Townsend plays host to another big festival in May (19 & 20), this time welcoming anglers of all ages to Troutfest 2012 – a flyfishing expo/fundraiser. Troutfest organizers say they expect another big crowd this year, upwards of 4,000 attendees.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department, Friends of the Smokies Fisheries Scholarship Fund or other youth educational conservation projects all benefit from the money raised through Troutfest. This year, the event looks to be one of the largest held for fly anglers in the Southeast United States.
Throughout the weekend, some of the best fly tyers from the region will be demonstrating their skill and imparting their knowledge on flyfishing. Demonstrations are FREE and the tyers specialize in flies for bass, panfish, saltwater, and trout. Get up close and talk with such notable fly tyers as Mike Adams, Walter Babb, Ray Ball, Troy Basso, Jack Gregory, Rex Wilson, and more.
Notables including Lefty Kreh, Bob Clouser, Jason Borger, Zach Matthews as well as other fly fishermen will be featured in free seminars both days. This is a great chance to meet and talk shop with a few of the legends in the sport.
All the year’s new fishing gear will be prominently displayed as national fly tackle manufacturers will be on hand in Troutfest’s national exhibition tent.
Also on hand in the exhibition tent will be local and national fly shops, artists, non-profit organizations and government fish and game agencies including Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited puts on Troutfest every year. The Chapter entity provides funding with other sponsors to underwrite this event. The Chapter holds all funds and disperses profits to Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department and Friends of Great Smokies National Park Fisheries Scholarship Fund. Profits will be also be used for youth education fishery programs. Some funds will be retained as seed money for next year’s Troutfest.
Many of the volunteers are LRCTU members but many more come from other non-profit organizations such as other TU Chapters, The Fly Fishing Federation and individuals who are not connected with non-profit organizations. You do not need to be a TU member to volunteer or participate. All donations are tax deductible.
Troutfest 2012 in Townsend, Tn will be held on the grounds of the Townsend Visitors Center.
Townsend Visitors Center
7906 East Lamar Alexander Parkway