and Bob Talluto.

It was a perfect day with loads of sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70s.  Most all caught fish that day but I didn’t hear of any lunkers being caught.  We had planned to meet for lunch at the trailhead parking lot where we met up in the morning, but with the perfect weather the lot was full of cars and hikers.  So we moved to the old church to eat our lunch.

All in all we had a great time, with great weather and great camaraderie.





Hazel Creek, NC  May 14-17,  2015  

There were four CFFC members that attended an outing hosted by Dale Collins and Bobby Bennett of the Tuckaseegee Fly Shop in Bryson City, NC.  Attending from CFFC were Rick Meeks, Tony Aldridge, Jack Costa and Jim Mackey.  This group was joined by two other gentlemen, Jonathan from Knoxville, TN and Jim from Salisbury, NC.

It was a 20 minute boat ride to the old grownup Proctor ball field where we camped for three nights and four days.  The outfitter was Steve and Becky Claxton so you really couldn’t say we were roughing it very much.  The meals were ten stars plus, accommodations were great…two to a tent with cots and four inch foam pads with clean sheets and pillow, and to our surprise there was a hot shower.  The bathroom facility was a tree and a shovel with all the toilet paper you could use.  One had to be a little careful as there was a bunker crop of poison ivy in the woods and many hot spots where others had gone before. 

Steve said that Hazel Creek was running low for this time of year but we surely wouldn’t have wanted it running any fuller than it was.  Some of us fished Thursday afternoon with little luck.  Friday four of us had arranged for a guided outing so we hiked in about two miles.  We all caught some fish but the catching was very slow.  I caught a brook, a rainbow and two Smoky Mountain cutthroats (what a pretty little fish).  Browns were also caught by the other guys.  The four of us caught four to seven fish each.  Jack Costa and I fished Saturday morning and caught a couple of rainbows each.  Most were running in the 8-10” and Jack had one that would have gone 12” or so.  Saturdays catch was caught right behind our camping area.  Several fished Sunday morning but had no luck. 

We were quite lucky with the weather as the weather guessers were calling for 50-80% chance of rain Friday and Saturday.  All we had was some light showers Sunday morning which had subsided by the time we headed back to reality. 

Everyone was a little disappointed with the numbers of fish caught and our two guides from Tuckaseegee Fly Shop, Dale and Bobby were frustrated as well.  They both put forth a very strong effort to catch fish that were reluctant to bite.  And that’s why it is called “fishing”.  We all had a fantastic time.  Steve and Becky Claxton worked their tails off and were extremely accommodating.  I would highly recommend Steve and Becky Claxton and Dale and Bobby to anyone that wanted to go to Hazel Creek and fish.  To visit Steve Claxton’s web site go to and for Tuckaseegee Fly Shop go to










CFFC Nantahala River Weekend Outing

April 9 to 12, 2015

We all arrived Thursday evening after braving the freshly graded two mile dirt road into The Lazy Bear Lodge.  The lodge was a rustic three story log type structure overlooking a picturesque Nantahala Lake.  Inside was as equally exciting with high ceilings, granite counters in kitchen and all bathrooms, wood flooring and furniture to match.  All was very clean and inviting. 

Some of us fished the Nantahala River Thursday afternoon with expectations of strong storms and nasty weather in the forecast for Friday.  We all woke up to low ceilings, fog and rain.  Todd Basinger was kind enough to provide eggs, sausage and fresh biscuits and coffee for the morning weather watch.  We all hovered around our cell phones and computers watching the weather radar for a break which, came around 11:00 am.  By noon everyone trekked down the now muddy two mile road to hard pavement.  I think we all picked up 100 pounds of mud on our cars on our way out.  But we all made out and on the river.  The water was a little high and slightly colored but otherwise very fishable.  I managed to run around in the morning getting pictures of everyone fishing but unfortunately I wasn’t in place to see fish being caught.  I think they must have been a little camera shy…the fish that is!  I had several reports that ten minutes after leaving they caught the big 18” browns and bows. 

We all woke up Saturday to Carolina blue skies and 44 degrees.  After another hardy breakfast we all headed out to fish and we all did reasonably well.  Once again the fish ended up being camera shy however, we did get some pictures of netted fish just to prove we weren’t telling fish stories.  The afternoon turned out to be a perfect spring day with temps in the low 70’s.

Sunday morning everyone pitched in by taking linens off beds and taking them and dirty towels to the washing machine, c leaned up all the trash and made 10 rounds checking to make sure all was gotten out of drawers and the like.  Everyone was headed home by 10:00 am except for one avid fisherman, Rick Barber who stayed to fish his favorite hole on the Tuck.  I haven’t gotten a report on how he did.

