Page 1

issue 29

feb/mar 2017

Southern Trout

Legends of the Fly Hall of Fame Induction Issue

Publisher’s message

Atlanta Fly Show


y grandmother (the one eaten by a bear) often used the term “has a bee in her bonnet” to describe the doings of impulsive people. For years I’ve had a “bee in my bonnet” regarding the preservation and recognition of the rich heritage of fly fishing for trout in the South. The creation of the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians in Bryson City, North Carolina, is a great step forward in this effort, and STM has been a supporter of efforts lead by Alen Baker, Bob Nanney and many others. Years of research has left me in possession of a wealth of historically important information. Similarly, STM’s focus is fly fishing for trout, not just in the Appalachians, but also in the Ozarks. The recent launch of the Southern Trout “Legends of the Fly” Hall of Fame (HOF)

is an efforts to fast-track recognition of past and present fly fishing persons who have help mold the current explosion of interest in trout fishing in the South. I estimate that there is over 100 southerners who qualify for “Legends of the Fly” Hall of Fame recognition. Criteria for nomination and induction is pretty simple. Most important is an angler’s overall impact on fly fishing for trout in the South. This includes fly tiers, colorful personalities, literary contributors, guides, and coldwater fisheries conservationists. The goal is to recognize the unique flavor of trouting in the South more than it is the recognition of efforts of notables associated with Trout Unlimited or other great conservation groups. Fast tracking the “Legends of the Fly” started with grandfathering in six supremely qualified anglers. At the same time two dozen other anglers were listed as nominees for 2017 Hall of Fame induction. Online voting chose the six inductees that will be installed February 3td at the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show. This is how it started. Here’s how it grew beyond my wildest expectations. When approached to provide a venue for the HOF induction ceremony, Fly Fishing Show CEO, Ben Furimsky enthusiastically said, “Yes!” His first question was if we were willing to make this an annual event at the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show for which the country’s largest fly fishing show organization has long-term plans. At this point I realized l Southern Trout l January 2017 l 3

Southern Trout

Publisher’s message


ole Don had bitten off more than he could chew, and that this project could quickly become an expensive hobby. The Good Lord looks after fools. While not a Publisher Don Kirk 501c3, I needed that sort of sponsorship funding. Assoc. Publisher Jerry Davis Assoc. Editor Ragan Whitlock Conversations with TVA showed an interest on Managing Editor Leah Kirk the agency’s part to be a cornerstone sponsor— Special Projects Dir. Loryn Lathem if the event had 501c3 affiliations. John Reinhardt, Photographer/Writer Adam Patterson president of the Smoky Mountain Chapter of Trout Editorial Consultant Olive K. Nynne Unlimited stepped forward. The same was true when I approached Sweetwater Brewing Co. A 501c3 Contributors affiliate was needed. Alen Baker, curator of the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians Bill Bernhardt stepped forth. Bill Cooper Currently the ST “Legends of the Fly” Hall of Fame Kevin Howell induction ceremony is officially sponsored by the Harry Murray Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited, Sweetwater Brewing Company, FIELD STAFF and the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Ron Gaddy Appalachians. Their generous support has enabled Columnist a project launched with way too little planning or Craig Haney consultation to become a reality. Their support has Columnist enabled us to gather in Atlanta the largest collection Jimmy Jacobs, of fly fishing legends of the South. Georgia Editor To a certain degree I feel like the dog that caught the Roger Lowe bus. Continuation of the project will include bringing Columnist Bob Mallard others to the table to help sort out the future of the Columnist ST “Legends of the Fly” Hall of Fame. There is a very Steve Moore high likelihood that following next year, the whole Columnist event will be integrated in the Fly Fishing Museum Bob Borgwat of the Southern Appalachians to help fast track their Columnist currently very popular hall of fame program. You have a personal invitation to join us at the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show the first weekend in Southern Trout is a publication February. This project has humbled me beyond my of Southern Unlimited, LLC. Copyright 2017 Southern Unlimited ability to put words. To all who cared enough to help, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. LLC. All rights reserved. 4 l February 2017 l Southern Trout l

Yep, it’s just that easy with Western North Carolina’s premier fly shop and guide service. Kevin Howell and his experienced staff have been fishing the surrounding 500 miles of prime trout waters so long, they know all the fish on first name basis. And they’ll be more than happy to make a few introductions.



Win a Free 2-Day Fly Fishing Trip to Bryson City in the North Carolina Smokies Clickto Hereter En

Enter to win by signing up for a free subscription to Southern Trout Magazine. If you are already a subscriber, you are already entered! Published six times a year, Southern Trout is the only magazine devoted exclusively to fly fishing for trout in the South. You will also receive the information-packed weekly ST e-Newsletter. The winner receives • A two-night stay at The Everett Hotel • A full-day guided float fishing trip for 2 on the Tuckasegee River (Fly Fishing the Smokies) • A half-day guided fishing trip for 2 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Smoky Mountain Outdoors Unlimited)

Bryson City is located on the southern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a hour west of Asheville. There’s trout fishing in the national park; on the Cherokee Indian Reservation; on the Nantahala,

Good for any weekday exclusive of the months of May, July and October, and holidays. Winner is responsible for fishing licenses and transportation. Winner must schedule trips/stay no less than 30 days in advance. Trips/stay must be taken before April 1, 2018. The winner will be announced April 15, 2017 in the ST newsletter. The email addresses of subscribers will only be used to send out Southern Unlimited magazines (Southern Trout & Southern Kayak Fishing), and their respective e-newsletters. Under no circumstances are subscriber email addresses used otherwise or made available to any third party

Prizes provided by The Everett Hotel 828-488-1976 Fly Fishing the Smokies 828-488-7665 Smoky Mountain Outdoors Unlimited 828-488-9711

Oconaluftee, Tuckasegee and Little Tennessee rivers; and on two mountain lakes – Fontana and Cheoah. The Tuck now has a delayed harvest section at Bryson City. For more information, visit

THIS ISSUE From the Editor




Gearhead Good Hydration


Sunburst Trout Sponsored Trout Au Pouvre


New Fly Guy Selecting Waders




Black Wing Olive Chronicles 48

Yeah, Daddy Boy Did It.

Fly of the Month Yallarhammer


Situational Fly Fising in 60 the GSMNP What’s in Your Vest?


CLOSE LOOK--Chattanooga Featured Resort


The Refuge: Monster Trout Not Far from Home


Featured Fly Tyer Nick, Knack and FM


Southern Brookies Fly Fishing

Brookies in Georgia the Hooch



8 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l


THIS ISSUE Featured Fly Shop Blue Ridge Fly Fishing


The Name of the River?


High Tech Brook Trout


I Don't Believe I Said


102 160


Wildfire Impact on GSMNP 136 Featured Guide 144 Southeastern Anglers 2017 TU Southeast Regional Meeting



146 144156


Early Season Nyphing In Small Mountain Trout Streams


Patriot Threads


An Update on the Fly Fishing Museum


92 l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 9

2017 ST “Legends of the Fl A

t the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show, Friday, February 3, at 4:30 pm is the inaugural ST “Legends of the Fly: Hall of Induction that is co-hosted by the Fly Fishing Show and Southern Trout Magazine (ST). IIt will draw the region’s best known fly fishing experts and celebrities to the induction ceremony. The ST “Legends of the Fly” Hall of Fame was created by book author Don Kirk who has worked for years to discover, compile and preserve the story of fly fishing for trout in the South. This year’s class includes the legendary North Carolina fly fisherman and fly tier, the late Don Howell; host of the popular television show, Fly Rod Chronicles and Cabela’s Fly Fishing Ambassador, Curtis Fleming of West Virginia; Gary Merriman of Atlanta, Georgia, whom many regard as the “Fly Fishing Ambassador of the Peach State”; J. Wayne Fears of Huntsville, Alabama and the author of the first modern era book on Southern Appalachian trout fishing; Soc Clay of Fern Hollow, Kentucky, lifelong fly fisherman, pioneer outdoor writer and at one-time the Poet Laurette of the Bluegrass State; and legendary pre-national park era Great Smoky Mountains fly fisherman and hounds man, the late “Uncle” Mark Cathey of Bryson City, North Carolina. This year’s inaugural induction will also officially enshrine six “grandfathered” members of the ST “Legends of the Fly” Hall of Fame. These are legendary Ozark fly fisherman and fly tier, Dave Whitlock of Oklahoma; the late Harry Middleton of Birmingham, Alabama who authored On the Spine of Time; the late Ernest Peckinbaugh of Chattanooga, Tennessee who in the early 1900s headed the South’s first commercial trout fly tying business; the late Don Pfitzer of Chattanooga, Tennessee who pioneered the trout fisheries in southern tailwater rivers; the late Charley Elliott of Georgia, the longest serving editor of Outdoor Life Magazine and lifelong promoter of fly fishing for trout in the South; and the late Jim Gaston of Arkansas who pioneered trout fishing on his state’s fabled White River. The induction ceremony will be held at the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show. ST will give away a new Hardy fly rod in a drawing at the conclusion of the event. Sponsors of the event include are Tennessee Valley Authority, Sweetwater Brewing Company, the Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited, and the Southern Appalachian Museum of Fly Fishing. Southern Trout Magazine will give away a new Hardy fly rod in a drawing at the conclusion of the event.

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ly� Hall of Fame Inductees

2017 Induction Ceremony Master of Ceremonies- John Reinhardt Grandfathered Hall of Fame Inductees Dave Whitlock, Oklahome Introduced by Ben Furimsky

2017 Hall of Fame Inductees Don Howell, North Carolina Introduced by Kevin Howell J. Wayne Fears, Alabama Introduced by Craig Haney

Harry Middleton, Alabama Introduced by Craig Haney

Soc Clay, Kentucky Introduced by Tom Clay

Ernest Peckinbaugh, Tennessee Introduced by Mack Brindle

Curtis Fleming, West Virginia Introduced by Laken & Autumn Fleming

Don Pfitzer, Tennessee/Georgia Introduced by Chris Scalley

Mark Cathey, North Carolina Introduced by Dr. Jim Casada

Charley Elliott, Georgia Introduced by Jimmy Jacobs

Gary Merriman, Georgia Introduced by Jimmy Jacobs

Jim Gaston, Arkansas Introduced by Don Kirk

Conclusion John Reinhardt, Master of Ceremony l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 13

Cashiers, NC


Good Hydr

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“Good, good, good, good Thirsty While Surrounded hydration.” by Water I BOB MALLARD

Bottle Filters (BeFree, Meta Bottle, Personal Water Bottle, Go, Flow)

come from an era where “good hydration” meant throwing a Heineken in the back of your fly vest instead of a Bud. Water was something you fished in and washed and cooked with. We rarely drank anything except coffee and liquor, and spent much of our time thirsty although surrounded by water… Dehydration is not a good thing. It can sap your energy; make you feel light-headed, nauseous or confused; give you a pounding headache, and in extreme cases cause serious medical problems such as seizures. Then there are the waterborne bacteria, parasites and viruses collectively referred to as “germs.” These include such nasties as e. Coli, Salmonella, Cholera, Cryptosporidium, Giardia (source of the dreaded “beaver fever”), SARS and Hepatitis A. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 19


Our rivers, streams, lakes and ponds are also subject to contamination from detergents, petroleum products, fertilizers, pesticide and herbicide run-off. They can be compromised by municipal, industrial and medical waste. And airborne pollutants can be carried to earth by precipitation. No matter how clean the water looks, you can never be 100% sure that it is safe to drink. Even water that is bubbling out of the ground could be exposed to the elements somewhere upstream as the result of intermittence. Plus, contaminants can leach into groundwater. Once while backpacking I drank some water that looked “pure as a mountain spring.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t… I spent the rest of the trip ducking in and out of the woods and shuffling down the trail like a zombie. Another time I failed to heed the advice of locals who warned me to be careful of the water. Either the ice in my margarita or trying to brush the taste out of my mouth in the morning made me one sick gringo. Hydration has come a long way over the years. Bottled water is as popular as soda and beer in some circles. Outdoor enthusiasts carry water in every type of container conceivable. And many collect and treat their own water on an as-needed basis. Fly fishers are often away from their vehicles for hours. The more adventurous head into the backcountry for days in search of uncrowded streams teeming with wild trout. Access to water is never an issue—access to potable water is. When it comes to obtaining drinking water afield you have three options: Go without; throw caution to the wind and hope for the best; or use some form of filter, purifier or treatment. While all have their merits, I’ll take option three as it keeps me hydrated, healthy and comfortable. While filters, purifiers, chemicals and boiling are all effective, some are not practical for in-the-field use and some are just not that desirable. For the sake of this article I am going to rule out boiling and chemical treatment. I’m also going to ignore gravity-fed filters as ondemand is more practical. Water filters and purifiers are made by companies such as Aquamira (, General Ecology (www., Katadyn (, LifeStraw (www., MSR (, Platypus (, Sawyer (, and SteriPEN (

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gearhead Straw Filters (Pro, Steel, Straw, Squeeze, Mini) l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 21

gearhead Pump Filters (Hiker Pro, MiniWorks, First Need XLE, MicroWorks)

