My fishing buddy and I occasionally find ourselves in precarious situations, to say the least. One gloomy, overcast evening we were looking for a new spot to wade the Nolichucky River. We pulled off the road where there was a camping spot at a small sandy beach. In front of the beach was a part of the river that was like a small creek going around a good size island, you could also see the tail end of the island about thirty feet directly across from the beach. After crashing and sliding down the bank, which was more of a cliff, we decided to wade the small creek part and fish from a small rocky bar extending from the end of the island. My friend decided to fish in a pool just above where the small creek part of the river met the main part of the river. I decided to fish the main part of the river.
As I was making my way across the bar I glanced into the dim forest of the island and seen the first peculiarity of the evening. Just into the woods, deep enough to not easily be seen, was a cabin. This was confusing for two reasons, the first, we thought for sure that we were on national forest property. The second, I was surprised anyone would build a cabin on an island because, I would think, that a big flood would wash it away. I pointed it out to my friend and because the fishing was looking good and we were in the river, we did not think much of it.
Being in a section of the river surrounded by national forest and tall mountains, I thought that a bear could be around and did not want to get out of earshot of my friend. As the Nolichucky was roaring away, I was about four casts in when I heard him scream my name in a way that was not like he had caught a picture worthy smallmouth, something was wrong. He was looking off to the right and frantically reeling in fly line, I reeled in my fly line as well and we began hopping across rocks to meet in the middle of the bar. At first I could not see the creature, but as soon as we met in the middle I looked up and seen a creature hastily heading toward us. The creature was stocky with brown and black fur, as it was scrambling over rocks, its rectangular pupils were fixated on us as its head, with a single, long, thick, and curved horn, bobbled up and down. This goat, we concluded, was apparently keeper of the cabin. Instead of admitting we were scared, we told ourselves that we would rather leave it a mystery as to whether the goat was friendly or not. We retreated into the water.
The main part of the river was swift and strong, so we could only stand about five feet from the bank. We turned around and were shocked to see the goat surprisingly close behind us. In a stupefying silence we stood in the water and watched as the goat, at about two rocks from the water’s edge, stopped, looked down at the water, and back up at us with disdain, we were safe, for now. Shortly after, the goat began to slowly make its way up river, pausing to look back at us every few seconds, as if it knew we had to go back on land. Never leaving the water, we waded down to where the main part of the river met the creek part. We fished here till it became dark and we caught a few small and O.K. sized smallmouth. It wasn’t long before we had to go back. Again, never stepping on dry land unless we absolutely had to we waded around the edge of the pool, across the creek part, and scrambled up the cliff to our car. We never seen the goat aga