Southern Trout CLOSE LOOK:
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.
PISGAH FOREST, NC
2 l April 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
GUIDE SERVICES | ONLINE & RETAIL STORE | LESSONS
uch to the astonishment of all who know me, and me too for that matter, I recently reached my 63th year. My haphazard plan for life was to try to make it to 30 years old, then by the grace of God perhaps see 54 years. Frankly that I would ever make it to become a card carrying member of the Old Fart Club never really occurred to me. My formerly ‘devil may care’ approach to life has not been without consequence. I’ve got more things a little off plumb about me than say a poorly maintained, decade old Yugo. Last month I was treated to a 10 day vacation at a local hospital. I’m not going to bore you with the details of an old man’s health issue, but happily I can say my road to recovery is proceeding forward in
a positive direction that exceeds my most optimistic expectations. In short, I have renewed vigor in making our publications successful, but also having the time and energy to what l like best; fly fishing for trout. A new web site for Southern Kayak Fishing Magazine is up and going, while the Southern Trout web site is currently being overhauled. When you are an itty bitty fish in a small pond like we are, this is what is generally referred to as ‘progress.’ While such things are not my primary bailiwick, what I can say is the goals of these efforts is to make these web sites more functional and easily navigated, better looking and more interactive for those good enough to come see us. Regarding the latter, this will include the inclusion of video clips on the site. Insofar as it appears that audience interest in ‘forums’ has dwindled from what it was a few years ago, past plans to make a forum part of Southern Trout Magazine have been shelved, at least for the time being. A new addition to the site which we believe many people will like is a ‘weekly survey.’ Surveys will cover such things as “What is the best month to fly fish the White River?; December, January or March,” or “Which is the most traditional of all southern trout pattern?; Dave’s Hopper, Yallarhammar or Mr. Rapidan.” Results of each survey will be posted on the STM website. As you know, the STM concept is based on the regional loyalty of southerners, and many of the surveys will provide interesting insight into just how clannish the culture of southern fly fishing for trout really is. Personally, I
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 3
Southern Trout Publisher Assoc. Editor Managing Editor Special Projects Dir. Photographer/Writer Editorial Consultant
Don Kirk Regan Whitlock Leah Kirk Adam Patterson Loryn Latham Olive K. Nynne
Bill Bernhardt Bill Cooper Kevin Howell Harry Murray
FIELD STAFF Bob Borgwat
Columnist Ron Gaddy Columnist Craig Haney Columnist Jimmy Jacobs, Georgia Editor Roger Lowe Columnist Bob Mallard Columnist Steve Moore Columnist Tim O’Brien Columnist
believe it is going to be a lot of fun, and hope many of you share this enthusiasm. As you may be aware, for the last couple of months the “Don Says” department of the week STM newsletter has been the responsibility of Olive K. Nynne. This change up was made by the CEO of Southern Unlimited, LLC, and it is my understanding, I am still in quarantine for my editorial comments regarding the untimely demise of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. My guess is that this arrangement is unlikely to change within the foreseeable future, which is fine with me. As one might guess, as a result of her recently elevated position, Olive has developed something of the ‘big head.’ Case in point is one of her most recent memo’s to the CEO in which she noted a desire to discuss her interest in taking on an intern. We’ll see how that works out, eh? What Dec/Jan issue would be complete without at least a cursory inclusion of holiday greetings. We at Southern Trout wish everyone reading this drivel, a blessed Christmas. It’s a special time of year when southerners reflect on the precious gift of enteral salvation. Of course, the appropriate exit here is,
ON THE COVER
Southern Trout is a publication of Southern Unlimited LLC. Copyright 2015 Southern Unlimited LLC. All rights reserved.
4 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Photo
Gearhead Camping Hammocks`
New Fly Guy Dressing for Success
Black Wing Olive Chronicles 38 Getting Tough This Christmas
Fish Hunter Adventures in 42 Cuisine Fly of the Month Royal Coachman Wulf
Product Review 50 Strike Indicators Situational Fly Fishing in 60 the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Damn Finicky Trout Diamondback Trout Clout 72 Loose Loops and Wind Knots 82 Knives, Stitches and Bandaids Featured Rod Builder Harry Boyd
Featured Artist Greg Hentzi
Reinveting the Wheel
6 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
THIS ISSUE CLOSE LOOK - The Ozarks
116 Southern Trout History Henry Gaston 126 Missouri’s Five Double Header Rivers 134 Shawnee Ozark River Boats 140
Featured Resort Lilley’s Landing
148 Featured Fly Shop The Ozark Angler 154 Featured Guide Buddy Pate FEATURES 158 Cotter: One Hellava Trout Town
172 Book Review 25 Best Towns Fly Fishing for Trout 174 Close Look at the Chattahoochee Delayed Harvest Section
182 Ritz and Glitz and 100 Fish Days 190 Tycoon Tacle Mountain King
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 7
10 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Hammocks Bob Mallard
kay, so what do hammocks have to do with fly fishing? The answer is “lots” if you like to fish remote places and hang around long enough to enjoy them… I have backpacked for close to 40 years. Unlike those who head into the backcountry to commune with nature; the only time I hit the trail is to commune with fish. While I love the great outdoors, I’d much rather be fishing than hiking. But I love to fish remote waters; and that means hiking in to do so, and camping out when I get there to make it worth my while.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 11
gearhead At 57 years-old, my days of carrying a sixtypound pack on my back are behind me. When it comes to backpacking, downsizing is no longer a luxury—it is a necessity. My new threshold in regard to pack-weight is forty-five pounds or less. To meet this I have had to make some adjustments. I bought a lightweight float tube, backpacking fins, ultralight stove and dishes, and a lighter sleeping bag and pad. My wife bought me a solar light and some other ultralight accessories as well. While planning for a hike-in trip to a remote trout pond, my friend’s son told me about the hammock he had bought for backpacking. Last time I slept in a hammock it was a Korean War issue “Jungle Hammock” that was made of canvas, weighed close to fifteen pounds, took up more room than a large tent, smelled like mildew, and kept only the largest of insects out. To say I had my doubts is an understatement… Lou brought his hammock on our next fishing trip so I could try it out. As I tepidly worked my way into it, disaster struck and I went crashing to the ground… Thankfully my hind end was only a foot off the ground when it happened—and I was over soft dirt not hard rock. As it turned out, the cause of the failure was faulty rigging not a defective or poorly designed product. Undaunted and intrigued by the general concept, I did some research to see what product would best handle my 6’ 210 lb frame. I wanted something allinclusive—hammock, bug net, rainfly, and rigging. I needed something that was compact, light, and easy to get in and out of when nature calls in the middle of the night. After perusing the www, I ended up choosing an Explorer Ultralite Asym Zip by Hennessy Hammock (www.hennessyhammock.com). With a 7’, 250lb capacity, I would not be pushing the outer limits of the product—which is never a great idea. At just 2 ¼ lbs with a packed size of only 4”x8”x10”, it was both light and compact. The full-length zipper, fast and easy setup, and all-inclusive configuration addressed my other needs. And at $279.95, it cost no more than a good tent. 12 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 13
14 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
gearhead While I was a bit concerned about comfort, sleeping on the ground on a pad isn’t exactly luxury digs. I quickly learned that the recommended diagonal positioning afforded me the most comfort. And although I felt a tad claustrophobic and vulnerable, it was actually oddly comfortable. And after a few trial runs, I figured out how to get in and out quite easily. I soon learned that without a pad things could get a bit chilly on your backside when the temps dipped. After contacting the manufacturer, I procured two products designed to provide warmth—Radiant Double Bubble Pad and SuperShelter, sold for $29.95 and $149.95 respectively. The former basically gives you back what you lose to sleeping bag compression—but can get a bit moist. The latter takes it a step further and adds to the rating of your bag—and does not generate any moisture. Next I did what all manufacturers say not to do—I customizing my rigging. I am not real good with knots—other than fly fishing knots, so the standard rigging proved troublesome. First I tried climbing rings and carabineers in conjunction with the factory cords and tree straps. It worked but added weight and was not as secure as I had hoped. Next I tried a set of hammock straps by Python and carabineers. This worked flawlessly—at least for me. Since buying my hammock I have used it more than my tents. I have trimmed off some excess cord, tied loops in the ends of the cord for attaching my carabineers, and installed a set of small carabineers on my rainfly for easy set-up. I also swapped the standard rainfly tie-down cords for some parachute cord which stands up to tree bark better and is easier to see when I am stumbling around the campsite. I n addition to being small, light, and easy to set up; hammocks make campsite selection much easier. All you need is two trees—level ground is not a requirement. And getting up off the ground eliminates the chance of rainwater coming in from below. They are low-impact as well as they do not disturb the ground. They can however damage tree bark if you do not use a strap. Backpacking Hammocks are also sold by companies such as Byer, ENO, Grand Trunk, Hennessey, Kammock and Texsport. They include products with names such as Moskito Kakoon (Byer), JungleNest (ENO), Air Bivy Extreme (Grand Trunk); Expedition, Explorer and Scout (Hennessey); Roo (Kammock), and Wilderness Amadou (Texsport). Most of the companies noted sellSmall accessories as well. based products www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 15
Hammocks are compact, light, and fast and easy to set up. They make campsite selection a non issue, allowing you to camp pretty much anywhere you want to. And they get you up off the ground and away from rain run-off. Once you get used to them they are actually quite comfortable.