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gearhead Filters are the most common form of in-the-field water treatment. They come in pump, straw and bottle form. Filters remove particulates (sediment) and some combination/level of protozoa (parasites), bacteria, chemicals and viruses. Most claim to remove from 99.9% to 99.9999% of protozoa, and 99.9999% to 99.99999% of bacteria. Those that remove viruses typically advertise a 99.99% effectiveness. As for chemicals, the effectivity rates are not as clear. Some filters reduce bad taste and odor using a charcoal pre-filter. Pump-style filters draw water in one end, push it through one or more filters, and send it out the other end treated. Some hook directly to a water bottle, and some have hoses or adapters that can be used to connect to a bottle, flask or hydration bladder. They are very versatile and effective, but a bit bulky due to large primary filters, pre-filters, hoses, hose floats, reservoir adapters and travel bags. They are best used for backpacking, truck camping and boating. The products I tested were First Need XLE ELITE from General Ecology, Hiker Pro from Katadyn, and HyperFlow and MiniWorks EX from MSR. They ran from $84.95 to $133, weighed between 10.1 and 18.4 ounces, and filtered between 1 and 3 liters a minute. Straw filters have no mechanical aids. Just suck water through a filter and into your mouth. You can bring yourself to the water, or the water to you. Some can be attached to bottles, flasks or bladders. Some bladder connections are inline, some replace the bite-valve. A few products come with reservoirs, but most do not. Straw filters are compact, light, simple to use, pretty much maintenancefree, and a great option for the minimalist. The products I tested were Max, Pro Ultra Light and Straw from Aquamira, MINI and Squeeze from Sawyer, and Steel from LifeStraw. They cost between $11.99 and $54.95 and weighed from 1.0 to 3.7 ounces. The Aquamira Max straw filter can be used in conjunction with their Geigerrig Hydration Pack Engine products (available in 1.5, 2 and 3 liter options) to create a modular straw filter/air-charged bladder system. Rather than splicing the filter into the outlet hose of the bladder, or use it in place of the bite-valve, you can snap the Max into a connector located at the outlet of the bladder for use with untreated water. The hose with the bite-valve connects to the filter the same way the filter connects to the bladder. Bladders run from $47 to $49, and weigh roughly 7.8 ounces. This system changed how I view hydration bladders. Bottle filters are a reservoir with a straw filter built into it. Some are hard, some are soft. To use, you just fill it up and suck water out the straw. Soft bottles can be squeezed to release water. They are easier to use than some straw filters as you bring the water to you rather than bringing yourself to the water. Plus, they l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 23


are all-inclusive. The products I tested were BeFree by Katadyn, Flow Red Line by Aquamira, Go by LifeStraw, Meta Bottle by Platypus, and Personal Water Filtration Bottle by Sawyer. They ran from $39.95 to $49.99, weighed between 5.5 and 8.1 ounces, and held from 20 to 34 ounces. Water purifiers are a different animal. They do not filter the water or remove bad taste or odor. They use ultra-violet light to kill bacteria, parasites and viruses and do so quite effectively and efficiently. They are compact, light and maintenance free (except for replacing/recharging batteries). UV treatment is common in municipal and residential water. The product I tested was the Adventurer Opti by SteriPEN. It came with a convenient belt holster. It cost $89.95 and weighed 4.4 ounces. While all filters remove sediment, not all remove bad taste and odor— and UV does neither. Almost all filters and purifiers remove most protozoa and bacteria. Many do not however remove chemicals, and even more do not remove viruses—and while UV does not remove the former, it does remove the latter. When shopping for water treatment products, there are several things to consider. First is size and weight. This depends on whether you are carrying it in a vehicle, watercraft, backpack, daypack, gear bag, vest, chestpack, fannypack or on a belt. The products I tested weighed from 1 ounce to just over 18 ounces. They ranged from 6” to 10” long, and 1” to 6” wide. Some were single-piece, some had multiple parts. Then of course is the quality of your typical water source. What you need for your favorite heavily-used and highly-abused large river is different than what is needed for a small, high-elevation mountain stream. Ditto for large developed or recreational lakes versus small, remote mountain ponds. And areas with ranching, farming, logging, mining or development are more likely to have chemical contaminants than those without. There are other things to consider such as flow rate, maintenance and ergonomics. And while some products are relatively inexpensive at less than $15, some run as high as over $130. Some products are more rugged than others as well. Accessories are available for many products that allow you to tune them for your personal use. All the products I tested worked as advertised as far as I could tell. But I admittedly did not have the filtered or purified water tested for contaminants, I just drank it and survived to write this article with no ill effects... <<<For More Information Click Here>>>

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Aquamira Max with Geigerrig Hydration Pack Engine l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 25


Water Filter/Purifier Pros and Cons Pros: Carrying a water filter or purifier ensures that you have an ample supply of safe drinking water while afield. They can also save you money if you are currently using bottled water. And they reduce waste and litter. Cons: All filters and purifiers take up at least some space and add at least some weight. Most require some level of maintenance such as battery or filter replacement, cleaning, backwashing, etc.

SteriPEN Adverturer Opti

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Water Filter/Purifier Dos and Don’ts

• Be sure to read the manufacturer specs before buying. Not all are effective against all types of contaminants, nor do they remove the same percent of a given type of contaminant. • If you are travelling abroad, you may want to consider a product that protects against viruses. While not common, waterborne viruses do exist in the United States as well. • If you are pulling water from areas with heavy agricultural use, you may want to consider a product that reduces chemicals. • Water from lakes, ponds and flowages can have a “fishy” taste or smell. If you spend much time around such you may want to consider a product that reduces bad taste and smell. • Be careful not to expose the drinking end of your filter to untreated water. This is akin to pouring bottled water over ice made from contaminated water. • Pay attention to the manufacturer’s storage, cleaning and sanitation recommendations. Failure to do so could result in contamination. • UV works best with clear water. If your water source is murky it is a good idea to filter it, if even just through a bandana, to remove as much particulates as you can. • Ceramic filters can get damaged if shaken too violently. While this is not likely to happen because of a simple drop, it could happen if transported over bumpy terrain in an ORV or 4x4.

Conclusion: Hydration is a good thing--dehydration not so good. While it won’t kill

you to treat your water before drinking it, it could if you don’t. I am sold on the concept of collecting and treating my own drinking water while afield. And it only took 40 years to convince me… BOB MALLARD has fly fished for over 35 years. He owned and operated Kennebec River Outfitters in Madison, Maine from 2001 to 2015. Bob is a blogger, writer and author. His writing has been featured in blogs, newspapers, ezines and magazines at the local, state, regional and national levels. He has appeared on radio and television. Look for his books 50 Best Places Fly Fishing the Northeast and 25 Best Towns Fly Fishing for Trout (Stonefly Press). Bob is also a fly designer for Catch Fly Fishing out of Billings, Montana; as well as the northeast sales rep for both Stonefly Press and Catch. In addition he is on the R. L. Winston Rod Co. Pro Staff. Bob can be reached at, www., or 207-474-2500. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 27

best kept secret





s much as I like trout simply prepared with a dusting of flour and fried in bacon drippings, I wanted to prepare it differently than I had tried in the past. Not with a sauce or topping, for instance, but a simple recipe with excellent flavor. Looking through my collection of fish recipes, I did not come across one that really appealed to me at the moment. Simple, easy and tasty was what I had in mind. In the past, I had found excellent recipes at www. so I decided to check it out. Looking over the different offerings, the prepared and packaged Encrusted Trout Au Poivre immediately caught my attention. Fresh ground pepper is my favorite spice so the combination of cracked black, pink and green peppercorns crusting the trout filet really appealed to me. Moments later, I ordered a pack (two filets) of Encrusted Trout Au Poivre.

Sponsored by Sunburst Trout Far

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rms l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 33

Preparation could not be simpler. Saute lightly in your favorite oil, I like Extra Light Olive Oil, for 3 minutes per side. Served with broccoli and a Caesar salad, you will be proud to serve the Trout Au Poivre at the cabin or at home.

Craig’s Tip

Try using Extra Light Olive Oil to sauté the fish. I had used vegetable or canola oil for years but decided to try the olive oil a couple of years ago and really do like it. I now use it regularly for sautéing fish, meat and vegetables.

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Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go home empty handed!

Sunburst Trout Farms Is located below the Shining Rock National Wilderness in the Pisgah National Forest. Since 1948 they have been growing rainbow trout, and the farm is now run by third generation brothers Wes and Ben Eason.

Sunburst has a long standing commitment to quality. Their fish are hormone and antibiotic free, and the feed is made especially for them containing no mammalian by-products. All trout are cut to order in small bathces, mostly by hand, thus ensuring all products are of the highest standard. In addition to Sunburst’s flagship fillets you can also find their award winning caviar, as well as trout jerky, hickory smoked trout, cold smoked trout, smoked trout dip, trout sausage, and even some non trout products, pimento goat cheese and smoked tomato jam. Be sure to stock up on their Original Jennings Jerky! It’s shelf stable and perfect for those long days fly fishing. To order go online to

314 Industrial Park Drive Waynesville, NC 28786 828-648-3010 • 800-673-3051

new fly guy


rout fishing always involves cold water. Unlike fishing for smallmouth bass when wet wading is the popular summer choice, trout thrive in frigid water with the optimum temperature ranging from 56° to 61°. In fact, most experts agree once the water temperature rises to a still chilly 70°, trout become stressed and should be left alone. Whether the water is 56° or 70°, it’s still cold and anglers require a good, comfortable set of waders to enjoy a day on the stream. New fly anglers have many choices since manufacturers produce waders from rubber, canvas, PVC coated nylon, neoprene and breathable material. Of these, most trout anglers use neoprene or breathable. Rubber, canvas and PVC coated nylon are durable, but also stiff, horribly hot and damp as the sweat from normal streamside exertion turns them into a mobile steam bath. Sadly, neoprene waders are made of wetsuit material and, while being warm and flexible, suffer the same heat and sweat buildup issues associated with rubber and canvas. Also, neoprene waders may present a safety problem as their natural buoyancy reduces traction on the streambed when wading in deeper water, making it easier for the current to grab and push you off balance. Given those issues, breathable waders are the logical choice for safety and comfort with the flexibility to add base layers for warmth. Since you can sometimes purchase breathable waders on sale for as little as $50, the cost is not a barrier. To pick the right set, pay attention to style, size, safety and type.

Sel Wad

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ecting ders Steve Moore

Chest waders rolled down to the waist work just fine in crisp fall weather. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 39

new fly guy Style:

Waders come in hip, waist or chest styles. In my opinion, leave hip waders on the shelf. Given the crystal-clear nature of most trout streams, it is sometimes impossible to estimate depth, guaranteeing an unintentional step into a pool deeper than their low top. While the shock of cold water filling boots might be refreshing on a warm day, the lingering chill in the spring or fall may force a miserable hike back to the trailhead. The additional height of waist waders provides more protection than hippers without adding the sometimes unwelcome extra warmth of chest waders. However, the possibility of water slopping over the waist-high top is real; especially after slipping on a slick rock and ending up on your backside in shallow water. Nix the waist wader option. All this leads to chest waders as the best choice. They offer the maximum protection and warmth with the additional advantage of being quickly converted into waist waders during warm weather by merely rolling the top down, collecting material at waist level and locking it in place using the wading belt. Look for a model with gravel guards to prevent sand from getting into your boots, a pocket at the top and reinforced knees and seat. 40 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

Breathable material is the best choice to avoid soaked clothing. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 41

new fly guy Size: I was at the Bass Pro Shop at Arundel Mills in Maryland and overheard a woman jokingly ask her male companion if the waders she was trying on made her look fat. Without missing a beat, he answered: “Anything you wear makes other women jealous.” While that is a great answer, waders will and should make you look fat. Select a size large enough to be loose and comfortable over any clothing used fishing across all seasons. If fishing in a very cold place, you may need to get a larger pair to deal with heavy outer garments. One trick to light while increasing warmth is to put a “hothands” chemical warmer in a pocket next to the heart to allow the blood to pick up and circulate the heat.

Safety: Most waders come with a wading belt intended to cinch the garment closed at the waist. The belt should have no stretch and hold firmly. Wear the belt since it helps prevent water intrusion when (not if) you slip and fall. In fact, the best practice is to wear two wading belts; one at the waist and another at the chest for maximum protection. Buy the additional belt; they only cost around $10. Every angler should read the wading safety article on the Fly Fisherman website (tinyurl. com/wading-safety1) and watch the excellent series of videos produced by SIMMS ( Even with two belts, do not wade in swift water. While each angler must assess a stream based on their unique physical ability, never wade in water exceeding the USGS guideline. Throw in a stick and estimate the number of feet it travels in one second. Multiply the distance times the depth. If the result is greater than 8, fish from the shore. 42 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

Crystal clear water can be deceptively deep. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 43

new fly guy

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When selecting waders, take into account all seasons.

Waders come in either stocking or bootfoot. The advantage of the bootfoot is it eliminates the cost of a boot. However, most do not have laces to adjust the fit and the heavy boot is the same whether you are hiking the backcountry or fishing a stocked stream along the road. With stockingfoot waders, the boot is an add-on; allowing you to select the right footwear for the terrain. Since the boot is not generic, it can fit properly, be light and double as a hiking boot for short treks into the backcountry. However, on a longer hike, use a real hiking boot and carry the waders and associated boots. Regardless of type, avoid felt soled boots to prevent the transportation of “rock snot” between streams. As always, do the research to find the best match considering both when and where you fish. Look at the written online reviews and also check out YouTube for video reviews done by normal people for impartial perspectives like this assessment of the Frogg Toggs wader on the Adventure Outdoors channel ( Check out Steve’s YouTube channel at KayakHacksFishing for more on this topic. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 45

Natural State Fly Shop is located within walking distance of the fabled White River, just up the road from the Cotter boat launch and public access. A full-service retailer and outfitter, Natural State Fly Shop offer flies, tackle, rental driftboats, shuttles, guided float trips on the White and Norfork Rivers, and guided wade trips on Dry Run Creek. Featuring products by Winston, Ross, Galvan, TroutHunter, Catch Fly Fishing, and many more; Natural State Fly Shop offers everything that the visiting fly fisherman needs. Natural State Fly Shop Shop: 870-471-9111

3392 Cotter Road 102 Harding Blvd. Mobile: 870-706-0820 870-321-2792

Cotter, Arkansas

Education, Conservation, Recreation and Service

Official Trout Festival of Georgia Returns to Celebrate Trout Fishing in the Trout Capital of Georgia (Jan. 11, 2017) BLUE RIDGE, GA – The official Trout Festival of Georgia returns to Blue Ridge this spring when thousands of outdoors enthusiasts descend upon Georgia’s top trout-fishing destination – Fannin County, the Trout Capital of Georgia – to benefit cold-water education, service, conservation and recreation in North Georgia via the mission of Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited Chapter 696.