All and all it was a fantastic trip.  The house was newish, clean and something we all dream about which was overlooking a very picturesque setting on Nantahala Lake. 

Attendees were: Rick Barber, Todd Basinger, Greg Clements, Sam Henderson, Dan Hebert, John Leum, Jim Mackey, Chris and Linda Sauer, John Tumino, Dennis West.





2014 Annual Meeting and Banquet

Our 2014 Annual Meeting and Banquet was a great success, over 60 folks attended the function at the Northstone County Club. The  facilities and the food at the Northstone Country Club were top notch. Our  guest speaker, Kevin Howell from Davidson River Outfitters, put on a very interesting program about your fishing bucket list. He gave everyone a lot of great information on where and how you could fly fish all over the world, gave a lot of us ideas to put on our own bucket list. 

Rick Meeks, who put together the program and all of his helpers did a fantastic job of setting everything up, and getting all of the donations for the raffle that we held. A special thanks goes out to all of the stores and the folks that donated items for the raffle, we really appropriate your generosity.

Everyone had a great time and we look forward to doing this again next year. 


Sept 14, 2013 CFFC Club Cookout, Latta Plantation


  Perfect weather, sunny and warm. A nice gathering of about 50 CFFC club members and a few guests enjoyed the sunny day outdoors at Mountain Island Lake eating some grilled burgers and brats. Some folks kept busy taking some casting practice and getting some pointers on casting from the advanced casters in the club. Many thanks to all the members that brought all those tasty side dishes and great tasting desserts. As usual the Peddler purchased a nice variety of fly fishing items for raffle prizes and silent auction.





Aug 15-18, 2013 South Holston River, Bristol TN Trip


 A short update on subject outing..... We had a total of 6 participants make the trip. Two others had last minute cancellations. This was the first SoHo outing that I can recall where TVA released water 24 hours per day, every day. Wade fishing was not possible for any day of our planned stay.

This did not prevent the guys from finding fishable water near by. On the trip over on Thursday, I stopped and fished the Doe on Roan Mountain for about an hour with some success on small rainbows. Most everyone arrived at Castaways Thursday afternoon or evening. On Friday, Dave and Bill elected to hire a guide and float the SoHo in the AM. Bill also floated the upper Watuaga in the afternoon. Fish were caught on both trips and several were nice sized fish. John, Dave and I decided to fish Stoney Creek...first time for all 3 of us. We were told that the water was about 2 feet higher than normal and the water was a bit stained. However, it was fishable and we caught close to 30 smallish rainbows in a few hours.

On Saturday we all headed to the Beaver Dam creek. This was new water for 5 of the 6 paricipants. The stream was high and somewhat clouded but was fishable with some careful wading. Fish were caught by almost everyone and a few large trout lost on long distance releases.

In spite of the unfavorable water release schedule on the SoHo,  everyone expressed great satisfaction with the trip. Social time, some late night tying, discussions and sharing of flies and techniques and dinners together were enjoyed by everyone. Getting to meet new members, learn new territory and fish new streams was a big bonus for all the participants.




March 2, 2013 Stone Mountains State Park DH Day Trip

 We had a group of a dozen or so club members turn out for a good breakfast before we headed up to Stone Mountain State Park for the ice breaker day trip. Grouping up for car pooling seemed a lil bit of a challenge due to folks planning on heading back home at a variety of times, so the long vehicle caravan seemed to work just fine. Seemed we didn't lose anyone in the process...

 The CFFC caravan rolled up to the park gate about 10 minutes before the Rangers showed up to let us in, which was great timing because we all had first shot at the prime locations along the Delayed Harvest section of East Prong of the Roaring River. Temps were a bit chilly, overcast and 30s with a few snow flakes falling from time to time. Thanks to the NCWRC the river was chock full of dumb rookie trout, perfect!

 I was able to catch up to most folks on the river at one point or another and it seemed everyone was having some success locating the the fish and catching some too. I had to do some hiking around looking for some others to try to get some photos. Most everyone was fishing the DH water as I didn't get any reports from anyone hitting the the wild trout streams. I hope to read a few stories and see some photos on the Forum as well, its was a good day to fly fish.


