Volunteers Needed – Huge Fundraiser

Good afternoon fishing friends! 

As you may have heard, the 2018 Orvis Guide Rendezvous is coming to Asheville April 12-14. I am working with Orvis as their Lead Volunteer Coordinator and I am reaching out to you to inquire if you or anyone you know may want to be a part of this awesome event as a volunteer!

I will be recruiting upwards of 50 people to help with the cause. There are different levels of roles and tasks along with variety of shifts that will be assigned. NO fishing experience is necessary for participating as a volunteer. As a benefit for helping Orvis, they will be issuing a generously deep discount for up to three Orvis Fly Fishing products to all volunteers (30% off WHOLESALE!!!) as well as hosting a volunteer dinner so that you can meet the Orvis staff that you’ll be working with. 

 Tentative Agenda:

Tuesday April 10th – Volunteer Dinner hosted by Orvis. (will be assigning tasks at this event)

Friday April 13th – Cocktail Party at the Renaissance Hotel Downtown Asheville (15-20 Volunteers needed for the evening)

Saturday April 14th – Orvis Guide Olympics Highland Brewing, Asheville (30-50 Volunteers needed, all day)

This agenda is subject to change.

If you are interested, please send me your contact information and availability as soon as possible! I am available to answer any questions directly in regards to tasks and opportunities.

Of course, feel free to forward this email and my contact information to anyone that would be interested.

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State of Trout in America’s Most Popular Park 

At our February 13 chapter meeting (REI store on Schenk Parkway in Biltmore Park at 7 pm), we are excited to have Matt Kulp (Supervisory Fishery Biologist) return for another engagement with us.   Matt has worked in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for almost 25 years and is nationally well known for his work restoring native fish populations.  He currently leads efforts in the Park on brook trout restoration and our chapter has worked with him and his staff in that activity.

  Matt will cover a variety of topics including trout status in the Park, study of mercury in fish tissue, and fish restoration projects.   He will also discuss 2018 opportunities for volunteer activities for us with his team. This meeting has been one of our most popular topics in past years so come early, share stories with your buddies, and stay for a great time.

Here we are in February and no one has yet claimed the Icebreaker Trophy! I hope it’s just that the first trout of the year hasn’t been reported and that there’s a winner out there. Maybe we will find out at the February meeting.

Something else to put on your calendar are the dates for stocking the North Branch of the Mills River.

March 5, April 2, May 5, October 1, November 2.

We usually meet about 10 – 10:30 in the parking lot of the Mills River Campground. So if you want to know where the REALLY big ones are (and I do mean big) pack your waders and join us.

And don’t forget the F3T film festival is coming up next month – March 31 at the Highland Brewery.

Also, it’s nearing the time for us to nominate a student we will sponsor for River course. If you know a student between 13 and 15 who would really benefit from this, please let us know.

And finally, kudos to our Conservation Chair, Jay Hawthorne who participated in the Mountain True “live staking” on the Upper French Broad River. Jay is doing a great job and is constantly finding volunteer projects for us.


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Top Ten Whys of Fly Fishing


  1. Why do you find golf balls in trout streams but never find trout flies on a golf course?
  2. Why do you find only # 16 hackles on a neck when you’re tying # 14 flies?
  3. Why do hackle pliers slip on the last turn and not the first turn?
  4. Why do 7X tippets break at dusk but not at noon?
  5. Why do new waders develop leaks and old ones you want to replace don’t?
  6. Why do you sneeze right after you’ve sorted and stripped a dozen pairs of hackle tip wings?
  7. Why do you not remember that tip for tying pattern “X” that you picked up at the tying demonstration until you’ve tied 10 of the dozen you wanted to make?
  8. Why is it that when you’re almost done with a fly and think, “Hey, this is gonna be one of the better ones”, the thread breaks as you’re tying off the hackle?
  9. Why does your bird dog that won’t pick up a woodcock pick up your # 1 Metz neck when you get up to answer the phone?
  10. Why do we consider a person who is too busy to go fishing a success?


