Smith River Action Alert

We all hope the dam repairs are completed soon. When that happens, do want the weekend releases to start up again like they were structured last fall and winter?

Please send your response to the stakeholders and more by completing the attached Action Alert. Deadline is Oct. 31!

Smith River Action Alert

Smith River Action Alert

Our TU Action Alert is now active. The original proposal to generate for 4 hours on Saturday and Sunday is still in place as of now. Please go to the link below to tell the local and state legislators, as well as other stakeholder in the weekend release policy, how you feel about the original proposal. Your responses are powerful and are appreciated!

http://cts.vresp.com/c/?9VAVirginia/98ab545ccf/7782353e84/01659f5aad

 

SE Regional TU Meeting

The yearly meeting is in Roanoke this year. Join fellow TU members from West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia on Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22. The session’s schedule, description and registration is attached. If you are interested in what TU does for us regionally, want to become more involved as a volunteer or leader, and want to rub elbows with like minded folks, this is a great opportunity. You have choices of sessions to attend, you can attend sessions only, buy a meal plan with it or not, come to the BBQ at Parkway Brewing Saturday night or not, stay at the hotel or not. Lots of options. If you want to book a room at the host hotel, you just have a couple of days left to get the group rate, though.

The agenda listed has been changed some to fit speaker’s schedule. New one should be out soon.

Finally, the local chapters are “hosting” this. Let’s make everyone proud with our involvement. Part of the involvement is fishing. Many folks will be coming in on Friday to fish. We are part of the guide system. Hopefully we can get on the Smith and hopefully we get enough rain to keep small streams in play. I have had a couple of folks volunteer already. I need any and all prospective “guides” to contact Doug. d.jessie81@gmail.com
It some cases it will be pointing to a map to provide direction, in others it will be actually joining them for some fishing.

http://www.tu.org/get-involved/national-events/2016-southeast-regional-meeting

https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/events/start.action?id=1603016372&key=D27DB1D

2016 Calendar of Events

Smith River TU has a busy calendar for 2016 – We hope you join us for these fun, fulfilling and informative events. Check  back here  or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SmithRiverTU for updates and additional events/opportunities.

 

  • March 3, Regular Meeting:  DGIF Region II Complementary Work Force (CWF) Coordinator Bryan Pollard will give a presentation on volunteer opportunities with the CWF. He will be joined by DGIF Conservation Police Officer (CPO) Landon Foley who will introduce himself as the Henry County CPO and brief us on regulations specific to trout fishing.

 

  • April 2, River Clean up: Concentrate on section from Papa’s Pizza downstream to bridge at Blackberry Rd. Meet at Trent Hill Canoe Ramp for instructions then move to Papa’s and beyond. Cook out and fishing after clean up. aakitt@earthlink.net

 

  • April 29 – May 1, Group fishing/camping trip to Mt Rogers / Grayson Highland/ Grindstone campground area:  Club pays campsite fees. d.jessie81@gmail.com

 

  • May 14, Blue Ridge Heritage Veterans Trout Fishing Event: We assisted with this last year and will do so again this year. Event takes place between Woolwine & Meadows of Dan just off the south side of the BRP. aakitt@earthlink.net

 

  • May TBD, USACE Public Safety Day (Previously called Philpot Expo):   Set up table with fly tying demo, casting demo, talk up SRTU. erictichay@yahoo.com

 

  • May 20-22, Southeast TU Regional Conference in Roanoke:  Local chapters are being asked to take visiting TU members fishing on Friday and Sunday. We are also invited to attend the meeting on Saturday. d.jessie81@gmail.com

 

  • June 2, Regular meeting: “Fishing the South Holston”  Speaker TBA.

 

  • June 3-5, Fish, Lie & Tie, Bassett Cabin: Modest fee for campers so we can have dinner(s) catered, supply food, etc., excess funds to the treasury. shanepink1@gmail.com

 

  • August 13, Smith River Fest: Fly tie and casting demo, talk up TU. dphoebus3@gmail.com

 

  • September 1, Regular Meeting: “Brook Trout” Speaker TBA.

