Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2020

Unusually warm and wet conditions continue to prevail here in middle and east Tennessee. This upcoming weekend is looking like more rain and possibly even severe weather. The wind forecast is bad enough that I wouldn't bother going fishing until Sunday at the earliest unless you can go tomorrow.

In the Smokies, nymphing will be the name of the game, but don't be surprised to see some blue-winged olives from time to time. With all the high water, think streamers, big stoneflies, or worm imitations.

Tailwaters like the Caney Fork and Clinch are still rolling with a lot of water. Both rivers are over 10,000 cfs. While this is still fishable, I don't really recommend it. Flows this high are generally all about swinging for the fences if you feel like hunting a trophy. Many days it won't happen. Once in a while it will. Throw big streamers, hope for a shad kill, and get out there. Those big fish won't get caught if you're sitting home on the couch.

The Caney will produce decent fishing if we ever get flows back down at least a little. One generator would be ideal. Right now I'll even take two. Minimum flow looks a long ways off right now.

On the Clinch, you can throw streamers and also possible nymph up a few fish. If you pick your spots, there are places to nymph even on 12,000 cfs. Let's hope it gets back down to two generators or less soon. Every time we get a big rain event, look for some low water for a day or two or three. TVA will hold water back at tributary dams like Norris to reduce downstream high water effects. This gives those of us who like to wade a day or two to fish.

Winter is our favorite time to get on the musky streams. In between bouts of high water, those will be fishing well for the next few months.

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

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"

    ReplyDelete
  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

    ReplyDelete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
  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

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required