                       Geared up and ready to get started...time to find the trout


                             Making quick work ripping lips at the iron bridge hole


                                  "Big Trout" ripped a couple dozen fish lips


                           Only a dozen or so Brook & Rainbows in this hole 

November 10, 2012 New Club Member Wilson Creek Outing

 Great showing from newest CFFC club members, about 20 or so new club members turned out for the CFFC mentoring day at Wilson Creek...good crowd. Arrived at old mill site on Wilson Creek at 7:45 AM, just a little bit chilly early on with temps hovering around mid 30's, it warmed up perfectly to about the low 70's by noon time, clear blue sky, perfect weather. Our volunteer mentors each took out 2 to 4 new fly fishers for some on water briefing, instruction on how to rig up, casting & mending and some demonstration on how to catch those elusive trout. Seems from most reports everyone netted at least one or two fish over the course of the day. Mentor Ben Bishop had one of his fly fishers net a grand slam, Brook, Rainbow and a Brown! Great hot lunch was served up, piping hot chili to get everyone sweating before they headed back out on the river after lunch.

 Huge thanks goes out to the mentors that helped out our newest fly fishers. THANK YOU, Ben Bishop, Ben Reinhold, Calvin Norton, David MacBurnie, Chris Roche, Jack Cummings and Eddie Williamson.

Great day!  Photos courtesy of Ben Bishop








November 8-12, 2012, Steelhead Trip Report

 Three CFCC members made the trip this year to the Lake Erie tributaries to try their luck at landing a Steelhead.  Dan Grose, Steve Patterson and Tim Jenkins made the trip to PA in early November to fish with Jeff Blood.  Based on Jeff's expert opinion and his vast network, the first guided day was spent fishing the Ashtebula and the Conneaut in Ohio.  As the fish were not as plentiful and the fishing was shoulder to shoulder that first day, the guys were redirected on day 2 to fish private water on the Elk in PA with Eric Peterson.  The crew stayed at the Sunset Motel in West Springfield, PA.  They had good accomodations that were centrally located and at a great price.  Something to keep in mind if anyone else is making the trip in 2013.

Dan headed up a day early and took a stab at Walnut Creek, but had no luck his first day on his own.  The first day guided started with Jeff meeting the crew at the hotel at 5:00 a.m. - this is definately a fishing trip and not a relaxation trip.  Jeff took the guys to fish the Ashtebula in the morning as the locals were landing quite a few hogs earlier in the week.  Jeff guided the fishermen to some private land, but other than one hook-up by Dan there wasn't much going on that morning.  According to Jeff, the "Ash" had dropped a couple of feet in the last 2 days, and it was evident as the fish were hard to come by.  Jeff made the call by mid-morning to change the gamelpan and fish the Conneaut, also in Ohio.  The guys hit the Conneaut which was much more crowded, but there were definately fish in those waters.  Dan's time spent on his own a day earlier must have paid off as he was the only one to land a fish that day on the Conneaut.  Dan landed the only 2 fish of the day.  Jeff is a great guide, and wants everyone to catch fish.  Because of angler error, there were quite a few break offs on that first day.  Those who have fished with Jeff understand he is a sun-up to sun down kind of fisherman as he spent time with Tim until sundown trying to land a fish that day.  At Jeff's guidance, Tim hooked into 3 fish in the last half hour of sunlight, but all 3 broke off.  Jeff knew of a fellow guide who was open the second day who had access to private land along the Elk in PA to fish so he hooked the CFFC guys up to ensure they got into more fish day 2.

Day two the boys were guided by Eric Peterson on Elk Creek in PA.  This water was on private land, so the crew had much of the water to themselves.  The boys met up with Eric and wre on the water by 7:30.  Steve Patterson was the first to hook-up and land a fish within the first 30 minutes on the water.  The fish were plentiful and the guide knowledgeable.  All 3 fishermen landed Steelhead in that first hour, which was a sign of things to come that day.  The fella's just missed a black bear run-in at the upstream pool.  The remnents were riverside bear tracks and the smell he left behind.  Dan was the first to land a fish in that pool and handed the run off to Tim.  That pool was worth the trip as Tim's biggest fish of the day was landed after Dan first got the little guy (5 lb'er) out of the way.  Eric treated the crew to a lunch back at the farmhouse of BLT's and his homemade Pepper Mustard which was a huge hit.  All three guys caugh fish that afternoon as well.  At the end of day two 12+ Steely's were landed on the Elk, which proved to be a banner day of fishing!

Again, we would like to thank both Jeff Blood and Eric Peterson who prove to be incredible guides.  Keep your eye's peeled for a new multi-purpose net/wading staff to roll out in 2013 from Jeff Blood's team.  Jeff gave the guys on the trip a sneak preview and the product looks like a winner.

