July Meeting

President’s Corner

Mike Bryant (mjbryant1954@hotmail.com)


After a dismal amount of time fishing this spring and early summer, I’m back in the streams chasing rainbows and brookies. With the summer low, warm water conditions, I’m focused on longer leaders and searching for pools that likely hold fish. I’ve been fishing with a beetle pattern that I can up with that’s fooling a lot of fish this summer. Great fun to be back out on the water again. But I am conscious of how stressful very low flows have on fish and how improper handling can ultimately cause them to die. Check out an article that we’re reposting to improve the fish’s odds of survival.

We had another great Trout Camp again this year. The kids learned a lot and by most accounts they all caught trout and had a great time. It was an interesting mix of skill sets from those who had never fished for trout before to a young man who ties flies for Cabela’s. My grandson was visiting with us again this summer, so I had the opportunity to take him along for the evening fly tying at Trout Camp. He’s at a great age to gain exposure to the Park, fly fishing and conservation. We had a blast hiking, fishing (he caught his first trout this year), and completed the necessary criteria to become a junior ranger at the Park.

Spending time with my grandson, the kids at Trout Camp and watching the hundreds of kids participate in trout release (Trout in the Classroom) has made for a great summer.

July Meeting – Outdoor Cookout at River John’s

Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 28. Our annual outdoor meeting will again be at River John’s  (Map)  http://www.riverjohns.com/.  Fortunately Outdoor Chef Extraordinaire Mike McKinsey will be back on the grill. Check out the article in the Newsletter for more details.

I hope you’re having a great summer and getting the opportunity to get outside. I’ll see you at River John’s.


June Meeting

President’s Corner

Mike Bryant (mjbryant1954@hotmail.com)


MikeI wanted to start this month’s article with a several huge THANK YOU’s. We had another very successful semester with Trout-in-the-Classroom, including eight different schools releasing trout into the Little River. My first THANK YOU goes out to the Samantha and Mark, owners of the KOA Campground in Townsend. They have totally embraced the TIC program, providing a location on the Little River for all of our releases since we started the program a year and a half ago. We had over 400 kids involved in the release this spring! Samantha and Brian run an impeccable campground. So please support them by staying at their facility or have your friends and family stay there. My second thank you goes to Matt Kulp, Caleb Abramson and other Park employees who helped make the TIC releases a great success. Their ability to show and explain to the kid’s what’s living in our waters and why it’s important to have clean water was a perfect element to the release. The third and most important THANK YOU goes to our TIC volunteers and overall Volunteer Coordinator Joyce Frey. What can I say except that without their leadership, skills, dedication and enthusiasm, there would be no TIC program in our area. Many, many thanks for another great semester!!!

As I write this article, Trout Camp is only weeks away. All the planning is in place and all the volunteers are ready to go. I can’t wait. I’ll be a river helper when the kids are fishing in the Park and coordinating the nightly fly tying program. As you can imagine, this program takes a lot of volunteer time and commitment and I am proud that our Chapter continues to support Trout Camp.

Work on the Anthony Creek restoration has started. Our volunteer base continues to play a vital role in this and past restoration efforts along with all the other activities, i.e. water sampling. Many thanks to all of you who have volunteered your time and talents. You can be proud knowing your efforts are making a difference.

On a personal note, this year’s fishing has been nothing to write home about. After a terrible month of basically no fishing (i.e. no catching) in the Florida Everglades, my time on the water back here at home has been little to none. Heavy travel, a death in the family, multiple out-of-state visitors staying with us somehow kept my fly rods stacked up in the corner of my tying room. Then the dreaded kidney stone decided to move out of my kidney, which brought my fishing (and just about everything else) to a dead halt. But I’m improving and the month of June is usually kind to me. So, like most of you, I’m the eternal optimist when it comes to the next trip to the river.

June Meeting / Program – The legendary Walter Babb will be our guest tier at the June meeting. Walter will be tying and talking about his experiences in the Park. It’s a great way to see a legend at work and learn a thing or two. We meet at Calhoun’s in Maryville.

I hope you will be able to make the June meeting. Be safe and enjoy the summer.



Stocked TroutAfter years of delay the State Web-master finally fixed the TWRA website.  Mainly what I am talking about is the Trout Information/Stockings site. The links have been broken for years.  But the good news is now it is up and running.  The biggest change was going away from the (pdf.) Stockings site maps to the ArcGIS Online, Cloud-Based Mapping Platform.  Which at first I thought was a big mistake until I learn to could change the base maps.  When you open up the page you see a Imagery with Labels base map that has a satellite picture with very few labels.  At the top left of the page you will see where you can click on the basemap gallery, from there you can chose from nine different basemaps.  The National Geographic is the one I use and it has the best roads and streams labels. The old USA Topo show some of the hiking tails. The print button only prints part of the page so you will need to center it to print what you need.  So now the (T.N. Stocked Trout maps) link to the lift is now working.

Good fishing <((((<


May Meeting

President’s Corner

Mike Bryant (mjbryant1954@hotmail.com)


I hope most of you had the Mikeopportunity to read the Spring edition of TROUT, TU’s quarterly magazine. The issue focused on mentoring. The timing was perfect for me. I had just given my grandson his first fly rod for his ninth birthday. It’s a great age to expose a kid to the joys of the outdoors and respect for nature. He caught a handful of blue gills with a small popper before heading back to the house for a snack with Nana. My grandson will be spending a week with us this summer, so I’ll have plenty of opportunities to spend time with him in the Park chasing trout, skipping rocks and going for hikes.

Mentoring is a critical element of our mission to preserve the cold watersheds in and around the Park. And mentoring isn’t just for kids. Everyone from young children to teenagers to adults need encouragement and support on the journey to becoming our future conservation leaders. There are many ways you can help. Trout-in-the-Classroom, Trout Camp, 5 Rivers Program (college students) and our veterans (Project Healing Waters) are just some of our activities that you might consider volunteering your time.

Last month, the Little River Chapter Board of Directors unanimously voted to support a Project Healing Waters program for Maryville / Blount County. This new program is a natural growth out of the very successful Knoxville area PHW program. Success breeds success, so there will be new opportunities for our local vet’s to participate. I’m pleased that our Chapter will be supporting PHW.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped make our annual Little River Cleanup a success. We had 35 volunteers from our chapter, the Great Smoky Mountain Chapter, as well as students from UT. Thanks for everyone who helped and a special thanks to John Reinhardt for all his culinary skills in preparing lunch. The rain held off for the cleanup and lunch, though some of us got soaked afterwards in a downpour while fishing on the Little River. Of course, my rain jacket was in the truck!

Congratulations to Steve Moore for being named to the inaugural “100 Most Influential People in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park History”. This honor is well deserved.

Dr. Michael Freake of Lee University will be this month’s speaker at the May 26 meeting. The topic will be on hellbenders and the environmental challenges they face in here east Tennessee. We will again meet at Calhoun’s in Maryville. I love this time of the year. It’s a great time to get out into the Park. I hope to see you at the May meeting and out on a stream.