October Meeting

P r e s i d e n t ’ s C o r n e r
Jan and I recently returned home after a month long trip to Alaska. The trip was phenomenal and met all of our expectations. It’s hard to describe the beauty of Alaska. I was struck by the scale and magnitude of the state – it’s huge, and we only saw a tiny fraction of the place. The fishing was excellent as well. We caught coho salmon (silvers), pink salmon (humpies), rainbows, dolly vardens, and artic char. I had a personal goal of landing a large (>24”) rainbow. I hooked and fought four very large rainbows but lost all of them. The scenery was incredible, but it was eye opening to see how much the glaciers have retreated, especially over the past several decades.  It’s one thing to hear and read about a warming climate, but seeing how much the glaciers have shrunk in in a very short time brought it home to me.

Many thanks to Roger Lowe for his discussion at last month’s chapter meeting. I have known Roger since the mid-90’s and have fished with Roger and his dad numerous times. Roger has been fishing and tying flies since he was a kid and is known as one of our regional fishing experts. It was great to see him again.

The week after we returned from Alaska, Jan and I headed down to the Smokemont Campgound to join other chapter members and friends for our second annual Smokemont outing. The fishing was slower than in the past.  While we did catch trout, none of the fish were gimme’s. You really had to work to bring a fish to hand. Though I didn’t count fish, it did seem like I caught more browns than rainbows, especially on the Occonoluftee.  Overall, it was another great trip, Ernie Frey did a great job organizing the event and he even ordered up perfect weather for the weekend. And once again, Outdoor Chef Extraordinaire Mike McKinsey prepared another fabulous meal on Saturday. Thanks Ernie and Mike!

I’m truly excited about our Trout-in-the-Classroom (TIC) efforts that have started this year. TIC is an important element in our chapter’s youth education program. Check out Ernie Frey’s update in this newsletter.  Many thanks to Ernie for his leadership and efforts in TIC. I can’t wait to see the long-term results.

Our speaker at the October meeting (Thursday, October 23) will be Dr. Jen Jones, President & CEO of Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Dr. Jones will discuss the critical role that Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont plays in positively transforming individuals and the larger community through programs that encourage immersive experiences in the Smokies.  The folks at the Tremont Institute and our TU chapters share a common goal of conservation and youth education.  We are looking forward to opportunities to network together.

The Chapter meeting in October will be at Calhoun’s in Maryville. Remember you do not need to order dinner to attend. Everyone is welcome.

Finally, here’s your chance to give back and help your chapter. The 2015 Board of Directors will be elected at the December chapter meeting. If you are interest in serving on the Board or volunteering in any other way, please let me know. I will again be running for the President’s position and we have a great Board. We are always looking for fresh ideas and we will keep the burden light.

I hope to see you at the October meeting. As always, if you have a question or need, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Be safe.
Mike Bryant (mjbryant1954@hotmail.com)

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