My name is Chad Fouts, a Sevier County resident in East Tennessee and Manager of Smoky Mountain Angler. As of November 28th, my life changed forever. The day the wildfires broke out I didn't run away from the mountains I ran towards the mountains. I felt the need to get the word out, many people had no clue. Because of this I got to see firsthand, the second by second devastation of the wildfire starting at Chimney 2 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
I was one of the many people that lost everything also. Over the past 4 weeks since the fire, it has been crazy confusion trying to find a new home and get everything i need. This community did so much for everyone, they helped to rebuild many places in town. I met many amazing, kindhearted, and selfless people. Many of whom are National Guard, First Responders, and local residents (volunteers and victims alike).
The purpose of Project Smoky Mountain Rebirth is to provide those that took the time, National Guard and First Responders, and put their lives on the line to save The Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg from the wildfires that struck this area on November 28th. As well as allowing the locally affected fisherman a day of relief, relaxation, fishing, food, and fellowship.
•Float/ Wade Fishing Trips (Professionally Guided)
•Fly Casting Classes
•Fly Tying Demonstrations
•Entomology & Fly Fishing Tactics
•Fly Fishing Films
All three local fly shops on board:
Smoky Mountain Angler (SMA)
Orvis Sevierville (OS)
and Little River Outfitters (LRO)
As well as:
3 Rivers Angler (3RA)
Eastern Fly Outfitters
Tim's Flies and Lies
Soho River Fly Shop
Black Berry Farms
Rivers Edge Outfitters
Denver Outfitters (Rod Vault)
Trouts Fly Fishing
Chota Outdoor Gear
TN Fly CO
As well as others
I have been in contact with all local Trout Unlimited Council and either have, their blessing and/or participation. I've also contacted Project Healing Waters.
Many local guides are on board:
Chad Fouts (SMA)
Travis Williams (SMA)
Robert Ashley (South Holston Anglers)
Jessica Callihan (PHW)
As well as many from around the country:
Gordon Vanderpool (Turning Stones Fly Fishing/ Team USA, NC)
Ken Tanaka (Wish4Fish, PA)
Ben Rogers (Chasing Tails Fly Fishing, PA)
Phil Tereyla (Addictive Angling/Trouts Fly Fishing, CO)
A) Vendors: who can provide merchandise. Preferably at a discount or free for all affected by the fire or participating in the event. As well as well, during dinner at each event there will be an auction.
A predetermined percentage of all proceeds, preferably a minimum 25%, to be donated to TWRA, TU (Little River Chapter), The National Park Service, and Smoky Mountain Angler (this fly shop was directly affected by the fire and is in Gatlinburg proper).
*an auction is also a possibility*
B) Guided wade fishing for those who are able.
C) Float trips for those with mobility issues and who prefer to fish from a boat.
*Gear will also need to be provided as well; rods, reels, waders, boots, wading staphs, and flys.*
D) Fly fishing film festival, for shear entertainment, fish films are the best.
E) Food is being provided by Calhoun's Tailgate Mafia
F) Transport may also need to be addressed at some point, once we reach that bridge.
Position Needing Filled:
13 Float Guides
14 Wade Guides
14 River Helpers
10 Fly Tyers
30 Operations Staff (i.e. Parking Attendants, Food Distribution, Trash Pick-up, Setup and Breakdown Personnel)
Dates and Times:
Feb 25th, National Guard (Clinch River) (26 Anglers)
Mar 25th, First Responders and Emergency Personnel (Clinch River) (26 Anglers)
Apr 29th, Affected Fly Fisherman (Norton Creek) (14 Anglers)
May 27th, Catch All Event (Clinch River or Norton Creek) (14 Anglers)
Times will depend on generation schedule on the Clinch River:
6am- 7am setup
7am- 1pm guided float trips
2pm-6pm guided wade trips
6pm-7pm dinner and auction
Norton Creek may have an earlier time:
8am-12pm guided wading trips
1pm-5pm guided wading trips
5pm-6pm dinner and auction