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PADDLE-n-PLANT Work Day Volunteering Opportunity
 The French Broad Riverkeeper and MountainTrue are combating sediment erosion in our local waterways. Sediment is a major polluter in our river basin, clogging fish and aquatic habitats, increasing water temperatures, and transporting toxic substances. We are helping to reduce the amount of sediment that flows into our rivers by planting live-stakes along eroding riverbanks. These stakes will grow into trees that will stabilize the sides of the rivers and creeks where we plant them, and will reduce the overall amount of sediment getting into the river. We have lots of dates to choose from, so come out to one or more of our Paddle-n-Plant work days!  (Also, please mention that you are connected with LandO’Sky Chapter of Trout Unlimited so that the organizers can see the connection to us.)


*Please note the deadline to sign-up will be by noon on the day before the event. Thanks!


  • January – 17, 19
  • February – 2, 7, 27
  • March – 8, 13

Times: 10am – 4pm

Locations: French Broad River in Transylvania and Henderson Counties. Meeting locations will change, depending on water level, and will be emailed to you 1-2 days before the work day.

What to bring with you:

  • Lunch
  • extra change of clothes
  • warm layers (we’ll be on the water, so dress for weather, but also make sure it’s things you don’t mind to get dirty); we’ve got a couple dry bags
  • rubber boots and/or waders (We have some, but not many so bring your own if you have them.)
  • pocket knife (if you have one)
  • water to drink
  • really, just what you think you need to keep warm and dry that day.
  (If you cannot get the link to work for you, please contact our Conservation Chair, Jay Hawthorne, at johnjhawthorne@gmail.com and he will help you get in touch with the Work Day organizers.)
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I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that the New Year brings all good things. Of course that includes lots of fishing and maybe trips to exotic places (so you can do a program on your trip!)


And speaking of the new year, I haven’t had any report of the first trout of the year. Has anyone even dared to wet a line in this weather?




We will have our regular chapter meeting on Tuesday, January 9th at 7 PM in the REI store. Our speaker will be Andy Brown who will do a presentation on TU in the Southern Appalachians: Collaboration in Coldwater Conservation 2017 Results and 2018 Opportunities. Hope to see you there.

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December Meeting

We’re in for some cold weather on December 12th but don’t let that deter you from coming to our meeting. Jeff Curtis of Curtis Wright will bring a bundle of new gadgets and goodies to add to your holiday wish list.

Hope to see you there.

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December Doings



We had a great turnout this morning sorting and pricing the items. There is about a ton (well, not literally) of terrific items so thank you for your donations. Come early and take your pic. There is the usual collections of rods, waders, boots, and other fishing stuff as well as some unusual items – a Mad River canoe, a pair of snowshoes, and even an 8” Meade Reflector telescope. We are in our usual location on the left wall side of the hall as you enter.


Our monthly meeting will be on December 12th at 7:00 PM at the REI on Schenk Parkway in Biltmore Park. Curtis Wright will bring some new items that you just can’t live without. Well, okay, maybe you CAN live without them, but they’re good to put on your holiday wish list or keep in mind for your next trip to the store.


In partnership with the Pisgah Chapter we raised $4,000 in donations. And because so many of us donated we had top scores in all categories of the challenge and won an additional $10,000 to use for the joint conservation projects we have with Pisgah. So, again, thanks to all of you for your donations.


The new year is coming up and with it is our First Fish of the Year contest. The angler who catches the first verified fish of the year on New Year’s Day (or later if the weather on that day is unfishable) wins a small prize and gains notoriety by having the photo of the angler with the winning fish posted on our website and Facebook page. And, yes, the first fish does have to be a trout.

Best wishes to all for a happy holiday season.

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Western North Carolina Wins Big!

As you know, the Embrace A Stream Challenge ended at midnight.  We knew we were doing well in the standings, but until this morning we didn’t know just how well we were doing.