 

  • September 17, “Fish with a Friend & Cookout”:  Meet at Mirror Plant parking lot. griffin.s.scott@gmail.com

 

  • October 14-16, Group Fishing at Shenandoah National Park: Farmhouse rental and camping on farm site. Expenses prorated among participants. lkennerly@engconcepts.com

 

  •  December 1, Regular Meeting: “Health of The Smith River” report from VDGIF.

December 2015 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of SRTU meeting held at Riana’s Restaurant in uptown Martinsville on Thursday, December 3, 2015, at 6:30 pm

Meeting called to order by SRTU President Doug Jessie

39 members and guests present

Reading of previous minutes suspended in the interest of saving time – minutes previously posted on chapter Website / Facebook page and emailed to folks on secretary’s distribution list.

Treasurer Scott Griffins reports our check book at the beginning of last quarter was $1590.63 We raised $26.00 on the raffle at our September meeting. Our guest speaker’s meal was $34.03. The club spent $44.09 on the cookout for Fish with a Friend. Check book balance as of December 3, 2015 was $1,538.51.
Old Business:

• Election of 2016 Leadership – (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer) Because no one has stepped forward and there being no nominations from the floor the current slate of officers have agreed to serve one more year in their current positions. This was put to a vote and passed without opposition. Elected leadership for 2016 remains as:

President – Doug Jessie

Vice President – Eric Tichay

Secretary – Al Kittredge

Treasurer – Scott Griffin
New Business:

• SRTU President Doug Jessie gave an overview of events the chapter has been participated in during the past year. These included: River clean up; Blue Ridge Heritage Veterans fishing event; Grayson Highlands fishing & camping trip; Fish, Lying & Tying @ the Bassett Cabin; Booth & Casting Pond @ Smith River Fest; Support DGIF sampling below Martinsville Dam; Support DGIF sampling from Philpott to Koehler area; Fish with a Friend & Cookout.

• SRTU President Doug Jessie also reviewed meeting themes during the previous year: March (held in Apr due to weather) – Musky Fishing – Matt Miles; June – Warm Water Fishing – Anthony Hipps; September – Salt Water Fishing – Keith Gallaher; December – Annual DGIF Report on Health of Smith River Fishery
• SRTU President Doug Jessie recently attended a VCTU meeting in Radford which was labeled a “pre-meeting” to prepare for the Southeast Regional TU meeting being held in Roanoke on May 20-22, 2016. This will be a great opportunity for local TU chapters to highlight what our regional fisheries have to offer.
• SRTU leadership is preparing a survey which will be sent within the next month to everyone on our distribution list. We hope for a good response which will help focus efforts on what the membership and potential membership would like to see for future events / projects / programs.

Meeting Theme and Feature Presentation:

George Palmer, DGIF Fisheries Biologist gave his annual “Health of the Smith River Fishery ” (I left immediately after the meeting to catch a flight to a friend’s funeral therefore I’m doing a cut and paste of a recent post by Doug Jessie on one of the regional forums – Doug did a good job of summarizing what we all heard)

“Because of them moving fish from Mirror Plant and above for three of the last four years, the fish density up there has gone down. But, recruitment is up. And size has stayed the same. The goal was for the fish to grow more since they had more food/fish. Not the case so far. Another year or two of data might show some changes.

Below Bassett showed a few more fish, more size.

Below Martinsville, considerably more fish. 21% of fish collected had been moved fish (clipped adipose). Good growth. The majority of fish were 12-16″. They did net one 25″. In spite of high muddy water this year, they collected almost 50% more fish/mile than they did last year. The major numbers came above the Sports Complex. The numbers drop off after that. No recruitment was sampled.

As expected, little baitfish was sampled Mirror Pool and up, decent numbers below Bassett, very good numbers and variety below Martinsville.

They will move fish again in 2016, and some of those may also go in Fieldale section.

