Mike Bryant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WOW!!! By all accounts, the Troutfest Banquet & Auction was another huge success! It was a night of fun, socializing, great food and a time of giving. Matt Kulp talked about the successes and upcoming opportunities in the Park. Steve Young was awarded our highest honor – the Eddy George Award. And we highlighted the great successes we have had with the past year’s Trout-in-the-Classroom programs. The TIC presentation was punctuated by a compassionate talk from Julia Ross (one of our TIC teachers from Townsend Elementary). But the star of the event was Fourth Grader Willow Rutter who provided a kid’s perspective on raising and releasing trout. There were many great items that were auctioned off. Many thanks to the Donation Committee, the Troutfest Committee, the Little River Chapter BOD for all their time and efforts. Many thanks to all the individuals, organizations and companies whose donations made this year’s Troutfest possible. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that we raised over $20,000 for the GSMNP Fisheries Department and the Steve Moore Youth Education Fund (See Troutfest photos by Joe Rentz at the end of the newsletter).
With Troutfest only a week gone, we focused on our annual Little River Clean-up. Over forty volunteers came to pick up litter around the river and road. Most everyone reported less trash than in years past – Good news! Many thanks to Mike McKinsey and Stan Smartt for yet another great lunch!
Towards the end of May, all four Trout-in-the-Class room classrooms will have field trips where the kids have the opportunity to release their baby trout into the wild. This is a fun and emotional event for the kids (and some adults).
Trout Camp will be held in June. John Thurman has done a great job of organizing this event. We have more volunteers and camper applications than ever before. I will bemanaging the fly tying during the evenings and helping the kids during their fishing trips. I can’t wait!
Ok, but what about fishing? Like the weather I’ve had my good days and my bad days. In early April I fished the South Holston and Watagua with friends. The South Holston fished fairly well during the first afternoon with several nice browns in hand. That evening it started to rain and proceeded to rain most of the next day. We were crazy enough to float the Watagua despite the 2-3” of rain that fell. We caught fish, but I think everyone was glad when we reached the takeout.
In the Park, John and I fished Thunderhead. In just a couple of hours I saw a higher variety of bugs than I had ever seen in the last ten years that I’ve fished the Park. We saw yellow sallies, brown stones, tan caddis, black caddis, sulfurs, light cahills, even a huge golden stonefly. And only thing the rainbows would eat was a yellow sally fly, they ignored everything else. Go figure!
I’ve had the opportunity to fish Lynn Camp and am happy to report it is in good shape and fishing well. But a word to the wise – you will need to hike a considerable way to find the fish. Lynn Camp is a beautiful stream. We have a lot to be proud of with all the efforts our TU volunteers put in with the Park Service supporting the restoration.
Our May meeting is Thursday, May 28 at Calhoun’s Restaurant (751 Watkins Rd.,Maryville, TN).
Susan Thrasher, a FFF Certified Casting Instructor and owner of Southern Brookies Fly Fishing will provide a presentation covering the trout waters of the Caney Fork River. If you are interested in fishing the Caney Fork this is the presentation to see. I hope you are enjoying spring. It’s a great time to be outside!