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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