April Meeting

President’s Corner
Mike Bryant (mjbryant1954@hotmail.com)


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.

– Mike

National Park Service Needs Your Help

In addition to the work on-stream listed on annual schedule previously distributed, National Park Fisheries can use some help with other work that will be scheduled on a short term basis.  This work will mostly be during the work week.  A general description of the type of work is attached. (Link)

We are preparing a list of volunteers to contact when this work comes up.  So if you want to be added to the list, you are not making a commitment to work any particular day.  You are just willing to help if your schedule allows.

As always, thank you in advance fr all the work many of you have already provided.  I hope you will consider helping for this important work being performed in the National Park.  If you have any questions, please contact me.

Charlie Chmielewski


Royal Wulff the fly that just keeps working

Royal Wulff. The Royal Wulff is a dry fly pattern first tied by Lee Wulff and has been fished with great success for decades. It imitates many different types of mayflies and terrestrials which make it a great attractor fly for prospecting, this fly works equally well in both slow and fast water. I have know  fisherman’s  that all they would fished was Royal Wulff in different sizes during the spring.  If you fish in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park you need to keep some Royal Wulff flies in your Fly box.

Orvis  Fly Fishing Learning Center  (Video)
Fly Tying Recipe: Royal Wulff
Standard dry fly hook (here a Tiemco #100), size 10-18.
Black, 8/0 or 70 denier.
White calf body hair, cleaned and stacked.
Natural moose body hair.
Peacock herl.
Coachman brown.
Black tying thread and head cement.
Body accent:
Red tying thread and head cement.
You can also tie this pattern with accents of chartreuse, fluorescent yellow, or orange.
Good fishing <((((<

March Meeting

President’s Corner
Mike Bryant (mjbryant1954@hotmail.com)


“How’d you do?” “Any luck?”
“Caught one decent sea trout and a couple of snappers.”
“See any red’s?
“Nope, and I haven’t a clue where the snook are”

This was a fairly typical conversation on the docks at Chokoloskee Island this year. In a word, the fishing down in the Everglades / 10,000 Island region has been awful the past few months. Even the bait fishermen who have fished these waters for most of their lives say the fishing has been some of the worst they have seen in years. So I don’t have much of a chance trying to catch snook and redfish with my fly rod. But I love fly fishing in saltwater. Red’s, snook and tarpon are all great gamefish that will test your skills and patience. I’m still a novice when  comes to fishing down in this area. Learning to fish here is like learning to catch wild trout in the Park. There’s definitely a learning curve.

To make it even more interesting, I bought a small flats boat to increase my range and comfort. So on top of trying to find fish in endless miles of mangrove islands, oyster beds and flats, I now had the challenge of handling a boat, thinking about tides, changing winds and a constantly worry about running onto an oyster bar. All that while attempting to make pinpoint accurate casts underneath mangroves can drive one over the edge. But I love it. All the frustrations and worries  disappear when that snook jumps completely out of the water while trying to annihilate your fly. I get that same great feeling when I’m up in the Park chasing trout.
What’s not to like!

Now that we’re back home, I’m ready to start chasing trout up in the Park. This time of the year brings warmer water, active bugs and happy trout. I hope you’ll find the time to get outdoors and fish. Our natural resources are a gift that we need to protect and take every opportunity to enjoy.

Our next Chapter meeting is Thursday, March 24. Guide David Perry will be talking about his experiences and observations on tailwaters. This will be your chance to learn more about tailwaters. I don’t know about you, but this is one area I need all
the help I can get.

I hope you can make the meeting and I’ll see you out on the water!