A Brief History
The Tennessee Valley Angler is a blog committed to fly fishing with a focus on the North Alabama/East Tennessee area. Technically, ground zero for TVangler’s activities is Huntsville, AL, but we spend enough time in East Tennessee to claim that as a second home. Of course, we occasionally stray from both our main topic of fly fishing and geographic area of focus. We offer no apologies for doing so. The site has its origins in a bass fishing site from way back called Bass Labs, online back in the late 90s. You don’t remember it because no one visited it. TVangler began to resemble its current state sometime in 2006, thanks to the wonderful WordPress blogging software. Over the years our outdoor pursuits have evolved, but the one remaining always at the center has been fly fishing. Some of us hunt various game, we all continue to use conventional fishing tackle on occasion, a few of us are amateur outdoor photographers, and we’ve all delved into hiking and backpacking (for their own sakes, not jut to get to the fishing). Still, the thread that binds this group of friends is the fly fishing, and I suspect it always will. At least I hope so. Fly fishing is just too much fun to miss out on.
The site is designed and maintained by me, Nathan Kennedy. I am a founding member of TVangler along with my good friend Dewayne Ricketts and my brother Jonathan Kennedy. Dewayne contributes often to the site in the form of articles and photography. Due to the realities of being young, married and just out of school, Jonathan has been unable to contribute much in the last year, but he aims to begin contributing again as soon as possible. Along the way, we’ve made several friends and accepted some of their efforts for publication on the site. Among these are Matt Walker and Jason Kelley. Saving the best for last, my wife Jacqulyn and Dewayne’s wife Katie contribute photography and the occasional article to the site. They allow us to devote far too much time to our outdoor pursuits and have come to love fly fishing and camping enough to accompany us on many a trip. Below you can read a little about each of us.
The idea here is for each contributor to introduce themselves.
My name is Nathan Kennedy. I am a founding member of The Tennessee Valley Angler. I designed virtually all of the graphics for the site layout and continue to handle the maintenance. I contribute many of the articles and photography on the site as well. I work as an engineer in Huntsville, AL to make my living. I am married to the world’s most wonderful girl, Jacqulyn. A day never passes without me thanking God for placing her in my life. My passions are fly fishing, rod-building/making, outdoor photography, backpacking, good food, Alabama football, Boston Red Sox baseball, great literature and – most of all – my Christian faith.
My dream is to some day be free to pursue a life in the outdoors through writing, photography and fly fishing. As you can see from the many examples on this site, my writing and photography still have a ways to go, but I’ll not stop trying. I love the mountains of the Rocky Mountain West, but I will probably always call the modest hills of the Southeast home. There are much worse places the fly fisher or outdoorsman could find himself. North Alabama boasts an abundance of warmwater opportunities and even a few cold water options. Within minutes, I can be fishing for trophy largemouths on a world class reservoir, wading a cool stream for smallmouths, canoeing a backcountry slough or creek for spotted bass, or even casting for trout on a tailwater. Within three hours I could be pestering wild trout in the mountains of East Tennessee. We have an abundance of hiking and backpacking opportunities nearby, and the hunting for whitetail deer is some of the best in the country, with ample public access. So, although I’m often distracted by the lure of far off destinations, I’m a pretty lucky fellow to be where I am.
Although it is not my intention to use this site as a vehicle for sermonizing, you should be aware, as stated above, that I am a Christian and consider that fact to be the central one of my life. It is, therefore, impossible for me to communicate at length without my faith becoming visible, nor is it my goal to keep it hidden. Certainly, you can expect to see my Christian viewpoint featured prominently in any discussion of ethics, as I believe ethics or moral values are grounded in the god of Christianity. Up until the point of this writing, I have done a rather poor job of representing Christ in both my everyday life and in my writing. However, I do intend to continue in my quest to improve, and I assure you that any failing exhibited by me is attributable specifically to my own weaknesses and shortcomings, not to the Christian faith in general. If you are interested in Christianity, its grounds for belief and other topics, please visit the page I’ve created with links to valuable sources of study.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind – Matthew 22:28 (NIV)
Jacqulyn has the misfortune of being married to Nathan, but being married to Nathan has brought with it some privileges. Specifically, he has taken her all over the country in the quest for good fly fishing and has taught her the ropes of the sport. Jacqulyn has caught many a memorable trout, but she really has a bead on the wary browns, catching a nice one from the Gibbon River in Yellowstone and another from Deep Creek in the Smokies. Jacqulyn works as an engineer in Huntsville, AL and hopes to convince Nathan to abandon his dreams of retiring in Montana to settle down in lovely Bridgeport, AL.
Insane was born and raised here in the Huntsville area, and is what you might call a true “southern boy.” Despite his great love for the outdoors, he obtained a degree in Civil Engineering and perhaps the worst of all has a desk job. Probably the most colorful of the staff, his hobbies tend to be more than we would have time to list. Thanks to Hawgdaddy, his symptoms have been diagnosed as AADD (Adult Attention Deficity Disorder) and doesn’t know from one day to the next what he will be doing. While fishing for trout is one of his passions, Insane’s interest in warm water fly fishing has become more prevalent. Of course, it all depends on if his deer hunting, duck hunting, dog training, newly found jeep addiction, and alabama football allows him to participate. Despite his AADD, Insane is an avid outdoorsman who one day hopes to work part time as an outdoor photographer or writer.
Do we need to explain why he has the nickname “Insane?”
Katie is married to Dewayne and has (somewhat reluctantly) taken up the sport of fly fishing. A few of us still aren’t convinced that she wouldn’t rather be shopping in Pigeon Forge, but she puts a good face on the whole thing, even managing to outfish Dewayne a time or two. We’ll never forget the time Dewayne
lied to her about forgot to tell her about there being no showers at the Elkmont campground. Haha…good times… Katie contributed a nice article about fly fishing the Sipsey Fork tailwater near Jasper, AL.
New to fly fishing, Matt brings an irreverent, and sometimes very weird, viewpoint on fishing and life in general. He lives in beautiful New Market, Alabama and frequently haunts the Flint River – for anything that’s biting.