Hammocks are small—especially in regard to storage space. You cannot move around in them as much as you can a tent. They can be a bit intimidating for those who don’t deal well with knots—but alterations can address that. And for those who like to sleep on their stomach—they are not your best choice.
Hammock Abuse: Do’s and Don’ts
* Always use some sort of a strap around the trees to prevent damaging the bark. * Contact the manufacturer before making any alterations to your hammock to be sure that you understand the impact it will have on your warranty. * If you are considering a double ring style rigging, be sure to use thick gauge rings as thin gauge rings can damage the hammock support cords. * Use only climbing grade carabineers. * It is important to remember that without some sort of pad or insulation, your sleeping bag will not perform up to its listed rating due to compression.
Any fly fisher who enjoys backcountry camping should consider a hammock. This is especially true for those hiking in float tubes.
BOB MALLARD has fly fished for over 35 years. He is a blogger, writer and author; and has owned and operated Kennebec River Outfitters in Madison, Maine since 2001. His writing has been featured in newspapers and magazines at the local, regional and national levels. He has appeared on radio and television. Look for his books from Stonefly Press, 50 Best Places Fly Fishing the Northeast (Now Available), 25 Best Towns Fly Fishing for Trout (Spring 2015) and 50 Best Places Fly Fishing for Brook Trout (2016). Bob is also a fly designer for Catch Fly Fishing as well as the northeast sales rep for both Stonefly Press and Catch Fly Fishing. Bob can be reached at www.kennebecriveroutfitters.com, www.bobmallard.com, info@ bobmallard.com or 207-474-2500. 16 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Features twenty-five of the best towns in America to fly fish for trout. From historic Rangeley, Maine to modern Bend, Oregon. From quaint Grayling,Amadou Michigan(Courtesy to bustling Park City, Utah. Includes Asheville, North Carolina and Cotter, Arkansas. of Kenneth Nelson, Signed first-edition copies are available from www.bobmallard.com Nelson Amadou) www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 17
Is Swain County NC a Fisherman’s Parad 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 Smok Nation
Little Tennessee, the Eagle Chambers N Twentymile Hazel Creek Forney Creek Creek Creek Tuckasegee and the Creek Fontana Dam Fontana Nantahala, one of Fontana Cheoah Lake Lake Lake Lewellyn Trout Unlimited’s top Fontan Branch Fontana 129 Lake Boat Village A 100 rivers. And now, a 2.2 Cable Ramp Marina Boa Cove 28N Boat mile section of the Tuck Ramp Al Lemmons Boa Branch through Bryson City has Boat Ramp Stecoah 143 been designated delayed 19 Wesser 74 Needm 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
rn on at Weste g in o g is g “Three ay “Somethin 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 ng and y nd sur ta s to e c la p r floatin ounde best sc book you a g d by so ep in enery le s to e v a h m i ’t n n o e S d u o o f the uthern City so yo ber.” Appala If you h m e v o N in chia. ere 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
Upper Raven Fork
ky Mountains nal Park
Raven Fork Trophy Section
Old 288 na Boat Ramp e Public Access Alarka at Dock Alarka Creek lmond at Park Alarka Road
28S Little Tennessee River
Whittier Whittier Boat Ramp
EBCI Hatchery Big Cove Road
441 Tuckasegee River
Heintooga Ridge Road
Blue Ridge Parkway Cherokee Indian Cherokee Reservation
441 Clingmans Dome
You be the Judge.
Straight Fork Road
Bradley Chasteen Kephart Fork Creek Prong
74 Conleys Creek Road
Visit GreatSmokiesFishing.com 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.
16th A n n u A l
• Located at • Admission • Extensive c • Boy Scouts • New “kaya
Lefty Kreh • George Daniel • Bob Clouser • Beau Bea Ed Jaworowski • Dusty Wissmath • Steve Vorkapich • Co Walt Cary • Capt Gary Dubiel • Cory Routh • Jon
Daily Admission $20 • 9am - 5p
April 9-10, 2016 Doswell, Virginia
t Exit 98 off Interstate 95, near Richmond, Virginia includes wine tastings from Virginia’s best vintners children’s program with free instruction s can earn their Fly Fishing Merit badges ak testing pond.” Try before you buy!
asley • Wanda Taylor • Blane Chocklett olby Trow • Harold Harsh • Patrick Fulkrod n Bowden • Mike Smith • Kiki Galvin
pm • www.vaflyfishingfestival.org
new fly guy
Dressing fo 22 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
new fly guy
No, this is not about haute couture. No need to eyeball models in boots and waders clumping down a runway in Paris or Milan to see what is in style. A Kardashian might care about style; new anglers with limited budgets must pay closer attention to function when purchasing the first set of boots, waders and vest
or success www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 23
new fly guy
24 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
new fly guy
Boots The right pair of boots will save your life. To confirm this, teeter dangerously on a slick rock overlooking a secluded plunge pool high in the Blue Ridge… actually, don’t teeter… take my word for it or just experience the vertigo from the picture. Good boots must grab the slightest crack or bump because you, like everyone, will end up doing something dumb … hopefully only once … to get the right angle for a cast. In the past, anglers relied on felt soled boots since they had the “give” to conform to rough surfaces the same way a suction cup sticks to a windshield. Sadly, several years ago, the fisheries folks determined all sorts of evil parasites snuggle into felt fabric and hitchhike from stream to stream. As a result, many locales now rightly ban the use of felt.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 25
new fly guy Your options are simple. To cleat or not to cleat? There is a time and place for both. Every manufacturer claims to have created proprietary, pliable, rock grabbing soles that find and hold the smallest imperfections on slick surfaces as easily as a princess can detect a pea. However, a bare sole might fail on the slimy surface of a streambed while cleats punch through.
Now, how stupid is this?
