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Thread: Increased Ranger Activity GSMNP

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Increased Ranger Activity GSMNP

    Yesterday was a first for me...I was actually frisked by a ranger who then proceeded to tell me that I was not allowed to use more than "one hook." I was set up with what one of the guys at a fly shop who told me to use: a 14 yellow sally, dropping an 18 greenie weenie and 16 yellow sally nymph - a set up that gave me better success due to my unfamiliarity with fishing the GSMNP. After being caught off guard by his presence in my peaceful state on the Middle Prong, he then wanted to check my Simms bag for live bait and whatever else. He gave me a warning on the "three hooks." Then he left...

    After being a little ruffled in the feathers, and now having to figure out a different technique because of his mandate he came back.
    "Oh, one more thing...what is in your (sweater) pocket?"
    "My phone." I replied
    "Is that all?" With a suspicious voice
    I took out the phone to show him, then he grabbed my sweater to feel for other contents. At this point in my head I am getting a little unnerved by this guy.
    "Have a nice day and fix your line." - Ranger

    Okay, rant over. All this to say, I was questioning his mandate on the one fly double dropper setup I had because everyone else tells me they use a fly with a dropper in the park. Well, going online I confirmed that a fly with a double dropper is LEGAL in the park. "Double, treble, or gang hooks" are not allowed (why I would be fishing with them on a fly line is beyond me).

    Well, for what it's worth, make sure you have your license on you, and now hopefully this might help someone caught with a fly and double dropper set up to know that they are within their legal rights to use this method in the park (obviously he is not a fly fisherman otherwise this would have been obvious to him). Sorry, I guess the rant wasn't over.
    Last edited by Byron Begley; 09-27-2015 at 07:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Ranger was right. Only two flies allowed per leader. I'd personally cut off the green weenie.

    How was the fishing?
    My posts are worthless without pictures

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Louisville, TN


    Sounds like the ranger said "only one" when you are allowed "only two". I was up there with a buddy one time who had just broke off before we got checked. The Canadian park ranger insisted that my buddy had cut his line when he saw the ranger coming and searched every inch of him for corn and found nothing but flies. With all the stuff that goes on up there I find it funny that two fly fishermen were thoroughly searched for live bait

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Norris, TN


    I know it feels like you were being violated and it was an uncomfortable experience. The best thing is to be open and honest with them. They are protecting the resources you love and they have to check each person equally.

    I always try and read up or research any new stream I fish to make sure I have all the regulation information covered. If you miss something; then it is an honest mistake and be open about it.

    Be thankful that he was out checking. Now you know these streams are being looked after and you will have the fishing regulation information to make future checks go with ease.

    Now; you just need to focus on the one hook setup.
    “Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
    These give us the ultimate human freedom... The
    to choose, to respond, to change.”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Knoxville, TN


    Seems a bit out of line to search you based on the fact you had 1 too many flies on your line. But you can't have more than 2. Troubling that someone at a fly shop told you this. I hope it was just that you misunderstood, as this is a pretty basic regulation in the park.

    I've been checked twice in the park. Once near where you were and once at greenbriar. The guy at greenbriar was cool. Talked to me for a while about fishing & what was going on in the park lately. Just a genuinely nice guy & pleasant to talk to. The guy near tremont was the polar opposite. Was more like a border patrol officer than a park ranger. Very very unfriendly and rude. Its sort of troubling if you ask me, when park rangers are like this. Their paychecks come from our tax dollars. There are tons of people who are qualified & would love to be a park ranger at the national park, yet can barely find work picking up trash in a seasonal role at a state park. There are some great people who work for the park service, but as for the others, if you can't find the decency to be friendly to the public when they are just out enjoying the outdoors, find a new job, imo.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Springboro, OH


    Edited - Think I know the ranger. Gave his name but then thought better of it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Knoxville, Tennessee


    Here are the regulations:

    2 flies only and make sure you have 18 inches between

    I also wish you would have gotten the name of the ranger as he needs to be informed of the proper regulation at the least. Also what was your demeanor towards him? Besides being shocked out of your peacefulness, were you friendly or irritated? We do get rangers who are jerks occasionally, but they seem to get rid of them pretty fast. I guess I just want to know if the ranger was just a complete jerk, or if maybe you were upset (probably thinking you were doing nothing wrong) and maybe that helped to increase the situation. I see people chucking corn all the time and even stopped bother to try and even inform those people of the proper regulation as it easily to get confrontational, so a part of me is thrilled to see some fishing enforcement, but on other hand, I go to the Smokies to get away from it all and a "frisking" (By most) would be a real downer.

    Lesson #1 Stop by LRO for Smokies fishing info. I know Byron, Dan, or Daniel would never lead you astray

    Lesson #2 Get the rangers name. If they are a jerk, we can let the right people know. The Smokies is a coveted place to work and there are plenty of good rangers who can easily take the place of people who shouldn't be doing the job.
    Last edited by Byron Begley; 09-27-2015 at 07:41 AM.
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Ranger

    I normally lurk a lot here but thought I would post something on this topic because I have some very strong opinions regarding this type of law enforcement.

    Years ago many departments (fish and wildlife) including both state and federal hired the best poachers they could find as officers. Reason was the poachers knew all the tricks.... LOL. Then we moved into an era when more biological background folks were hired and then trained by the various departments.

    Today is a different story. Most all candidates for these positions have some kind of law enforcement, college program or military background. Very few come from a biological background and it might surprise you to know how many do not hunt or even fish and additionally how many are not really gun friendly.

    Now, I know this is sounding like a negative rant but it’s not. There are some really good officers out there. They go about their daily business with the idea that they are at the service of the users but are also there to see that rules are followed. This is what we need......

    What we do not need are the badge and gun, shaved head Gestapo types. I have had conversations with several of our CPO's here in Illinois regarding their "physical presentation" as to this shaved head thing. Many, after said conversation said they never thought of it that way. If my parents were alive and saw this the first impression they would have is Nazi Germany and the “Storm Troopers.” I guarantee it. I understand that for a Tact, SERT, or SWAT team this may be fine as an intimidating factor but for the everyday officer on the ground.... not so much. For those of us in our late 60’s, have you noticed how police department dress now looks more military then when we were kids ?

    In my time as an educator linked very heavily to the hunting, shooting and fishing industry I have had the opportunity to discuss the interpersonal relations side of this type of law enforcement many times with not only officers/rangers but with their administrators. This just seems to be, in many instances, a sign of the times.

    We would all like to see our resources protected but in a polite manner. A ranger, CPO meeting someone on a trail might seem commonplace and of a non-dangerous nature but make no mistake, in today’s world every encounter has the opportunity to turn bad quickly. It is the officer’s duty to evaluate each situation and respond accordingly. Some, unfortunately, overdo it.

    Just some thoughts

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Canton, Ga


    I completely agree!
    Bamboo flyrods, old four wheel drives, small streams
    "I will make you fishers of men"- Christ
    email: dawgvet2003(at)yahoo(dot)com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Knoxville, TN


    I've never been stopped by a ranger before, but I had always assumed they didn't say anything to me, because they saw I had a fly rod and knew I knew the rules. That being said, I can't believe you were told to have 3 flies on. And by can't believe it, I can totally believe it. West Knoxville is not the place to get your Smokies info, and I'll leave it at that. I hope you continue to get out there on the water! There are some good fish where you were.

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