Been on vacation this week. Spent a few days in North Carolina Mountains with the family... did all the tourism stuff... rafted Nantahala

... mined for rubies and emeralds, visited Biltmore,

... trout fished with a guide one day (awesome scenery - few fish)

... and gambled away more than I should have at Harrah's in Cherokee.

Needed a fishing fix when I got home... hit the water with my friend Dickey Porter Wednesday AM. We found some boat-paddle-sized white bass.

Then we chased spots for a while. Fun morning.

Wednesday afternoon I had the honor of hosting UTC Basketball Coach John Shulman and his son Tanner chasing cats. Coach Shulman said Tanner spotted the fishing trip I donated to a UTC Athletics Dept. Fundraising Auction, and he wanted it bad. I "scouted" for about an hour before they got there and only caught three. But we really lucked out because just about the time we started fishing, they cranked up all four generators hard. The fresh water turned the fish on big time and for about an hour we smoked 'em!

Not real big fish, but Coach Shulman and Tanner were amazed at the numbers.

The heavy current made it sort of tough fishing, but they were both up to the task. Obviously they're big time sports guys so they made a bit of a competition out of it! It was nip & tuck for a while, until Coach put his rod down and just let Tanner take over.

It was a great afternoon. I got an interesting glimpse at the life of a Coach. He's in the middle of recruiting and setting schedules, and had to take several phone calls in the 3 hours we were out for staff guidance and negotiations. He says it's tough to get quality time with his three sons, but he makes it happen. He's a good man.

Tomorrow I'm going striper fishing on Watts Bar. It's been a long time since I've chased stripers. Can't wait... and that is why life is good and gettin' better everyday!
Read my book, "An Outdoor State of Mind"
"The outdoors is not just a place, it's a state of mind."