26 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
new fly guy A set of removable cleats like STREAMTrekkers could be the answer if you are willing to put them on and take them off as you encounter different surfaces; something you will inevitably fail to do because of the hassle. If you must choose only one type, get cleats and avoid walking on slick rock; skinny across sketchy spots on your backside and live to fish another day.
Getting into tight spots requires traction.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 27
new fly guy
Vest Buy vests based on color, not pockets. Despite the experience of Eddie Dunn (aka “Whitefish Eddie”) who makes a point of wearing psychedelic clothing when fishing major trout rivers in Idaho, small streams demand stealth. Trout are alert for predators and acutely aware of their surroundings in shallow water. On a big river, most trout orient upstream, facing into the current, to enjoy a streaming buffet of nymphs. On a small stream, fish may face in any direction based on how water pushes through boulders and cuts. Therefore, anglers must blend into the background. Since the vest is the largest article of clothing highest above the surface of the stream, a poor choice can spook skittish fish. I recommend taking a cue from the millions of years of evolution that made the blue heron such an exceptional predator. Big Blue can consume a half pound of trout per day and a USDA-APHIS fact sheet documents a consumption rate of 2.2 trout per hour – a catch rate better than many anglers on small water! An adult blue heron is around four feet tall, slate colored with white head feathers; causing it to poke well above surrounding vegetation. Blue herons must be blue for a reason! Anglers can mimic the bird by selecting a vest in approximately the same shade of slate grey. Complement the vest with a blue shirt (light brown/orange in the fall) and a light colored hat. 28 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
new fly guy
Angler clothed to mimic Big Blue â&#x20AC;&#x201C; slate vest and shirt
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 29
new fly guy
Waders Hip or Chest? Since trout rivers typically run deep and cold with tailwaters being a frigid 55 – 60 degrees, wet wading is not an option; forcing the purchase of chest waders. A small mountain stream is another story. During the warmer months, a pair of neoprene socks works just fine to keep your feet toasty while the exertion of twisting and turning through underbrush and over rocks generates plenty of core heat. Small typically means shallow, so purchasing hip waders seems to be the logical, easy answer for the colder months. However, crystalline water makes it hard to judge depth and guarantees one, possibly several, missteps into deep pockets; allowing you to experience both the “joy” of an icy jolt as well as many subsequent hours of hypothermia-inducing misery. Save your money. Use chest waders and roll them down to the waist and cinch tight using the shoulder strap as a belt. The resulting “waist waders” provide additional security while allowing your upper body to shed sweat. Boot foot vs sock foot? Never use boot foot waders. Pulling on a pair zips you back a hundred years in boot technology and avoids all the advances that make today’s wading boots “grippy” and safer. Even with the correct socks, a boot foot wader is clunky and heavy, making movement difficult and walking any distance impossible.
30 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
new fly guy
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 31
new fly guy
32 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
new fly guy
Two more points on stream stealth. First, a brightly colored, shiny rod may attract attention flashing in the sun. If you have a choice, choose a dull brown or green to mimic a tree branch blowing in the breeze. Second, all the effort at camouflage is for naught if you cannot approach the pool quietly. A pair of kneepads shields knees from jagged rocks and make it much easier to stay low. Dressing for fishing success is all about blending in. While, as Whitefish Eddie discovered, it may not be important on a large river where the angler generally fishes upstream, it is absolutely critical when stalking cautious brookies on small water.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 33
Troutprostore.com The most realistic flies Perfect Fly brand fly rods Fly fishing DVD's Fly fishing accessories Hatch charts Trout fishing destinations Online trout fishing “classes” Blogs Facebook, Twitter, Youtube Troutprostore.com offers you everything you need to fish smarter! “The stone flies you sent me are the best imitation I have ever bought anywhere... I'll be back." (D.W., speaking of our Perfect Fly Giant Black Stonefly Nymphs)
Building time-honored sporting traditions.
840 Ernest W Barrett Pkwy NW, Suite 568 Kennesaw, GA 30144oll Free: (866) 460-2507 Phone: (678) 594-7330 www.flyboxoutfitters.com
39 South Public Square Cartersville, GA 30120 www.cohuttafishingco.com 770.606.1100
Guided Fishing Trips | Fly Fishing Schools | Destination Fly Fishing Travel
black wing olive chronicles
ife at the Compound is rarely easy, but it is never tougher than during the year end holiday season. Insofar as the job for making the Christmas a joyous family event falls solely on the shoulders of Mommygirl, this time of year, for the next few weeks she will be wound up tighter than Dick’s hat band. Normally of even temperament, this time of year she is one bipod that a canine is well advised to steer clear of. Daddyboy normally cruises through the Yule Time in his usual semi-conscious state, using the festive season as an excuse to double up on likker and cigars. Unfortunately for the Old Gezer, the team of doctors who are currently working hard to see him survive a few more years have implemented a new lifestyle regiment that while designed to keep him going longer, is driving the rest of us to point of insanity. The changes have made him almost intolerable to be around. For starters, Daddyboy is no longer permitted to frequent the many “sodium dens” of his youth. I am genuinely concerned that the lost revenue at places such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds and Wendys will significantly impact the bottom line at the fine eateries. The net effect of him going “cold turkey” could have far reaching consequences on even the potato farmers in Idaho and the cattle ranchers in Kansas.
Getting Tough T It’s not enough that Daddyboy has been forced to no longer grip a salt shaker. Oh no, he is now on what can only be called a crystal crusade. If salt is bad for him, then salt is bad for everyone else, but most specifically those of us sharing residence at the Compound. Prior to Daddyboy’s sodium hiatus, the place had more salt shakers than Carter had liver pills. I challenge you to find a single salt shaker now within the confines of the Compound. The removal of salt from the premise is one thing, but that is just one thing on a long list of items that are no longer permitted. Essential sources of nutrients such as Oreos, cheese cake and hotdogs can no longer be found in the pantry. Of course if you want raw walnuts, apples or taste-free bread, there is all of these bland items as one can stand to swallow. Being a dog, I don’t mind begging for a morsel of bacon or pizza crust, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to abandon my keen sense of dignity for a grape or stalk of celery. Knowing the ridiculous amount of money Daddyboy invested in stocking his humidor, Mommygirl is thrifty enough with money not to utterly get rid of his prized collection of cigars. Of course, the doctors have informed the Old Gezer that sticks are a no-no, and as best I can tell since he was so informed no one has detected smoke leaking through the wall of his Fortress of Solitude. Mommygirl did install of Yale padlock on the humidor, and while Daddyboy has a well known past for mischief, apparently in his lost youth he never learned the art of picking a lock.
38 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
black wing olive chronicles Ironically the doctors made a sort of ad hock deal with Daddyboy that tied what he calls his likker rations with a daily exercise program. For every 100 calories he burns on his recumbent exercise bike, he gets an ounce of wine or a half ounce of gin. The bike keeps up with his caloric burn rate, and Mommygirl keeps up with what the machine registers. It reminds me a lot of thing I saw on television once where a rooster was conditioned to ring a bell in order to get a kernel of corn. Ironic, eh? Well this column is about me, and how the life of a canine is when spent in a dysfunctional environment. It’s Christmas and there is not going to be any ham, or cheese ball or anything else that I look forward to feasting on when the bipods have a gut full. Nope, nothing; notta—its scrape free living for me thanks to Daddyboy on his latest get healthy binge. There’s only one recourse for an old dog like me who is well past that point in life when striking out on my own to seek my fortune has slipped by the wayside. I’m told my grandfather on my mother’s side was a famous “junkyard dog.” It’s a little late in the game for me to follow in his paw prints, but he is certainly an inspiration to my new get tough attitude on life.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 39
fishhunter adventures in cuisine
Dutch, Dutch Baby
ast October, my buddy, JW, and I spent four days and three nights camped on a remote stream in the Southern Appalachians. Fortunately, there is a passable dirt road that the follows the stream for a good ways which meant we could use the big tent, cots, chairs and have a comfortable camp.