                          Steve, Dan & Tim's big adventure......Hammertime!!!


                                   "The Hammer", "Paladin" & "Nightcrawler"


                                                   Tim "The Hammer" Jenkins


                                                        Dan "Paladin" Grose

                                             February 25, 1957 - January 3, 2013

                                                             Rest In Peace 

July 29, 2012 New River Smallie Float Trip, Crumpler, NC

 Several CFFC club members enjoyed a gorgeous July Summer Sunday morning floating a 6 to 7 mile stretch of the New River near Crumpler, North Carolina. The weather was perfect, sunny, high 70's to mid 80's, water was clear enough with a tinge of color to help make it near perfect fishing conditions. The water clarity was a perfect 3' to 4' visibility. The put-in at the confluence of the North Fork of the New River lead us on a scenic float down stream past New River SP, and Zaloo's Outpost. Part of the group stopped for a quick riverside lunch at the canoe in only site at the state park then continued on to cross the Virginia state line to the VA Rt. 93 take out. Fishing picked up significantly after lunchtime.

 Special thank you to Richard "New River Man" Griggs for helping us work out the logistics of the float trip. Richard guides on the New River, so if you ever want to float the New River contact Richard Griggs at Carolina Mtn. Sports in Statesville NC. Thank you Richard!!!!!

 We were all very glad to see Jack Cummings getting back up to par and making the float. Good to see Jack back on the water where he belongs. Members Richard Griggs, Carl Smith, Cam Binnie, Ben Bishop, Chris Roche, Dan Grose, Dave MacBurnie, Jim Fletemier all reported each catching several nice Smallmouth Bass, Redeye's, Green Sunfish throughout the day. Fish were caught on surface with Boogle Bugs, Sneaky Pete's, and a variety of colorful poppers of all sizes. Quite a few fish were taken sub-surface and on the bottom with conehead rubber leg Wooly Buggers and Crawfish imitations. Thanks to Dan Grose, a well timed bladder failure helped keep water temperatures warm which made wading a pleasure....thanks Dan!

Special thank you goes out to our shuttle service, Terry at Riverside Canoe Rentals, Thank you Terry! Terry rents canoes and kayaks at a very reasonable rate and offers a great shuttle service. Be sure to stop by and say hello to Terry.





June 2012,  Demi's Big Horn River Montana, Youth Alliance Adventure

 Going to Montana this summer was truly an experience of a lifetime. I didn’t know what to expect, but when I got there, it was mind-blowing. I have never seen such a beautiful place and fishing for four days straight was heaven. Fishing here in NC is so different from fishing the Big Horn River. I have learned so many new things during this trip. I’ve learned to tie flies better, and also cast A LOT better. Fly fishing is a challenge, but it was not fishing we did on this trip, but catching. The weather was great, fish were plentiful, and with beautiful scenery, I couldn’t have asked for more. Every day we fished with different guides, and I couldn’t be more thankful that I was chosen to be on this trip. It was a fishing paradise for me. I can tell you all about it, but this is a trip you must experience with your own eyes and of course with your fly rod.

     My most memorable moments on this trip would most likely be catching the biggest trout I’ve ever caught. I hooked a 18.5” rainbow with a PMD and Zebra Midge as a dropper, actually, I caught two about that size. Out there in the west, they would consider this to be average size, but for me, it was exhilarating. The fish was as long as my arm! How can that not be a biggin? Last, but not least, I enjoyed meeting teenagers my age who also fly-fish. It was a little challenging at first, but all that mattered at the end of the day, was if you hooked him or not.

     I would like to thank everyone who made this fishing paradise possible for me. I will never forget this trip. I learned, I fished, I became independent. I also earned a few nick names here and there with my horrible casting, but that’s why I was sent out there, to better myself and be exposed to western fishing. This once in a lifetime experience really did open my eyes and I will keep on pursuing this sport and also to just have fun.

 Demi R.





June 14-17, 2012  South Holston River Fathers Day Weekend Trip

 CFFC club members, Gary Jones, James Smith, Carl Smith, Calvin Norton, Tim Jenkins, Ben Bishop, Rick Meeks, Tony Aldridge, Dave MacBurnie all enjoyed a long & well earned Father's Day weekend on the South Holston River in Bluff City TN. Tim Jenkins & Rick Meeks enjoyed a nice float trip with Randy Ratliff and boated some nice looking Browns & Rainbows. Reports are in that the river fished pretty well while wading, sulphurs, stripper midges & soft hackles got it done....but it was a little crowded, a few favorite spots required you to bring your own rock to stand on.