           April 28‐29, 2017  Contacts: Bob Borgwat, event communications Lynn Brincks, event chairperson Email to: Phone: 706-374-2390 

“The Festival is built around the fact that Fannin County has become a trout-fishing destination for fishermen from all over the nation,” says House Speaker David Ralston (representative, 7th District) about the Blue Ridge Trout Festival & Outdoor Adventures event, April 28-29, in Blue Ridge, Georgia. In 2016 Ralston led the effort behind House Resolution 1039 that gave the Festival its official status when the declaration was passed by the Georgia Legislature.

“More than 3,500 trout fishermen and other outdoors enthusiasts visited the event in 2016 that drew 70 vendors, crisscrossing the spectrum of outdoors fun,” says event chairperson Lynn Brincks. “Outfitters, retailers and non-profit organizations will share the park again on April 29 with thousands of visitors browsing displays of fly-fishing gear and fly-tying demonstrations, drift boats and fishing guides, kayaks and whitewater services, outdoor clothing and trout art, food trucks, a beer garden and live music! ” Whether wading a stream, floating the river or casting from the bank of a lake, trout fishing in Fannin County exemplifies the sport for trout fishermen of all levels. Located about 100 miles north of Atlanta, the Toccoa River is the spine of local trout-fishing opportunities. Its watershed harbors wild-trout streams deep in the forests of the Appalachian Mountains, trophy brown trout in the tailwater downstream from Blue Ridge Dam, private-access trout fisheries, and put-and-take fishing at small highland lakes. Rock Creek, one of the Toccoa’s largest tributaries in southeast Fannin County, supports the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery, which annually raises hundreds of thousands of rainbow trout for stocking across North Georgia. “Trout fishing in the Southeast is not exclusive to Fannin County, but what Fannin County – and Blue Ridge – bring to trout fishermen is one of the finest and well-rounded destinations for trout fishing close to the region’s largest population center,” says Don Kirk, publisher of Southern Trout Magazine. "Fannin County was named by legislative resolution in 2010 as the official Trout Capital of Georgia. We regard the Blue Ridge Trout Festival & Outdoor Adventures to be the premier event of its type in the Southeast." Located among the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains just 90 miles north of downtown Atlanta, the festival opens April 28 with an exclusive fund-raising High Country Boil & Silent Auction – a seafood-and-fixin’s-eat-with-your-hands dinner and auction hosted at Mercier Orchards, Fannin County’s family owned and operated premier apple orchard now in its fourth generation and featuring Mercier Hard Cider and wines. Tickets for the dinner, 5:30 to 9 pm, are only available online at “The High Country Boil brings you the food, drinks and a 360-degree view of the north Georgia mountains, but you’ll remember the evening much more for sharing a great evening with your family, friends and neighbors and placing your winning bid at the silent auction, where there's something for everyone,” says Jan Hackett, executive director of the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, co-presenter of the dinner and festival event along with the volunteers of Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited Chapter 696 (BRMTU). “It will be a perfect way to start your weekend in Blue Ridge and the Trout Capital

48 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

of Georgia. Afterward, visit the grounds of the festival’s Breakout Marketplace on Saturday, where you can stroll among almost 90 vendors of outdoors gear and services targeted at outdoors recreation in Fannin County. Then, choose from among the fantastic selection of fine restaurants for a great dinner before relaxing overnight at a local cabin, lodge or hotel.” Local outfitters and fishing guides, fishing gear and tackle reps, kayak liveries, hiking clubs, mountain bikers/cyclists, whitewater outfitters and an impressive list of local experts in all things outdoors gather at the all-day Break-Out Marketplace, Saturday, April 29 from 10 am to 7 pm, in the downtown City Park while live music provides entertainment, and food trucks and a beer garden offer great eats and beverages. Commercial vendors and local shops of outdoor recreation and gear will be on hand to share the latest outdoor products and services. Expert anglers will provide free fly-fishing instruction, and local fishing guides will share inside information on trout-fishing in the North Georgia mountains. “We’re really excited about having the capable instructors of Atlanta Fly Fishing School and several local outfitters and guide services returning to this year’s Trout Fest,” says education chairman Howard Winkler of BRMTF. “They’ll present free hands-on seminars covering troutfishing topics and skills throughout the day – everything from reading a stream, to casting a fly-rod, to the tips and tactics for successful trout fishing right here in Fannin County, the Trout Capital of Georgia.” Blue Ridge Trout Festival & Outdoor Adventures also features a number of conservation-related exhibitors and recreation providers, reinforcing Trout Unlimited’s commitment to protecting and improving cold-water fisheries, while expanding its education program for people of all ages. Proceeds from the Festival go directly to local conservation, education and service work supported by the membership of Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited Chapter 696 (BRMTU). One of Fannin County’s most active non-profit organizations, BRMTU shares these funds to achieve its mission across the cold-water resources of North Georgia on behalf of the community of supporting services. “Once again, the Blue Ridge community of volunteers and the wide range of vendors from inside and outside Fannin County promise to make our second year Festival a bigger and better event,” Brincks says. “Our planning committee of volunteers is key to keeping the event moving forward … from the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, to the members of the local Trout Unlimited chapter, and to community leaders such as the Blue Ridge Lodging Association, who share what really is vital logistical and physical experience in planning and executing festival events in Blue Ridge.” For information about sponsorships, vendor applications, event details and more, please visit the Blue Ridge Trout Festival & Outdoor Adventures website at FIND US ON FACEBOOK ABOUT BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN TROUT UNLIMITED CHAPTER 696 BRMTU Chapter 696 is the official local chapter of the acclaimed national organization dedicated to cold-water fisheries. Trout Unlimited is dedicated to protecting critical habitat, reconnecting degraded waterways, and restoring populations to cold-water fisheries. All funds raised or donated to BRMTU are applied right here in the North Georgia mountains for conservation and stream restoration efforts; stream cleanups, such as Rivers Alive; and education and outreach programs. Sponsored programs include Trout in the Classroom in local schools, the Trout Adventure Trail, Boy Scout and Girl Scout conservation education, Project Healing Waters and Goodwill Guides for wounded veterans, Georgia Women Fly Fishers, Casting for Recovery for breast-cancer survivors, Georgia Trout Camp, Save Georgia Hemlocks, the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery and Mercier Orchard Family Fishing Days. For more information, please visit ABOUT FANNIN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Blue Ridge, Georgia, is located 8 miles south of the North Carolina–Tennessee border line, only 1½ hours north of Atlanta via I-575- GA/Hwy 515, within easy reach of the best attractions the Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee mountains have to offer. The Fannin County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau is the place to visit to find out information about the entire Georgia Mountain region. Make sure your first stop on a vacation in Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains is at our new Fannin County Chamber Visitor Center, 152 Orvin Lance Drive, Blue Ridge 30513. For more information, please visit ABOUT BLUE RIDGE LODGING ASSOCIATION The Blue Ridge Lodging Association was established by a group of peers closely involved in the lodging and tourism industry in Blue Ridge, Georgia, formed to create an environment that promotes improved business relationships, opportunities to increase tourism, and a shared sense of accomplishment. Self-accountability and trust are the cornerstone of this establishment. Members of the Blue Ridge Lodging Association are required to follow certain guidelines to qualify. For more information, please visit ABOUT SOUTHERN TROUT MAGAZINE Southern Trout Magazine is an Alabama-based bimonthly publication devoted to fly-fishing for trout and smallmouth bass in the highlands of the South, from the Mason-Dixon Line to North Georgia. Learn more about the publication by visiting l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 49

black wing olive chronicles


t’s bad enough these days that I rarely get to lick my lips when viewing a great dog food commercial on the television, but since the election, Daddyboy has stopped watching his favorite soap operas and focused on news broadcast on networks he refers to the “Commie News Network”, or the “Commie Broadcast System” or the “Anarchy Broadcasting System.” For those of us at the Condorhurst Compound who are largely politically neutral, Daddyboy’s OCD on this subject has become a bit maddening.

Granted, Daddyboy’s OCD is not as bad as he once was on sharing his views of every issue in the world. We credit the improvement to the miracle of modern pharmaceuticals. Daddyboy’s current OCD bender has been troubling since a few years ago he was asked to speak at a Tea Party meeting in Birmingham. Afterwards, the tea drinkers told him not to come back, adding he was a bit too conservative for even their rightwing sensibilities. I am really not sure if the court order is still in affect that prohibits him from going onto the property of the radio station where they were dumb enough to allow him to have a Saturday morning show then, but I bet it is. (As it turned out, someone was actually listening…)

Yeah, Daddyboy D 52 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

As my paws dance deftly over the keyboard to get this on the record, all three televisions in Daddyboy’s office are spewing forth the latest accusations of who prior to the November elections hacked and made public the Democrats’ emails. In his usual fashion, Daddyboy carries on a lively conversation with mind numbing news broadcasts, under the delusional notion they can hear his comments, corrections and critiques. The trending story line de jour is as follows: Should we carpet bomb the Russians or padlock Putin’s exercise gym? Everyone is pointing fingers. However, I know the truth about the hacking of the Dems’ emails. Well surprise, surprise-Daddyboy did it, and I can prove it. While

Daddyboy is essentially

Did It

unable to operate something as simple as an IPhone (and those of you with whom he communicates regularly know, this is the gospel truth), he fumbled around enough to accomplish this hack job on Hillary’s email account. I suspect the password was “duh.” Furthermore, I have proof that Daddyboy was the primary provider of email data to none other than Julian Assange. In fact, these two deplorables not only sent emails back and forth on a daily basis prior to the elections, but Daddyboy received a birthday card from, yes, none other than Julian Assange. If this Australian yallar-headed troublemaker really is relying on Daddyboy as a credible source of information, he needs to rename his efforts as “Wackyleaks.” Frankly, hooking up with a dullard like Daddyboy was a stroke of genius on the part of Julian Assange. All readily apparent and logical email/paper trails lead to the Putin and KGB, or some wacko defector in the Dem infrastructure. Rather than any of these obviously logical suspects being the culprit, in truth, it was the least likely, and certainly one of the dumbest people on earth. Yes, I am pointing to Daddyboy. And he didn’t work for free either. You demand further evidence? Squirreled away in in the back corner of his shed at the Condorhurst Compound are three cases of Bulga Caviar and four boxes of Cuban cigars. Additionally, the second week after the election, Daddyboy brought his account up to date at Seymour’s Likker store. The next day Seymour paid cash for a new Ford 150 pickup. Proof no; but certainly suspicious. Incredible as it might sound, the future of US Supreme Court along with any prospect for lasting peace in the Middle East was highjacked right here within the confines of the Condorhurst Compound. Cunning?—No!! High level thinking?—No!! Dumb luck?—Yeppers. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 53

Is Swain County NC a Fisherman’s Paradis Hundreds of miles of native mountain trout streams flow

through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park above Bryson City and Cherokee — freestone creeks with native rainbow, brook and brown trout. Most streams offer all three species.

Trout are also common in our four rivers – the Oconaluftee,


Great Smoky Mo National Pa

Little Tennessee, the Eagle Chambers Nolan Twentymile Hazel Creek Forney Creek Creek Creek Creek Tuckasegee and the Creek Fontana Dam Fontana Nantahala, one of Fontana Cheoah Lake Lake Lake Lewellyn Trout Unlimited’s top Fontana B Branch Fontana 129 Lake Boat Village Alarka 100 rivers. And now, a 2.2 Cable Ramp Marina Boat Dock Cove 28N Boat mile section of the Tuck Ramp Almond Lemmons Boat Park Branch through Bryson City has Boat Ramp Stecoah 143 been designated delayed 19 Wesser 74 Needmore harvest waters, and Road For more information, Nantahala River promises to have one of contact the Bryson City / the highest trout counts Swain County Chamber of Wayah Road (NC 1310) of any stream in the Commerce 800-867-9246. Upper Nantahala southeast. River


Public Access

Public Access

tern g on at Wes in o g is g in “Three ay “Someth Lake that m rivers j a n ta n o F ’s ust ou na li ro a C p h o rt o tside A p N uth ular na o S e th in merica g in t h i s o fi t n u al park ’s most t r o to u a just send tro e t, suite are tee d id o o g a e b d t ming w for bot t migh angler ith h wad into orbit ...I n o s ry s B , in i a n nd sur g and stay to e c la p r a floatin ounde best sc book you g d by so enery leep in s to e v a h m i ’t n n o e S d u o o f the uthern City so yo Appala If you h mber.” e v o N in re chia. e aven’t fished your truck th produ t he qua ctive r int and ivers o Carolin f W e stern N a, you orth don’t k missin now w g.” hat yo u’re

Public Access


Upper Raven Fork

ountains ark

Deep Creek

Indian Creek

Raven Fork Trophy Section

Lakeview Drive

Old 288 Boat Ramp

Tuckasegee River

k Alarka Creek Alarka Road

28S Little Tennessee River

Bryson City

Whittier Whittier Boat Ramp

EBCI Hatchery Big Cove Road


441 Tuckasegee River

Public Access

Conleys Creek

Heintooga Ridge Road

Blue Ridge Parkway Cherokee Indian Cherokee Reservation


Public Access

Raven Fork

Oconaluftee River

nd k


Straight Fork


Clingmans Dome

You be the Judge.

Straight Fork Road

Bradley Chasteen Kephart Fork Creek Prong

74 Conleys Creek Road



Visit for profiles of all 26 Swain County fishing locations on this map. All are just minutes from Bryson City, NC.