Being able to carry a cooler with fresh food is a plus and we made the most of it. After a supper of thick pork chops, fresh corn and salad, JW announced he was going to make a Dutch Baby for dessert. I had heard of Dutch Baby but didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what it was, so I waited patiently while he assembled the ingredients. Before long, he was opening the Camp Chef oven and taking out the Dutch Baby. He then poured the apple cinnamon topping over it and served both of us a generous portion. It was a delicious way to end the meal. 42 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
fishhunter adventures in cuisine DUTCH BABY RECIPE Dutch Baby • 2 eggs • ½ cup milk • ½ cup all-purpose flour • pinch of salt • 1 tablespoon butter Apple Cinnamon Topping • 3 small apples, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges • 2 tablespoons butter • ½ teaspoon cinnamon • 1 tablespoon sugar • pinch of salt • powdered sugar to dust Place a medium cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. While the skillet preheats, prepare the topping. Heat a small skillet or saucepan over medium/low heat. Add butter, apples, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar to pan and cook, stirring occasionally.
The eggs and milk should be at room temperature. In a medium size bowk, beat the eggs, then stir in the milk. Slowly whisk in the flour and salt until smooth. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, add the butter, and coat the inside of the skillet. Add the batter to the skillet and place back into the oven. Bake 12-14 minutes until or until browned and puffy. Add the softened apple cinnamon topping and dust with powdered sugar and cinnamon. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 43
fly of the month
Royal Coachman Wulff Roger Lowe
inter is nymph fishing time, so why talk about the Royal Coachman Wulff (sometimes called the Royal Wulf). This time of year it is my recommended attractor pattern. In sizes 10 to 12, this easily spotted fly is buoyant enough to support a Pheasant Tail Beadhead Nymphs tied 16 to 18 inches under it. The Royal Coachman Wulff, is a must-have, all-purpose dry fly, was patterned after the old Royal Coachman, which has been fished on southern trout waters forr more than 100 years. It was first used on the Ausable River in New York’s Adirondack mountains, according to “Flies for Trout” by Dick Stewart and Farrow Allen. Stewart and Allen list Lee Wulff as the originator.. A number of flies were patterned after Wulff’s creations, including the Tennessee Wulff, which is like the Royal Coachman Wulff except it is tied with green floss instead of red in its middle. Hook: Thread: Wing: Tail: Body: Hackle: Head: Body:
Tiemco #100), size 10-18. Black 70 denier. White calf body hair, cleaned and stacked. Moose body hair. Peacock herl. Coachman brown. Black tying thread and head cement. Red silk thread
46 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Roger Lowe's Fly Pattern Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains (8.5x11 inches, 40 pages, soft cover/full color is a perfect companion to Lowe's other book "Smoky Mountain Fly Patterns". If you are wanting to have color pictures and recipes for traditional Smoky Mountain fly patterns this book is a must have. It contains photos and recipes for 101 flies. Included are such flies as the Yellow Hammer (Yellarhammer), Thunderhead, Teillico Nymph, Tennessee Wulff and many others. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 47
new product review
48 l February 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
new product review
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l March 2015 l 49
“Can’t Get More Southern” Than STRIKE INDICATORS
veryone who would like to catch more and bigger trout keep reading, while those who are happy with their trout catching abilities, please cease reading and move on to the next story in this magazine. If you are reading this, I’m going to share with you something that increased my catch rate substantially. Just as special to me, what we’re about to talk is southern—I mean as in deep, deep South which is one way to describe the geographic location of New Zealand. If you went any further south you’d find the frozen south, which I believe is something of an oxymoron.
50 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
A couple of months ago I tried a new strike indicator made by a company called The Strike Indicator Company LLC. the New Zealand Strike Indicator. This Nashville, Tennessee based fly fishing accessory maker offers an item dubbed the New Zealand Strike Indicator Tool. Like everyone else, since Moby Dick was a minnow, I’ve used strike indicators of various forms from yarn to micro-bubbles of various design. Success using yarn indicators never reached my expectations. Largely limited to using with roll casts, bubblestyle indicators made me feel like I was a kid again using live crickets.
“These ‘Down Under’ strike indicators were developed for taking spooky trout from crystal-clear rivers.” That a New Zealand-founded company found a US home in middle Tennessee was something that interested me. It’s the effort of Barry Dombro, a U.S. citizen who has invested well over a decade fly fishing the trout waters of New Zealand. He summers in the US, and spends what we call winter fly fishing the legendary waters of this distant country. An avid fly fisherman before his long migration, on one of his annual returns home from New Zealand, Dombro arrived with wool and a revolutionary new strike indicator in hand. His reason for locating in Nashville began in 1998 with a stint as the Director of Information Technology at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School, while five years before that he had served at a similar position at Wake Forest in North Carolina. His expertise in medical technology took Dombro to the Music City, and ten years later to the Southern Hemisphere where he became the Senior Project Manager at the prestigious Wellington New Zealand Regional Hospital. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 51
product review Between 2013 and 2014 Dombro relocated to the New Zealand city of Christchuch, where he launched his strike indicator making business and also presided as the Senior Project Manager for the Christchurch City Council. He divides his time between Nashville and Christchurch. While Dombroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s professional talents New Zealand lead him to that country, the quality of opportunities to fly fish what many consider the finest trout waters in the world hooked him. It was here that Dombro developed the New Zealand Strike Indicator concept.