                                                         Nice view looking back upstream at the weir dam


            Tim Jenkins nice Brownie                 Rick Meeks nice butter Brown           ???? Steelheading in June????

May 17-20, 2012 USMC Wounded Warrior Outing, Mitchell River & Boone Fork Creek

 Steve Patterson strikes again!!! CFFC club members Tim Jenkins, Chris Roche and Steve Patterson hosted a few active duty wounded Marines and 1 retired wounded Marine at the Mitchell River Farm for a weekend full of fly fishing, food and great camaraderie. Matt Fish from ECU Biofeedback Lab escorted active duty wounded Marines Andy Gerhert, Randy Rehling, Jason Browning and SSgt.(Ret.) Armand Mayville up to Dobson NC for a long fly fishing weekend. All the Marines were guided by volunteer guides from the Charlotte area, all CFFC & TU members. The weather was perfect, mid 70's all weekend. The Mitchell river fished fantastic, the Marines all caught a bunch of big dumb stockers and Randy's first day was a 30 fish day capped off with a 17" Brown. Andy & Jason burned up the private pond pulling out dozens of 15" Rainbow Trout. Armand lit it up all weekend and took the grand prize for his biggest fish of the day(see photo)...a 4" creek chub! Kidding! The weekend was ended on a high note on some private trophy water on Sunday. Thank you needs to go out to Tim Slape from Orvis Outfitters in South Park, Rocky River TU members Casey Brock and Tim Ramsey who all selflessly stepped up at a moments notice to help guide our wounded warrior guests. Jesse Browns Outdoor's Charlotte that graciously lent us badly needed fly fishing gear. To all THANK YOU!

 Outing Slide Show:

 Special thanks to Carl "Trout Whisperer" Freeman ( Terry & Renae Troy who hosted us on their private water for some trophy trout action on Sunday....nothing but big smiles from the wounded Marines. 

 Great guests, great location, great weather, great fishing....great weekend. Thank you wounded warriors for your service, we're all grateful, enjoy the rest of your years in peace. 



                   The Farm                       Mitchell River              Private Stocked Pond


            TU Guide Casey Brock        Orvis Guide Tim Slape    Orvis Guide Carl Freeman 



                     Matt Fish, ECU Biofeedback Dept. & Guide Tim "The Hammer" Jenkins


                           Marine Randy Rehling  & Guide Chris "Bearspray" Roche


                                                 Guide Tim Jenkins & Marine Andy Gerhert


                              Guide Carl "Trout Whisperer" Freeman & Marine Jason Browning


                                SSgt. (Ret.) Armand Mayfield with his trophy Creek Chub


                                         Matt Fish & Guide Steve " Nightcrawler" Patterson


                                     Carl Freeman, Marine Randal Rehling, Steve Patterson


                     L to R, Steve Patterson,Jason Browning, Tim Jenkins, Chris Roche, Carl Freeman, Andy Gerhert,

                                                                    Randal Rehling, Armand Mayfeild, Matt Fish 



May 9, 2012 PHW Rod Building Contest

 Congratulations to Project Healing Waters Member & Gulf War Veteran Lee Martin.

Lee placed 2nd place Nationally in the PHW 2012 Rod Building Contest. Lee was provided expert guidance & rod building instruction by CFFC President & rod builder Gary Jones, way to go Gary! Lee Martins 2nd Place Prize is an all expense paid guided fly fishing trip to Colorado.

Special thank you to Marvin Cash, Charlotte PHW Director for helping organize the Charlotte groups participation in the PHW National Contest, outstanding job by Marvin Cash!!!

Congrats Lee, you earned it and deserve it!


              Lee Martin          Lee, Calvin Norton, Dick Barringer    Instructor,Gary Jones        And The Winner is....

April 14, 2012 "Loch Geezer" Therapy Session

 A couple CFFC OCFFD patients made an emergency therapy trip to visit their Doctor at Loch Geezer in never-never land(aka. Monroe, NC). Dr. Fulton served up just the cure for those of us suffering from the debilitating affects of OCFFD(Obsessive Compulsive Fly Fishing Disorder).....Ice cold beer....grilled burgers....big ole ugly-line tuggin'-drag rippin'-hand stinkin'- Bluegill and Largemouth Bass.