They plan a summer sampling for the section between Koehler and Martinsville Dam for summer 2016. (The Forest division has their own raft, now.) With the second raft, they also hope to do a better sampling on lower river next year. They caught an amazing amount with just one raft going straight down the river in muddy conditions.

They have put in a request for 8,000 4″ triploid fish for lower river in 2016. They requested 11,000 for 2015 and got 5,000.

We are all very curious to see what the high flows, and up and down sluicing, does to next year’s fishing and sampling. The biologist just shrugged his shoulders and said we’ll see. Nothing we can do about it”

I did ask George Palmer how the Smith compared to other trout streams he has helped manage. His reply, “You are very fortunate to have the Smith River flow through your backyard”.

Next regular meeting will be on Thursday, March 3, 2016. The program will be announced as soon as we have it firmed up.

Raffle & Swap Table:

• We pulled two lucky tickets for a raffle. Monies taken in from the raffles help pay for guest speakers meals and other expenses associated with running the chapter. John Floyd won a very nice rod case. Laura Kennerly “regifted” her win of nippers and a net which was soon claimed by Paul Fogle on the drawing of another ticket. Both prizes where donated by LL Bean.

• Lots of items on the swap table. If you have not participated you may be missing out. I saw books, magazines (free for the taking – thanks Eric), waders, vests, tackle boxes and more. Bring what you want to sell or trade. Slap your name and a price on it and recycle the stuff you don’t use or need. Look around for those “it was a good idea at the time” purchases you made but now reside in the back of your closet or garage. Be ready to haggle. Bring some extra cash and walk away with some neat “I need one of those” items!
• A big “shout out” to Rusty Lacy who donated several items for future raffles or use in chapter sponsored events. Thanks Rusty – your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Any errors or omissions in these minutes are entirely mine. Please refer any comments or questions concerning these minutes to SRTU Secretary aakitt@earthlink.net or telephone 9120-868-6235
Al Kittredge
Secretary, SRTU

 

Fish With A Friend Event

Our annual “Fish with a Friend” event will closely follow our regular meeting. On Saturday, September 12th, we’ll meet at the Mirror Plant at 8:30 for an orientation and spread out for fishing from there. As many of you know they are now releasing water from 10-2 on weekends. This will be an excellent opportunity to fish with a “Smith River Regular” who knows how to fish around the generation schedule. We’ll reassemble downstream at 12:30 at the Trent Hill Canoe Ramp (adjacent to burned out Bassett Chair Factory) to compare stories and SRTU complementary burgers/hot dogs/soft drink. After lunch would be a great time to head back upstream behind the generation surge – falling water often triggers an aggressive bite. Bring a friend – bring two! We have over 30 miles of good trout fishing so there is plenty of room to spread out.

For more information contact SRTU President Doug Jessie at 549-874-6560 or SRTU Secretary Al Kittredge at 910-624-3457

September Meeting!

Smith River TU’s program on Thursday, 6:30 pm, September 3rd at Rania’s Restaurant will feature well traveled and very accomplished flats, inshore and off shore salt water fisherman Keith Gallaher who will share with us some of the things he has learned about “Salt Water Fishing”. Keith does it all but specializes in saltwater fly fishing and is known for “killing the Albies” in the fall. In addition to a slide show and presentation he will bring some of the rigs, flies and “set ups” that have brought success. You do not have to be a member of SRTU – anyone with an interest in regional fishing opportunities is encouraged to attend.
Our regular meetings also feature a “swap shop” set up in the back of the room. Bring what you want to sell or trade. Slap your name and a price on it and recycle the stuff you don’t use or need. Look around for those “it was a good idea at the time” purchases you made but now reside in the back of your closet or garage. We always have several items ready for new owners. Be ready to haggle. Bring some extra cash and walk away with some neat “I need one of those” items!

Rania’s is located in the uptown or historic district at 147 E. Main St., Martinsville, VA 24112.