Two mountain lakes The 30 miles of trout offer trout fishing streams on the The 29-mile long, Cherokee Indian 11,700 acre Fontana Reservation are the Lake and its smaller downstream neighbor Cheoah Lake both have strong populations of trout, particularly near the mouths of streams flowing out of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cheoah is regularly stocked by the State of North Carolina.

longest privately-owned and stocked fishing waters east of the Mississippi. The 2.2mile Raven Fork Trophy section is home to the biggest trout in the Smokies. This specially regulated section is fly fishing only and catch and release.

fly of the month


Perhaps the most legendary fly pattern of the Great Smoky Mountains, originally the pattern was tied with the wing feathers of the Northern Flicker Woodpecker, which is also known regionally as the Yellowhammer. Flickers are now a protected species. Their seductive wing feathers are replaced by fly tiers with dyed starling, dove, black bird and other more readily available plumages. My personal choice is dyed yellow grouse wing feathers.

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r Nymph

Roger Lowe

There are as many stories related to the origins of the Yallarhammar fly as there are old time tiers who created these flies. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a buggy pattern that trout in these waters are eager to take, that does not accurately imitate a specific may, stone or caddis fly. It is without question though, the most talked about and celebrated of the old time fly patterns of the Southern Appalachians. Hook: Thread: Tail: Body: Hackle:

3399A Mustad Black Long side of yellow grouse feather Peacock herl Dyed yellow g rouse wing feather l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 57

situational fly fishing

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in Your Vest? RON GADDY

60 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

in the great smoky mountain national park


est, backpack, chestpack, fannypack, slop bucket, toe sack; whatever you choose to carry your gear in, winter is a great time to get organized and decide what you need to carry and what you can leave under the truck seat. My strategy is using a vest that has a lot of pockets to put all my “stuff” in. I like my “stuff” to always be in the same place so when I need something I don’t have to sift through the vest a few times to find it. I am big on fly fishing time management so when I’m on the water I like to be fishing instead of looking for “stuff”. I even like my “stuff” that I use most often to be on the side of the vest that will be easy to retrieve as not to have to change hands. I’m normally a pretty scatter brained individual, but when it comes to fly fishing, and I need something, I want it now! Compared to a normal load that a fly fisher would carry, I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ve noticed fly fishers on both ends of the spectrum; some go extremely light, and some carry what might be equivalent to an infantry backpack with 2000 rounds of ammo and enough food and water to last several days. I normally sign up for the happy medium. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 61

situational fly fishing

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Tools Fly fishers needs tools. Most of the old timers that I have fished with used a pocket knife as a leader/tippet trimming tool and just about everything else that comes up. I look for tools that that are multi-use, light weight, and convenient. My cutting tool, akin to some small nail cutters, also can be used for a hook file, a nail knot tool, and a hook eye punch. I put mine on a short red lanyard on the right side of my vest so I can see it out of the corner of my eye. Multi-use pliers with a knife blade, screw driver bits, and a few other gadgets are my next most useful item. You will need this kind of tool for setting the hook gap, tightening a screw on your reel, and who knows what else. You can get these multi use pliers at your local Wally World for about five bucks and they work just fine. You can spend a lot more, but sooner or later you will leave your tool laying on a rock somewhere, unless you have it on a lanyard, which is not a bad idea. I also carry a stream thermometer on the lower inside right pocket of my vest tied to a four or five foot lanyard. That way I can toss it out and then roll it back up when finished.

Fly Boxes As a norm, three or four fly boxes are all you need if you have an idea of what might be available for trout at that time of year. I normally carry four fly boxes; a streamer box, a nymph box, a box for dries and a box for the small stuff. Being primarily a nymph fisher, I like my nymph box on the lower left pocket to retrieve with the left hand and the streamer box in the lower right pocket. My small stuff box is located in the upper shirt pocket location of the vest. I also carry two small containers of clam shot of size 7 and 8 plainly marked as to know what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m digging out. Split shot and indicators go in the pocket right next to the nymph box. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always use indicators or split shot but still like having optional tools in the tool box. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 63

situational fly fishing

Leader/ Tippet I carry 4 spools of fluorocarbon on a tippet bar secured at both ends and an elastic band over each spool to keep it from unraveling. I don’t use any fly shop tippet. I get the small clear 100 yard spools at Wally World and mark each elastic band with the size of line. I carry 10, 8, 6, and 4 pound. I don’t normally go below 6 pound unless I’m fishing dry flys and that’s not very often. Trout can see tippet or leader as small as they make it, but they absolutely don’t understand the concept of line, leader or tippet. I secure my fluorocarbon on the left side of my vest at chest level so I can pull off some and tie it with a blood knot where it broke off. I then use my fly rod to measure the length I need and cut it off at the spool.

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Camera I always carry a camera as a means to document a fishing trip. The photos seem to always bring back the memories of that day of fishing. You never know what you might see on a fishing trip that would make great Facebook material or just good memories, and if you encounter Big Momma Bear, you could very well get the end of last fishing trip. Make sure you have a waterproof, drop proof, freeze proof camera for your trips. After drowning a few cameras, and leaving one outside to freeze, my wife decided I needed a tougher camera. The water proof, drop proof, freeze proof cameras nowadays are much better and cheaper than in previous years. Taking photos of aquatic insects could also be a valuable asset. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 65

situational fly fishing

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Net Management A net magnet, along with a phone cord type lanyard, is the best way I have found to manage your net. Easy off, easy hook up and it will ensure your net doesn’t float away while you’re taking your grip and grin photos. Just make sure your net is secured by whatever means necessary. There’s nothing like running down the river to retrieve a hundred dollar net, especially at my age.

Emergency Items When I operated “Jonathan Creek School of Fly Fishing”, I always included a segment on safety. Safety seems to be a fairly common sense issue if you have grown up in a certain area, but for the folks from a few states away or just new to the outdoors, it’s good information. These are things that you carry around and hope you never need. The pockets in your vest that you may have left you should consider carrying a tightly rolled up drum liner, a cigarette lighter, and a small LED vest light. If you are fishing a remote area in the Great Smoky Mountains and have a debilitating accident, get lost, or get stranded due to a high water event these items will allow you to build a fire, stay warm and dry, and have a way to signal for help. Don’t forget drinking water! In the summer I will freeze a couple bottles of water for the side pockets of my vest for a day of fishing, but a water system like the Lifestraw filtering bottle will allow you to have all the clean water you need right from the creek or river. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 67

situational fly fishing

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Maintenance The winter is also a good time to take everything out of your vest for a maintenance check. Look for rips, tears, things that need to be sewed or reinforced. Take all that superfluous “stuff” out that you have been carrying around for months, like candy wrappers, soda cans, cigar wrappers, fireballs and items you don’t even remember being in there. This also, would be a good time to change the oil in your vest.

Fish Responsibly. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 69

other trout

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featured resort

74 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

Southern Brookies Fly Fishing

Lancaster, Tennessee


n 2007, Susan Thrasher realized a long held dream when she opened the operation Southern Brookies Fly Fishing. Located in Lancaster, Tennessee, beside the Caney Fork River, it is unique in that it is a special place for fly fishers that is user friendly. Founder Susan Thrasher has loved to fish as far back as she can recall. As a little girl, she fished with a traditional fishing pole in lakes, ponds and occasionally the ocean. “In the late 90s, I tried fly fishing for the first time with my dad and a family friend,” says Thrasher. “I managed to catch a trout that day and remember telling my mother that the day had changed my life. I wanted to learn everything I could about fly fishing. I found it was fascinating.” l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 75

featured resort

Today, Thrasher is an FFF Certified Fly Fishing Instructor who loves the technical aspects of fly fishing from reading the water, picking out the correct fly and, of course, learning the skill of casting. She spent several years perfecting skills through various training retreats such as Reel Women (Victor,ID) and the Wulff School of Fly Fishing (Catskills, NY). “During my time at the Wulff SchooI, I met Joan Wulff,” explains Thrasher. “I was impressed with her teaching approach so I continued training by attending her instructor school, which was followed by a two-year internship at the school. I have been fortunate to be on staff and teaching at the Wulff School each spring for the past 14 years.” Southern Brookies Fly Fishing’s mission is to provide a beautiful place to learn or enhance fly fishing skills. Here, students receive the necessary skills and knowledge to approach the river on their own with confidence. Southern Brookies Fly Fishing also offer overnight stays in trout themed, restored vintage campers to enhance the outdoor experience and create lifelong memories for family and friends. “Southern Brookies is located 90 minutes east of Nashville, Tennessee just off I-40. Clients can easily access the river using Southern Brookies private access located steps away from the school. Group classes and customized private outings are offered year round classes and customized private outings.

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featured resort

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A typical two day itenerary at Southern Brookies begins with a 9:00 a.m. and covers the following topic areas: •Discussion of Equipment/Gear •Knots (Clinch, Surgeons, Tool Knot, Perfection Loop) •Mechanics (Grip, Arm, Wrist, Elbow Movements •Roll Cast Lecture •Practice •Break •Basic Cast Lecture •Practice •Lunch (entomology discussion) •Rod Testing (videotaping and review of cast) The class wraps up at 3:00 pm. Students can relax by a campfire or spend some time in the river, practicing their new skills before a delicious grilled dinner is served. Specialty dishes served at Southern Brookies include grilled pork chops, grilled salmon, and garlic burgers. After a long, satisfying day, clients can snuggle into their cozy campers for the evening. Some of the special amenities found at Southern Brookies include a private boat ramp, stocked casting pond, a variety of fly rods for testing, kayaks for use, an upscale bath house, and a beautiful pavilion with fireplace. “Southern Brookies also offers guided trips on the Caney Fork River,” says Thrasher. “Clients can choose between a wade trip, a drift boat trip on our ClackaCraft drift boat or using one of our Jackson angler kayaks. All equipment is included from waders and boots, to rods and flies. Parents often bring their son(s) or daughter(s) to experience fly fishing for the first time. Not only do they learn a new skill, they spend quality outdoor time together in a unique setting.” The proof is in the pudding, and Susan Thrasher and Southern Brookies has a number of reviews posted on the Southern Brookies face book page for all to see and read. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 79

39 South Public Square Cartersville, GA 30120 770.606.1100 2441 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 (865) 868-1000

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close look - chattanooga

The Refuge: Monster Tro


he one time I got to Patagonia (5,441 miles from home), it wasn’t to fish for the monster trout in cold streams coursing off the Andes. It was agony, but I did slip away from my group of non-fishermen one afternoon. I saw a solitary, submarine-sized brown trout at the mouth of a small creek, but that was it. It certainly didn’t move on the fly I offered.

That was at the Yan Kee Way Lodge on Lago Llanquihue (the Anglicized pronunciation is “yan kee way”), and I figured the only way to see trout that size again involved a lottery win. To my amazement, trout that size are on a patch of water on the shoulder of North Carolina’s Grandfather Mountain (336 miles from home), and I didn’t have to win a lottery to watch them patrol a stretch of crystalline stream. All I had to do was meet Nes Levotch, one of only four guides allowed on the creek. 84 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

out Not Far from Home TOM ATKINSON

It is private water, but not snooty, pay-a-king’s-ransom private water. It’s a portion of Boone Fork Creek about the length of two football fields long that soon helps form the Watauga River, itself a major North Carolina and Tennessee trout destination. This is The Refuge, homeplace of Terry and Renee Troy, who share the joy of a first-time visitor’s delight upon spying the creek’s monster trout. There are rainbows up to 12 pounds, hook-jawed browns up to 30 inches long and brook, golden and tiger trout up to seven pounds. If you hook one, regardless of species, you are in for a wild ride, and you’ll want your guide with his two-handed net nearby if you win the contest. We used 9-weight rods from Levotch, appropriate for the trout we sought. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 85

close look - chattanooga Terry and Renee have had The Refuge since 1988 and have made friends from many countries who come to this quiet corner of North Carolina to retreat from the world and perhaps go home with a great trout tale. This really is protected water. For about a mile upstream of The Refuge, the water belongs to the Twin Rivers residential community, whose amenity is fishing instead of golf. Above that are five miles of creek that are public water but not easily reached below the Blue Ridge Parkway. That water is flies-only and catch-and-release. Terry, who grew up in the flatlands of Northwest Tennessee, fell in love with North Carolina’s mountains – and with trout fishing – as an adult, and he sank roots here after Navy service and work as a nurse anesthetist. It was a lucky day for him, as well as for trout fishermen and fisherwomen, when he found Boone Fork Creek and created The Refuge. 86 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

Terry and Renee are devoted to their trout. Terry said brookies and rainbows can live five or six years and that a wary brown can live more than a decade. An aerator keeps the water oxygenated in warm-weather months, and a supplemental feeding program adds protein to the fishes’ diet when needed. Unless there is a washout rain event, these trout hang around. Catch and release, of course, is the law of the land, and the fish will move upstream to reproduce, something that benefits his neighbors and his clients. “The fact they reproduce pleases me no end. I just love it when a client catches a fourinch fingerling (and then nails a four-pounder),” Terry said. Don’t think catching these fish is by definition easy. After all, they are trout and can be finicky. My fishing partner and I managed to connect with brookies, browns and rainbows, but we couldn’t buy a strike from the highly conspicuous golden trout, and we never saw a tiger trout. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 87

close look - chattanooga

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My big treat came after I switched from a nymph to a small dry fly, just to see whether I could get a hefty fish to respond. At the upper end of the property, the creek flowed around a collection of big rocks that created small channels. It was my kind of Appalachian water, a spot where a 12-inch rainbow might hang out. I put the fly at the top of a riffle, got a beautiful float and watched the creek explode when a three-pound brown pounded that little fly. It was the best fight of the day, working around the rocks, hoping the tippet would hold and praying the guide would reach me. Terry and Renee limit access to two fishing sessions a day. The creek is yours alone if you rent the one-bedroom cottage that is adjacent to their home. And if you make arrangements, you can have dinner with Terry and Renee and soak in an extra dose of The Refuge.

