It's pretty easy to attack the backing to the line. There are several knots that you can use. The first is the Nail Knot, second the Albright knot, third the Duncan Loop. Any of these should work. I normally use the Nail or the Duncan Loop. To attach backing to the reel, you could use either the Duncan Loop or the Arbor Knot. I normally use the Arbor Knot because that's what I use on my other reels. Here are some sights for these knots, and other knots also.
Fishing Knots and Fly Fishing knots - Learn to Tie - Illustrated Tying Instructions
Grog's Fishing Knots Index
I'm glad to see someone else fishes the Hiwassee too! I was begining to think I was the only one who fished that river! If you ever want a fishing partner shoot me a PM. Hope all this helps.
ps I've had some good luck with a Royal Wulf, Black Wooly, and a BH Prince on the river recently.