To my delight the New Zealand Strike Indicator has all the advantages of yarn and the micro-bubble bobbers and none of the disadvantages. The indicators themselves are made of natural wool that comes in a variety of colors that can be changed on the stream in color and size (down to size 18). From the first cast, I was pleased how well my New Zealand Strike Indicator did not encumber my casts and gently it hit the water. One of my peeves with bobber style strike indicators is that hit the surface like a pebble and spook fish. These Down Under strike indicators were developed for taking spooky trout from crystal-clear rivers. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an incredibly reliable, visible indicator that has an upright profile waters which allow you to easily detect subtle and hard takes. 52 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
product review If you are a serious tailwater or technical water angler who frequents waters like the South Holston or Little Red, chances are that if you are not using this system you are missing subtle strikes and spooking fish with your indicator. While the logical application is smooth and still water, the New Zealand Strike Indicator (orange) worked like magic for me at Bradley Fork in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Very economical to use, the wool comes in a variety of colors enable you to hues to the waters being fished. In a nutshell, you can visually keep up with them on the water better than anything I had previously used. When on the water the wool may to be trimmed from extra large (roughly the size of the traditional yarn indicator), to custom sizes down to size 18. The wool does not kink your leader, and can quickly and easily adjustable up and down the line. Unlike a few “wandering” indicators I have used over the years that migrated to and fro on leaders, the New Zealand Strike Indicator stays where it’s secured and does not become waterlogged.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 53
product review I detest fishing time lost when I have replace flies, tippets and such. My first reaction was that a strike indicator system designed to provide flexibility on the water was just one more thing I’d need to interrupt my fun. To my surprise the New Zealand Strike Indicator not only easily goes on and off the leader, but it can be trimmed to size or bulked up bigger as needed. A sturdy tool is provided that used to apply the indicator wool. It employs a thin, reusable plastic sleeves are specially sourced and dyed natural wool works extremely well in a variety of conditions. The Strike Indicator Tool is a needle gadget that will hold over a dozen of the plastic sleeves - enough for several full days of fishing. The makers of the New Zealand Strike Indicator recommend cutting the sleeves with nippers or scissors/clamps to 4 mm in length. The slot on the tool is 8 mm long - so if two of your cut sleeves fills the slot - you've got them cut at the optimal length. Tubing is made of the highest quality material - it will not slip, yet moves to adjust every time. Sized to “fill” perfectly with ultimate wool indicator material. It is super tough and will not harm or burn your leader. Regular size for small to medium sized nymphs, X-Large for bigger nymphs. When inserting the sleeves onto the tool, it’s also recommended to first apply just the smallest amount of Loon Aquel to the metal tool. This allows the plastic sleeves to slide on effortlessly. I followed the instructions and found that it was pretty easy to do. 54 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
product review The wool used in making the New Zealand Strike Indicator was chosen after its creators researched dozens of wool types and synthetics. This particular wool was specially selected because of its wiry, water-shedding properties that allow a perfect float cast after cast to provide a “no-spook” landing and presentation. The wool is from New Zealand and is a 100% natural fiber. The wool is available in Stealthy White, Hi-Vis Orange, Super Bright Florescent Green, and Black. The country has over 100 million sheep, so the supply could be term stable. If you try these strike indicators, the only future cost is spending a buck or for a fresh bag. Dombro offers a few tips he’s learned from New Zealand Guides who use his system. Use a long piece of tippet so you have the flexibility to adjust along the entire length. Trim the indicator neatly. He use Dr. Slicks scissors/forceps to insure there isn’t any straggly wool ends flopping around in the water. Trim the indicators small. Once trimmed treat the wool with a dab of fly floatant and it will float all day long. “The fly fishing guides using the system keep going smaller and smaller,” says Dombro. “They even trim them down to size 16 or 18 indicators. It’s surprising how easy it is to see an indicator that size and how much weight it can float. We often are using a size 14 beadhead with a size 18 indicator when sight fishing over large experienced New Zealand fish. You will find that they cast beautifully and there will be “almost” no tangles from your clients! You can go larger when fishing heavier nymphs or in rough water. We usually fish white wool - but have found once you get down to a size 18 the fish don’t notice it. Some of the guides are using the florescent chartreuse green wool as it’s easy for their clients to see. Experiment with your local waters, but we have also found that the size is more important than the color.” www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 55
product review A number of noted southern fly fishing experts have come to rely on the New Zealand Strike Indicator. Jim Mauries, owner of Fly South in Nashville, Tennessee which was the first fly shop in the country to offer New Zealand Strike Indicators says that this easy to use strike indicator system is especially good for those many fly fishermen who struggle with the mastery of loops and O-rings for attaching these aids to their lines. Clay Aalders of Knoxville, Tennessee is an Orvis Endorsed Guide and the owner of Smoky Mountain Gillies, says “I had given up yarn, because I hated its lack of adjustability. Using the New Zealand Strike Indicator now I can have the strike sensitivity of yarn with total adjustability.” While any component of the New Zealand Strike Indicator system can be purchased separately, the best way to get started is the New Zealand Strike Indicator COMBO Pack which includes The Strike Indicator Tool Kit, The Mixed Wool Pack of all four colors and 3 feet “Lifetime Supply” of Perfect Tubing. At $31.95, it’s their top selling item, and qualifies for free shipping. Instructional video, guide tips and additional information available at their web site: www.strikeindicator.com
56 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 57
The ALEKA A8 Fly Rod, one cast it will become your rod of choice. A progressive, smooth-fast action rod capable of improving your casting distance while maintaining a high level of control and precision for an accurate placement of the fly. The A8 Series taper design results in rods that are incredibly light, recover quickly and cast with unbelievable action, precision and power even in the harshest wind conditions.
FLY ROD SERIES
DARK GREEN ROD BLANK (4 PIECE RODS)
A HANDLE - HALF WELLS ABBREVIATED B HANDLE - FULL WELLS WITH FIGHTING BUTT EVERY ALEKA FLY ROD INCLUDES A DURABLE TRAVEL TUBE & QUALITY CLOTH BAG.
M-F 10:00AM TO 4:00PM EST
800-961-4788 X2 Revolution - ALEKA’s range of light line rods has arrived! Ideal for river, lake and reservoir fishing, designed by ALEKA and fine tuned by an Italian casting master to ensure precise recovery rates.
FLY ROD SERIES
BLACK ROD BLANK (4 PIECE RODS)
X2-EVOLVE-6 8’4”- 10’0”
A HANDLE - HALF WELLS ABBREVIATED B HANDLE - FULL WELLS WITH FIGHTING BUTT X2-EVOLVE-6 MODEL INCLUDES TWO 8” EXTENSION FOR EXTENDED ROD LENGTH. EVERY ALEKA FLY ROD INCLUDES A DURABLE TRAVEL TUBE & QUALITY CLOTH BAG.
situational fly fishing
Damn Finicky T
hrough the Great Smoky Mountains runs thousands of miles of pristine wild trout water full of the most finicky trout found anywhere in the world. You hear the term finicky trout all the time in the fly fishing world, but if you ask most fly fishermen to define exactly what a finicky trout is and what causes it, you are sure to get a blank stare, or two, and quite a few different opinions.
60 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
in the great smoky mountain national park
y Trout Rex Wilson
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 61
situational fly fishing Fussy, picky, choosy, particular, persnickety; a few terms that you might hear from a fly fisher that just got humbled by one of these Smoky Mountain trout streams, and probably accompanied by a few colorful adjectives, some not even found in Websterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unabridged dictionary. A fly fisher describing a trout stream as having finicky trout would probably mean that the trout have a reputation for not biting your normal fly box material, or being hard to catch a significant number of trout. Delayed Harvest trout get really cautious after they have been jerked around a bit. A week or so after a Delayed Harvest stocking is a great time to put your fly fishing skills to the test. It can be fun and quite challenging. Fly fishing guides have to constantly come up with new fly patterns and fly fishing techniques to overcome this challenge. There is always a certain percentage of trout feeding and it varies from day to day and even time of day depending on the weather, water conditions, water temperature, and a few other factors. Healthy trout streams that hold an abundance of trout food will allow trout to get very picky. A trout thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not really hungry can afford to be very selective and will not normally move very far to eat. On the other hand, hungry trout where there is other trout in the same feeding lane competing for food are not as cautious and makes for some good fishing.
62 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
in the great smoky mountain national park
During the first few hours of a rain shower after a few dry days could be the best fishing you will experience, but after trout have totally gorged themselves they may not feed for two or three days, depending on how much food has been washed in the stream. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 63
situational fly fishing Trout streams that get a lot of fishing pressure can also make trout finicky. If you have ever fished a small to medium wild trout stream behind another fly fisher even a few hours later you will not find many fish feeding. Every time I fish Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always on the lookout for signs that someone has already fished through. Consistent water marks, water foot prints on rocks, or splash marks on the rocks is a dead give away. If I find thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the case then for me, its off to plan B. Low and clear water will make for some spooky and cautious trout. If while fishing you notice trout are spooking easily but still feeding then your presentation may be the key to catching fish. For me, low and clear water is the time to fish a dry and dropper combination. This technique as opposed to fishing a high sticking method will allow you to cast farther and effectively catch fish without spooking as many trout. When streams get extremely low and clear trout may feed exclusively at night. Wild trout most of the time will be extremely selective feeders depending on what their feeding options are. If there are a few good food options the trout population may be split on what they are selective on. For example, a smaller trout may be looking for something smaller with a specific color and the larger trout may be looking for something much larger with a specific profile. There will even be times that a brown trout and a rainbow trout may even be selective on something different.
