American Pride

By Ronnie Parris

Hey everybody! I hope this month finds you in good health and great spirits. I just want to take a few minutes to thank our great men and women in our military, and the ones who have long since gone, for their immeasurable sacrifice. You know, in the bible it says, “There is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend”. Everyday, somewhere in the world, our fighting men and women are asked to do this very thing, never knowing if this will be the day they don’t return home to there family and loved ones. I thank God that I live in a country where I have the freedoms to worship in the religion I choose, take my gun and hit the woods to hunt or use it to protect my family, get in my boat and hit the lake for a day of fishing…The list goes on and on, and are all things we take for granted. If you compare ours to some of the other countries, many of these are things their citizens are not allowed to do. These privileges weren’t given to use but paid for with the lives of our military veterans and for this, we should show them all the honor and respect they deserve. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, we should all be proud to live in this great Country. The picture with this article is the flag displayed on the Hiwassee Dam and I would like to applaud them; it puts chills on me every time I see it waving in the wind, knowing what it stands for. Hopefully, our veterans are getting to be out on the water enjoying this fine weather and the great fishing.

The last few weeks seem to have been some of the best of the year, no matter which lake I’ve been on. As the water levels dropping for the winter draws downs, the bite has amped up. The most aggressive fish have been the spotted bass, which has accounted for over half of our catches. The bait, in all of our lakes, has had the best hatches in years and, although that sometimes makes the fish not have to feed as much in the long run, it will probably make for more, and bigger, fish.

My hopes and prayers are that everyone stays as safe as they can with this COVID pandemic and that they can get out and enjoy this great part of the country we are blessed to live in. Thanks again to our great military men and women that makes this possible for all of us.

Ronnie Parris is owner and head guide of Smoky Mountain Outdoors Unlimited-Fontana Lake Fishing Guides, headquartered in Bryson City, N.C., heart of the Great Smoky Mountains; (828) 488-9711.