Smokemont Fishing Trip

Smokemont and Oconaluftee TrailMapThe September fishing trip to Smokemont camp grounds is planned for the 19th through the 21st of September. The chapter has reserved group site #2.  This is a tent only, nonelectric site and has space for 20 campers.  Check-in time is  scheduled for 1:00 pm Friday September 19 and check-out is required by 12:00 pm Sunday September 21.  If you don’t wish to tent camp, then you will need to make arrangement for a camp site through  There is a firewood quarantine in the park so fire wood should not be brought into the park unless it is approved by the park. If you fish outside the park, you will need a NC fishing license or a Cherokee Nation permit if you are on the reservation.  There is some interesting fishing on the reservation.  There will be a Saturday night dinner so plan on bringing your favourite camping covered dish, other meals you will need to provide for your self.

Hope to see you there.

Joe  <((((<

August Meeting


President’s Corner
Mike Bryant (


I am very much a warm weather person.  Winter and cold weather have never been my favorite time of year.     I credit that to my mother who grew up in the South.  I’ll take shorts and t-shirts over long pants and fleece any day.  Said another way I’ll take wet wading in the Park over waders.  Fishing in the Park has had its ups and downs this spring and summer.   Earlier the lack of rain dropped the water levels and raised water temperatures, forcing  a change in my fishing tactics and locations.  Recent late July rains have raised the water levels to a healthy state, and fishing can be quite good.  Even with slow fishing, I never grow tired of being in the Park.  We are so blessed to have these great natural resources in our backyard.  I hope you will take the time to visit, explore and fish there.  Most folks would give their eye teeth to have what we have, so I encourage you to take some time to visit.  Better yet, take a child and help build tomorrow’s conservation leaders.

Our chapter continues to be busy this summer.  Volunteers have been helping Matt and Park employees with sampling and electroshocking.  I joined over 100 volunteers help clean the Clinch River last month.  The event was organized by the Clinch River Chapter.  I was part of the tire cleanup crew that removed over 300 tires that day and personally removed four large truck brake rotors.  Go figure!  I guess it’s in my DNA, but I have never understood why people liter.  Anyway, I’m glad we have the opportunity to find ways to preserve and restore our natural treasures, even if others don’t  appreciate what we have.

We had another great monthly meeting at River John’s again this year.  Other than a brief shower, the weather was good.  Many thanks to Ross Schweinforth for conducting a casting class prior to dinner.  All the feedback from the students was positive.  If you flyfish the most important skill to learn is a casting.  Many thanks to Ross – it’s one thing to be a good caster, it is an entirely different deal to have the capability to teach someone to how to cast.  It’s a gift and Ross has this gift.  And what can I say, Outdoor Chef Extraordinaire Mike McKinsey and his help provided yet another outstanding meal at River John’s.  Thanks Mike!!!

There are some cool fall events coming up that you will want to check in this newsletter.

Finally, our next monthly meeting is on Thursday, August 28 at Calhoun’s in Maryville.  Dave Knapp will be our featured speaker.  Many of you know Dave and know of his fishing and guiding abilities.   Dave will discuss fishing opportunities and tactics in Colorado.

I hope you can make the August meeting, attend one or more of the upcoming events and give some thought to how you can help by donating your time and talents.

Be safe.


Nailless Nail Knot


The following instructions are from Gary Borger ‘s website. link  This is a great knot to know when attaching your leader to your fly line.


”To make a nail knot really fast without a nail or tube, follow the diagrams below. I developed the “twist” technique for this knot many years ago, and everyone that tries it can do it, and do it fast”. Gary Borger






Step 1. Make a loop in the leader material, then wind the short end of the leader around the fly line and through the loop. Wind the short end up the fly line. Drawing by Jason Borger









Steps 2 & 3. Simultaneously pull and twist ONLY the short end of the leader to spin the knot over. Don’t over tighten. Slide the mono coils down toward the end of the line, push them together whilegently drawing out the extra mono, then tighten firmly (really firmly) and clip off the ends. Drawing by Jason Borger

Notice that the leader comes off the side of the line when the knot is done. Sometimes the end of the line will catch in a guide, so I make a slight variation on the knot that prevents hangups. It’s called the Needle Knot and is very easy to do. Follow the diagrams below.