64 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
in the great smoky mountain national park The water temperature is one very important factor to consider when discussing feeding trout. As the water temperature reaches 70 degrees and above and drops to 50 degrees and below, the percentage of trout feeding will drop proportionally along with the water temperature. A sudden overnight drop of water temperature of 8 to 10 degrees in the spring or fall will also cause trout to shut down totally. I call it the “lockjaw syndrome”. Fly selection could very well sometimes be the key to a good day of fishing. It my last article in Southern Trout “Breaking the Code”, I discuss taking the time to turn a few rocks in the creek or looking for any hatches or terrestrials to see what’s available for trout to feed on. I still sometimes hit the creek thinking that I’ve got it all figured out, then after an hour or so of no fish, I start flipping rocks.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 65
situational fly fishing
Keep in mind that there are no cut and dried facts in fly fishing for trout, just normalcy’s. When I’m asked a question concerning fly fishing I always qualify my answer as being a norm. When stalking wild trout there are many considerations to determine for why you are not catching fish. To consistently be successful at catching trout you will need to evaluate conditions and determine why your technique or flies are not working. Considering the above conditions and situations concerning trout feeding habits could provide some useful information to improve your fishing for finicky trout. Sometimes for various reason as I have discussed above, trout will just not be feeding. If you can conclude that or even determine that ahead of time, then your time may be better spent tying fly’s or honey do’s. Then, of course there’s always cold beer! Fish Responsibly.
66 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
in the great smoky mountain national park
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 67
Blue Ridge Mountains. College Riverfront.... Your Favorite H
Reserve your front ro
CulloWHee R iveR Club, conveniently nestled between Western Carolina University and the scenic Tuckasegee River in Cullowhee, offers something for everyone. Residents here will experience life in a vibrant university community set in a tranquil splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and less than an hour’s drive from Asheville.
on the banks of the scenic Tuckasegee the River Park in the newest and most and recreational community in weste
CulloWHee RiveR Club invite RiveRfRont & RiveR P “disCoveRy W
august 28 - augus
The Cullowhee River Club Master Plan thoughtfully blends unique residences with generous conservation areas that preserve the natural attributes of the land. The Grand River Lodge, with its sweeping views of the Tuckasegee River will be the center of community life and planned activities. The Lodge Restaurant will offer distinctive cuisine and superior service in an atmosphere of rustic elegance. The charming River Pavilion will be a favorite late afternoon gathering place, and outdoor activities will abound with recreational amenities including a Swimming Pool, Tennis Courts, River Park, Boathouse, Boat Ramp, and Hiking and Biking Trails.
Featuring the final offering of the Ph Riverfront and River Pa
• Accommodations at A • Cocktail Welcome Re • Property Tours • Catered Lunch • Fly Fishing Demonstra • Rafting on the Tuckas • Hiking Meet the Developer, Community Builder, and Team - along with many of our new Cullowh
CulloWHee R iveR Club offers an exciting variety of home choices suited for primary, second-home, or retirement living. Riverfront and Mountain homesites are available and our Home Plans Collection includes Cottages, Townhomes, Lodge Cabins, and Lodge Condos with a range of sizes to suit your needs and lifestyle. For more information on our community and home plans collection please email us at Info@CullowheeRiverClub.com, or call 1.877.258.2522
Weekend just $ disCoveRy per co PaCkage (children invited, too!)
Lodge Condominiums Grand River Lodge
All renderings are artist concepts only and are subject to change without notice.
e Town. Home.
River or adjacent to exciting residential ern North Carolina.
es you to join us for our
PaRk Homesites Weekend”
st 30, 2015 hase 1 Cabin and Cottage ark homesites
Area Hotels eception
ations segee River
d the entire Cullowhee River Club hee River Club property owners!
RiveRfRont and RiveR PaRk Cottage and Cabin Homesites Inspired memories and dreams are quite familiar to those fortunate enough to have spent time in a mountain cabin or cottage on or close to the banks of a majestic mountain river. Escape? Refuge? Romance? Simplicity? Solitude? The Cullowhee River Club Cottages and Cabins are designed to evoke emotions and memories like these. Your dreams can be realized by selecting one of only 5 remaining Phase 1 Riverfront Homesites and one of only 8 remaining Lodge Cabin Homesites overlooking the community’s River Park. The spectacular riverfront homesites are priced from $136,900 to $146,900 during our Founders Selection Period. These homesites have no time limit for starting construction on your cabin or cottage. Our Lodge Cabin homesites overlooking the River Park with views of the scenic Tuckasegee River are priced at $60,000 each during the Founders Selection Period. Our Lodge Cabin Collection offers a onebedroom, a one-bedroom plus loft, and a two-bedroom floor plan ranging in size from 660 to 1,480 square ft. The Lodge Cabin Homesites require construction to begin within one year from the date of purchase. (SPECIAL NOTE: Five (5) Mountain Cabin homesites are currently also available - no time limit on construction start.) All properties offered during this very special disCoveRy Weekend release will be reserved on a first-come, firstserved basis and qualify for special Founders’ Incentives.
For additional information on how to reserve a homesite with a fully refundable deposit in advance of the disCoveRy Weekend, or to participate in our exciting $99-per-couple disCoveRy Weekend PaCkage: Email us at
Info@CullowheeRiverClub.com or call
877-258-2522 Obtain the Property Report required by federal law and read it before signing anything. No federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. This does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation to buy real estate, to residents of any state or jurisdiction where prohibited EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY by law, or where prior registration is required but has not yet been fulfilled. Current development plans are subject to change without notice, and some photographs may depict areas not within the project. There is no guarantee that facilities, features, or amenities depicted or otherwise described will be built or, if built, will be of the same type, size, or nature as depicted or described. We will use your contact information to provide you information about us, except where prohibited by law. We are in compliance with Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. We have not and will not discriminate against you because of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or handicap.
