Returning in 2014, Bristol Motor Speedway serves as the backdrop for the second installment of the Thunder Valley Fly & Wine. Instructional seminars on fly fishing from the mountains to the Marquesas, interactive opportunities, including a casting pool 100 feet long, a wine garden for adults and a kids expo for the younger ones all are on the agenda – and all in the shadow of the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. The weekend kicks off with F.I.S.H. – Fly Invitational on the South Holston – and the chance to test some of the best trout waters east of the Mississippi. Whether fishing on blue-ribbon streams or sampling blue-ribbon selections from regional vineyards, combine enjoying the beauty of our region with helping a great cause. Proceeds benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, assisting needy youth in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Join us, April 25-27.
What: Fly Kids 101 Expo
Where: Bristol Motor Speedway Hospitality Village
When: Saturday, April 26
How: Kids 12 and under enter and fish FREE
While the kids-at-heart are checking out vendors, exhibits or maybe attending an exclusive luncheon, actual kids, at-heart and otherwise, have the chance to participate in the Fly Kids 101 Expo. With trout fishing on the BMS property, courtesy of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Association, kids 12-and-under have a free chance to hook one of the most elusive of all game fish.
Kids participating in the fishing program must supply their own gear: rods, reels, bait, etc., and all trout landed during these program times must be catch-and-release and are not to be consumed.
Speaking of bait, what kid doesn’t like bugs? Bugs, bugs and more, well … bugs will be the topic of clinics for kids on the various types of aquatic insects especially which ones fish like for breakfast, or lunch or supper.
In addition to the fishing sessions and bugging out, clinics for the youngsters on the skills of fly casting occur as well as seminars on water and fishing safety.
There are games, crafts, and other activities – maybe even a visit from BMS/D mascots Bump and Run — as well. All of this is in the Kids’ Expo section in the Bristol Motor Speedway Hospitality Village, at the edge of Beaver Creek between Bristol Motor Speedway and Bristol Dragway.
Children seven and under need to be accompanied by an adult.
* More information including times, will be announced closer to the event. Stay tuned!
Jim Casada is a son of the Smokies who grew up in Bryson City, N. C. and says “a corner of my soul still belongs to the high country.” His formal education includes a B. A. in history from King College (Bristol, TN), an M. A. in British history from Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA), and a Ph. D. in British imperial history from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN). He taught at Winthrop University from 1971-1996 before taking early retirement to devote all his energies to writing. While at Winthrop he rose to the rank of full professor, served two terms as chair of the graduate faculty, was recognized as the institution’s Distinguished Professor in 1983, and won numerous excellence in teaching awards.
He is a long-time member of a number of outdoor writers’ groups and has served as president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association, and the South Carolina Outdoor Press Association, as well as being a founding board member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association. Casada has been honored by the first two organizations as recipient of their top service awards. He has won upwards of 150 awards from regional and national organizations for his writing and photography and has been the recipient of numerous honors including the Federation of Fly Fishers’ Arnold Gingrich Memorial Award for contributions to angling literature, the South Carolina Wildlife Federation’s Harry Hampton Memorial Award, and the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Communicator of the Year.
Casada is the author or editor of more than 40 books, including three on fly fishing, and has written forewords, contributed chapters, or provided introductions to upwards of 100 books. He writes weekly columns for two newspapers and holds masthead positions with several magazines. He serves as Editor-at-Large for Sporting Classics and writes a regular column for Covey Rise. Casada is Editor of the “Outdoor Tennessee” series published by the University of Tennessee Press and the “Firearms Classics” series from Palladium Press. His work has appeared in virtually every major outdoor-related publication and over the course of his career he has had more than 5000 articles published.
His most recent books include Remembering the Greats: Profiles of Turkey Hunting’s Old Masters (2012), The Literature of Turkey Hunting (2011), Passages (co-edited with Chuck Wechsler—2011), Carolina Christmas (2010), Classic O’Connor (2010), and A Pursuit of Passion: An Insider’s Guide to Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (2009). He considers the latter work his “book of a lifetime” and it won major awards when first published. Casada’s present projects include work on a biography of Archibald Rutledge, a book of profiles on grand characters from the Great Smokies, and a collection of essays on people, places, and folkways of the southern Appalachians.
Chris Willen has been musky fishing for well over a decade, from the freestone rivers of the Upper Midwest to the limestone rivers of the Cumberland plateau and most places in between. His full-time guide service specializes in hunting wild, native musky in the beautiful lakes, rivers and flowages of northern Wisconsin. A knowledgeable and innovative angler, Chris can customize a day on the water to match any skill set, from beginning musky fly anglers just getting started in the sport to more experienced anglers looking to sharpen their skills with fresh methods and new approaches. Chris’s guide service offers all-day and half-day float trips on beautiful Northwoods watersheds. Contact Chris about your next musky fly fishing adventure, and possibly the fish of a lifetime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patrick is the 2014 Orvis Endorsed Guide of the Year and we are fortunate to have him based right here in Bristol, TN/VA. A native of Southwest Virginia, Patrick grew up fly fishing the freestone mountain streams for trout. Patrick was able to get his hands on a fly rod at an early age of 10 and hasn’t looked back. Growing up while other kids were playing video games and sports, Patrick chose fly fishing. 2012 & 2013 Orvis Guide of the Year Finalist and Alumni of the Western Rivers Professional Guide School. (www.mountainsportsltd.com)