 Dr. Fulton helped us all cope with the tell tale signs of the dreaded affliction; involuntary hand twitching, confused speech, inability to concentrate, sleeplessness and sudden sleep awakening to loud outbursts of "I got one on, I got one on" all associated with OCFFD. Thanks Doc for the treatment, your magic worked wonders I think we're all gonna be OK for another week or so.


                     Peddler is now cured thanks to a timely intervention, thanks Doc!


                  Peddler's Friend                 "River Geezer"           OCFFD Support Group


April 11, 2012 PHW Trophy Trout Trip

 Bearspray & Nightcrawler helped guide a couple of CFFC club member Project Healing Water Vets for a little day trip to Blowing Rock North Carolina. A short little drive up to Blowing Rock, NC and our friend Carl "Trout Whisperer" Freeman can put you on the biggest trophy trout in the North Carolina Mountains, bar none...not 1 or 2 trophy size trout in a day. Carls place is Cherokee on steroids! Carl will net you dozens of these monster pig fish one after another after another. The 5 & 6 wt. fly rod will be bent all day long and your arms will be sore at the end of the day. A day with Carl will leave you scatchin yer head asking for some BenGay for the arm....when we gonna do this again?

 Both Calvin "Big Trout" Norton & James "Turbo" Smith probably netted 20-30 fish that averaged maybe 3-5lbs each, a couple 8-9lbs fish too. We actually kinda lost count to be honest???? 

What the heck, photos speak louder than words, take a look for yourself...cuz I ain't lyin. 

Hey there Drifter, there really are "Monsters in Moonshine clear water" after all!!! See, and NO we didn't pass around the same fish either...





         and so on.......



  Dr. Terry Troy, Steve "Nighcrawler" Patterson, Calvin  B.T."Big Trout" Norton, 

Carl "Tout Whisperer" Freeman, James "Turbo" Smith, Chris "Bearspray" Roche 

                                Thank you to Carl Freeman and Dr. Terry Troy

Jan-Feb 2012 PHW Rod Building Class: Gary Jones, Instructor



 Project Healing Waters Veterans participate in the 2012 Rod Building Class and Competition. Expert instruction and guidance on rod building by CFFC club President Gary Jones. The winning rod builder wins a PHW sponsored trip to Chile, South America for some homemade fly rod bending action. Huge thanks to Gary Jones...and all his helpers! What a great club!



November 3-6, 2011: PA Steelhead Outing

 Five CFFC club members, Chet Wisinski, James Smith, Tim Jenkins, Calvin Norton and Chris Roche decided to roll the dice on the weather on an early November long weekend Steelhead trip to western Pennsylvania...turns out we rolled double sevens!!!



    PHW Veteran & CFFC Member- James "Turbo" Smith & PA Steelhead Guide Jeff Blood

 The 500+ mile drive was very tolerable, however, the initial lodging selection was far less than tolerable. I think the address was 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Girard, PA if I can remember correctly. Let's just say the first choice for lodging found on the internet was an uninhabitable lodging location somewhat reminiscent of a combination of the "Norman Bates" motel/crackhouse/parolee halfway house with cockroaches that could kidnap your small children. Actually there was a small child there missing his drawers- maybe the roaches stole his pants?? Let's put it this way- I've slept out in the woods in prettier Georgia red clay mud while I was in the military. We managed to get a refund and find a great alternate lodging accommodation nearer to Erie, PA.

 The smartest decision we made was to hire local guide/Lake Erie tributary fly fishing guru Jeff Blood. This man is the real deal when it comes to finding the best Erie trib active river location, reading the water and sniffing out those giant lake run Steelheads. He is the "Steelhead Whisperer"...fact. His expert advice coupled with his own creative original fly patterns specifically designed to catch Lake Erie tributary Steelheads was an exact recipe for sucessful fishing.

 Friday moring we were out at "0"- dark thirty to visit a hot spot in western New York. The sun came up as we geared up, lines were wet in no time flat...Calvin & James musta slept in their waders or something...they were in the water before my truck door opened. First stop was an interesting spot with a shallow run over a rock ledge into a very fast long run into a 300 yard long flat run. Tim Jenkins landed a sweet looking 4 lb'er at this location. Chet hooked up a nice one but got schooled by the Steelie. It was a bit crowded at this location so Chris headed a half mile or so upstream to a nice long flat run. Watched a local PA trout bum hook a 7lb Steelhead, Chris lended a hand netting the locals fish for him and begged him for some intel. He said " use everything in that chest pack, you'll catch some - so I did. Chris managed to net a few small bunker sized 12" to 15" Steelheads in that location.

