Mike Bryant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I 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.
After 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 <((((<
Mike Bryant (email@example.com)
I hope most of you had the opportunity 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.
Mike Bryant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
After a terrible month of fishing down in the Everglades, I was a happy camper to be back in the Park chasing trout again. Trout tend to be happy this time of year, and they didn’t disappoint with splashy rises to my dry fly. Most of my fishing in the Park over the last several weeks has been up on Middle Prong. Trout are definitely looking up. One afternoon, I didn’t see many bugs coming off the water, so I tied on a trustworthy Parachute Adams. As a habit, I try to learn something new every time I get out on the water. On my parachutes, I’ve been testing different colors for the post. On this bright clear day, I tied on a #14 Adams with a fluorescent orange post. While it was easy for me to see the fly, the fish weren’t all that thrilled with it. I decided to downsize to a #16 with a white post. Immediately the rainbows changed their tune and starting rising to my fly. The next day, the wind was blowing like crazy. So I went back to that #14 Parachute Adams with the orange post, thinking that a bigger fly would be easier for the fish to find in choppy water. Rainbows rose to that fly all afternoon. So when you get the opportunity to wet a line, try to get in the habit of observing, thinking about the conditions and experimenting.
This year looks to be a busy time for volunteer work. Matt Kulp has an ambitious plan for new brook trout restoration efforts, mercury studies along with our on-going water and fish sampling studies. The Park Service will again rely on our support with our time, talents and donations. Given our Chapter mission is to support the Park, we need everyone’s help. In this newsletter, you’ll find more details on volunteer and fundraising opportunities.
And remember, our annual Little River Clean-up is Saturday, April 30. If you can make, consider bringing a kid. It’s a great way to expose them to our Park.
Many thanks to David Perry for his great tailwater presentation at last month’s meeting. I learned a lot!
This month’s program is Thursday, April 28. Jake Rash, the Coldwater Research Coordinator for NC Wildlife Resources Commission will provide a presentation on Gill Lice and Whirling Disease recently discovered in North Carolina. This will be a very important discussion regarding new invasive species threats to our waterways. You don’t want to miss this talk. Enjoy the weather and outdoors. I hope to see you at the April 28 meeting.