Slipstream--Thanks for your post, although it absolutely frosts my grits. I'm basically a defender and supporter of the Park in a lot of ways (including with support dollars). But their cavalier attitude on backcountry law enforcement is and long has been indefensible. The fact that you kept failing to get an answer and were, when you finally did get through to a real person, pretty much "blown off" says far more than it should. I'd love to know what Steve Moore and Matt Kulp think about the woeful lack of backcountry enforcement. I see folks with spinning rigs and treble-hook lures pretty regularly, and periodically I see worm containers on stream banks. But what you encountered simply goes beyond the pale.
Or look at it another way. Many of the people here fish the Park waters a lot. When was the last time you were checked? I've been checked twice in the last three decades and one of them was strictly serendipity. A lady ranger had stopped a speeder on 441 along Luftee, and he pulled off where I was just getting out of my truck to rig up. She wrote him a ticket and then, as she saw me putting up my rod, walked up to me. "I might as well check your license while I'm here," she said. I showed it to her and said it had been far too long since someone had checked me. She had no reply.
I know they are busy, but if speck resotration is a high priority, surely protection of Park fisheries should have some sort of priority as well. But then there is the issue of horse use, the damage horses are doing to trails, the Roaring Fork road delay, the exclusion of ordinary folks from 75th anniversary celebrations, the flat-out reluctance bordering on fear on the part of Park officials to patrol (especially at night) the national forest lands bordering the Park in the Cataloochee area, and more.
I'd love for someone to tell me I'm all wet on the above and back it up with facts, but I don't think it's going to happen.