Hello - I just copied and pasted this from TRF so it's not entirely up to date. Since I wrote this two years ago, I've basically:
1)Caught a bunch of river smallies
2)Bought a bunch of fishing stuff
3)Acquired a jet drive boat
My name is Thomas. I'm a middle-aged, married, professional, father of four. I'm also a riversmallie addict. Exactly how this came to be, I'm not sure.
1997 - At the age of four, youngest son Nathan decides he wants to be a professional outdoorsman. Unfortunately, his dad knows nothing about hunting or fishing. The best I could do was put a PFD on him and send him to the Crown Colony ponds to catch largemouth bass to his heart's content.
2000 - Older daughter Hannah decides she wants to pursue East Tenn championship as Hunter/Jumper equestrian. The stable at which she trains just HAPPENS to be on the South Holston tailwater.
Spring 2003 - After several years, Dad decides to give Mom a break and starts driving Hannah to the stable. Bored Dad wanders over to the S Holston weir dam to look around. Starts conversation with fisherman who shows him a jerkbait (Yo-Zuri Pins Minnow baby brook pattern) and explains how to use it. Nathan and a credulous Dad pick up a couple at Wal-Mart and try them next horse lesson. Lo and behold, they actually WORK and Nathan and Dad spend several happy months catching dozens of trout and losing dozens of Yo-Zuri Pins Minnows.
Fall 2003 - While wading for trout, landlubbers Nathan and Dad watch three guys float by in pontoons heading for mysterious stretches of river sure to hold countless huge trout. It's obvious we need a couple o' them thar 'toons.
Dec 2003 - While surfing the web researching pontoons, I stumble onto riversmallies.com. Decided to maybe try that next year but didn't really give it much thought.
2004 - Spent most of the season floating the S Holston with different family members til we all had our fill. Nathan and I decide to float the North Fork a few times fishing for the legendary smallmouth bass. Our success was limited but we learned that there's a world of difference between having a smallmouth on the end of your line and having one of those silly South Holston salmonids.
winter 2004/2005 - Buy, buy, buy, buy, buy....you know what I mean.
2005 - Our fate is sealed. North Fork, Clinch, Holston, Nolichucky, New, James. Any time's the right time. Nathan takes to wandering around the house between trips muttering "I want to go fishing...I want to go fishing...". He catches a 19.5" then accuses me of shorting it a half inch to avoid buying a replica. Only one trout trip all year but Nathan catches a 27.25" brown so I need to spring for a replica anyway. Methinks we'll be doing a lot of riversmallie fishing in coming years.