February Chapter Meeting

Program – Hazel Creek

We have a great program set for the February Meeting (Feb 28). Ian and Charity Rutter will provide a presentation about Hazel Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hazel Creek is one of the most remote and legendary trout streams in the eastern United States. There is no road access and is a favorite backcountry destination in the Smokies. Ian & Charity have been guiding this stream for years and will share their knowledge about this colorful area including history, wildlife, and the details of fishing and camping. So plan on joining us for a great evening.

For most of us, there’s no need for an introduction for Ian and Charity. Both are local guides who operate R&R Fly Fishing guide service in Townsend, Tennessee where there are hundreds of miles of trout streams and tailwaters right out their back door. They have authored several books on fly fishing in southern Appalachia, Smokey Mountains and Tennessee.

The meeting will be held in the Fellowship Hall at the Monte Vista Baptist Church as usual. The meeting will start at 7:00pm.  (Newsletter)


President’s Corner

Mike Bryant (mjbryant1954@hotmail.com)

Though I’ve enjoyed building fires and tying flies this winter, I’m definitely ready for spring, warmer weather and more flyfishing. Jan and I will be taking a trip to southern Florida in February to hopefully enjoy some warmer weather, good seafood and a chance for some saltwater fishing. Then back hopefully to some Quill Gordons, early stoneflies and hungry trout.

Well, I’m proud to say I’ve completed building my first bamboo rod. WOW, do I have a whole new admiration for those take up this hobby/sport/obsession. I’ve assembled graphite rods in the past, but this is a totally different animal altogether. The rod was a retirement gift from my family. I had no clue about the skill, artistry and time that goes into building bamboo rods. I know I committed 80+ hours in the building and finishing of this rod (ok – maybe I’m not the fastest car on the track). I built the rod under the tutelage of Dr. Jerry Snider (Otter Creek Bamboo Rods). Jerry is a retired University of Cincinnati Biology Professor. He has a great workshop. He is an excellent instructor and was very patient given my limited time in Cincinnati. The skill and artistry is amazing. As an example, the wraps on the guides have two coats of epoxy and five coats of varnish. The rod turned out great. It’s a 6’ 3”, 4 wt. Paul Young Midge taper. I can’t wait to chase brookies with it up in Greenbrier, Road Prong, and Sam’s Creek.

Many thanks to Steve Moore. At the January Meeting, Steve discussed the extraordinary collaboration between members of the Little River Chapter, UT, and the Fisheries Department over the past 15 years. The Chapter should be proud of the impact we have had and will have in the future. Steve highlighted how acid deposition will continue to be a major threat to the preservation and health of fish and streams, both in and out of the GSNMP. Our conservation efforts will be needed more than ever in our on-going drive to preserve our natural resources for future generations.

Chapter News

We’ve had several changes to the Board in the past month. Bill Bolinger was elected as the Secretary, and Mike McKinsey was elected as a Director. Mike will serve as the Trips Chairman. With Mike’s leadership, we hope to sponsor several fishing trips this year. More to come on this, but I thought I would provide a small teaser. Caleb Abramson has resigned from the Board. He was offered a full scholarship for graduate school at Penn State University! This is his dream and a great opportunity for a great person. We wish Caleb all the best!!

Help Wanted

We’re still looking for help in leading and / or supporting a Chapter education program. We would like to get back to basic fly fishing education for our members. We’re looking for someone or several folks to help pull together a plan. We are not asking for you to do it all, but help generate plans, communicate to our members of upcoming opportunities and find volunteers.

And we need for someone to take on the Monthly Programs Chair vacated by Caleb. The role can be shared by a couple of folks. The role includes contacting and arranging for monthly program speakers, and securing program information to be communicated on our newsletter and website. We can provide a database of possible speakers.

Upcoming River Clean-up

Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 20. We will hold our annual Little River Clean-up. More details to come, but given our Chapter’s mission is to preserve and protect watersheds in the Park, this is a great way to give and contribute. Consider bring a kid – this is a great opportunity to get kids out into the Park and expose them to the concept of service.

We’ll see you at the February meeting. As always, if you have a question or comment, please email or call me. Be safe.




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