Understood! * *If I had a gas station, motel, guide service, tube rental business, etc. in the area I would wish for twice the customers next year that I had this year. * *If I get my wish, there might be an undesireable consequence to the waters of the Park.
LRMike,That maybe all this increase pressure on the same few miles of the 1000, could result in degradation in the fishing experience on those same streams.
Could you clarify what you mean about the degradation in the fishing experience? I am interested in understanding your viewpoint.
I believe that there are more people fly fishing now. Overall, fishing may be down but I think that there are more fly fisherman out there so the streams are going to be more crowded. Just about any major destination out west you go to fish, the guides and fly shop owners can tell you plenty of stories about the good old days. Whether it is good or not, this is an aspect of our sport we need to face and accept. Things are going to change, including an increased number of people on the streams. It is this way with any outdoor pursuit. If you have a place that no one else ever goes, treasure it because these days, all the great places are being "discovered."
Once again, great topic!
Okay, let me try expand on this. If every one and his brother and sister fish the rivers right off the blacktop then I should be able to find solitude with a ten minute walk from that particular spot. I understand the need for solitude and I sometimes like to fish in solitude myself, what differs from my opinion and some tight lipped peoples opinion is that I don't think it hurts the fishery a bit. In fact I encourage people to keep a fish or two if they live close by or can prepare the fish within reasonable time. I also think that if everyone is fishing let's say metcalf bottoms then after a while most people will give up because of the crowds and then in a little bit of time I will get the stream to myself again. I'm not trying to be a smartass about this but I believe there's room for everyone on these streams and when it get's crowded just walk and go somewhere else, or better yet join em'. I have found so many good friends on these streams and I'm going fishing tomorrow with one of those friends who I hooked up with thru a message board.
I agree with your analysis though, that the park is getting more crowded and I think that goes for all categories, campers, tubers, fishermen etc. I don't really worry about it too much because I have found that most fisherman who are not used to the smokies or a beginners in general give up the spot within an hour or so. You will be amazed on how little patience most people have if they don't catch a fish every five minutes. I have talked to numerous people in the park who claim there's no fish in here.
Now if we can just convince everyone else...I have talked to numerous people in the park who claim there's no fish in here.
As a fishery,the Smokies are getting better.Fisheries are judged by the size and the number of the fish that are caught.Like it or not,the better the fishing the more attention the park will get,and you know what happens next.A friend of mine,who owns a hotel in Gatlinburg,and is on the city council(or whatever it is called here)said ,at a meeting,projections from a marketing agency(the agency owned by Disney) impliedvisitors to SMNP will exceed 17million by 2015.How far will you need to hike?I say there is nothing that can be done,there are no options,the park will not be the same.I suppose we are fishing and living and hiking on memories just made....we are lucky,in a way,because we can fish,and know that ,now,as we fish,we are a part of the "good ol' days"
The old times are gone and unfortunately, will not return. In my 35+ years of flyfishing, I have seen the numbers go up and down and a trip through a neighborhood yard sale will show you that there are alot of flyfisherman who do not stick with the sport. The downside to the current population visiting the GSMNP seems to be their lack of concern with littering and trashing the park. This also is apparent from a number of people fishing who will not pick up discarded tippets, flyline, etc. from the creek sides. This is in addition to the abundance of other trash that I pickup when fishing. Used to, I was able to pack a small trash bag and fill while fishing. I now carry a large trash bag and usually fill it on any given day. I would not discourage anyone picking up this wonderful sport and will share my knowledge gained with those who ask the questions. The downside to the increased pressure of fishing means some of us will have to hike a little further to reach that certain spot, which is getting harder as arthritis and the effects of age catch up.
Interesting, if not a little sad, that today is next year’s “good ol’ days”. *The implication is that… of course fishing was better in years past than today…. And of course (because of ever increasing pressure) fishing will not be as good in the future as it is today. * This line of thought suggests that all that we can do is 1) enjoy today and 2) do our share to slow the decline of the fishing experience, (i.e. volunteer work with TU, Friends of the Smokies, etc.).
Lauxier, thanks for your perspective. * I’m afraid it contains a good amount of truth.
Also, thanks to all for your input re the back country waters…I understand and agree. *I know that walking an hour before starting to fish will bring one a different (many say better) experience than fishing close to your vehicle. *
As sometimes happens, a new topic can turn different directions, not anticipated by the poster. *I thought my topic would be just about recent observations concerning the easily accessible parts of the Little River and Little Pigeon watersheds and the cultural shift from “don’t ask, don’t tell” fishermen to everyone tells everyone else (almost) everything. *I don’t think anyone can deny that there has been a shift. *Slowly first with books, then newsletters and now with the internet. * I just found myself wondering about the effect this phenomenon has had and will have on Park waters, but specifically these two watersheds. *
I believe that anyone who flyfishes and finds a good spot or honeyhole as some might call it were told about that spot by someone else before they fished there. With the internet, more people can pick up on these spots when the info is passed along.
With regard to the Park, come on let's be honest, you don't have to tell anybody about the Little River along the Park road becuase everybody can see it when they drive by. The advice on the blue-liners up high, well if you have gone up after the Brookies up high, then you know if you ain't in good shape, you ain't going to do it.
I have been experiencing the Smokies at least once/year as a flyfisherman for the last 4 years. I have to say that people like tennswede( Hans), Hugh Hartsell and the people at LRO have been very helpful the last four years via the internet in providing just enough information to make my trips enjoyable and I greatly appreciate them.