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tennswede 05-18-2006 11:42 AM

Smokies and Brookies in the Spotlight
I was browsing at Borders the other day and looked at the latest issue of Fish&Fly. It had a lenghty article about the Smokies and brookies in particular. It had several pictures from The Greenbrier area. Then Trout Magazine (TU) had the same pictures in an article about the Brook Trout.

I guess it is inevitable, but I don't know if it is good or bad with all this publicity on smaller streams. I'm not worried about fishing pressures since the fish are starving and grunted in growth. My main concern is the crowds littering and fouling the area as well as the hardship of finding some solitude. I guess it's the kind of world we live in now. Good or Bad, the articles were interesting.


lauxier 05-18-2006 03:06 PM

Re: Smokies and Brookies in the Spotlight
your concerns are well founded.the problem with stories on fly fishing,that originate and are published in the more artsy-craftsy fishing magazines,is not the article itself.The story conveyed in the article is secondary to the richly colored photos showing a fisherman,poised,ready to cast a fly,in Eden-like surroundings.The imagry is tantalizing if not magnetic.Ultimately,it draws all kinds of folks.Many are non-fisherman,all hope to find the feeling and ambience that a picture cannot provide.Not to mention,the fish causing all the fuss,is usually so small that it would make Ernest Hemingway blush.
For most of the pilgrims,one trip will settle the curiosity about fly-fishing in the Smokies,but,as you say,what will they leave behind?More folks venturing into the park means more trash etc. to be reckoned withSome folks will behave ok, a lot of them won't.Who or What pays for trashy,vandaly,behavior?
It will be the Park that will pay.11 million/year+magazine adventurers make it hard on ecosystems
I have been coming to the Smokies for 30-some years.The streams of the park remain beautiful.The clear cold waters,that hold the Brookies,sound restless and soothing as they empty out of the mountains.The fishing is great,but you have to accept the whole package.The package being,an understanding that you are in an primeival ecosystem.It can be easily destroyed.All who enter its boundries must adopt a concience of natured-respect.

kytroutman 05-18-2006 05:48 PM

Re: Smokies and Brookies in the Spotlight
While as sportsmen (no sexism meant) we appreciate the articles from a conservation standpoint, the glamorous aspects projected of the fly fisherman will inevitably draw many people to the perceived tranquilty and ability to fish. This draws abnormally large populations to fish and hopefully, they will not totally destroy or trash the area in the process.

The Preacher 05-19-2006 10:02 AM

Re: Smokies and Brookies in the Spotlight
My boys and I used to fish the N. and S. forks of Citico regularly and rarely saw another fisherman. An article about these streams come out in a magazine, and, if I remember correctly, in the Knoxville newspaper. We finally quit fishing these streams due to the crowds we bagan to encounter there. I hope the same thing doesn't happen with these streams in the park.

rainshaker 05-20-2006 07:21 AM

Re: Smokies and Brookies in the Spotlight

Forgive me for saying so, but I'm detecting a fair amount of short-sightedness here. I just don't buy into the argument that a destination piece in a niche-market publication will lead to the kind of doom and gloom I'm reading about on this board; Mainly because Joe "Treble Hook" Spinner will never pick up a copy for a number of socio-economic reasons, and As for the swarms of catch-release variety anglers destined for Greenbrier----Well let's just say I've never had a guide service or outfitter complain about my presence in their place of business (except for one near Nashville that didn't offer a Fair Game.) So who are we blaming here? It's as if we'd be happier having picked up a copy of (let's call the publication: 'American Strangler' so as not to promote another product or service) and read something along the lines of:

" Fishing for Brookies in the GSMNP is the absolute worst activity a human being can engage in. Their populations are said to be tiny if not already extinct, the streams are treacherously steep and loaded with poisonous vipers and sharp rocks. Furthermore, it is reported there are at least 2 Black bears per square mile of the GSMNP; the same species of bears that have killed over 50 people since 1945. This just in: Why risk your life to fish for a species you probably won't catch any way?"

The people that complain about the promotion of a fishing locale are likely the same ones to complain about how idiotic my previous paragraph was. We just can't have it both ways...

Furthermore, I did a quick search of the internet by entering the term " Smoky and mountain and fly and Fishing" and got-back 174,000 results on web sites containing the phrase: Smoky mountain fly fishing, and isn't it Ironic that we're having this discussion via the world wide web using resources provided by LRO? It's funny how that works.

