mores and silver maple trees, support a
diversity of wildlife that includes bears,
bald eagles, and deer. Exploring these
waters by boat or paddle craft provides
breathtaking views. Some of my greatest memories are days of floating down
the Clinch River, watching bald eagles
soaring overhead and deer wading in the
river, while I teased a rainbow trout with
my homemade fly.
Each year, thousands of people come
here from around the world to fish or
vacation, attracted by the natural beauty
and history of the region. The Great
Smoky Mountain National Park strad-
dles the border of North Carolina and
Tennessee. This astonishing landscape
encompasses millions of acres of forests
and an abundance of wildflowers that
bloom year-round. I’ve spent countless
hours hiking the trails and taking photos
of bear and deer in Cades Cove.
The Museum of Appalachia, located
in Norris, Tennessee, is a living-history
museum that interprets the pioneer and
early 20th-century period of the Southern
Appalachian region of the United States.
My first job out of high school was
with the museum as a sheep shearer.
To this day, sheep shearing continues
to be a mainstay of the annual October
festival. Another favorite attraction is
Ripley’s Aquarium of The Smokies in
Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The aquarium is
teeming with life, including more than
10,000 sea creatures – there are more
fish in the aquarium than people living
in Gatlinburg. Other area attractions
include the Oak Ridge Atomic Museum
of Science & Energy, Dollywood Family
Amusement Park, and Dollywood’s
Splash Country. Tennessee delivers
something for everyone.
Whether you choose catfish or
stripers, the passion and excitement of
chasing trophy fish can be found around
Knoxville, from Melton Hill Lake to
the Tennessee River. Whether it’s the
jolting sound of a screaming bait-clicker
or the crushing top-water explosion
that comes with a swimbait, fishing
rewards the senses in so many ways.
Striper fishing is excellent from March
all through December. Catfish fishing
is excellent from March to late May
and from August through December.
There are other guides in this neck of
the woods, too, and we’d all be happy to
show you a taste of the action and put
you on some fish.
Angler, writer, and business owner
Captain Scott Manning reports that the
attractions mentioned in his story were
spared in the tragic December fires, and
anglers are returning to area waters. You
can find him stalking the river banks in
his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.
The Marinas on
Norris Dam Marina
Enjoy day cruises
aboard an authentic
Tennessee River-boat Company
Captain Scott Manning regales his fishing
clients with Tennessee River legends while
they reel in monster catfish and stripers.
BY CAPTAIN SCOTT MANNING
FEBRUARY | MARCH 2017 BoatU.S. Magazine | 63
Great Smoky Mountains National Park