Step 1. Insert a needle into the end of the fly line about 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch, and then out the side. Allow the needle to remain in place for a couple of minutes so the plastic of the line will stretch a bit. Drawing by Jason Borger





Step 2. Trim the end of the mono to a point, pull the needle out, and thread the mono in the end of the fly line and out the side. Now tie a Nailess Nail Knot. Notice that the leader now comes right out of the center of the fly line. This connection will flow through the guides very smoothly. Drawing by Jason Borger

Good fishing


July Meeting

P r e s i d e n t ’ s C o r n e r
Mike Bryant (


I hope everyone has had a great summer so far. It’s been both a busy and productive season for Jan and I, though we were both worn out after a couple of consecutive weeks of visitors. Our seven year old grandson and three year old granddaughter have a seemingly endless bundle of energy. But we had a great time with them, taking them into the Park and fishing as well. After the kids and grandkids left, our best friends from Arizona came to stay with us. We fished up in the Park and both friends were able to catch wild rainbows despite the low water conditions. Despite the typical summer slowdown, fishing continues to be pretty good for me personally. Check out the article below on summer fishing in the Park.

The Lynn Camp brook trout evaluation was completed in June. Overall, there is good news on the health of the brook trout population. I was able to help out one day and was happy to see brookies taking hold in the stream. I forgot how pretty this small stream is and look forward to the day we can fish there again. Charlie Chmielewski has an article below with the details.

Thanks to Bill McConkey for coming up from McMinn County to present at our June Meeting. Bill is active in bringing trout wildlife management to the classroom and he provided us with aquatic insect behavior information as well as thought for how we might do a better job at getting classroom kids involved in preserving our waters for its inhabitants.

I was also able to help out at Trout Camp this past June. The folks who organize and lead this program do an outstanding job. The kids were energetic and eager to learn. This is a great youth educational program that will definitely pay dividends in forming our conservation leaders of tomorrow. More details can be found in Charlie’s in the Newsletter.

One Final Comment: About three weeks ago, I was fishing the Little River above the Elkmont Campground. When I started walking up the trail, I saw a truck pulling into the lot with three gentlemen who obviously planned to fish there as well. So I walked up the trail a good mile or so before wading into the stream, assuming the others might want to fish the lower section. After fishing for about an hour or so, I finally figured out what the rainbows were willing to eat and I started to have many successful hook-ups. At one point I happened to glance up on the trail and noticed the three others watching as I hooked a couple of nice trout. I went back to fishing without a second thought, happy at my success. Unfortunately, five minutes later I looked upstream and saw two of the gentlemen fishing literally only 75 feet upstream of me. With 800 miles of trout streams in the Park, you would think they would have had the courtesy of walking up farther and given a fellow fisherman his space.

There have been times when I have waded into a stream only to then see someone already fishing there. When this happens, I reel up and get out of the stream so they can continue to fish. I think I recognized one of the three and knew that he should have known better. Fortunately, most of us have enough common respect and courtesy to spread out. We live in a great part of the world, and there are plenty of great streams to fish, so consider your fellow angler before dropping down into a stream. Just something to think about.

I hope you’ll plan to come to the July meeting – free dinner, casting lessons, fishing opportunities. Doesn’t get much better than that!!!

– Mike

J u l y M e e t i n g a t R i v e r J o h n ’ s

How about a free dinner?? Our July Chapter Meeting (Thursday, July 24) will be outdoors at River Johns Outfitters. River John’s Island – located on the Little River, just northeast of Maryville on Cave Mill Rd. (Map)

Directions: From the last Pellisippi Pkwy exit, go left on Hwy 33, right on Sam Houston, left on Wildwood, right on Cave Mill. (Map)

Under the capable hands of Outdoor Chef Extraordinaire Mike McKinsey, we will be grilling some great food. There’s the opportunity to fish, meet fellow members, learn a thing or two about fishing in the Little River. There will be casting lessons given by Ross Schweinforth, a IFFF Certified Casting Instructor. Class size is limited to six, so make sure to reserve a spot.

We are very pleased to have Ross teach this class. He has the background and top-shelf credentials to provide excellent instruction. He is a certified Casting Instructor with the International Fly Fishing Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF), the premier organizationdedicated to excellence in fly-casting instruction through rigorous examination, continuing education, and strict standards. Ross has been actively involved with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) and serves as the PHWFF Program Lead for SE Tennessee and-NW Georgia.

After a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps and a tour of duty in Vietnam, Ross settled with his young bribe, and the two have remained together in the southeast. His 34 year career encompassed fisheries biology, aquatic toxicology, environmental engineering, and regulatory compliance management. Retirement has allowed Ross to travel, fish, tie flies, build rods and generally be engaged in anything fly-fishing.

We are going to offer the casting class from 4-6PM at the picnic area. If there is enough interest we will have a second class. If you are interested in fly-casting instruction please Email Chuck James at to reserve your space. I will need to set the schedule no later than Wednesday, July 16, 2014.

If you are going to take the class Ross is suggesting that you bring an 8 1⁄2 – 9ft rod with X0 or X1 leader. He will supply the ribbons, no hooks needed. Regardless of your fly-casting ability, Ross will be able to help you become a better fly-caster.

Chuck James – Program Chair