828.304.2400 2427 North Center St. Hickory, NC 28601
2441 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 (865) 868-1000 www.bullfishgrill.com 5 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 | Phone: (404) 237-3473
hile we at Southern Trout Magazine intentionally strive to project the publication as old-school and traditional, we have a few Young Turks here who are determined to buck we old timers in order to shed light on the best which is new. Cast in point: Diamondbackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
72 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
new Clout line of fly rods. How cool is it? Well, if Mr. Spock went fly fishing, our guess is that what the most famous Vulcan would cast could be nothing else than a Diamondback Clout.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 73
At the helm of Diamondback Rod Company is Nate Dablock, former Design Manager at Cortland Line Company. His mission statement is for Diamondback to constantly strive to push the boundaries, rethinking details that are not typically altered and creating unique high quality rods that anyone would be proud to fish with. Diamondback’s new rods are designed from the ground up to be some of the most distinctive, eye catching and performance based rods on the market. Is this the same Diamondback Rods that produced fly and conventional rods, as well as blanks from the 1980’s on? “Yes, and no,” says Dablock. “It is the ‘Diamondback Rod Company’, but it is a totally new company that has no relationship to the ‘old Diamondback Rod Company.’ We do not carry any of the older Diamondback products prior to 2014 such as the Classic Trout, VSR, Backwater lines and others. All of the rods we release are new products. We are continuing Diamondback’s rich tradition of customer service, rod design and innovation, and world famous reputation.” Located in central New York and surrounded by some outstanding fisheries, the Diamondback team is as likely to be found spending time on the water chasing trout as they are at the factory. According to Dablock, while they may appear to be fishing, in truth they are working; constantly thinking about designing and developing their next great rod. 74 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 75
76 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
The first thing that enamors you to the Clout is its visual impact. Blanks used in the creation are as ruby red as Dorothy’s magic slippers. The ruby red painted blank is decked out with matching wraps and silver trim. The ferrule has distinct diamond shaped alignment marks, and Clout is fitted with thin diameter stainless hard chrome snake guides and titanium strippers with Nano Light inserts. The icing on the cake is the ultra-cool Diamond cut aluminum reel seat which allows you to see the butt of the blank. Having said this though, what really catches your eyes is the Clout’s distinct and minimal style LINK Grip that combines aesthetic appeal fused with industry leading functionality and innovation. The LINK Grip allows anglers the ability to do something they have never been able to do before cast the blank, not the cork. An angler is connected to the fly rod through the grip, and much of "how a rod feels" immediately develops from this first roduser handshake. The Diamondback's LINK Grip allows more feeling of the rod's internal action, balancing comfort with sensitivity and control. This first-of-its-kind design reduces the amount of pressure needed to hold the rod, which in turn dramatically reduces hand and wrist fatigue. This design feature is most evident during sessions of extensive casting and fish fighting. It also provides enhanced hook setting advantages, increased sensitivity, versatility, and comfort over traditional solid-construction cork. Looks aside though, when it comes to fly rods, the proof is in the pudding. It has to perform. Our field test rod was an 8’ 6” 5-weight. Two things it did quite well was to allow modestly effortless casts in the 50-foot range, and was forgiving enough to allow for deft presentations. We give it a slight edge in terms of a tailwater rod over that of being a mountain rod. However, if you want one rod for both types of fly fishing for trout in southern waters, the Clout is versatile enough to meet the demands of the fussiest fly flicker. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 77
78 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Blanks used in the creation of the Clout utilize Diverse Modulus Design (DMD) and Core Reinforcement Construction (CRC) to deliver a powerful, smooth casting rod with refined stiffness and recovery speed. DMD is the precise application of a variety of pre-impregnated composite fibers in controlled configurations to finely tune and balance the rod. Taken to exacting measures, this technique refines stiffness, overall blank strength and speed of recovery in specific sections of each rod. The result is a rod that delivers smooth, effortless casts. Diamondback's Core Reinforcement Construction (CRC) is a remarkable rod construction system to bolster blank structure, thereby increasing the circular or "hoop strength" of the rod without piling on added weight. Isolating and harnessing the added pressures from flexing stress during a cast reduces transmission of uneven fly line waves and allows greater casting accuracy. If we could sum up the Diamondbackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Clout rod in one sentence, this would be it: beam me up Scott, I have the southern trout anglerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dream rod.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 79
PURVEYOR OF THE OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE
The Green Drake is proud to extend the exclusive lifestyle to you and your family through our vast selection of apparel, luggage, gifts, and of course, a complete line of flyfishing equipment and accessories.
PIPELINE PRO SERIES FLY RODS
sensitive • lightweight • affordable
loose loops and wind knots
The Cutting E
Adventures with K Stitches and Band 82 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
loose loops and wind knots
Knives, daids www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 83
loose loops and wind knots
hat in the world are you going to do with that knife”, Cliff asked with a befuddled look on his face. Opening the knife and turning the locking ring, I replied that it would be useful in camp or to cut small limbs as I went up a tree in my climbing deer stand. I then made a short chopping motion with the knife to demonstrate and the long blade closed on my finger. “Wow, Cliff exclaimed, the blood on the blade shows how deep your finger is cut! Your blood made a neat little half moon shape on the blade, that’s pretty cool! If it had not been my right forefinger that was cut, I might have shared Cliff’s nthusiasm for the visual. But, it was my finger and the blood was pouring from the cut across my knuckle. I had been showing Cliff my new Opinel #13 folding knife and the unique locking mechanism for the blade. Opinel knives feature a collar that rotates around the handle preventing the blade from closing. Evidently, I had not fully closed the locking ring. My knife was also unusual in that it had an 8 3/4 inch blade and could be used as a camp knife, kitchen knife or small machete. Seemingly, I used half a roll of paper towels trying to stop the bleeding without much luck. With an exasperated look on his face, Cliff said, “I reckon we better head into town to find an ER.” We quickly tidied up camp and started the hour drive to the nearest hospital. It was about 9 p.m. when we arrived at the nearest hospital in Chattanooga. The paper towels around my finger were soaked and I left a blood trail walking into the ER that a blind man could follow. Fortunately, things were slow at the ER and I was soon in an examining room. The nurse walked in and I immediately started grinning. “To have such a bloody finger, Mr. Haney, you seem to be in a real happy mood.”, she exclaimed. Cliff was giving me a real strange look as if he couldn’t figure out my “happy face” either. What Cliff and the nurse didn’t know was that she looked like a former girlfriend with one big exception. I should say, two big exceptions if you follow me. The resemblance to the former girlfriend was unbelievable as were the two big exceptions. I just could not stop grinning. However, I did manage enough composure to look the nurse in the face and not the upper body.
84 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
loose loops and wind knots
The ER doctor soon walked in and the grin left my face as he examined my finger. As I explained how it happened, he stared at me with the “you really are an idiot look.” Unfortunately, he was correct. “Mr. Haney, you have done a fine job of severing the extender tendons in your finger and I can’t help you”. The words hit me like a 2x4. I immediately thought of going through life with my right forefinger flopping around, useless. No longer could I hold my fly rod properly, tie flies, or stick my finger in a bowl of icing for a sample.” This is terrible”, I thought. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 85
loose loops and wind knots
The doctor interrupted my instant pity party when he said, “I am calling in a hand surgeon to repair your finger. He should be here in half an hour and will take good care of you.” The doctor and nurse with her two big exceptions left us alone in the room.
“You are sitting on the exam table with your finger bleeding and you are grinning like a fool!” said Cliff. I explained the giant grin to him and he understood my situation.
Fortunately, the hand surgeon came in about that time and the mood again got serious. The doctor explained that I had severed all the extender tendons in my finger but they could be repaired. Also, I would need 2-3 months of therapy twice a week so I could retrain my finger to extend and bend fully. Before I left the ER, the surgeon said no more fishing for me on our trip because I couldn’t take a chance on falling in the creek and reinjuring my finger. Apparently, he had seen me fishing in the mountains before!
We left the ER and headed back to camp arriving about midnight. The rest of the trip turned out well for Cliff as he caught quite a few of his favorite trout; the dumb, hungry variety. I enjoyed (?) watching Cliff catch trout for two days. Also, bird watching, picking wild flowers and feeling the soft, gentle mountain breeze against my cheek made the time memorable for me. 86 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
loose loops and wind knots
Returning home, I started my twice a week therapy program for 2 months and it was successful. I wasn’t going to have to worry about my right finger flopping around or being able to hold a fly rod properly, tie flies or stick my finger in a bowl of icing for a sample.
The cause of the accident was my DNA. Through the magic of DNA, I am predisposed to suffer from “operator error” syndrome. Believe me, it’s a curse that afflicts me at inopportune times. I would like to think I might outgrow it, but at my age, I might not live long enough.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 87
DENVER, CO JANUARY 8, 9 & 10 MARLBOROUGH, MA JANUARY 22, 23 & 24 SOMERSET, NJ JANUARY 29, 30 & 31 WINSTON-SALEM, NC FEBRUARY 5 & 6 LYNNWOOD, WA FEBRUARY 13 & 14 PLEASANTON, CA FEBRUARY 26, 27 & 28
PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY AND CATHY BECK.
