By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
If you’re looking for Michael Bradley on a weekend, a good place to check would be on a river with a fly rod in his hand. The EBCI tribal member has been spending a lot of his weekends since 2012 competing in fly fishing competitions, and he is very successful.
Bradley, who works during the week at the Cherokee Youth Center, sits atop the leaderboard for Trout Legend for 2014 with a total of 3,651 points. The nearest competitor in second place has 2,508 points. So far this season, he has two first place finishes and a second place finish.
He has competed in six events this year including:
- Callaway V, Pine Mountain, Ga., Jan. 18 – fourth place
- Wilson Creek Wipeout, Lenoir, Jan. 25 – second place
- DD Mini Series, Helen, Ga., Feb. 9 – 11th place
- Pisgah Fly Masters ’14, Brevard, Feb. 15 – first place
- TL TakeOver Harmans 1, Cabins, WV, March 1 – fourth place
- Toccoa DH Mini II, Blue Ridge, Ga., March 8 – first place
Bradley said teaching is one of his favorite parts of fishing. In his spare time, he serves as a guide for River’s Edge Outfitters in Cherokee. “One of my favorite things is to watch somebody else catch a fish and for me to help them do it.”
He also enjoys the peacefulness. “It’s a lot more relaxing than anything I’ve ever done. It just gets me away from everything. I feel that it keeps me away from partying or going out at night because I like to be out there fishing all day, and if I’m sleeping all day, I can’t do that.”
Bradley has his sights set high, and is aiming at making the Team USA Fly Fishing Team. He is planning on competing in several big events this year including several in New York in June and The America Cup on Sept. 9-14 in Vail, Colo. He is also gearing up for the Trout Legend Championship on Nov. 14-16 in Blue Ridge, Ga.
To help him in his travels, the Cherokee Youth Center is hosting two fundraisers including:
- Indian Tacos sale on April 4 from 11am – 1:30pm or until all is gone
- Spaghetti Dinner on April 18 from 11am – 1:30pm or until all is gone
For more information on trout fishing competitions in the area and to keep up with Bradley’s season, visit troutlegend.com.