The Guides

Find your way to The Refuge through these guides. *Nes Lovotch ( and 423557-4296) *Carl Freeman ( and 828-335-3474) *Dustin Coffey ( and 828-7504198) *Ollie Smith ( and 828-773-7751) l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 89

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Nick, Knack & F.M.: The Dubbing Teasers Fly Fishing Team Dayton, Tennessee

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ast Tennessee is the home base for the famous Dubbing Team Fly Fishing Team; Bill Boyd, Bill Boyd Jr, and F.M., a.k.a. Knack, Nick and F.M. Every year this nationally known trio puts their remarkable fly tying skills in front of thousands of people at fly fishing shows and festivals. Collectively this trio is by definition, the cutting edge of 21st Century fly tying. Bill Boyd, Sr., a.k.a. “Knack,” is the elder member of the

featured fly tyer Dubbing Teasers Fly Tying Team. His signature fly, the “Hiwassee Streamer” has been showcased in Fly Fish America Magazine. He is also known for tying the “Toilet Tank Floater, Knack’s Mudbug” (Crawfish Pattern) and Striking Dragonfly Patterns. Dubbing Teasers Fly Tying Team member, Bill Boyd, Jr., a.k.a. “Nick,” writes product review articles for Fly Fish America Magazine. Nick

ties a variety of nymphs, streamers, and dry fly patterns for trout as well as assorted warm water species. He is well known for creating a realistic spider pattern. His signature fly, the Tennessee Stonefly Nymph, has been showcased in Fly Tyer and Fly Fish America magazines. His fly tying talents are particularly popular with spectators at his demonstrations, as some have remarked, “There is never a dull moment l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 93

close look - chattanooga watching ‘Nick’ demonstrate in combining natural and his skills.” Senior member of the Dubbing Teasers Fly Tying Team, Knack has been fly fishing since he was a teenager and has been tying flies since his early twenties. He was a band director for 43 years, and has been a United Methodist minister since 1986 and professor at Oxford Graduate School since 2004. He has achieved considerable national attention for his long time interest and innovations

synthetic materials in this creations. Knack’s never-ending question is to create fly patterns that contain unique strike trigging elements. Additionally, Knack’s mechanical inventions, especially his “Natural Light Simulator” put this tier in the rarified elite of fly tiers, not just in the South, but nationally and worldwide. An innovator of the highest degree, he has also developed method

using curved scissors to very quickly and easily of cutting wings in seconds. “I invented a natural light simulator to demonstrate accurately how nymphs and other under water insects change color when the natural light changes.” Says Knack. “Lefty Kreh liked it, but said the device would not likely be very marketable, but that would probably be most useful in college classes, etc.” “I tie something almost every day,” says Knack. “I

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keep very active in fly tying and reading current literature on the subject. My favorite Southern Appalachian trout fly patterns are: Parachute Adams (dry), Stewart's Spider (wet), Partridge and Orange (wet), Blackburn's Tellico (taught to us by Walter Babb) and Tennessee Stone (designed by Nick) and Golden Stone (several patterns). I have no favorite tail water Patterns and since my experience in tail water fishing is rather limited, I usually get advice from a

local fly shop,” continues Knack. “My fly tying specialty is tying semi - realistic, action flies. My "Mud Bug" (crawfish), Hiwassee Streamer and Dragonflies are in this category,” says Knack. “I believe trends are leaning toward more combining of artificial materials with natural materials and tiers are starting to put hot spots in their flies. Also, I see some retro tying with interesting innovations.

featured fly tyer

“I have also done a rather extensive study, of many feathers and furs noting that some polarize better than others,” explains Knack. “This may explain their effectiveness in deeper water since the chitin of the natural insects polarizes and the fish can see them. So, it follows that materials that polarize may be more easily seen and thus may be more effective.” “I've done a DVD with photomicrographs demonstrating this. Great l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 95

close look - chattanooga fun. It was exciting work Wendy Williams with many surprises. For example, Arctic Fox, didn't polarize well, but under black light it glows like radium. Polar bear fur polarizes better than bucktail and is now my preference. Jungle Cock eye polarizes well around the edges which may be one reason why it is difficult to make a substitute for it. Some artificial furs polarize very well, others do not,” says Knack.

(F.M.) is the best looking member of the Dubbing Teasers Fly Tying Team, and lives in Dayton, Tennessee as well. She is an active Board Member of the Appalachian Chapter of Trout Unlimited and also a member of the Federation of Fly Fishers. Her favorite streams include Little River, Clinch, Hiwassee, and Tellico rivers. Starting out with the Dubbing Teasers as their qualified expert

behind the video camera and Director of “Crowd Control”, she quickly demonstrated advanced skill with a fly rod and shortly after that behind the fly tying vice. F.M.’s signature flies include the “Foxy Lady” Nymph, Root Beer Tellico Flash Nymph, and the “Christmas” Booger. Her Foxy Lady Nymph was published in the show case section of Fly Tyer and Fly Fish America Magazines.

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Her enthusiasm and animation for the sport of flyfishing and fly tying has been rated as a ten on a scale of ten by regional experts. Wendy’s motto is “I consider it to be a successful fly tying experience if I didn’t glue my fingers together!” The Boyds, “Knack and Nick” as well as F.M. give fly tying demonstrations on a regular basis in an effort to corrupt as many people as possible into getting into fly fishing and fly tying.

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710 Riverside Rd., Roswell, GA 30075 770-650-8630

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Brookies in Georgia by Jimmy Jacobs


eorgia harbors the most southerly population of Southern Appalachian brook trout in the nation, in spite of being a state rarely thought of in regard to cold water fisheries. In fact, the Peach State rivals North Carolina for the most miles of trout water of any place south of the MasonDixon Line. Biologists describe those miles as being more than 4000 in each state. North Carolinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overall quality of trout water is the only thing setting it ahead of Georgia.

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Trout Unlimited has built instream structures on many Peach State brook trout creeks to provide holding areas. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 101

close look - chattanooga According to an Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brook trout range in the Peach State only covers 25 percent of the waters that were once inhabited by the fish. They also note that of the 319 sub-watersheds in North Georgiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trout region, the fish never occurred in 201 of those. Of the remainder, brookies have been extirpated from 65, while there are 24 others in which the condition of the native fish is unknown. That now leaves just 29 of the sub-watersheds as wild brook trout habitat. Within that range brookies are known to be in a total of 150 miles of water. Unfortunately, after some genetic studies in 2001 and 2004, it was determined that only 12 populations of brookies in Georgia were of the pure Southern Appalachian strain. However, further research originating from the beginning of the EBTJV upped that number to 24. The pure Southern Appalachian fish are in 36 miles of streams, all of which are located in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Four other populations are known to be descendants of stocked eastern brookies, and there are another 33 populations that show genetics of being hybrids between the two strains. The good news is all these remaining brook trout populations now are considered stable, mostly because of their relatively remote and undisturbed conditions. 102 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

Fly casting a brook trout stream high in the North Georgia mountains. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 103

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A native North Georgia brook trout.

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The Peach State’s commitment to conserving and enhancing the population of the fish even spread to the Georgia General Assembly. In 2006 that body named the Southern Appalachian brook trout as Georgia’s State Cold Water Game Fish. The completion of a wide ranging survey of the condition of brook trout in 17 states in 2005 by the EBTJV marked a watershed event for bringing back the Southern Appalachian brook trout throughout its range. However, Georgia was way ahead of the curve in these efforts. The Peach State’s program reaches back all the way to 1969. In that year six streams in the Chattahoochee National Forest were identified as targets for reintroducing the native fish. In each of these a natural barrier falls was located, or a man-made one was built. Above the barriers all gilled life was poisoned to remove rainbow or brown trout. Wild brookies from other streams were then moved to these renovated waters. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 105

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Those first test-case streams were the Coleman River, Tate Branch and Mill Creek on the now defunct Coleman River Wildlife Management Area in Rabun County. Although the state ended managing the area for economic reasons, all three of these feeder streams of the Tallulah River continue to lie within the Chattahoochee NF. Also located in the Tallulah drainage is Dicks Creek, which empties into Lake Burton. This stream lies on lands that were once part of the Lake Burton WMA, but it too was lost to state management for budgetary reasons. But, the property also is part of the Chattahoochee NF. The Dicks Creek project was the least successful of the renovations. At some point rainbow trout began showing up above the barrier falls on this stream. Though brook trout still are present, those rainbow continue to be in the creek as well. Another renovated water was Tuckaluge Creek in the drainage of the Chattooga River. At one time the entire creek down to the edge of the Warwoman WMA held nothing but brookies. In recent years, however, brown trout have encroached from downstream. Still, above some barrier cataracts, the brook trout hold sway. Finally, the Chattahoochee River above Henson Creek Falls to the north of the town of Helen in White County completes the list of these early projects. These waters are on the Chattahoochee WMA and continue to harbor a viable brook trout population.

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The upper reaches of the Coleman River still harbor wild brook trout. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 107

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A man-made barrier falls on Tate Creek to prevent encroachment of brown and rainbow trout in brookie habitat.

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Despite these early successes, brook trout enhancement made few strides until the kick off of the EBTJV. Beginning in 2007 the Georgia Council of Trout Unlimitedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Back-The-Brookie effort has worked with the Georgia Wildlife Resource Division and U. S. Forest Service to improve and expand brook trout habitat through donations of funds and volunteer manpower. Once the EBTJV stream survey was completed, the follow up to the effort has consisted of reapplying the renovation techniques to Tate Branch, including rebuilding the man-made barrier to exclude other trout species. Two other creeks have been completely renovated by the removal of competing fish as well. Those are Stover Creek in the Toccoa River watershed and Walnut Fork in the Chattooga River drainage. Other efforts have included the replacement of a culvert on Bryant Creek in Union County, as well as the putting in more than 130 new stream structures on 28 other brook trout creeks. The expansion of the Peach Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brook trout waters has actually been two fold over the last decade. The renovation of streams to brook trout habitat has added some miles of water to the inventory, but just as important has been the research. A lot of the waters now known to have the brook trout habitat already harbored the fish, but for the most part those were unknown populations. As in all the other southern states, the prospects for the continued existence and improvement of brook trout waters and fishing are bright in the Peach State. (An excerpt from the newly released book by Jimmy Jacobs, Brook Trout in Dixie: Jewels of the Southern Appalachians. Autographed copies of the 102 page book featuring 52 color photographs are available at l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 109

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Chattanooga, TN & Blue Ridge, GA


nce the home of two great fly shops, Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been without a full service fly shop since 2011. The opening of Trekka Outfitters in 2015 rectified that very serious situation, and in November of 2016 Trekka Outfitters merged with Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Co. to take on the Blue Ridge name. Now with shops in Blue Ridge, GA, and Chattanooga, TN, Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Co. carries a wide selection of curated gear from Orvis, Simms, Sage, Scott, WaterworksLamson, Nautilus, Echo, Redington, Whiting Farms, Fishpond, Hardline, Loon, Umpqua, Tacky, Smith, Costa, TFO, Rio, Brodin, Opinel, and much more, as well as gear from local artisans and a nice tenkara selection. “The support received from the fly fishing community this past year and a half has been awesome,” says Loizeaux, who adds they are proud to serve the Chattanooga region. “We are excited to have merged with Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Co, and even more excited to be working on our new 2,000 square foot fly shop in Chattanooga that will open in April of this year,”

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featured fly shop

“Our part of Tennessee is a special destination for fly fishermen,” explains Loizeaux. “Chickamauga Lake is one of the country’s top largemouth bass lakes, while great fly fishing for stripers and smallmouth bass is found below the dam in the Tennessee River. Additionally, we have great musky and tailwater trout fisheries nearby that make Chattanooga the perfect fly fishing hub. The Blue Ridge shop is located in the Trout Capitol of Georgia; surrounded by blue ribbon trout streams and rivers." l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 113

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“The Chattanooga area is filled with outdoor sported minded people,” says Loizeaux. “I have yet to meet an outdoorsman who wasn’t interested in fly fishing at some point in their life. Our goal is to make sure that fly fishing makes a good first impression with them and to be here to support them as they grow in that passion.” “In a river city like Chattanooga, a full-service shop is exceptionally important to passionate anglers,” he continues. “In my humble opinion, fishing, and in specific, fly fishing will always be the best way to instill a passion for the water and its ecosystem.” Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Company is a well-stocked shop with a broad selection of the fly fishing gear needed for success on almost any water. Loizeaux says that for those planning a trip to somewhere special can order anything not carried in stock, adding they have also been known to drop ship last minute purchases directly to lodges. Providing top quality guided fly fishing trips is an essential component of being a full-service fly shop. Both fly shops offer several options for amazing float and/or wading trips in Tennessee and North Georgia with an awesome group of experienced in-house guides. They offer trips to private water for a shot at trophy trout that will make your jaw drop. 114 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

featured fly shop

“From welcoming newbies into the fly fishing fold to exchanging notes with well-versed veterans of the river, we try to offer something for everyone.” notes Loizeaux. “It’s exciting to see so many new faces constantly, and even more exciting to see them coming back to pursue fish on the fly, further. At Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Co. we strive to distill the essentials of fly fishing and put anglers on the water."