What we're really discussing is the dissemination of information and who has access to it. For instance, give me a TN county and street address, and I can tell you (91.2 % of the time) the Identity of the property owner and how much he or she paid for it. My point is, the information is out there for those who seek it. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've not yet had the pleasure of gently landing a treasured Brookie but I can (with a little research) get to at least 10 streams in which to fish for them. It's simply a matter of which variety of angler wants to put forth enough time and effort to speculate on smoky mtn brookies.

There's about 12 million different angles <no pun intended> one could take in this debate dealing with any topic from, The affects of fishing pressure on a certain fishery, to the economics of trout fishing, to the affects of destination journalism, to government fishing regulation, to how popular is too popular? Don't get me wrong, I've been known to complain on any number of topics in the past, some of which have been noted in this forum, I'm only human, but for the most part, I try not to feel guilty about having beautiful places in which to go fishing.

In closing I'd like to add that the fisheries division of the TWRA publishes a guide to Brook Trout ......well nevermind, I think I'll just keep that information to myself.


Fish on!

RFowler 05-20-2006 12:14 PM

Re: Smokies and Brookies in the Spotlight
lol@rainshaker ;). Yeah, I didn't know information about brookies was so hard to get that one would worry about a little publicity. You guys shouldn't worry so much. Catching tiny brookies isn't everyones idea of a good day of fishing.

BTW, do you guys ever pick up trash in the Park? You'd be surprised at the impact you may have if you'd pick up a can here and there. I do.

David Knapp 05-20-2006 06:12 PM

Re: Smokies and Brookies in the Spotlight
This is definately a topic that people will feel strongly about. Selfishly, I wish that articles would NOT highlight the small mountain streams I love to fish and consider my home waters. On the other hand, I have been introduced to some very nice places through such magazine articles, rivers that were someone elses home waters and I have enjoyed fishing those places. Unfortunately, often when a destination is brought to the attention of many other anglers, the fishing quality deteriorates. The list of examples could go on and on and I believe that it is a valid concern. Thankfully, our streams are overpopulated so I'm not going to worry yet 8-).

David Knapp

tennswede 05-20-2006 07:54 PM

Re: Smokies and Brookies in the Spotlight
Rainshaker. I would like to begin with the following: For all the people that know me personally and from this board as well as numerous other boards over the years, I am not shortsighted and definitely not one to hide or not help others out. In fact I used to be the one who freely gave out streams locations as well as other pertinent information. I began however to limit this to pm only and then only to people I felt a certain connection to or who I felt was genuinely interested in the outdoors and the careful enjoyment of such. I began limit my information not becauase I felt that the fishing would deteriorate but because of the enormous amount of garbage on streams. Yes Mr Fowler I have been using a plastic bag in my backpocket to pick up trash on streams since at least five years back. You be amazed how many people look at me like I'm some kind of fool. I pick up trash from everyone and there are much trash coming from fly fishers pocket also. More so in the park than anywhere else due to it being a fly fishing destination of sort. I don't have a problem with sharing the streams and I know we all have a right to fish but I do feel it is not in anyone's interest to see these articles over and over especially on small streams. As for the comment on Greenbrier. I fish Greenbrier about ten to twenty times in a season and I have to say that I see at least one or two fishermen using illegal methods on that stream about every other trip I make. I have even picked up nightcrawler containers on that stream. Again it's not that I fear that they will fish out the stream, it's just that I am SICK AND TIRED OF PICKING UP TRASH ON THESE MOUNTAIN STREAMS.

The Preacher 05-20-2006 08:16 PM

Re: Smokies and Brookies in the Spotlight
I stand by what I said about the huge increase in fishing pressure on the N. & S. forks of Citico after the publicity. I really liked Tennswede's paragraph and would not complain about it at all. The biggest garbage that bothers me along the park streams are the worm cartons and corn cans. But keep in mind I'm the guy who is planning to start a nat'l organization like NWTF except our goal will be to discourage people from beginning turkey hunting rather than promoting the sport. ;D

rainshaker 05-20-2006 09:00 PM

Re: Smokies and Brookies in the Spotlight
I appreciate your point of view, but we seem to be on two different subjects. I was speaking more to the first post (i.e the effect a single article has to it's specialized audience i.e fly fishers). You guys are commenting on bad behavior, irresposible and inconsiderate people. Until we can identify that class or group of people that illegally use treble hooks and leave worm buckets on the stream, we'll never know how often they read Fish&Fly magazine, and certainly won't know which article brought them to Greenbrier (or your favorite secret hole). My belief is that unfortunately, these certain few will continue to show up, dump trash, net fish, whatever, regardless of what is written in a destination article.

Btw, thanks for picking up trash along the streams. I think we should all do the same.


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