Jim Casada, who was born January 28, 1942, is a son of the Smokies. He grew up in Bryson City, NC and cut his sporting teeth hunting and fishing in and around this small mountain town. He says “a corner of my heart” still belongs to the high country.
Jim earned a B. A. in history from King College, Bristol, TN (1964), an M. A. in British history from Virginia Tech (1967), and a Ph. D. in British imperial history from Vanderbilt University (1972). He taught history at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC (where he still lives) from 1972-1996 before taking early retirement to work as a full-time freelance writer/photographer. While at Winthrop he rose to the rank of tenured full professor, was recognized as the institution’s Distinguished Professor (1983), and served two terms as chairman of the graduate faculty. He is a founding member and past president of the South Carolina Outdoor Press Association, a member and past president (two terms) of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association, founding board member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association, and past president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.
He has won almost two hundred craft awards for his writing and photography, is an Honorary Life Member and recipient of the Arnold Gingrich Memorial Award of the Federation of Fly Fishers, was an inaugural inductee into the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians Hall of Fame, in 2007 he was recognized by the National Wild Turkey Federation as its Communicator of the Year and is a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame of Swain County High School (basketball) and Winthrop University (soccer coach).