Every month the Chattanooga shop has a “Bar-Fly” fly tying night where they meet at Big Frog Brewing Company, a local brewery, and tie a seasonal pattern. Additionally, both shops have several of the area’s local tiers keep the fly bins full, as well as lead tying nights and fly tying classes. “Our goal is to share our passion for the great outdoors, the fish we chase, and the conservation of the water they live in,” notes Loizeaux. “We pride ourselves on being unselfish with our knowledge. We want you to catch fish and we covet the opportunity to help you in that noblest of quests. We think that’s enough to keep people coming back to our shop." l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 115

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The Name of

“I Don’t Belie 118 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

the Stream? By Samuel Thomas


aradise is an entire stream to yourself, native trout eagerly keyed on a prominent hatch, and a fly box full of the perfect imitation. Some fishermen travel hundreds of miles to Colorado or Montana every year for a few days of paradise. I prefer to make it a weekly getaway. Many southern anglers live a simple kitchen pass away, they just need directions.

eve I Saidâ&#x20AC;? l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 119

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Brook trout streams offer some of the most enjoyable angling experiences available on the east coast. Unfortunately seasoned anglers rarely share these glorious jewels. Ask any true “Jawja” Rabunite where he caught those native specs and you will receive the standard response, “I don’t believe I said.” That translates to “paradise” for anyone living outside of Rabun County, Georgia. Luckily north Georgia contains countless streams with colorful native brook trout. While these streams remain shrouded with mystery for many anglers, finding them requires much less work than you might think. You probably drive right by a half-dozen or more every time you fish a stocked stream. The hugely popular fisheries on the Tallulah, Chattahoochee, Chattooga, and Toccoa Rivers greatly overshadow the dozens of brookie populations found in their headwaters and feeder creeks. Start at your favorite north Georgia river, but leave the waders and 9’ 5wt at home. Grab a topo map, a good pair of hiking boots, and start scouting high the elevation feeder creeks. Brook trout rarely compete well with non-native brown and rainbow trout. If non-native trout gain access to a stream they often stifle or even eradicate the native brook trout population. For that reason brook trout require some form of barrier, such as a large waterfall, to prevent non-native fish from moving in. Look for steep elevation changes in areas above 2,000 feet elevations. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 121

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In Georgia most barrier falls are found between 2,250â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and 2,650â&#x20AC;&#x2122; in elevation. Rainbow trout have been known to leap cascades of up to 5 or 6 feet, so it takes a fairly substantial waterfall to stop their upstream migration. Once you find the barrier falls catching brook trout is not difficult, but presenting your fly to the fish can require a little creativity. Plunge pools, overhanging branches, and submerged debris often complicate casting and achieving a decent drift. Short rods and leaders really shine in these tight quarters and the bow-and-arrow cast is king. Throwing dry flies to brook trout is the dominant technique in Georgia, and brookies will eagerly take flies on top for most of the year. Various terrestrial insects make up a large percentage of brook trout diets during late summer. Hatches are sparse most of the year, so pattern selection is more about functionality than imitation. Large high floating dries serve as excellent terrestrial imitations but more importantly help alleviate visibility issues in the low light condition of these vegetation choked headwaters. Although general attractor patterns catch fish all year, there is one substantial hatch you will not want to miss. For a few weeks in late spring and early summer headwater streams are flooded with inch worms. While not your traditional mayfly or caddis hatch, inch worms are a major food source for brook trout. These moth larvae can be found all throughout the summer, but really tend to reach peak thickness in late April through the end of May. During this time a #12-#16 Green Weenie will out fish any other fly 2:1. It is not uncommon to catch brook trout stuffed so full of inch worms they appear ready to burst. For anglers who find themselves fishing Green Weenies in early summer it offers a fly fishing paradise that rivals anything else the south has to offer. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 123

close look - chattanooga Although not as prolific as inch worms,

small headwater streams are often inhabited by healthy populations of stoneflies. Dredging the bottom of deeper pools with large stonefly nymphs offers a chance at a fish of a lifetime. This technique shines in streams with a steep gradient where cascades and waterfalls dig deep plunge pools. These deep pools often hold above average size fish, sometimes up to a foot long or more. This style of fishing requires more patience and generally yields lower numbers but the potential for a trophy brook trout is worth it. Unfortunately brook trout habitat has been greatly reduced over the past century. Georgia represents the most extreme range of brook trout making our populations the most susceptible to disruption. But thanks in large part to conservation groups and state fisheries biologists, brook trout habitat has expanded in recent years. Volunteers and field technicians worked tireless over the past decade to install over 300 stream improvement structures in Georgia brook trout streams, and streams once inhabited by rainbows have been the focus of restoration projects to re-establish brook trout populations. While tossing rocks and driving rebar may require more work than a typical day on the stream, your sweat and labor supports the fledgling rebound of brook trout in Georgia. As research continues to refine our understanding of delicate trout populations these workdays grow in significance and effectiveness. The coming years truly will be an exciting time to be involved in brook trout conservation. Those work days tend to great a certain camaraderie where strangers can quickly become lifelong fishing partners. That normally tight lipped â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jawjaâ&#x20AC;? Rabunite might just be inclined to point you toward paradise.

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High Tech Brook by Adam Kirk

Chattanooga’s Tennessee Aquarium May Be the “Ace-in-the-hole” for Southern Appalachian Brook Trout

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k Trout Rescue


hattanooga’s Tennessee Aquarium may be the “ace-in-the-hole” for beleaguered Southern Appalachian Brook Trout. Since opening nearly 25 years ago, the aquarium has been regarded by many as the nation’s top freshwater aquarium. Throughout that time, the Tennessee Aquarium’s Brook Trout exhibit has been among its most popular exhibits. However, for the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout, the Aquarium is more than just a place where the bejeweled char can be viewed in a naturalistic environment. Work is underway at the Aquarium that will play a huge role in the preservation of the genetically unique Brook Trout. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 129

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“We have exhibited Brook Trout for many years, and have always enjoyed educating our visitors about our native trout,” notes Dr. Anna George of the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute.

“Recently, we learned that some of our partners, including the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and U.S. Forest Service, were interested in learning how to raise Brook Trout in captivity as a possible restoration

tool. We were excited for the opportunity to join this effort. Having many partners is really helpful for strong conservation programs. From a scientific standpoint, it was an interesting project because there is so much

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genetic diversity between different Brook Trout that we need to be cautious about how we proceed. Our recirculating (closed) systems allow us to work with trout from many different regions in one space without concerns of escape and changes in diversity between populations. So it was an ideal project for us to join.” According to Dr. George, the prevailing theory on how Brook Trout were marooned in the headwaters of Southern Appalachian is that during the last glacial cycles of the Pleistocene Epoch, which ended approximately 10,000 years ago, periods of global cooling allowed Brook Trout to move south. As the glaciers retreated and global temperatures rose, Brook Trout would have moved up into higher elevation streams, starting their isolation. “More recently, human changes in these watersheds, especially through the introduction of Brown and Rainbow Trout, have pushed Brook Trout even higher into the Southern Appalachian,”

explains Dr. George. “It’s estimated that 95% of the drainages where Brook Trout were historically found are now impacted by humans at such a level that their populations are reduced in some way. The highest headwaters tend to be the best refuges now.” When asked how accurately do we know the Pre-Columbian Era range of the Brook Trout in the Southern Appalachians, Dr. George said “Not very accurately, but we make our best guesses from both where trout were discovered by early naturalists and adventurers, as well as from other species that share a similar distribution.” One of the dilemmas facing Brook Trout restoration is that Brook Trout from other regions were stocked in many Southern Appalachian streams from the 1930s to the 1980s. For years it was feared that this resulted in a genetic “omelet” that made it impossible to determine true Southern Appalachian strain Brook Trout from those populations of “brookies”

currently found in Southern Appalachian waters. However, modern scientific methods have dismissed this. “Fortunately, the genetic markers that differentiate Southern Appalachian Brook Trout that allow scientists to determine a true Southern Appalachian Brook Trout from some of the northern strain trout that were stocked,” explains Dr. George. “It’s something we’re very careful about— our goal is to protect and restore our native fish, so we try to have as much genetic information as possible before we move forward with conservation projects.” “Our first goal was quite simple—to learn how to spawn and rear Southern Appalachian Brook Trout in captivity using treated city water with a recirculating system,” continues Dr. George. “We were successful from the first year with our work. A graduate student at Tennessee Tech University followed the stocked fish that were reared with our l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 131

close look - chattanooga protocols compared to fish reared with more traditional hatchery protocols and found no differences in survival after 2 years. “This was reassuring—we always want to limit the impact that captivity has on animals that are reintroduced to the wild, so it was very nice to see that this was a viable method for helping to reestablish Brook Trout in streams where they have been lost. From here, we have embarked on a partnership with the U.S. National Park Service and US Geological Survey, among others, to study the best way to conserve all the genetic differences between trout populations. We’re still wrapping this project up, but we’re working to create a clear roadmap on the best methods for raising Brook Trout in captivity so they have the best possible chance of survival in the wild. Our goal is to use these pilot research projects to design a reintroduction plan for Southern Appalachian Brook Trout that takes them from the small range

they have currently to a more stable range size so they are better able to respond to environmental change.” The completion and operation of the aquarium’s new research facility will help in the efforts to restore the South’s native Brook Trout. Dr. Georges note that they are so excited to have the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute open. Completed in October 2016, this freshwater field station gives her and her team a modern state-of-the-art space to work. “We have a large propagation room that was carefully designed as a home for our Brook Trout, among other animals,” explains Dr. George. “We also have a genetics lab to help us understand the best way to protect all the diversity within trout populations. Most importantly, however, is the opportunity to teach more students, from high school through graduate school, about how to become the next generation of conservation scientists, so that they can help protect

animals like Southern Appalachian Brook Trout in the future.” “Most of our work has been supported by Trout Unlimited, particularly through their Tennessee license plate sales, and through the Tennessee Aquarium, which is a nonprofit, so memberships to these two conservation organizations directly help with our conservation efforts. We also encourage everyone to get outside, take some friends, and enjoy these fish and the mountain streams they live in! We have incredible natural treasures in our backyard, which makes the Southeast an incredibly special place to protect. Strengthening your own connection to nature—and especially bringing kids along so they learn from you—means that we have an active constituency who support our healthy forests and clean rivers,” concluded Dr. George. To learn more go to: http://

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e Impact on GSMNP Trout Streams T


his November, the State of Tennessee saw the rise of a devastating wildfire. We all watched as the fire grew in strength, shifted direction in the wind, and began to bear down on the historic town of Gatlinburg. For a short time, the worst was feared. The fire appeared to be a perfect concoction of terrible drought conditions, civilian stupidity, and unpredictable wind gusts. Pictures were released of buildings on fire, roadways lined by flames, and a mountainside that looked like a war-zone. Luckily, the experts in the area acted swiftly, and corrected. Gatlinburg was almost completely saved, the fires receded, and we finally got those beautifully nourishing gifts from the sky. Those lucky enough to see it regularly refer to it as rain. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 137

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In the immediate aftermath, we were relieved. Casualties, while tragic, were low (estimated 14). Rebuild efforts in towns were negligible compared to other catastrophic incidents.

It seems, for a time, that everything has concluded and the outcome was manageable. Fishermen, though, knew to ask more questions. We think of habitat loss, lengthy road

closures, or insect and fish population decline. The threats seem endless. I dreamed myself in the middle of the West Fork of the Pigeon River, looking down to see cloudy water and no fish. I foresaw

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some of my favorite runs, laden with fallen trees and oppressive sunlight without the protection of our frustrating friends, the rhododendron. As fishermen, it is our duty to think of the doomsday.

Though 55 miles of stream within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park were affected, Matt “does not anticipate shortterm negative effects on aquatic communities within the watersheds.” Matt goes on to say that a likely impact from general fire damage, potentially long-term, is sediment suspended in the water column. “The sediment can fill tin the pore spaces between the cobbles where fish lay their eggs and in some cases, clog and abrade fish gills and suffocate eggs and aquatic larvae living on the bottom,” Matt explains. Despite that threat, sediment-monitoring devices were placed in the West Prong of the Little Pigeon (3.2 miles of the river were affected by the fires), and showed no significant increases in As it turns out, those thoughts are just needless sediment (turbidity) in the aftermath. Readings were worrying. Matt Kulp, even completed after three supervisory fishery successive storm events, biologist for the Great and Matt reports normal ph Smoky Mountain National Park, helped put the effects levels and a lack of toxic materials. in perspective. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 139

close look - the virginias

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featured fly shop These are reassuring words, considering the mileage of streams that were affected. Those 55 stream miles include notable areas such as Baskins Creek, the aforementioned West Prong of the Little Pigeon River, LeConte Creek, Twomile Branch, Road Prong and Roaring Fork. These streams are all slightly different with regard to plant life and insect activity, but they all share a need for canopy. If the rhododendron canopy was destroyed, water temperature could rise to an unsuitable level. Fish would also be much more exposed to predation across the board. Luckily, the GSMNP reported 98.5% of the burn severity to be low or moderate. These numbers, according to Matt Kulp, indicate “little impact to trees and herbaceous cover - meaning duff layers, root mats and seed banks are mostly intact in the low impact areas.” The future of each stream is largely affected by these results. Canopy destruction affects not only the immediate fishing cover, but the aquatic living conditions for years to come. Streams in high impact areas risk not having suitable trout habitat far longer than a few spawning seasons. Additionally, to the good fortune of fish and fishermen alike, this fire took place late enough into the year that no spawning seasons were interrupted. Even if a small percentage of fish were killed, the decline will likely not be noticed. “Historically, we have found that fishermen do not notice declines in adult fish density until a 50% or more loss,” Matt details. He goes on to mention the major flood of 1994 resulted in a loss varying from 20% to 50% in regards to rainbow trout. Still, many fishermen reported great catch rates in the aftermath. The reasoning of these catch rates is unknown, but competition is a likely factor. Smaller, and the more feeble fish are likely to be killed during these events, and with those fish gone, the studs have less competition for food. Perhaps this spring, the pool, the one we all get excited about when we turn the corner and lay eyes on her beauty, won’t just hold that 6-inch torpedo of a rainbow. Maybe that little fish, whose excitement and speed ruin the chance at the bull, will be out of the picture. Maybe it’s all wishful thinking. Most certainly though, all is not lost. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 141

Fresh off of the presses: The first book ever dedicated to the Brook Trout of the Southern Appalachian Mountains

