Excellent forum topic. I often think about how things have changed in the park and surrounding area. I started visiting the park in the early 80's when i was a college student at UK.
Now day's when i visit the park with my wife and family the one thing i am always telling them is you needed to plan all your trips way in advance and have all the fly fishing gear you needed with you because there was not any or at least very few fly fishing shops and fly fishing gear available.
There was only one store i was aware of and it still exists today. I cant remember the name but it is on the way to Sevierville, and it was as much a hardware store as anything else but it did have some hunting and fishing equipment.
Today you have Bass Pro, Ovris dealer store and many many others.
The only other major difference is in those days i would fish all weekend in hopes of catching a fish. Today more than a few decades later i think i have half way figured out how to catch a trout and can actually catch a couple.