Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  Clouds are moving in to the Smoky Mountains.  It is very windy too.  Out boat is parked beside the store and it weighs several hundred pounds.  The wind blew it as far as the chains that secure it would allow.  We are going to have some severe thunderstorms today and tonight. 

The river looks good.  The flow is lower than normal.  Flow is currently 280 cubic feet per second compared to median flow for this date of 414 cfs.  It is at the level right now that most anglers like the best.  The water is clear.  The water temperature is 57 degrees.  That’s about perfect too for trout fishermen.  I noticed the redbud trees in front of our store are blooming.  And every day I see more green trees.  It is not going to feel like Spring tomorrow night.  The low is expected to be 35 degrees.

Fishing has been pretty good.  Bugs are hatching as you would expect.  You will find Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Stoneflies, Caddis and other Mayflies on the water.  The trout have been a little weird about taking them on top according to anglers I’ve talked to.  Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.  If the trout don’t take a Quill Gordon dry, tie on a dropper, maybe a bead head nymph or wet fly.  If that does not work, weight a nymph and dredge the bottom.  The moon has been so bright it is almost like daytime at night.  I think the fish are feeding at night, more than they normally would.

I believe I would stay out of the forest today.  Limbs are going to be falling due to the wind.  And, the weather service mentioned large hail.  You might want to wear your trout fishing helmet if you go fishing today in the Smokies.

We’ll probably get some rain.  That would be just fine if we don’t get too much.  It looks like there is a good chance for rain this weekend too.  Paula and I were going smallmouth bass fishing either tomorrow or Friday.  With the temperature dropping we decided not to go. 

We have a group of college students coming to the shop today.  They are attending some kind of camp at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute.  Here, they will learn about volunteering.  They will learn about how much of a difference one person can make.  The model that will be taught is the relationship between the Smokies Fishery Department and Trout Unlimited.  That relationship began in 1992.  And it has grown.  Troutfest is just part of the benefits the Park has derived from that relationship.  Volunteers work with the fisheries staff to accomplish all the projects it takes to run a fisheries department. 

The students will learn that one volunteer hour can become $20, $30, $40 or more to the fisheries department.  That is because, all money that is donated to the park and all the volunteer hours count as matching funds for grants.  In no time, you can turn $50,000 into $200,000.  Charlie Chmielewski will be in charge of this class today.  He is our Volunteer Coordinator for Trout Unlimited and now other organizations or individuals who want to work for the Smokies fisheries department.  I’m sure I will have some input.  I think Matt Kulp who is one of the fisheries biologists in the Park will be here.

These students will learn a valuable lesson about how important volunteering is.  In our case, a relationship with Great Smoky Mountains National Park started in the early 90’s has netted close to $3 million for trout management projects. 

We keep track of our volunteer hours at Troutfest.  I don’t know the total hours in a year but it is in the thousands.  Some of us spend 200 to 350 and more hours.  I’m talking about one person working that many hours in a year for Troutfest.  And we have about 160 people working on the Troutfest project.  Some may only work 4 hours.  But it all adds up and it is all leveraged for grants.  On top of that, we make a substantial profit that is donated to the fisheries department.

So, even though our volunteer recruitment is ahead of last year so far, we still need more volunteers for this year’s event.  We are asking for you to work four hours minimum.  That’s all.   We need people to work at the volunteer check-in station, people to help vendors unload and set up, people to work in the parking lot, volunteers to work in maintenance and hauling trash to the dumpster.   Don’t worry, we will have 4 wheelers with trailers for that.  We need people to help with the casting golf course.  And, more people are needed to help on Sunday at 4:00 pm to breakdown the event (not the tents). 

If you want to be one of those volunteers that turn a small amount of time into big money for the Park Fisheries Department, you can sign up now.  CLICK HERE to visit the Troutfest website volunteer page.  From there you can click on the “Be a Volunteer” button.  That will take you to our website devoted to scheduling your time slot and what you want to volunteer for.  And, if you have any questions you can contact Ron Becker, our Troutfest Volunteer Coordinator by CLICKING HERE.

Troutfest is very organized and you will find your work time to be enjoyable, fulfilling and profitable for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
March 23, 2011

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Volunteer for Troutfest


Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday March 26 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday April 30 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 1 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday May 7 – Beginner Day One
Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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