NEW FROM JIMMY JACOBS YOU KNOW HIM AS THE AUTHOR OF GUIDEBOOKS TO TROUT FISHING IN THE SOUTHEAST. NOW EXPERIENCE THE OTHER SIDE OF JIMMY JACOBSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; WRITING. THE CERDO GRANDE CONSPIRACY IS A NOVEL THAT TAKES YOU ON A WILD RIDE FROM ATLANTA TO KEY WEST, FLORIDA. The Cerdo Grande Conspiracy was born in a tale related to me by a reserve officer with the Monroe County Police Department that serves the Florida Keys. It revolved around an escaped pig on Stock Island that becomes amorous with a motorcycle in a convenience store parking lot. The owner of the bike and the pig's owner ended up in a fight as the biker attacked the pig. While it sounds surreal, locals have good reason to call the city at the south end of U.S. Highway 1 "Key Weird." Anything is plausible in this slice of paradise. And if it hasn't already happened, it likely will. Admittedly, some liberties have been taken with the original tale, but that's what fiction is all about. From that incident the story of the conspiracy to save the porker took root. Hopefully, you'll find that it grew into an entertaining romp along the southeast coast down to the American tropics. And, should you ever visit there, you just might recognize some of the locales in the tale. Jimmy Jacobs Kindle Edition $4.99 Paperback $9.99 AVAILABLE AT WWW.AMAZON.COM/AUTHOR/JIMMYJACOBS

close look - chattanooga


144 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

ille, Georgia

featured guide


here’s been a virtual explosion of fly fishing guide services that offer trips to the smorgasbord of southern trout streams and rivers. Among the first, and certainly the most outstanding southern trout waters fly fishing guide service, is Southeastern Anglers, a team of professional fly fishing outfitters and guide service. “We take great pride in our program,” says Dane Law, team leader of Southeastern Anglers. “Our goal has always been to be the best on the waters we service and provide an experience equaled by no other.” An Orvis Endorsed guide service, Southeastern Anglers’ fortes include trips on the cold southern tailwaters and streams of the Cherokee National Forest. However, their geographic scope includes a variety of venues that are offered from time to time depending on current fishing conditions. Currently, according to Law, the team’s “heavy hitters” are The Hiwassee, Holston, Cumberland, and Tellico rivers. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 145

close look - chattanooga

Anglers do not enlist guides to show them how to fish waters they already know, but to show them new places to fly fish and when to fly fish. Guides are also hired not only to teach insider secrets on fly patterns that will produce, but also the technical aspects of putting flies where the big trout lie. “We can offer as much or as little instruction as desired,” says Law. “We have an instructional trip package with the focus on providing beginners the knowledge necessary to catch and release fish on day one and move forward from there. We can provide everything necessary for a day of trout fishing on the water including waders. We ask clients to come prepared with appropriate attire, a cap or hat, sunglasses, and a fishing license. We generally meet our clients at the river or pick them up from local lodging. Any transportation can be arranged. We supply a very nice shore lunch, bottled water, and soft drinks. Our Hiwassee/Tellico river shore lunches have developed a reputation of their own.” 146 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

featured guide

Dane Law began his personal guiding career in 1987 in Illiamna, Alaska, at one of the premier operations there at the time. This is where he initially learned the difference between the “top shelf” services and all the rest. He has applied these concepts to Southeastern Anglers that began operation in 1999. He continues to book guides and lodges internationally every year for his own fishing enjoyment. When doing so he constantly compares Southeastern Anglers’ operation to all others. If he finds something that he likes, it is adopted. “We run more trips on our home water, The Hiwassee River, than any other,” says Law. “The Hiwassee is the most dependable producer of the southern tailwaters for trout. Although average fish size is not the largest, catch rates are generally higher here than the other rivers and we do catch some trophy trout. The water flows are usually more predictable, and the floating/boating aspect of the trip through the gorge and national forest is hard to beat.” l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 147

close look - chattanooga

“There is a huge range of differences in the expectations of our clients. As a ’hands on’ outfitter, I speak with most clients before the trip and ascertain as much as possible about their expectations. I then relay my thoughts to the guides. From that point, the guide’s responsibility is to make as quick an assessment as possible, and then proceed to try and exceed the expectations. When asked what he would like for potential customers to know about guided trips before they book with Southeastern Anglers, Law noted the importance of fly fishermen to come with an open mind and not to over prepare. The most important element the clients can control is their comfort for the day, so proper attire is important. Hot, cold, wet, or dry, your guide cannot control the weather, but with today’s clothing technology, everyone can be comfortable regardless of what the weather is. 148 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

featured guide

Law was asked what he foresees for the immediate future for the fly fishing guide business on southern trout streams and rivers. He said, “Unfortunately, I do not have a romantic answer for this question. But I do have a long history to draw upon. I think it is a simple mathematical equation. Our business peaked in 2008, just prior to the US economy melting and $4/gallon gasoline. Our business bottomed out in early 2010. We have experienced a steady increase in trip numbers since then. Our industry is fueled by the angler’s spending of discretionary income. I think guided fishing trips are one of the ultimate indicators of consumer confidence. I think the overall US economy drives our business more than any other factor. “If you are reading this article and have not spent a day on the water with us, you should, adds Law. “Trout fishing in the south is better now than it has been in the 40 years since I first started flipping spinners and we know where the best of it is. Our goal is to offer a high quality experience equaled by no other.” l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 149

The city of Waynesboro offers some of the finest trout fishing in Virginia. Trophy-sized rainbow and brown trout thrive in the South River Delayed Harvest Area, which flows right through downtown and has one of the two urban fisheries in the state. The South River Fly Shop on Main Street provies guided trips, classes and an extensive line of fly fishing products. Waynesboro is also home ot the South River Fly Fishing Expo in the spring. Attendees have the opportunity to enjoy fly tying, casting, and fishing presentations by regionally known professionals. Visit our website to learn more about Waynesboro, VA.

2017 TU SOUTHEAST R “The mountains are calling... The trout are rising… Come home to Tennessee!”


here are no words that can say more; it is a message that has resonated for generations to residents and visitors alike that visit the Great Smoky Mountains. Now it is your time to come home to Gatlinburg, TN on April 2123, 2017. We are excited to invite everyone not just from Tennessee but from the entire southeast and beyond to join us as we gather at the Glenstone Lodge. The Lodge is located less than a ½ mile from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park at 505 Historic Nature Trail Gatlinburg. TN.

The annual Southeast Regional Trout Unlimited event is marking its return to Tennessee after many years and we along with the Glenstone Lodge are rolling out the red carpet for our fellow members, friends, families and guests. Yes, the news has been filled with information about the fire surrounding Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, yet the downtown section of both cities escaped the damage that hit so hard the neighborhoods and woods in our area. Our friends and neighbors have

suffered losses but remain “Tennessee Strong.” The full weight of our state and federal agencies are hard at work to help, along with our famous Tennessee volunteer attitude! A weekend of events, seminars and workshops are being planned to make this one of the most exciting regional meetings ever held. Come to a barbecue in the national park on Saturday night for a fun filled evening of fellowship and food. Of course no visit to the Smokies would be

154 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l



By John Reinhardt

complete without allowing time to fish for wild trout, so we invite you to bring your favorite fishing gear along. We will have Friday set aside for those wishing to chase the brook, brown, and rainbow trout that fill our streams and rivers. Come join us and be a part of the many faces of Trout Unlimited during a weekend of learning. Make new or reconnect with old friends, and of course, have fun! The 2017 TU Southeast Regional Meeting will have something for everyone.

Hear and participate in presentations on women fly fishing, engaging young adults, improving communications in our modern world, and conservation success stories, as well as new issues needing our attention. Everyone is welcome! The Trout Unlimited Southeast Regional Meeting will be held in iconic Gatlinburg, Tennessee nestled next to the incredible Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Enjoy the family entertainment in Gatlinburg and spend

time in the Park fishing for wild trout only minutes away from the Glenstone Lodge. Spring time in the Smoky Mountains is magical; make this the year you â&#x20AC;&#x153;Come home to Tennesseeâ&#x20AC;?. Registration for the meeting will be opening soon and updates will be ongoing via the website below for news and information about the 2017 Southeast Regional Trout Unlimited event. Please visit the link at: www. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 155

Nantahala River Lodge, a unique riverfront, pet friendly cabin near Bryson City.

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uests breathe easier here, and it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just the mountain air. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the entire Eseeola experience: award-winning cuisine, exceptional service, and of course, first-rate fly fishing on the Linville River. Call Today for Reservations

175 Linville Avenue Linville, NC 28646 (800)742-6717

Author checking for nymphs

160 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

Early Season Nymphing in Small Mountain Trout Streams F

Harry Murray

ishing nymphs for trout early in the season in small southern mountain streams just might give you many of your best trout of the entire year. The full streams often encountered at this time carry great natural nymph populations, and once the water temperature reaches the mid forties, the trout are on the lookout for this wealth of food. Early in the season the one important common characteristic shared by these trout is their desire to get the maximum amount of food while expending the least amount of energy. As we plan to fish the stream this means we would seek some object to block the current. The two areas in the pools which provide this are the boulders in the main parts of the pools and the protected runs close to the banks. The upstream dead drifting nymph tactic will enable you to show your nymphs to trout holding in both of these areas so let us explore the mechanics for this method. The basic primes to keep in mind with the upstream dead drifting tactic is that you are wading upstream, casting upstream and detecting your takes by seeing the strikes. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 161

Getting the nymphs down close to the stream bottom where the trout are holding. Is essential. Present your flies either straight upstream or up and across stream at a very slight angle to the side. You are not being fair to yourself if you shoot a cast up and across stream at a forty-five degree angle and hope it will drift naturally close to the stream bottom. The currents sweeping downstream between you and your nymph will grab your line and leader and rob you of the depth you need. If you spot a nice looking run that is far across the pool you should wade over below it so you can present your nymph more directly upstream. The second challenge we confront in upstream dead drift nymphing is detecting the strike. This, also, can easily be achieved, but it requires a conscientious effort on your part for you must see this strike on your indicator system. You must eliminate all of the slack from your line and leader as the nymph drifts down the stream to you. I want a tight line from the nymph all the way back to the fingers of my rod hand. Failure to maintain this contact would permit the trout to pick up my nymph, then discerning it to be a phony he could eject it without me being aware of his take. 162 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

Ten Tips for Early Season Trout Nymphing in Mountain Streams (1) Use a very cautious approach to prevent scaring trout in small mountain stream. (2) During periods of high water in the spring go up high in mountain streams to find more favorable water levels. (3) Compound knotted leaders using five feet of fluorescent mono in the butt with two small Scientific Angler's tube type indicators are a great help in detecting strikes with nymphs. (4) Do not false cast over the pools because this may scare the trout. (5) Set the hook quickly at the first hint of a strike because often the trout take a nymph gently in the cold water. (6) Learn to set the hook with the line hand as well as the rod in order to quickly telegraph the strike to the trout. (7) Sharpen your nymph hooks often to assure good trout hooking. (8) Be sure to keep a tight line from your line hand all the way down to the nymph in order to quickly detect the trout's strike. (9) Continue fishing in periods of rain and snow in the spring because the trout keep feeding and they are often less wary. (10) Land your trout as quickly as possible and release them gently to assure that they will survive. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 163

The way I teach the students in my fly fishing classes to detect these strikes instantly is easy to learn and dependable to use because it relies on preventing the slack line before it occurs, rather than overcoming it after it develops. Here is how it works. Upon the presentation cast the fly line is held firmly in the line hand and the line hand is kept within six inches of the rod grip. As the line rolls out on the presentation cast I place the fly line over the first or second finger of my rod hand and strip in all of the slack line before the nymph touches the water. This last step is the most critical part for once this is mastered it assures that I have a tight line from the fingers of my line hand all the way to the nymph. It is then a simple matter to maintain this contact by using long, smooth strips with my line hand at the rate which the current is pushing the nymph back down the stream. The indicator system I use in these small trout streams in the full streams early in the season consists of a nine foot knotted compound leader tapered down to 4X. Five feet of the butt section of my leader is constructed of fluorescent mono and I install two small tube type Scientific Anglerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s indicators on the leader. The first one is placed two to three feet above the fly and the second one is two feet further up the leader. When I am fishing I always strive to see the indicator which is closest to the fly, if I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see the second one I watch the florescent butt of the leader. Then at the slightest hint of a strike I set the hook firmly with both my line hand and the rod. 164 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

BH Red Squirrel l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 165

166 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

Short casts in the fifteen to twenty five foot range are preferable to longer casts. It is much easier to handle the drift, to detect the strike and to set the hook on the trout at these distance than with a longer line. .

Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph

I occasionally use a technique I call “swing nymphing” in mountain streams that have pools from four to five feet deep and are slightly wider than normal. Move cautiously into the side of the pool and cast up and across stream at a forty-five degree angle so my nymph lands just where the riffle enters the deep part of the pool. After it sinks I extend my fly rod up and out over the stream at a forty-five degree angle. I now take up the slack line with my line hand and swing the fly rod downstream ahead of the drifting nymph, being sure to keep a tight line on the fly so I can quickly feel the strike and set the hook. Successive casts are made two feet to the far side of the previous casts until I have covered all the pool. My favorite nymphs in the headwater streams early in the season are the Mr. Rapidan Bead Head, the Red Squirrel Bead Head and the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear all in sizes 10, 12, and 14. Many anglers find that they get some of their best trout fishing of the year early in the season by using nymphs. Give these methods a try and see how you do. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 167

Leland Shockley and Sofia Lilly, who claimed the unguided division title, as well as Dana Toole and Rankin Smith who claimed the guided division title. These two groups posted a tally of inches in the 1,000â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, which is an incredible feat. Leland Shockley also deserves mention for having won a very different sort of prize this year, as he and his wife Hillary welcomed their first child, Samson, into the world this September. The great weekend culminated with an incredible dinner reception at the Cyprus restaurant in downtown Highlands. The steak and seafood bisque options for dinner were both fantastic, and the cocktails were expertly poured. As always, each drink tasted just a little better than the one before. At the end of the weekend, once all the awards were given out, it was hard to leave Highlands knowing it may be a full year before I make my return. This tournament was the true Great Smoky Mountain National Park experience. Rest assured, all money is contributed directly to the HIghlands scholarship fund, which directly influences lives in the area. Each two-man team must pay a $500, tax deductible, entry fee. To further research this wonderful tournament, please visit the tournament website (www. or call the Highlands Visitor Center at (866) 5265841.

