How We Support The Community

David Erb, left, discusses the fly he's learning with instructor Ji Ferguson, right.

David Erb, left, discusses the fly he’s learning with instructor Jim Ferguson, right.

We reach out in many ways—not only to increase public awareness of the Clinch River’s ecological and economic importance but also as support for such neighbors as military veterans with disabilities and women with breast cancer.

Teaming with Trout Unlimited’s national Veterans Service Program and with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, we have developed a chapter program using members’ expertise in fly tying, fishing and conservation activities to support area veterans.

Chapter member Steve Thompson, who coordinates the veterans project, has founded a Knoxville-area chapter of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF). We entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with PHWFF and have invited the Great Smoky Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited as a partner. A fly tying class has been completed, using the chapter’s beginning fly tying manual; a rod building class and on-river activities are planned.

Casting For Recovery holds annual East Tennessee fly fishing retreats for breast cancer patients and survivors, with some of our members volunteering as river helpers. We have developed an aquatic invertebrate collection for the program and chapter members tie flies for the retreats.

For everyone interested in learning to spin fish or fly fish for trout in the Clinch, we offer a free May seminar on the river. For those interested in fly tying, we operate a six-session class for beginners that includes our own step-by-step printed manual; we are planning a second class and manual for more advanced students.

At chapter meetings (the second Thursday of most months in the parish hall at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 158 W. Norris Road, Norris), we hear from fishing guides and fishery professionals. In some months, the Thursday meeting is replaced by outdoor activities—for a schedule of upcoming activities, please click here.

Casting for Recovery 2013 retreat guest Lynn Testerman shows off her catch as river helper Steve Brown of the Clinch River Chapter looks on.

Casting for Recovery 2013 retreat guest Lynn Testerman shows off her catch as river helper Steve Brown of the Clinch River Chapter looks on.