For more information contact SRTU President Doug Jessie at 549-874-6560 or SRTU Secretary Al Kittredge at 910-624-3457

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June Meeting Minutes

Minutes of SRTU meeting held at Riana’s Restaurant in uptown Martinsville on Thursday, June 4, 2015, at 6:30 pm

Meeting called to order by SRTU President Doug Jessie

Fifteen members and guests present

Reading of previous minutes suspended in the interest of saving time – minutes previously posted on chapter Website / Facebook page and emailed to folks on secretary’s distribution list.
Treasurer Scott Griffins reports our check book at the beginning of last quarter was $1,669.94 We raised $75 on a fly box full of poppers, foam bugs and nymphs donated by guest speaker Anthony Hipps. We picked up Anthony ‘ s meal @ $14.72 and also wrote a check to Doug Jessie for $111 as reimbursement for the campsite on the Grindstone trip. That makes our new balance $1,619.22.
Old Business:

• The May 15-17, Group fishing/camping trip to Mt Rogers / Grayson Highland / Grindstone campground area was a success. Good fishing, good food and lots of fun. Some of our regulars were on “sick leave” but they were replaced by a couple newcomers. We will do it again next year.

• Wayne Kirkpatrick thanked us for all the support provided to the Blue Ridge Heritage, Inc (BRHI). BRHI held a Military Veterans Appreciation Fishing Event on Saturday, April 25, 2015 near the Meadows of Dan adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The weather was wet and blustery but everyone caught some nice fish. They plan to make this an annual event with the date moving into early May. We pledged to support this again next year.

New Business:

• Chapter VP Eric Tichay represented the SRTU Chapter at the 2015 Trout Unlimited Southeast Regional Meeting held in Asheville, NC on April 18. The Southeast region includes state councils from VA, WV, KY, NC, SC, TN, AL and GA. Eric has written a memo sharing what he learned with the SRTU leadership. This memo is on file and available from the chapter secretary if anyone would like more details.

• Fish, Lie & Tie @ the Bassett Cabin on June 12-14 is fast approaching. It is Open to one and all! (Please let the leadership know you’re coming so we can plan accordingly) Cost will be about $20 and will cover basic supplies, a BBQ dinner Saturday evening, breakfast Saturday and Sunday and a light lunch on Saturday. Other meals on your own. Any excess funds will go to the treasury. Shane Pinkston has already coordinated for cabin and will take lead on this event. Several others have agreed to assist

• Smith River Fest on August 8th is right around the corner – We will staff a booth to provide TU information; do a fly tying demonstration and provide casting instruction. Eric Tichay has the lead, assisted by Dean Phoebus, Al Kittredge and others – we hope that means you.

• VDGIF Biologist George Palmer has let us know the following:

1) VDGIF recently stocked 5500 Triploid Brown Trout fingerlings below the Martinsville Dam. These fish are about 4 inches long. If you are fishing down that way and catch any please let someone from the SRTU leadership know where and how healthy they look and we will forward that info to George.

2) VDGIF will bring one raft and crew to sample the river below Martinsville Dam on 23-24 June. We are invited to tag along in a canoe or kayak to take photos and help when they process the fish. Contact Al Kittredge for up-to-date information as to time and location.

3) VDGIF will conduct their annual multi-location sampling of the Smith River on August 11-13. This is a wading sample and requires a large crew. Volunteers are always appreciated. If you don’t feel comfortable wading there are several land based tasks you can assist with. Contact Al Kittredge for up-to-date information as to time and location.

Meeting Theme and Feature Presentation:

We were fortunate to have well known fly fisherman, celebrity fly tier and frequently published author Anthony Hipps join us at our June 4th meeting to talk about “The Joys of Fly Fishing for Warm Water Species”. Most folks think of fly fishing as a sport exclusively for catching trout. Anthony pointed out we are missing lots of fun filled opportunities with that theory. Not only are warm water species fun to catch, some species such as bream are a great way to teach kids and novice anglers the skills of fly fishing. At the conclusion of his presentation Anthony broke out his fly tying vice and showed us how to tie some of the flies and poppers which have made him mildly famous in fly tying circles.

Great presentation Anthony – Thanks. Thanks also for the very generous donation of a fly box containing over 30 “Anthony Hipps poppers, bugs and nymphs” for our raffle. We still think Darrin Doss should share them!

