Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 04/19/2019

Easter Weekend Update: The Smokies have been pounded with rain today and will feature high water through the holiday weekend. If you must get out and fish, wait until late in the weekend and be very cautious. Fish the edges and stay safe!

Otherwise...our early hatches are giving way to lighter colored bugs now. Light Cahills, Pale Evening Duns, Blue-winged Olives, March Browns, and Hendricksons have all been on the water at times. The huge Black Stoneflies are around now as well and providing some big bites for hungry trout. Sulfurs should be starting fairly soon, especially with all of the nice weather we are having. Little Yellow Stoneflies are just starting to show up now as well and will get much stronger as May approaches. The yearly pinnacle of spring dry fly fishing is quickly approaching!

Tailwaters are starting to fish well. The Caney Fork is still blowing a LOT of water. That should change fairly soon if we don't get too much rain. I'm thinking we might start seeing some opportunities in early May if things hold steady, maybe sooner. The Clinch has been fishing extremely well. Big hard fighting rainbow and brown trout are the target here on light tippets and tiny flies. Bring your A game or go home disappointed. Sulfurs should start to really take off shortly along with more caddis than we have already been seeing. On Tuesday's float, fish were taking a variety of bugs including midges, caddis, and the odd sulfur.

Warm water options are really taking off as well. That is assuming that flows cooperate. Big rain events will shut this down for a few days, but otherwise, everything is fishing very well right now!

Photo of the Month: Early Spring Rewards

Photo of the Month: Early Spring Rewards

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Smokies Backcountry Fees?

In the midst of the madness otherwise known as the beginning of another school year, I ran across some interesting information about a proposal being considered for the Smoky Mountains.  Apparently the Park Service is considering charging a fee for backcountry campsites.  Personally, if I could afford it, I would have no problem paying for the privilege.  However, as it is my local Park and has never charged a fee, I am strongly against it. 

Currently on a very limited budget, I've resorted to backpacking as a way to still visit my favorite place anywhere on overnight trips.  I enjoy car camping but it is just too expensive to justify or even afford on a regular basis.  By charging for backcountry sites, the Park Service will more or less be pricing a Park experience out of some people's budgets and cutting down on the number of trips others can take.  While some backcountry sites get too crowded, it is my opinion that charging money is NOT the method to cut down on crowds.  If the Park Service would simply get out and ticket backcountry users for staying without reservations they could still generate the revenue they are claiming to be in desperate need of. 

While I'm sure there are good arguments in favor of fees, I am strongly against it.  Anyone who loves hiking overnight in the Park and does not want to be charged for the privilege should contact the Park Service as they are in the process of taking public comments on this proposal.  I've already sent mine in and would encourage everyone else to do the same. 

5 comments:

  1. I totally agree. I would also encourage anyone who cares to contact the park superintendent at grsmcomments@nps.gov, specifically referencing the "Backcountry Office & Permit System Restructuring Proposal"

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  2. David,

    You have to remember that the park already makes due with very little money relative to its status as the most visited national park in the country. It takes the annual visitation of Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Yosemite to equal what we see in the Smokies.

    A great deal of the work done in the park, including fisheries restorations, are done with a great deal of volunteer labor and funded with donations from outside organizations.

    It's already free to enter the park and there is no extra charge from the park for a fishing license so it's clearly a deal.

    Current staffing in the park can barely keep up with the 9 million plus visitors every year. Fees from the backcountry camping would remain in the park and fund backcountry patrols.

    I already donate time and funds to the park plus pay fees to operate a business there. I see no problem asking the most intensive users to pay a small fee to maintain the resource. There's only so much you can get for free.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ian,

    I see your point, but following that logic then the Park should require a Park fishing license like YNP. They should require anyone wanting to tube in the Park to pay a fee, and probably all the people that hang out at the Wye should pay a use fee... It is a slippery slope to start down. Since you live close to the Park you don't have to worry about lodging, but those of us who live a couple of hours away or more find it increasingly difficult to visit due to ever increasing camping fees and this would only add to the difficulty...

    David Knapp

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  4. On some of the NPS sights there has been discussion about who should pay for the very very expensive rescues. I suggested any back country users should pay a fee to pay for their possible rescue. Kind of like insurance to pay for the ones who need those very very expensive rescues.

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  5. ijsouth2:17 PM

    Interesting topic, and I admit to having two minds on this. The first time I brought the girls up to GSMNP, I remember swinging by an ATM first, because I assumed I would have to pay around $20 to get in. I know the park is desperate for revenue - I'm not sure if this is the way or not.

    To take a slightly different spin to this topic - I've never seen, in black and white, the official reason(s) for not allowing dispersed camping in GSMNP. Just about every other National Park I've been to allows it, including within wilderness areas within said parks. I guess GSMNP gets so many visitors, they're worried about the impact - understandable, but I can't help but think these backcountry sites, crowded during the height of the season, get pretty trashy after a while.

    ReplyDelete

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