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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday CARDINAL COUPLE -- C.E. and I go trout fishing.


-Paul returns to the stream

-More hip trouble at UofL?

One of my favorite reasons to go to Gatlinburg is to go fishing with my friend C.E. I met him years ago on the Arts and Crafts Community loop south of Gatlinburg. We hit it off right off the bat. 
Mind you, he's a die-hard Vols fan...but we still get along quite well. 

When I go to Gatlinburg, I usually call him a few days in advance. Although he still owns his shop on "the loop"...he lets his daughter and son-in-law handle the day-to-day stuff. That allows him plenty of time for his passion. Trout fishing. 

We set up a trip for Friday, and C.E. likes to get "out and at them" he swung by our cabin to pick me up at 5:30 a.m. I hear you groaning out there...yes, it was early...but a few cups of coffee and his lively conversation had me going full throttle in no time. We stopped for a quick breakfast and we were ready to hit the waters as the sun was coming up.  Accompanying us was his newest beagle, Snoopy. 

Dancing with Bears in Pigeon Forge! 
For our trips, I bring several things. My "hip waders", rod and reel, hand-held scoop net and a few artificial flies. I proudly wear one of my UofL hats when I go hit the secluded streams where he likes to fish. The trout don't seem to mind.

His 4X4 got us about a quarter of a mile from where he were going to fish. It took us about a half hour time to drive there...we gathered up our gear and hiked in the rest of the way. Fortunately, we didn't run into any snakes on the way...but did startle a wild turkey...who fluffed off in anger and gave us a verbal assault. I'm not the most limber of guys anymore, and it took me awhile to get down the steep bank and into the water. He's 70+years old and beat me to the stream by several minutes. Must be the air or water down here...he had the agility of a man half his age. 

We've fished this area before...some really nice brown and rainbow trout can be pulled out of the holes in the area. There were brook in the water as well, but those are strictly "catch and release" in the Smokies for now. Snoopy entertained himself by flushing rabbits out of the brush and jumping in and out of the slow moving parts of the stream. I can't divulge the exact location...C.R. guards his trout spots closely. 

Since I only go trout-fishing once a year anymore, it takes me awhile at the beginning to get accurate at casting again. I was still trying to hit holes with my casts when he caught the first fish of the day, a fighting brown that measured in about an inch short of "keeper" size. We catch and release if they aren't keepers, so this one got a reprieve.

C.R. had pulled in three, one keeper size, before I got my first strike. A good gave me a nice five minute battle before I got a net on him. A keeper brown, biggest of the day, so far. 

We fished the spot, walking the side of the stream and bank, for several hours. We totalled 10 trout "keeper" size and that was the limit for the day...five each (even though he caught seven and I just hooked three). We also released some furious-fighting "brookies" per park regulations. I was tired but happy as we went up the bank and back to his 4X4. His wife, Cheryl, had prepared some bologna and cheese sandwiches for us and we ate those and sipped on iced tea sitting under an expansive, shady oak tree. It was barely noon and it already felt like it was ninety degrees. C.R. is working with Snoopy on tracking rabbits and the beagle is getting good at it.  

I rode back with him to his house and we went to his garage to filet our catch. One thing that we have in common is that he's also a women's basketball fan...the Vols, of course...and as we de-boned our catch we talked Pat Summit, SEC and also UofL. C.R. is a big Walz fan. He kids me that Jeff will be learning the words to "Rocky Top" in a few years. I kid him back that UofL WBB will lead the nation in attendance now that Pat has retired.  

Once we finished our knife-work, he stuck the filets in cool, salty water until breading in a couple of hours. We all were to be guest for dinner...fried trout, slaw, potato salad, green beans and chicken fingers for the kids. Sonja and crew arrived around 5 p.m. with cherry pies for dessert.

All the food was delicious. He uses a cast-iron skillet and a cornmeal batter. Olive oil, not vegetable oil or lard to fry the filets in. The filets were fresh and meaty. No one left the table hungry. 

Finally, after lemonade and conversation on their huge front porch, the evening took upon us and we left C.R, his wife and his seemingly never-out-of energy beagle Snoopy. One of those days you wish you could capture in a jar and release whenever you're feeling blue or frustrated. 

Have a great weekend, Cardinal Couple readers! 



Rumors spreading that another of Louisville's women's basketball team member might be going under the knife are true. Senior forward Asia Taylor has been experiencing hip pain. She is expected to be back and 100% by the start of the season.

Better to get these things taken care of before the season begins. And, maybe the rest of the Cardinal squad should walk around in medieval armor suits to avoid any further injuries for the season begins. 


  1. Did the brook trout have any size yet, Paul? I was there earlier this spring...all I caught were about 4-5 inches. They are voracious fighters though.

    Joe Hill

    1. We pulled in a couple of nice 8-9 inch brookies, Joe...but turned them loose after catching them. Brook trout put up a heck of a fight and it looks like the re-stocking efforts are going least where we were.

  2. Hi,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blog posts about the Arts and Crafts Community to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you :)


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