Additional Events Scheduled For Remainder of year:

• August 8, Smith River Fest – Fly tie demo, talk up TU, casting demo. Eric Tichay lead, assisted by Dean Phoebus, Al Kittredge and others – we hope that means you.

• September 3, Regular Meeting. Salt Water Fishing. Al Kittredge has lined up Keith Gallaher, a well traveled and very accomplished flats, inshore, and offshore salt water fisherman who does it all but specializes in saltwater fly fishing as our guest speaker.

• September 12, Fish with a friend & cook out. Meet at Mirror Plant parking lot. Scott Griffin is lead on this.

• December 3, Regular Meeting, “Health of The Smith River” report from VDGIF. Al Kittredge will coordinate with DGIF for speaker.
Next regular meeting will be on Thursday, September 3, 2015

• “Salt Water Fishing” Keith Gallaher, a well traveled and very accomplished flats, inshore and offshore salt water fisherman who does it all but specializes in saltwater fly fishing will be our guest speaker.
Any errors or omissions in these minutes are entirely mine. Please refer any comments or questions concerning these minutes to SRTU Secretary aakitt@earthlink.net or telephone 9120-868-6235

Al Kittredge
Secretary, SRTU

Smith River Fest Approaches!

Celebrate the SRTU Chapter home waters! Run, paddle, cast and bike your way to fun at Smith River Fest! Henry County and Martinsville is holding the annual Smith River Festival on August 8, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival is located at the Smith River Sports Complex, 1000 Irisburg Road in Axton, just off the Hwy 58 Bypass. Admission and parking are free! Below is the link to the festival homepage.
http://www.visitmartinsville.com/Smith-River-Fest.html

Note on the webpage that the SRTU is demonstrating casting and fly tying (see attached photo). Here’s the link to fishing demo webpage.
http://www.visitmartinsville.com/fishsrf

Please stop by our display and demonstration and find out what’s new with the Chapter. If you can find the time, we also need club volunteers to help set up/ take down our display, talk up TU and our Chapter, and demonstrate fly tying and casting. Please contact Eric Tichay at phone 276-734-7268 or email at erictichay@yahoo.com or Doug Jessie 540-874-6560 or email at d.jessie@gmail.com. We appreciate your support. Thank you.

Grindstone Camping Trip, May 15-17

It was a small group that checked into the campground this year. Some guys had some health situations that kept them at home. Others had family and other time conflicts. But the ones that showed fished long and hard. Eric, Dean, Darrin and Doug were joined by a couple of guests from NC, John and Chuck. Roy drove over early Saturday for fishing, too. When I arrived a little before noon on Friday, Eric and Dean were set up and gone fishing. I got my hammock up and unloaded the truck and was off to find some fish before long. I found those two not far down the river on the Whitetop-Laurel. I backtracked a good bit and hopped in the water. I got into rainbows and lost a decent brown, but the numbers were not as good as I thought there should be. There was not much bug activity and the water was a little lower than it was last year in June. The guys caught up and passed me, so I finished my run and hopped out to go around them and up Green Cove. It treated me a little better. Including a surprisingly large brown.

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After a good dinner, some beverages beside the fire and a few tall tales we all slept well. Got up Saturday and headed out to do it again after breakfast. Some of the brave ones had the eggs with locally gathered ramps. Most of the fellows headed back to W-L, then ended the day on the upper South Holston. Everybody got rained on at least a little bit. Darrin and Doug hit up some small streams. The action was hot and heavy with probably 60 fish to hand. Here’s some pics from that.

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John had to bug out before dinner and Roy was already gone. Dinner was easier and that was good, because we were all tired.  Sleep came easy and Sunday dawned very damp. Packing up wet gear is not much fun, because you are going to have to set it all up again at home. Chuck, Eric and Dean headed home. Darrin and Doug decided to fish a few hours before doing that. Darrin had a much better day than Doug. And he didn’t blow out a boot, either.

Join us next trip!

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