One begins to dream of cooler weather and better water flows. Recently I was thinking back on a trip last fall. Prior to the Tenkara Jam of that year, a friend and I decided to check off a bucket-list journey up a very special drainage in the Smokies. An idea that originally began as a multi-day trip became a one day blitz up the entire drainage, with a bushwhack out of the very top and a decent hike back to the car. We began in the dark, and it was in the dark we finally reached our cars. All told, I think it was in the vicinity of a 13 mile circuit, but with all of the bushwhacking, elevation gain and loss, we were both exhausted. On the whole, I would say we did more walking than fishing, but it was easily one of the best days of my life.
Trips like these inspire, not to outdo something or someone, but to seek that special quality that only wilderness can give.
There has been a stream that I have long wanted to fish in the Smokies. It is not a secret. In fact, I would say that it is the most mythicized of all the streams inside the park. A person can reach it in one of two ways. A really long hike, or by boat. Because of a notorious bear problem in that area, with frequent campsite closures, the former has never been too appealing to me, especially solo and overnight. One could hire a shuttle, but then you are on someone else's clock, so...
This arrived in the post the other day, all 2.3 HP of potential energy. It doesn't seem like much, but it should push the Flycraft around at a decent clip. Enough to get a tenkara angler across a lake and into the back of beyond, as Horace Kephart liked to call it. Enough to power a dream that will see me through until fall, and will likely see me through future moments as well; dreams that haven't even been dreamt yet.