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Jack Cautious l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 169








Cherokee Lake

Norris Lake

Melton Hill Lake



Knoxville Fort Loudon Lake




Lenoir City



Great Smoky Mtns National Park



Mars Hill


Pigeon Forge



Watts Bar Lake


Douglas Lake








FontanaL09-10 Dam


Bryson City

Sylva Robbinsville








Cherokee National Forest





Nantahala National Forest Dillard











Pisgah National Forest


Tellico Plains




75 Athens

40 Canton

Maggie Valley




Clayton Blue Ridge

Not To Scale



Chattahoochee National Forest


Index of Maps Featuring All or Partial Sections of Waters Listed J08-09 Blockhouse and Kinzel Springs USGS Quadrangles Little River downstream of Great Smoky Mountains Nationa Park, Hesse, Cane and Beard Cane Creek. J10-11 Wear Cove and Gatlinburg USGS Quadrangles Little River, West Prong Little Pigeon River and Gatlinburg special permit streams.


K10-11 Thunderhead Mountain and Silers Bald USGS Quadrangles Little River, Lynn Camp Prong, Fish Camp Prong, and Hazel, Forney Creek, Bone Valley Creek and Jonas Creeks.



K12-13 Clingmans Dome and Smokemont USGS Quadrangles Oconaluftee River, Raven Fork, Bradley Fork and Noland and Deep Creeks. L07-08 Whiteoak Flats and Tapoco USGS Quadrangles Cheoah River and Citico, Jake Best, Doublecamp and Slickrock Creeks.

Johnson City


Cherokee National Forest

L09-10 Fontana Dam and Tuskeegee USGS Quadrangles Fontana Lake and Eagle, Hazel, Yellow, Sawyer and Stecoah Creeks. L11-12 Noland Creek and Bryson City USGS Quadrangles Fontana Lake, Tuckasegee River and Forney, Noland and Deep Creeks. L13-14 Whittier and Sylva North USGS Quadrangles Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee Rivers, and Soco, Dicks and Scott Creeks.

Pisgah National Forest

M05-06 Tellico Plains and Bald River Falls USGS Quadrangles Tellico, River and Bald Rivers and Wildcat Creek. M07-08 Big Junction and Santeetlah Creek USGS Quadrangles Tellico and North Rivers and Nabb, Santeetlah Creek, Little Santeetlah, West Buffalo, Little Buffalo Squally and Snowbird Creeks. M09-10 Robbinsville and Hewitt USGS Quadrangles Santeetlah Lake, Nantahala River and Tulula Creek, Long, Mountain Creek, Snowbird, Franks, Berts, Bear and Stecoah Creeks. M11-12 Wesser and Alarka USGS Quadrangles Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers and Alarka, Rattlesnake, Tellico, Burningtown, Cowee, Rhinehart and Sugar Cove Creeks.



M13-14 Greens Creek and Sylva South USGS Quadrangles Tuckasegee River, Caney Fork and Greens, Savannah, Wayehutta and Cullowhee Creeks. M15-16 Tuckasegee and Sam Knob USGS Quadrangles Upper West Prong Pigeon River, Caney Fork and Moses, Mull, Wolfe and Tanasee Creeks.




N15-16 Big Ridge and Lake Toxaway USGS Quadrangles Tuckasegee and West Fork French Broad Rivers and Tanasee, Robbinsville, Flat and Panthertown Creeks. P01-02 Tennga & Hemp Top USGS Quadrangles Conasauga River, Jacks River and West and South Forks of Jacks River and Mill Creek. P12-13 Rabun Bald and Satolah USGS Quadrangles Chattooga River and West Fork Chattooga River, Walnut Fork and Warwoman, Sarahs and Hoods Creeks.

A 85



Š 2016 SAINT CLAIR MAPPING Updated 9/22/2016

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tton Fly Fishing American International Schools of Fly Fishing Outfitter and Guide Services for the White River region Custom Flies and Fly Fishing DVDs

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Amazing 17 Yr. old CEO Combines Pa Movement to Help Veterans, and Gets Background: It was the fall of 2015 and 17 year old Brady Fernandes was finishing up his shift as a retail clerk at Kinnucan’s Outfitters where he had been employed for the last two years when his idea for a line of apparel came to him as he was putting inventory away. He had been tasked with coming up with a plan for his Capstone Project which is a requirement for every student to graduate from Christian Academy of Knoxville. The idea is to do something that you have an interest in that will spring board you to the next step after high school and also has a philanthropic purpose behind it to help others as well. Some coach teams for disadvantaged youth, others held bake sales to raise money for charity. Brady decided to use the experience from retail job and his eye for style to develop a line of patriotic apparel that he could sell and use the proceeds to raise money for local non-profit organizations that support wounded veterans. You see Brady’s grandfather was a veteran and he wanted to do something that would have a purpose beyond the project. He also had friends and family members that had served and had seen the need brought to light as Veteran’s were a hot topic during the Presidential elections process as well. 178 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

atriotism with Apparel, Starts a a Compliment from President Trump What Is Patriot Threads? Fast forward to today and Patriot Threads is a Regional Apparel Brand that is carried by 45 retailers in 12 Southern states and includes apparel from Tee-Shirts and Hats to Bow Ties and Blankets. They have raised over $5000 for 15 different local non-profits and have sales over $60,000 in their first year. Not bad for a high school student, but Brady has his site set much higher for his brand an itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission to raise awareness and support for Veterans and other worthy causes. Why the name Patriot Threads? By definition a Patriot is a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors, and Threads is slang for clothing. So when you put the two together you get a brand of clothing that shows support for your country and for those who fought to defend your freedom. The cool thing is that we have Copyrights and Trade Marked that name so we can now build a company around that theme to do a lot of good for a lot of veterans. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 179

How did you come up with your designs? I came up with our original design, which is the outline of the US with a bow tie ribbon strapped across it - which represents a southern proper look which appeals to my generation, and more importantly because it is a throw-back to the days when people would tie a yellow ribbon around their trees by their houses to show support for the troops. We have that ribbon across the entire United States which has that same meaning. We started with classic Red White and Blue flag themed designs and then decided to create state themed designs and incorporated popular colors to have a more local home town appeal. We now have shirts with 25 state and flag themes and plan to have designs for all 50 states eventually. This allows for our apparel to appeal to people on a local level and allows them to show off their pride for their state and is also suitable to wear to the tail gate as well.

How did Patriot Threads Grow? We were blessed to have th leaders, the chamber of commerce, and several retailers who h Hall, which carries college branded apparel, was the first multi-s they now carry us in 4 states. We also gained the support of th which carries our brand in two of their bookstores on campus an also had a very aggressive PR campaign run by my father, Crai and who serves our President. He was able to secure interview shows and we also appeared three separate times on local TV came when the Knoxville News Sentinel did a front page and bu on Fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day.

180 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

What makes Patriot Threads different from other companies? The main difference between Patriot Threads and other apparel companies is that we exist to serve others as our primary mission. There are over 22 million Veterans in the US and over 500,000 in Tennessee with about 90% men and 10% women, and many of them are disabled or are just forgotten over time. We want to change that by using Patriot Threads “Apparel with a Purpose” to start a movement across the US – on college campus’ and at corporations. It is really very simple – everyone wears clothes right – so why not have at least one item hanging in your closet from Patriot Threads. If everyone got on board we could raise literally millions of dollars for Veteran Non-profits and we could easily unify the country behind this common cause and our apparel brand. We donate 10% of our online sales to non-profits as determined by the customer at check out and have the ability to set up custom promo codes that can be tied in to specific non-profit events so we can support many organizations simultaneously.

he support of the Knoxville community had their headquarters in Knoxville. Alumni state retailer to carry Patriot Threads and he University Of Tennessee’s VOLSHOP nd helped us reach College Students. We ig, who co-founded the company with me ws for me on several popular local talk radio news stations. I believe the biggest boost usiness section story our father/son business

What do you see for the future of your company? We would like to become known as America’s Patriotic Apparel brand and have recently created a new line of Outdoor Living shirts with designs that include Southern Trout’s logo with the tagline Fishing With Purpose that are available online at l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 181

An Update from the Fly Fishing Museum of the W Southern Appalachians

e have moved! On September 23, 2016, the museum officially reopened with a ribbon cutting in downtown Bryson City. Our new location is 210 Main Street across from the Swain County Heritage Museum.

184 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l

During the move in August and early-September, plans continued for our first annual Museum Hall of Fame inductions and our first Smoky Mountain Hook and Hackle fly tyers weekend event. At the re-opening, there were additional new or improved exhibits including Fly Tying Tools, Fly Tying Materials, Streamside Gear and Gadgets, Casting Carolinas, Benny Joe Craig “Stream Blazer” and Smoky Mountains Map Kiosk. Thanks to our partnership with Project Healing Waters, we now have a new conference room for meetings and the initial phase of the Museum Library which is available for Museum Membership use. Phase II is now underway. The second building is under construction for spring to early-summer completion. We plan to have a living “Mountain Trout Stream” and three systems of large aquariums tanks that will exhibit many of the Southern Appalachian species of forage and game fish and some aquatic insect species as well. At present, we are open for and seeking new sponsors for aquarium tanks. The facility will serve as the Trout in the Classroom Region Center and the Southern Appalachian Aquatic Species Science Center, both in support of aquatic biological science education and regional field trips for students from 10- to 18-years old as well as general family and kids’ education through live species exhibits. Additional exhibits in Phase II will include science education and conservation oriented presentations as well as more “Stream Blazer” exhibits

and the Southern Trout Magazine online publishing exhibit. Events for 2017 include a Bryson City Outdoor and Fly Fishing Festival on May 7-6. The festival includes the second annual Smoky Mountain Hook and Hackle fly tyers weekend. The second annual Museum Hall of Fame inductions are scheduled during a noon luncheon on August 26, at the same location as the first luncheon in 2016, Southwestern Community College on US 74. Partnering events with Casting Carolinas, Casting for Hope, Project Healing Waters, other “giveback” organizations and WNC Fly Girls Fly Tying Classes are planned for 2017 as well. The museum will sponsor a booth at the Great Smoky Mountains Outdoor Expo in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Fly Fishing Show in Atlanta, Georgia, the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival in Doswell, Virginia, the Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Show, the Burnsville Craft Show, the Fall Fly Fisihing Festival in Bryson City, the Fly Tyers Weekend in Townsend, Tennessee and the WNC Fly Fishing Show in Asheville, North Carolina. The museum will locally sponsor several Fly Fishing 101 Classes, Fly Tying Classes, Casting Clinics, Rod Building Workshops and local Trout Fishing Tournaments. Come fly fish the Bryson City area, bring the family for a few days and enjoy the train, the museums, and the local hospitality. Contact Alen Baker alenandscottie@ or other museum board members for more information. l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 185

Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians, Bryson City, NC PHASE II - Mountain Waters Aquariums and Trout In the Classroom Regional Center TOP VIEW 40" Door

Window Largemouth Bass

Testing & Lab Desk


D Cemicals Supplies

CasedCaddis Tank

Non-Native Forage Fish

Tall Tank

C door

E Stillwater A

N Brook Trout

SA Brook Trout Rainbow Trout

Pool D

Falls Viewing

Plunge Pool A

Brown Trout

Pool C Pool B


40" Door


12-foot ceiling Non-Native Forage Fish Stillwater

Redhourse Sucker

186 l February 2016 l Southern Trout l door



40" Door


12-foot ceiling Non-Native Forage Fish Stillwater

Redhourse Sucker


Cased-Caddis E



Service & Equipment Area Falls S.Brook






We are fund raising for several future exhibits and Phase II, the Aquariums and the Trout in the Classroom Regional Center. Exhibits of live species of game fish and forage fish of the Southern Appalachians. Mountain Stream System Presentation Fish Tanks Filtration Systems Cased-Caddis Exhibit Negative HVAC (control moisture) Construction Materials Labor TOTAL

$25,000 pending donation $15,000 $10,000 $ 8,000 $10,000 $12,000 $15,000 $95,000 GOAL

Our goal is to raise $95,000 for Phase II, the Aquariums and expanded exhibit area. The Aquarium room will support local a be a Field Trip destination for local and regional school science programs as well as a wonderful exhibit of our precious Sou l Southern Trout l March 2017 l 187



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323 West Main Street Waynesboro, VA 22980 540-942-5566

The Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Full-Service Fly Fishing Store The Valley's Largest Selection of Fly Tying Materials

Expert Guiding and Instruction at the BEST Rates in the Area

Thomas and Thomas, Mystic, Echo, Galvan, Rio, Nautilus, Redington, Vedavoo, Tycoon, Airflo...and Many More!

Only 1 Block from the South River!

Learn to Fly Fish with Us!

The Home of Fly Fishing in Boone and Blowing Rock

135 Southwood Trail Boone, NC 28607 Office Phone: (828) 355-9109 Cell: (910) 639-7173

A Museum for the Southern Fly Fisherman

The Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians — originally

located in Cherokee, NC — has a new home in neighboring Bryson City where it shares a building with the Bryson City / Swain County Chamber of Commerce. It’s centrally located on the town square across the street from the visitor center. The Museum is open Monday thru Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm and admission is free.

The scope of the museum covers an

area with more than 14,700 miles of accessible trout streams — the nine Southern Appalachian States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama; the Qualla Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; as well as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Bryson City, NC


Through exhibits and videos you’ll

learn about legendary “Stream Blazers,” the evolution of rods and reels, basic knots, fly-tying, types of gear, types of gamefish, regional fishing waters, and the history of fly fishing in the Southeast. Whether you are a long-time fly fisherman, or have only attempted or never tried fly fishing, you will find something to enjoy and to learn from in the museum.



Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians 210 Main Street Bryson City, NC 28713 800-867-9241

Southern Trout Issue 29 Feb/Mar 2017