Fishing the Ravens Fork on the Cherokee reservation always seems a little too much like fishing in an amusement park for my taste. A few years ago Bob Barker showed up and pulled a metaphorical Happy Gilmore on the folks who own the bear viewing establishment, and I use “establishment” in the loosest sense of the word, no more than a mile from the fly fish only section. On your way to the river you can stop at Harrah’s and play the slots, buy a tomahawk and a real Indian head-dress, and catch the live dancing Indian do his thing (I shit you not). By the time you actually get around to fishing, chances are that your wallet is lot lighter than when you got there, but at least you now look like one of the Village People, and have done your part to steal a little more of a once proud people’s dignity. To keep up with the general Liberace like subtlety of the place, the Ravens Fork holds some of the largest rainbows on the east coast. These fish are not wild by any stretch of the imagination and are chosen specifically for their ability to reach party sub size before you can utter the word triploid. I stopped guiding Cherokee during the summer because tubing is allowed in the trophy section and one too many obese Native Americans have ruined my day by porpoising in the middle of the hole I happened to be fishing. I do try to make the trip over there a couple times a year when generation schedules don’t co-operate in E. TN and I can’t think of anywhere else I want to fish. I fish amusement park triploids because there fat, there fat because I fish them. It’s all a vicious cycle.