President’s Note

My favorite part of catching a fish like this is letting it go.”
– Jen Merchant

Some of you whose memory is better than mine (and you read the column!) may remember my ruminating on diligence and good fortune. That euphemism pertained to my purchase of a trout spey road and thrashing around on the Clinch River the first few attempts at fishing with that technique. To my good humor I can report that I fulfilled that rumination a couple of weeks ago fishing the Holston with a friend. While the Holston being wide and easily wadable at low or no flow may not be a “Spey Rod River” it was great for my continued pursuit of a decent cast with the equipment. I broke the ice with a couple of hookups with small rainbows that I got close to me but not to hand (another trick to learn with that long rod!). I was pretty happy with that success until…I did latch on to a nice brown (14” or so which is not large by brown trout standards but chunky and a good fighter) and got it to hand— YESSSSS! I found the release just as rewarding for some reason (ala the thought above); a strange feeling to someone who likes to eat fish. But I think it maybe comes back to sports, sportsmanship, and respect for an opponent. Having played sports through small-college the respect gained for an opponent after a hard-played contest is special. I will remember the feel of that stocky guy in my hand not so much for his size but as the culmination of a struggle with a new skill and a worthy reward. (PS the picture above is obviously not that fish—no camera for the Holston—but an equally rewarding 8-9 incher from Cosby Creek). 

I have included in this newsletter an announcement from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park concerning public hearings over proposed fee changes including a new parking fee that, if approved, will go into effect in 2023. While all other National Parks charge an entrance fee (and receive a significant portion of that fee to support that Park) the GSMNP cannot, by charter, do so. To gain necessary funds to support Park operations these fee changes are being proposed. I am certainly in favor—a $40 annual parking fee is a pretty small nick in my budget in exchange for maintaining that national treasure on our doorstep. 

There are lots of happenings upcoming for the Chapter that are listed below as well as other opportunities for fishing and service. They are all discussed in the Volunteer Opportunities section of our newsletter. Find something that you’d like to join!

Best Wishes For Tight Lines!

Steve Y

April 2022 Newsletter

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