February Newsletter



Steve Young


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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Matt Kulp 2021 Presentation Video

Matt A. Kulp is the Supervisory Fishery Biologist at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Gave to our chapter  ‘Fish and Water Quality Updates’ at our January meeting. If you missed it or would like to see it again. Please see the link below.

Matt Culp Presentation to LRCTU January 2021

Matt is discussing ongoing research and restoration projects in the park and opportunities for our members to volunteer this upcoming year.

Good Fishing <(((<

Joe Hatton

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PRESIDENT – Steve Young

Christmas Lights and Leader, and a Better Year in 2021

Happy 2021 to all!! I join you in wishing (hoping?) for a better this year than last. Despite the restrictions I have been able to indulge in my favorite social distancing pastime of fishing!!-mostly in the park. I hope you have also. Only lately have the cold snaps and lowered stream water temps kept me indoors—more time for fly tying!

I always thought that untangling a dry/dropper on 5x tippet after a missed strike or a tree encounter was the worst—until I unpacked our Christmas lights for the Holidays. I have been schooled again! All I gained was the re-realization that patience is a virtue in many aspects of life.

Patience will be a virtue as we negotiate 2021. Frustratingly, early 2021 will be much the same as most of 2020; COVID restrictions in place that I hope we all continue to follow. For LRCTU that means no live meetings indoors, masks and social distancing when we do meet outside. However, we will be trying to air some programs via the ZOOM route starting with Matt Culp’s annual GSMNP update. Watch for the announcement and invitation to the online meeting. I am hoping we can have our first live meeting in July with our annual picnic at River John’s.

A big difference for this year is the vaccine introduction. Because of my service with the Dandridge Fire Department and my lymphoma history I have already gotten the first MODERNA application and by the time you read this the second. I will keep you posted on the after effects. Despite the vaccination, I plan to maintain the handwashing, masks, and social distancing protocols for a while; this is really a necessity because the experts say even though I shouldn’t get sick I can still be a transmitter.

Little River Chapter like all of TU relies on volunteers to lead the way. This year we have a great Board of Directors who were introduced in the last Newsletter—save one. We need someone to step up as PROGRAM CHAIR. While this can be somewhat daunting, whoever takes this on will have a great head start; the previous Program Chair, Chuck James, had a great set of programs lined up—and we didn’t use any of them! I have all the names and contact information; these individuals just need to be contacted and dates set up.

We have a number of other projects planned that will require LRCTU members participation to be successful. They are listed below in the Projects / Chapter Activities section with the name of the Coordinator and their contact information. If interested please contact them directly. And I am sure more projects will arise that will need members’ participation to be successful; we will keep you posted.

Whew!! That was a load—I promise (at least try) not to be so wordy but I wanted to get all of this out in front of the membership as we head into the new year.

Best Wishes and Tight Lines! – Steve Y

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Great Smoky Mountain Flies

Matt O’Neal of Savage flies has started a new series on YouTube called the Great Smoky Mountain Flies . The patterns come from Don Kirk’s book Hatches & Fly Patterns of the Great Smoky Mountains link. Matt is planing on tying 60 patterns. His YouTube site also has flies from other authors like Dave Hughes, David Klausmeyer.

Matt has links for

Great Smoky Mountain Series 1-20

Great Smoky Mountain Series 21-40

Hope you enjoy these Videos

Good Fishing <(((<


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