June Meeting

President’s Corner

Mike Bryant (mjbryant1954@hotmail.com)


After a very busy spring that included Troutfest, four local schools celebrating the release of trout as a part of Trout in the Classroom, and our annual Little River cleanup, the summer promises a slowdown in Chapter activities. The month of June will bring another Trout Camp at the Tremont Institute. July will include a joint outdoor meeting with the Little River and Great Smoky Mountain Chapters at River John’s.

Fishing in the GSMNP has been good for the most part this spring / early summer, despite the recent dry spell in east Tennessee. Fishing buddies from Ohio came down for a weekend to fish the Horseshoe at Abrams Creek and Lynn Camp Prong. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed in Abrams this year. The stream seemed to fish small, meaning the biggest fish we caught was probably ten inches. Last year, Ken Wade and I caught countless numbers of rainbows, with the largest probably in the 14-15” range. The weather cooperated except for the fifteen minute rain shower (of course I forgot my rain jacket). But we had a great time including a memorable bushwhacking experience! The following day we fished Lynn Camp Prong. Again, we caught countless numbers of brookies, including multiple 8-9” fish brought to hand. After a tough day of wading on Abrams followed by another full day chasing brookies on Lynn Camp, I was ready for a day of rest. I can definitely tell I’m not in my 30’s anymore.

The grandkids will be staying with us for ten days in June. We have a lot of activities planned including trips into the Park to fish and play in the streams. I will be introducing my eight year old grandson to flyfishing as well. I can’t wait! Once the grandkids are back at home, John and I will be heading to Colorado for a week of fishing. Our experiences in Colorado are very limited, so this should be a great opportunity for both of us. Ok, so maybe things will slow down for me this fall .

June Program – Thursday, June 25

We all have a list of places we want to see, explore and fish in our lifetime. Last fall, Jan and I had such an opportunity to spend a month in Alaska. New Zealand is also on our short list. Beautiful countryside, friendly folks and the opportunity to fish for large trout certainly places New Zealand as a great place to go in your lifetime. Rufus King recently had such an opportunity to spend a month there last year. This is your opportunity to experience this magical place. We will again meet at Calhoun’s in Maryville. The meeting will start at 7:00 pm, is open to everyone (even if you are not a member) and there’s no obligation to buy dinner there.

Have a safe summer.


Bringing Back the Brooks – A Revival of the South’s Trout

BBbrookA short video of Sycamore Creek Brook Trout Restoration project in the Tellico watershed. (Link)  This is a well done video  that all of our members needs to see.

“The brook trout was native to not only the small headwater streams, but also to these larger rivers. We like to call it the jewel of the southern Appalachians,” said Jim Herrig, a fisheries biologist on the Cherokee National Forest who provides the historical perspective. “Unfortunately, because of activities that occurred back in the early 1900′s – devastation logging, road building and fire – the brook trout was almost eliminated from the southern Appalachians.”

Good fishing <((((<



May Meeting

President’s Corner

Mike Bryant (mjbryant1954@hotmail.com)


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 coupleMike GSMNP 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.

Monthly Meeting
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!


Tailwaters Time

holstonriverIt is time to hit our state Tailwaters. All the news I have been hearing on fishing our local tailwaters is Fishing is getting pretty good. TVA is giving better Generation Release schedules. If you have never fished the Hiawasee River, South Holston River  or the Watauga River it is time for a road trip. The water release information is listed on the TVA Tailwater Info link. Remember for Hiawasee River look up the Apalachia Power House schedules.

Good fishing

Joe Hatton