(Show me the person who says a fisherman should have to work at catching anything to appreciate it and I’ll show you someone who probably mows his lawn only twice a year.)
With no idea of what we might face, my son and I, two reasonably intelligent and sensible people, packed our gear and headed south in pursuit of trout in the streams of the Great Smoky Mountains. However, our wives, who have witnessed the return of their men, beaten and battle worn from previous fishing excursions, decided to go along and treat us to some creature comforts during this time of insanity.
Instead of a tent and soggy sleeping bags and fried potatoes and onions three times a day, we were to stay in a “chalet” nestled on a mountain side above Gatlinburg. Complete with a Jacuzzi and outdoor hot tub, we could expect hot meals with a little variety every evening on our return from the killing fields. I resisted until I remembered a previous trip when Tony and I substituted a pot of beans for our usual fare and had to spend the night cooped up in a tent together. Other campers moved out and not a single bear was spotted within two miles of the spot for a month afterward.
We started on the Little River, a stream best described (as they all are in that area) as a tin horn’s nightmare. The water was fast and though the stream bed rocks weren’t any less slick, there seemed to be more of them. After our usual start of trying to balance on grease covered bowling balls while yanking foliage off the surrounding trees with our flies, we settled down to our normal routine of slipping and stumbling while making enough ruckus to chase every fish within two city blocks downstream into Knoxville.