STREAMS OF THOUGHT—NOTES FROM THE PRESIDENT

PRESIDENT’S LETTER
FISHING QUOTE OF THE MONTH

Newsletter

‘THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE TO ANOTHER FISHERMAN IS TO PUT A GOOD FISH BACK’ LEE WULFF

wolf creek

So—by now you may have figured that when I put another water picture up (this one is of Wolff Creek Falls aways back in the Cherokee National Forest near an area the TWRA is considering reclaiming for Brook Trout) means I haven’t done well in the catchin’ department. Right On!! Several tries with less success including at the base of these falls (one success on Tremont was a kinda accident—fly in water not being observed while negotiating rocks, pull up rod to cast and… FISH ON!!). Even extended to Oregon where we spent some beautiful days with family; on North Umqua, fish hitting surface, many casts and no takes. However, the Dogwood, Redbud, and wildflowers blooming are reminders that spring has sprung despite a possible step back or two in the near future. Fishing will get better I am sure of it!

With spring in the air, I hope y’all can get out and enjoy the nature on our doorstep. There are a couple of opportunities through TU coming up. The Smoky Mountain Chapter is hosting a meet and greet at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area (see associated article below for details) and we are still planning to have our live meeting at River John’s in July. Also, remember the volunteer opportunities in the Park, both those that the Little River Chapter coordinate as well as other VIP programs coordinated by the Park Staff (I myself go out and look at trees as part of the Phenology tracking program—great excuse to get outdoors)

In last month’s Newsletter Joyce put together a great summary of Eddie George, a founding member of the Little River Chapter, the namesake of the Chapter Award for the most volunteer hours in the Park during a calendar year, and the originator of the Eddie George Nymph. However, many of us never got to meet or know him. Somehow a picture brings him closer; I have forgotten where I found this (and I am not sure that is a big trout he is holding up) but it reminds me we were all young once and have caught a ‘big-un’ now and (maybe) again.

Best wishes and tight lines! — Steve Young

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TIM FLAGLER PRESENTATION NOTES

TROUT SPEY FISHING
LRCTU CHAPTER MEETING VIA ZOOM 30 MARCH 2021
For you that missed it Tim Flagler gave a very informative talk on Trout Spey Fishing at the March 30 Chapter meeting. He included parts on equipment, rigging, and flies along with numerous videos demonstrating the techniques he was presenting. I like the idea of saving my shoulder when fishing bigger rivers (e.g., the Clinch or the French Broad when they are generating).
Equipment and Rigging Options for Trout Spey Fishing. Here are suggested setups that Tim uses routinely when fishing with this style

Trout Spey Rigs–Rod-Reel Combos, Lines, Heads and Tips

  • FIRST:
  • single hand trout spey
    Rod: Scott Radian, 9’ 5-weight
    Shooting Line: OPST 30 lb Laser Line
    Head: OPST Commando Head, 200 grain, 13.5’
    Tip: OPST Commando Floating Tip, 20 grain, 5’

  • SECOND:
  • two-hand Scandi, smaller flies (including dries, wets, nymphs of sizes usually associated with
    regular trout fishing), lighter tips
    Rod: Orvis Clearwater, 11’4” 3-weight
    Shooting Line: .025” shooting line
    Head: Scientific Anglers Scandi Lite, 180 grain, 20’
    Tip: Orvis poly leader, 7’, intermediate

  • THIRD:
  • two-hand Skagit; for larger, heavier flies (usually streamers), and tips
    Rod: Douglas 10’ 6” 4-weight
    Shooting Line: OPST 35 lb Laser Line
    Head: OPST Commando Head, 225 grain, 13.5’
    Tip: OPST Sink Tip, 96 grain, 12’, Bucket Series

  • Note; Tippet with these rigs. Tim uses fluorocarbon tippet for any sinking fly (2x or
    so for large flies) and mono for floaters and sometimes wets. Usually in lengths of 2 – 4- feet.
    Tim also showed a number of his exquisitely tied flies he routinely uses when fishing with this
    technique. All the flies that were included in the presentation are on Tim’s YouTube channel, and there are playlists there which can help narrow patterns down by
    category: https://www.youtube.com/user/tightlinevideo .

Here are links to Tim’s favorite trout
spey flies:

Pine Squirrel Trout Spey Streamer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vpLndd3G7w&t=
Isonychia Nymph
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEw6LsZbEGg
Mickey Finn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzS4LjZ5Zj8

Squirrel & Herl Bugger
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeaIoU9ei5g&t=
Composite Loop Zonker
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_J3i_UQJi8
Hare’s Ear Wet Fly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLjBq9hRwNU
Light Cahill Wet Fly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnqty3n7C5Q&t=


I wasn’t aware of this but Tim does a monthly virtual “Tie-Off” with Tom Rosenbauer of Orvis. They’re held the first Monday of the month on Facebook Live. The next one is Monday, April 5th. You can view past Tie-Off’s on Orvis Fly Fishing Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/orvisflyfishing), just go to events, then past events and scroll down. Sounds like fun!