There’s great news today for everyone who lives in or visits western North Carolina and enjoys her beautiful streams, rivers, woods, mountains and trails; for everyone who cherishes wild places and wants to ensure that they’re there for many future generations to enjoy.

The Cantrell Creek Project received close to 130 gifts — none of them huge, but each and every one of them a game-changer, a difference-maker.

Working together, with help from Orvis and TU, we turned $3,905 into $14,505 for the Cantrell Creek Project.

Total of Donor Gifts:  $3,905
EAS Prize for Most Money Given:  $2,500
EAS Prize for Most Unique Donors:  $5,000
EAS Prize for Most $25+ Gifts:  $1,500
EAS Prize for Most $10-$24.99 Gifts:  $1,000
EAS Random $10 Drawing:  $100
EAS Random $50 Drawing:  $500
EAS Challenge Total:  $14,505

Without your personal gift none of this would have happened.

We are amazed and humbled by your generosity, and your willingness to step up big and come through for Cantrell Creek, the south Mills River and all of the wild places in western North Carolina.  You’ve done it so many times before, and we knew we could count on you again.

Take some time to savor your victory. You’ve earned it.

We’ll talk more in over the next few days but for now, while we all take time to let it soak in, we couldn’t pass up this chance to say a heartfelt Thank You.

Your friends at Pisgah and Land O’ Sky TU.

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Embrace A Stream Challenge

Land O’Sky TU Members

This part of the country is blessed like few others with beautiful places to explore, fish, hike, bike and camp.

Our chapter is among the most active in the country when it comes to conservation of our wild places, and to be entrusted with that legacy is an amazing honor.

As you know, we’re in a partnership with the Pisgah Chapter of TU in a program to reroute the Cantrell Creek Trail which is now running in the stream bed causing siltation and other problems for the Brook Trout population.

I ‘m asking you to give a gift of $10 to help out. More if you can afford it, but $10 makes a huge difference — and could help us win $10,000 more.

Not to put trout in the river, and not to teach people to catch them; but to use for education, conservation and other programs and opportunities — every one with an eye to the future of our wild, beautiful places in this part of the country, and preserving them for ourselves and generations yet unborn.

If you’ve ever stood alongside a cold stream on a crisp morning, watched fish rise and listened to the birds, been grateful to take in that fresh air, and thankful for the people who fought so hard to keep them alive for you, here’s your chance to be one of those people.

The deadline for giving is THIS SUNDAY at midnight.   

So please, click on the link below and choose the Pisgah Chapter for your donation.  The reason Land O’Sky is not listed is that  the challenge only allows one chapter name and although we are equal partners with them we didn’t want to divide donations between the two of us which would happen if both chapters were listed.  I hope you’ll join me in supporting Cantrell Creek,  the many beautiful wild places we share right here in western North Carolina.



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Great Turnout For Trout Stocking

About 15 LOSTU members and family showed up amid pouring rain and some (very loud) rumbles of thunder.  We stocked about 1,000 pounds of trout, some of them in the 4-5 pound class and we finished in record time – about an hour.  Photos to follow.

After we finished several of us adjourned to the nearby Sierra Nevada brewery for some brews and lunch.  One conversation dealt with how catching a lot of fish isn’t really important  – it’s the total outdoor experience that draws a lot of us to the rivers and streams.  And the discussion reminded me of a short essay by a former Michigan Supreme Court Judge – John Voelker who wrote under the pen name of Robert Traver.  Those of a certain age will remember him as the author of the movie “Anatomy of a Murder” starring Jimmy Stewart and was the screen debut of George C. Scott.  It was entitled “Testament of A Fisherman”

Testament of a Fisherman

I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly; because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturing I thus escape; because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience; because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don’t want to waste the trip; because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters; because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness; because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there; because maybe one day I will catch a mermaid; and, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant – and not nearly so much fun.

-John Voelker (Robert Traver )

Still true except the part about no telephones on trout waters.  He also wrote a few books on trout fishing, my favorite is Trout Madness.


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