 After a quick riverside lunch and a cold one our guide decided on a less crowded option several miles off the beaten path...actually a few miles down the beaten & muddy path. We beat the bushes and hiked downstream 1/4 to 1/2 mile...found some primo water and spent the rest of the day working it hard. Chris hooked up an absolute pig of a fish with the expert guidance of Jeff Blood. This particular fish stripped off all the 10 wt fly line then quite a bit of backing, when this extremely large Steelhead went airborne 4 or 5 times Jeff's expression...."wow, you got an Erie Chromer, you'll be busy for a while" Chris knew he was in trouble standing on a rock ledge and couldn't move with the fish. It was easily a 15 to 20 lb range Chromer that schooled Chris like a little school girl. These Erie Steelhead fight every bit as much as a 40lb Salt Water Stripped Bass and at less than half the weight.


                                                 Sunrise on the Cattaraugus Creek

 After a great day of fishing, it was off to an outstanding local restaurant called Crowley's. The Crowley's family owned restaurant has some outstanding Prime Rib and ice cold beer. The owner is an avid sportsman as well, he fly fishes and his wife is an avid fly tyer, nice couple and they are ardent supporters of the fly fishing community. If you are ever in Girard or Erie, PA I highly recommend you stop in for dinner and introduce yourself.

 Saturday morning started much the same...."0" dark thirty start, on the river at sun up, 28F degrees was chilly to start, but it warmed up fast to a balmy & sunny 55F. James "Turbo" Smith won the biggest fish award for the weekend with a 8-9 lb hog Steelhead. Tim "The Hammer" Jenkins won the most big fish award landing at least a dozen fish in the 4 lb to 8 lb range. Chris "Bearspray" Roche won the "King of the Dinks" award netting nothing over 15" inches. Chet Wisinski won the "empty net" skunk award....ouch, better luck next year!!




                                     Calvin Norton and his Trophy Rainbow






                                                             "The Hammer"



                                    Tim "The Hammer" Jenkins with a Few Minnows



        L to R: Tim Jenkins, Calvin Norton, Chet Wiszinski, James Smith, Chris Roche




September 30, 2011: Project Healing Waters Trophy Water Day Trip

Special thank you to CFFC club members Ben Bishop and Tim Jenkins who graciously volunteered to take a day off work and guide 2 Veterans on private trophy trout water sections of Little Rock Creek and Big Rock Creeks in Mitchell County North Carolina. Thank you to Rivers Edge Outfitters in Spruce Pine, NC for making it possible for PHW Vets to enjoy their trophy waters. Please stop in to REO next time you're in Spruce Pine and say hello.

 Below are a few photos from their day trip.




 August 7-13, 2011: East Tennessee Private Farm Trip, South Holston River

 The weather was sunny, high-80's to mid-90's all week in the Tennessee mountains. Carolina Fly Fishing Club had 6 club members spend the entire week and another 7 club members spend part of the week fly fishing. We invited a special guest from Tampa Bay Fly Fishing club to spend the week as our guest, Capt. Frank Rhodes. Frank had a great time. Reports had the TVA generation schedule Sunday thru Thursday as not very cooperative for wade fishing on the South Holston in the afternoons. Thanks to local guides Randy Ratliff and the kind folks at South Holston Fly Shop the drift fishing reports were very favorable for those that took advantage of float trips. Numerous reports of many nice large Rainbows and Browns being caught on dry flys, streamers and nymphs. Had a report that Steve Hanna wrestled a sweet 4lb Smallmouth Bass from the river with the guidance of Randy Ratliff...way to go Randy, heck of a job putting the gents on fish!!

 Hats of to CFFC board member Dan Grose for his usual bird-dogging for the local Johnson City eatery and watering hole...Cootie Brown's...great food, cold beer.

 The latter part of the week on Friday and over the weekend the generation schedule cooperated for some nice wade fly fishing. Several club members attended the South Holston Fly Fishing Festival in Bristol, VA on Saturday on really enjoyed listening to Kelly Galloups seminar on streamer fishing techniques. Special thanks to Kelly Galloup for taking the time to come all the way from his Slide Inn on the banks of the Madison River in Cameron, Montana.

What a great way to end an outstanding week trip. As usual, good fishing, great cameraderie with a great group of gents.


June 14, 2011: Lake Norman CFFC Club Meeting & Cookout 

 Perfect weather, sunny mid-80's. A great turnout of about 50 club members, family & friends at Ramsey Creek Park in Cornelius for our club meeting & cookout. Special thanks to Bob Thomas for his expertise grilling up some of the finest bratwurst, dogs & angus burgers know to mankind. 

