View Full Version : Troutfest 2009

Byron Begley
07-17-2008, 11:21 AM
I'm the new Chairman of Troutfest. In order to make this event as successful as possible we are all starting early. The dates are set. The banquet will be held at the Townsend Visitors Center on Friday evening May 15th. The Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited has decided to change the format of the festival to a Fly Fishing Exposition. Since next year is the 75th Anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park it is only fitting to make this a special event. I have asked Joe Hatton and Rufus King to be Vice-Chairmen of Troutfest. We have already assigned the job of Coordinators to several people and we will be asking others to serve. We will also need a lot of volunteers and I have been getting phone calls and e-mail from people willing to serve. Thanks to all of you.

The Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau's Herb Handly will work with us on Marketing and Festival Planning. Troutfest will be included in the SMCVB's national advertising which is vast.

We will have some special people here for your enjoyment at the banquet and during the festival. So far we have committments from Joe Humphreys and Lefty Kreh and I am working on getting Bob Clouser. I think he will be here. Our shop will pay to get Joe here and Rick Pope who is President of Temple Fork is going to bring Lefty in. Rick will be here as well. I talked to Lily Renzetti yesterday and she and her husband Andy plan to attend. We have several other special guests who we are working with.

The banquet will be expanded to handle 400 to 500 people.

There will be a fly tying tent with ongoing demonstrations by many well known fly tyers from this area and others.

Joe, Lefty and probably Bob will give demonstrations and they will participate in the fly tying tent.

Fly Fishing Manufacturers will be here to display their tackle and for you to meet.

Guide services, fly fishing related vendors, food vendors and fly shops will have booths.

The Education Tent will be back with participation from additional non-profits, conservation organizations and government agencies.

Many if not all of the sales representatives who work in this region will be here. I have committments from some of them already.

There will be a Little River Chapter store that will sell books and chapter logo merchandise. We can buy the books and send back what we don't sell. That will be a huge fund raiser since the writers will be there to sign them.

We will work closely with the National Park Service personnel to get them more involved. Troutfest is currently listed as one of the events for their 75th Anniversary Celebration.

It is going to be a great event. My goal is to start early and make it easy for the volunteers due to careful planning by our Vice-Chairmen and Coordinators.

We added this Forum to the message board so you can discuss the event and keep up to date with the progress. Also we know that our attendance will be better if we reach a lot of people and give good information.

That's all for now. I'll keep you posted and please feel free to chime in.


Gerry Romer
07-17-2008, 12:16 PM
Byron --

Just your usual phenomenal job...



07-17-2008, 02:58 PM
We are planning on setting up our tent in about a week to reserve our spot. If anyone wants to join us, just let me know.
See you all there!

07-18-2008, 11:36 AM
Hey Byron,

How many days is Troutfest? Gonna try to get down for it.

Gerry Romer
07-18-2008, 12:09 PM

Just keep reminding yourself that this is Troutfest...

not Bonnaroo :biggrin:


07-18-2008, 01:47 PM
I talked with Doug Moore about it last night over dinner.....Sounds like this year it's going to be done right! With the sales reps being there alone, that should be a big improvement! Will these guys/gals being packing there own booths? I've always said Troutfest in good ol Townsend, TN should be bigger. Heck, this IS the only festival/event of it's type north of Florida, south of Michigan, and east of Arkansas!

There is just too much good fishing around East Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, North Georgia, and Kentucky!

Byron, someone else you might want to try to get is someone from Hyde and Clacka. Any Mckenzie boat manufactor's! The gent that runs South East Fly Fishing Forum is also a sales rep for Star Inflatables, he is also a member of NC FF team. It would be a short trip for him! A small personal toon vendor booth would probably do really well. Like myself, a few months ago, I didn't know what to buy or why! Inflatable toon, or fiberglass boat? Then I had 30 different models to choose from.

If you could secure Hyde or Clacka it would be something...They have officially quit coming out east. This year was the first year they didn't show over in NC for the Fly Fishing Show. At least that's what I hear....

I know you all don't sell or advertise them but, it would ultimately draw folks to the show and draw them into Townsend. Once they head through the doors of your shop and meet the LRO family it's all over!

T.E. Shular is the gent's name with Star Inflatables...Byron, I'm sure you know him!

Lastly, Byron if there is anything I can do to help....Please let me know!


Byron Begley
07-18-2008, 07:39 PM

The banquet will be held Friday night May 15th and the Exposition will be on Saturday and Sunday the 16th and 17th. Hope you can be here.


Our buddy Kris Maurer is going to be in charge of vendors. You know how organized he is. We have not set prices yet for booths for manufacturers, fly shops or guides. I'll put you on the volunteer list. Thank you for volunteering. You might want to work with Kris. He is going to need plenty of help. I'd say Doug will be helping Kris too. I've known Eugene Shuler for years.


Byron Begley
07-18-2008, 07:41 PM

I think we should have Widespread Panic open the show. What do you think?


07-25-2008, 08:37 PM
I'm pumped! I had a prior engagement during this years Troutfest, now I have NO excuse. Great job Byron, getting this thing off the ground so early. I can't wait to see a row of trucks with TU license plates too!

07-28-2008, 12:50 PM
Make sure that you don’t have any “Prior Commitments” like a Honeymoon to conflict with the event this year. Could be a bad start if you have to come home early for a fishing show!

07-28-2008, 05:49 PM
Oh, yeah...
Well, if it is a two week honeymoon, I'm sure to get some fishing in anyhow.:rolleyes:

Gerry Romer
07-29-2008, 12:48 PM

I think we should have Widespread Panic open the show. What do you think?


Maybe they could open for Panic! At the Disco....