Also, Tim has several websites that provide much useful information. They are
tightlineproductions@comcast.net
www.tightlinevideo.com
www.practicalpatterns.com
www.flyfishstories.com

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March Meeting

STREAMS OF THOUGHT—NOTES FROM THE PRESIDENT

Zoom Meeting : March 30th 7pmSpey-Rod Fishing by Tim Flagler.

Newsletter

BIG CREEK DRIVES ME BATTY, HAS IT BEEN COLD?, TECHNICAL FOUL UP & PATIENCE

If you follow sports at all you have heard or seen the phenomenon that some teams just have it over others no matter their relative standings or skill levels. Well, that is me and Big Creek at the north end of the Park.  Some of the most beautiful and fishy-looking water I have seen—but Big Creek wins out most every time despite my best efforts.  I have done OK on occasion but my Batting Average and RBI totals aren’t the greatest.  But having said that, will I be going back?  You betch’um Red Ryder!!—laughing fish or not.  Also, a day on the stream doesn’t have to be about catching fish, but rather the beauty of nature around you and the wildlife you see.  My Big Creek day was highlighted by this little fellow I found on a stream-side rock sitting in the sun.  I thought it was dead but a little nudge and it came to life.  I think he/she was too cold to fly which didn’t portend well for the coming evening, but feisty enough to let me know to keep my distance!

Some folks have told me that this winter hasn’t seemed too different than previous.  But my heating bill and ‘fish-o-meter’ say different.  Our kwhs for January and February are the highest of our 9-year run here.  My lack of fishing time because of low water temps also fuels my prejudice!  But the immediate forecast looks more ‘spring-like’.  Time for me to hit the water—hope you can too.

Big thanks to Charity and Ian and all the Little River members for having the patience to preserver through my technical goof-up.  For the first night I somehow made 2 Zoom meeting notices, kept one for me and sent the other to everyone else.  Well patience paid off as we had a great turnout on the next Tuesday (over 30 participants) and were treated to a very informative talk on winter fishing by Charity and Ian.  Although spring appears to be coming along there is bound to be a cold snap or two before spring comes to stay and those coaching tips will be useful.

Best wishes and tight lines! — Steve Young

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February Newsletter

FISHING QUOTE OF THE MONTH
‘STRESS IS CAUSED BY NOT FISHING ENOUGH’

STREAMS OF THOUGHT—NOTES FROM THE PRESIDENT
WINTER FISHING, I GOT THE SHOT, UPCOMING ACTIVITIES

Steve Young

Newsletter

I saw the quote at the top of the page somewhere online and thought ‘yup, that’s me’. I realized that it has been nearly a month since I had ventured out to cast a fly of any type. It seems like the weather has conspired against my, admittedly, relatively narrow requirements. Often plunging water temps bottoming out in the low 40s and lower and/or rainy, dreary days discouraged me from having a go. The few times the temperature was on the way to decent levels, water levels were also on the way up—way, way up toward levels which Matt Culp, our speaker this past month, calls ‘significant high-water events’. There were a few (very few) scattered days where productive (and comfortable) fishing was possible, and I had something going on (a rare thing in these COVID days!). I know I will get out again but it won’t be soon enough.

Speaking of Matt Culp, we had our first chapter meeting in a number of months this past January via the ZOOM online meeting system. Matt gave us our annual review of Fisheries activities in the GSMNP; it was, as always, informative, well done, and brought us up to date on their latest thoughts on trout (and other fisheries inhabitants) conservation as well as their future plans for streams in the National Park. It was my first go at hosting a ZOOM meeting and everyone helped to get through it successfully. Matt provided a video of the presentation which Joe Hatton has posted on our website; those that missed the presentation can view it there.

In the last newsletter I mentioned that I had gotten the first installment of the Moderna COVID vaccination and told you the second was coming. Well, that has happened and I am now fully inoculated, to the best level modern medical science can achieve. I had a little shoulder soreness and felt a little tired the next day and then was pretty much back to normal. This is matched by my wife’s experience as well as a few fellow firemen in the department at which I volunteer. This also matches our oldest son’s experience; he is a physician with the Army and went through the Pfizer protocol. The full effect is still somewhat in doubt, particularly the fact of whether, despite being inoculated, I am a carrier and spreader. So I still will be wearing the mask (irritating as it is), maintaining social distancing, and washing my hands often, with the goal, if nothing else, to protect those around me.

Returning to winter fishing, even when I get out, I am not very successful and know I could use some pointers to help me up my success rate. To that end I have asked the Rutters to give us some pointers on fly fishing this time of year at the February meeting. It will be on February 23d at 7pm, also via ZOOM. Look for the invite before then.

Other activities coming up are the Pistol Creek Cleanup, the mid-March water sampling exercise in the Park, and hopefully a Little River Cleanup sometime this spring. All great service activities that will get you out of the cabin and into the out of doors. Look for further information either in the Chapter Newsletter or other announcements
.
Best wishes and tight lines!

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