Jack Cummings and Richard Griggs provided expert casting instruction and a variety different weight fly rods & variety of fly lines for casting demo for club members to experiment with. Some of our club anglers tried their hands at Gary Jones casting course...and it appears we need some practice with our casting accuracy! Kudos to Jack Cummings, the Peddler was able to raffle off some fantastic fly fishing gear. Ben "Raffles" Bishop did a fine job winning 24 out of the 25 prizes, way to go "Raffles"!!! Well really only 6 out of 25. Chris Roche won the Gary Jones custom built 5wt Bamboo fly rod, he can't wait to try "Mountain Magic" out on a small stream.

 Great group of folks, great fun....outing rated 9.99 out of 10





April 7-10, 2011: Project Healing Waters & U.S.M.C. Wounded Warrior Bn. South Holston

  CFFC along with private donors that made it all possible & our volunteer guides helped put our wounded Veterans onto the wild Brown trout & Rainbow trout on the South Holston tailwater in Bluff City, Tennessee.

 Special thanks to Dr. Carmen Russionello and his staff at U.S.M.C. Wounded Warrior Battalion East at Camp Lejeune, NC for his dedication and care of our wounded U.S. servicemen returning home from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Way to go Dr. R!      

 Marvin Cash was instrumental in helping organize the Project Healing Waters Charlotte group and procuring donated boots & waders from Jesse Brown's Outdoors in Charlotte....thank you Jesse Brown's! Steve Patterson & Chris Roche pulled it all together, forming a great weekend outing for both Project Healing Waters & U.S.M.C. Wounded Warrior Battalion.

 Weekend jumped off to a slow start on Thursday afternoon, TVA generation schedules for South Holston made the wade fly fishing a challenge, we all hit the weir dams at post generation for some small trout hitting bugs mid-day. Friday's generation schedule forced the group to hit Beaverdam Creek in Shady Valley TN for some nice wild water & stocked trout mix. Several of our Vets caught plenty of nice Bow's and Browns. Dr. R with the guidance of Marvin hooked up a beauty of a Brown in slack water just under the rhododendrons with a BWO dry...nice top water take! Late afternoon offered a cookout riverside on the Beaverdam with a camp fire, camaraderie and laughs abound. We all ate chow while watching Tim Jenkins guide Marine Sgt. Daniel Printz in a nice honey hole, fun to watch it & drink. Better than watching Fly Rod Chronicles on TV.

 Saturday & Sunday was right on point on the SoHo, thanks to a few well place phone calls to the powers that be at the TVA....Thank you TVA for adjusting the hydro-release schedule for us! All our Marine Corps guests, Dr. Carmen Russionello, Matthew Fish, SSgt. Armand Mayfield, Cpl. Eugene Harrison, Sgt. Daniel Printz hooked up numerous feisty trout. Our Charlotte Project Healing Waters Veterans fished like old pro's with the tutelage of Marvin Cash...Calvin Norton, James Smith and Dick Barringer stuck the trout left & right on their tiny zebra midges & emergers. Sunshine, cold water & wild trout equaled smiles all around. Saturday night was capped of with a Prime Rib Dinner for the Vets and a somber riverside Memorial service for David Erik Radke. Thank you Ben Bishop! 

 Thank you volunteer guides, Tim Jenkins, Jack Cummings, Ben Bishop, Steve Patterson, Chris Roche, Rick Goforth, Paul Andrews for dedicating your time and efforts to help with this very worth cause. Great weekend...10.5 out of 10.

 Trip Slide Show:


 Front Row Pictured Left to Right: Matt Fish, Paul Andrews, Eugene Harrison, Ben Bishop, Marvin Cash, Calvin Norton                     Back Row Pictured Left to Right: Rick Goforth, Armand Mayfield, Dan Printz, Jack Cummings, James Smith, Steve Patterson


  Pictured Left to Right: Eugene Harrison, Armand Mayfield, Ben Bishop, Dan Printz, Dr. R, Matt Fish, Tim Jenkins, Chris Roche 



                    2011 PHW & U.S.M.C. WWB South Holston Outing is Dedicated In Memory of David Erik Radke




                           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 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.

 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. Th
is 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!

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.

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:








   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:


 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!

Joyce S.




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 did they work tricking the trout!!!







   May 2010: Beaverdam Creek, Wautaga, South Holston, Shady Valley TN

PFF v21

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 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 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 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 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 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 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.




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