July 3rd, 2006

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

Road Trip - Tullahome Tennessee
By Jack Hise, Evart Michigan

It all began last winter with a call from Mike Flanagan (Ohiotuber). He wanted to know if I would be interested in making a trip to Tennessee to visit Warren Patterson (WarrenP) to spend a couple of days fishing with him. I looked at my calendar and saw no pressing obligations; retired you know.

At 12:45p.m. June 21st, I left for Canton, Ohio to hook up with Mike. I was one hour and 45 minutes late in leaving as the body shop was still assembling parts to my deer damaged Jeep. It was an uneventful trip and I pulled into Mike's around 7 that evening, 382 miles of just waiting to see what was going to fall off.

We transferred my gear to Mike's Jeep and went for dinner and a few "refreshments." Of course Mike had to take me to see all my adopted grand children. What a wonderful family he has and the Grand Kids are spoiled rotten. I did not get to meet his wife Colleen as she was out of town.

Our plan was to leave at 0500 Thursday for Tullahome, a nine-plus-hour trip with a stop in Nashville to meet Leo deMonbreun (deleo6446), an Army buddy of Mike's that he hadn't seen in some 40 years. Well, being like two 6-year-olds on Christmas Eve we stayed up late and got on the road at 0800 instead.

Our trip was interrupted by a severe thunderstorm in southern Kentucky. The sky was getting darker and darker; the wind shifted direction several times and became very strong. We came to the conclusion that we should get off I65 and sit it out. No sooner did we hit the exit ramp at Elizabethtown, KY and the storm hit. Visibility went to ten feet instantly and we were forced to creep down the ramp at about 5 mph. We found a nice restaurant to wait it out in but the rain was coming in sheets at a 45 degree angle. After 10 or 15 minutes we made it inside and had some sweet tea while we dried off and the storm blew over.

We then connected with Leo in Nashville about 4:30p.m. at his office. The reunion of Mike and Leo turned into a three hour layover and dinner. They are both great guy's and time just sort of went buy while we exchanged ideas and stories.

Back on the road to Tullahome, about an hour away, Mike and I discussed how great it was to put names to faces of all the friends we've made on FAOL. For those who have yet to experience meeting face to face another member I can only say it gets even better.

We had kept Warren up to date on where we were and when we should arrive at all times so he was waiting for us when we pulled up to the motel office. We had no problem recognizing him as he walked out of the office door with a big grin and pushed his glasses back with a certain finger. And yes grown men do hug. More faces to names.

After checking in we followed Warren over to his home, had a late night snack and told lies till the wee hours of the morning. Warren is a transplanted Yankee but all southerners should be proud of his display of "Southern Hospitality."

It was about 2 am. when we got back to the motel. We had agreed that Warren would be there to take us fishing at 9 am. By the time we got our gear unloaded and rigged and re-packed it was close to 4 am. Understand that we were still like two kids in a candy store, wound up tighter than my first furled leader.

We had rigged both of our 'boo's with 7' 6" furled leaders and 5' of 6# tippet per Warren's instructions. He had tied six flies for us, two poppers and two each of weighted nymphs. Neither Mike nor I were experienced nymph fishers and the five feet of tippet seemed a bit much but who is to argue with the master?

Next Week "The Rest of the Story"
~ Catcus Jack

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