William "Bo" Cash was born in Morganton, NC in 1949 and has remained a life long resident
of that area nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He caught his first
fish at age 3 with the help of a nurturing grandfather. Bo learned to cast a flyrod in
1957 at the age 8 and by age 12 was catching wary tailwater trout on small dry flies in
the Catawba River below the dam on Lake James. He graduated from Morganton High School
in 1967, Wingate University (A.S.) in 1969, and earned a B.S degree in biology with a
concentration in ecology from Gardner-Webb University in 1971. Other courses and
certifications came from Western Piedmont Community College, Appalachian State University,
NC State University, and the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching at
Cullowhee, NC. He taught general sciences, ecology, and biology in Cleveland and Burke
Counties for 28 years. Bo was Teacher of the Year at Salem Junior High School in 1975.
Bo began tying flies in 1970, rod building in 1976, and first opened a fly shop in
1980. The shop was operated part time to allow for the teaching career. In 1998, he
"retired" from building rods after having completed well over 500 and in 2001 retired
from teaching biology at Freedom High School. He is a former vice president and
president of the local Table Rock Chapter of Trout Unlimited where he remains on the
board of directors. He served 2 years as NCTU council treasurer and 2 additional years
as vice-chair for the NCTU council. He also has worked as a volunteer for the NC
Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Forest Service on a number of stream projects. Bo
was awarded a District Conservation Award by the NC Wildlife Commission in 1984 and
served as an Advisor to the Wildlife Commission for the years 1987-89. He has been a
life member in Trout Unlimited and the Federation of Fly Fishers since the early 1980's.
He has had several articles published in periodicals on fly tying, fly fishing, and
other outdoor experiences. He has conducted adult and youth casting and fly tying
clinics for a number of years. His other devotions include skeet, rifle, and pistol
shooting, reloading, Indian artifacts, mountain biking, canoeing, camping,
cross-country skiing, bird and wildflower identification, photography, writing, grouse
and turkey hunting, training Brittany spaniels, and carpentry. Bo married Novah Wall
in 1978 who accompanies him on many of his trips.
His fly fishing travels have taken him to Michigan, Arkansas, Maine, Nova Scotia,
Vermont, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and most of the
streams of Southwest Virginia, East Tennessee, and Western North Carolina.
Bo began fishing the tailwaters of the now popular Watauga and South Holston Rivers
in Tennessee in 1971, when you "did not see another fly rod over there." Today, he still
learns from those rivers and the selective trout found therein. His favorite fishing
experiences still include some of those really remote mountain creeks near his house.
The biology, ecology, and educational background have been a strength in fueling the
interests of aquatic insects, trout stream biology, and other facets of nature. This
foundation has also been an asset in working with people in the art of fly fishing.