LANCASTER, PA MARCH 5 & 6
Fly Fishing is NOT part of the show IT IS THE
featured rod builder
o small part of investing in a custom bamboo fly is derived knowing the stories behind the craftsman who these almost magical wands. The rebirth of cane splitting has lured in a number of fly fishermen who are merely content master the trout in a river with flies they tie themselves. A few love the sport so much that they take on the challenge of making their own rods.
Many of these people then progress on creating bamboo, and a rare few teach their bamboo fly rod making skills to others. Harry Boyd of Winnsboro, Louisiana not only falls into that last category, but is regarded by many to be the “Dean
of Southern Bambooism.” This southern was not born with a bamboo fly rod in his hand, or surrounded by dashing trout streams. His early introduction to fish came at the tutorage of his mother “My mother taught me to fish,” Boyd. “She
90 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured rod builder
nsboro, LA showed me how to sift through flowerbeds for night-crawlers and black crickets. When crickets and worms were scarce she helped me mold a piece of white bread around a hook to entice little bluegills and “punkinseed” bream. As a little fellow my part was
taking fish off the hook and stringing them up because Momma didn’t like to touch them. We ate everything big enough to scale and fry. In those days I never heard of catch and release.’ ` This changed during this tenth summer when Boyd’s family vacationed at
Roaring River State Park in southwest Missouri. Activities at Roaring River revolve around a “put and take” trout stream where fresh fish are stocked every night and a morning whistle announced the beginning of the day’s action.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 91
featured rod builder
As it is with so many, bamboo rods when given “I still have the first learning to fly fishing one for his birthday by his tan fiberglass fly rod my often the first step on a wife. folks bought me at Roaring slippery slope. In time “My quest to learn River,” says Boyd. “That bamboo fly rod making rod and reel package came Boyd fell into custom rod began Wayne Cattanach’s with a half-day’s instruction building. His earliest rod building efforts were with Handcrafting Bamboo Fly from the local fly fishing graphite blanks, many of Rods,” explains Boyd. expert. After a few minutes them utilizing Sage and “Later I learned of an coaching, I was hooked. early web based email For over forty-five years, fly Lamiglass blanks. It was not until a few years later list devoted to making fishing has been a part of that he fell in love with bamboo rods, known as who I am.” 92 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured rod builder
Colorado, Wyoming, Utah the “Rodmakers List.” flies Alaska and Italy, and Idaho. Montana is still Through that I met Wayne to Louisiana and New on his bucket list, along Cattanach, Bob Nunley, York. This past spring he with Patagonia. and many other rod makers spent some time on the “Most of my tiny waters in the Great who have influenced my customers prefer mid rod making when I started Smoky Mountain National flex to tip flex auctioned the Southern Rodmakers Park and the Davidson rods,” says Boyd, “quickly River. While he calls the Gathering in 1998. These adding there is more to days 99% of what I do is Arkansas tailwater rivers rod action than where bamboo.” as his “home waters,” a blank flexes. A good he confesses a growing During his fly fishing mountain rod loads easily evolution Boyd has cast partiality the western rivers www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 93
featured rod builder on short casts, roll casts like a dream, and is often shorter than one might think. In my mind a rod is differentiated by its taper and design. Working in bamboo allows me to design tapers for rods less than 8 feet long which still cast nicely from 15-35 feet and roll cast easily.â&#x20AC;? Bamboo fly rods for tailwaters vary widely. What works well on the White River in Arkansas might not work well on the South Holston. Typically we think of casting small flies on light tippets, with the possibility of a 20â&#x20AC;?+ fish on any cast. You need the ability to mend line efficiently to achieve a drag-free drift on every cast. My 8 foot five weight Otter Creek Special is a good example. Several people fish it on the White and Norfork Rivers in Arkansas. It has a very light tip to protect 6X tippet, but a strong butt section to power out casts to fifty feet plus. It roll casts well and has enough length to mend line readily.
94 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured rod builder
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 95
featured rod builder
Boyd makes all his Boyd has a unique, quality out of style.” He teaches own components except product that he behind. four rod building classes guides. This include the As the A.P. Bellinger each year for one to three blanks, reel seats, grips, Award which Boyd won participants. In 5.5 days ferrules, rod bags, and last year says, “…Quality they create their own single tubes. Doing so insures and Integrity never go tipped two piece bamboo 96 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured rod builder
rod. He also teaches several 2.5 day classes in which a class participant creates his or her own single tipped two piece blank.
For more info visit www.canerods.com, or by email Boyd at maker@ canerods.com www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 97
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 www.Eseeola.com
Greg Hentzi W
ildlife and fishing art arrive before us in many mediums beside canvas and sculptures. Greg Hentzi, a Warren, MA artist has taken the ancient art of working thin sheets of copper into stratospheric levels. His efforts in copper are nothing short of incredible. “I was twenty-six when I began working with copper,” says Hentzi. “My early efforts with copper enable me to discover that I could make some interesting pictures. I recall one of these depicted some running deer. This piece so impressed me that I showed it to a professional artist, who made the comment “your deer look like an abstract composition.” He then proceeded to point out the flaws in my drawing.”
100 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 101
Immediately afterwards Hentzi enrolled in the Museum of Fine Arts School and began the process of learning to draw. During this time his copper pieces were selling so well, that he spent his days making copper drawings and his nights at art school. He took an array of courses from Chernieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Water Colors to Color Theory. First year he produced 300 drawings. The second year he made 500, third 600 and in his fourth years 8,000. Over the next four years he produced the following number of copper drawings: 300, 500, 600, and then an unbelievable 7,000, noting that the total number over his lifetime is around 175,000.
102 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
“I think the major influence in my early life which stirred me towards wild life art was my father’s appreciation of nature. Upon his return from the Second World War he took to the woods of New Hampshire woods,” says Hentzi. “We lived in a small house a quarter of a mile from the town road. We weren’t off “the grid” because the grid didn’t exist. When he was not running his saw mill, he was off with his split bamboo fly rod sneaking along the small beach in pursuit of native brook trout. In the fall he roamed the abandoned orchards with his prized 20-gauge poacher. When the snow fell he was out tracking deer. I often accompanied him on the expeditions, which were a great introduction to the world of wildlife. I grew up Waltham, an old mill town where art was not part of the local culture.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 103
featured artist “Copper is my favorite medium,” says Hentzi. “I’ve been working on copper since 1973, I’ve sold wildlife art works to Orvis, LL Bean, Trout Unlimited and Duck Unlimited. Copper sheets were once readily available in the better art stores. They always had a roll of copper and cut sheet in any size and number. Now it seems to have disappeared from their shelves.” “My copper is rolled to my specifications and the minimum order is 5,000 pounds. So you need to be thinking about making a long-term commitment to producing many copper pictures. In the old days the copper foil came with a clean smooth surface, it was easy to clean on, the tool smoothly slipped over the surface and the antiquing solutions turned the copper a nice reddish color. Since then I’ve received copper with a rough surface that made drawing impossible, also copper with a chemical treatment which upon applying my antiquing solution turned the copper a deep blue 104 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
black! So sometimes the medium arrives complete with nightmares.â&#x20AC;? You can contact Greg
Hentzi at PO Box 938; Warren, MA 01083. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 105
Eastern Fly Outfitters LLC is East Tennesseeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one stop
fly shop, outfitter and learning center for all things fly fishing.
6209 Bristol Highway Piney Flats, TN 37686 - 423-538-3007 - www.easternflyoutfitters.com
Reinventing th For Fly Tiers
108 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Tywheel: Southern Born & Southern Made
ne of the mission goals of Southern Trout Magazine is help get the word out about fly fishing products which are southernbased. Last summer while speaking to an FFF group in Memphis, I learned about a new product in the works called the Tywheel. A couple of months later in Orlando, Florida we visited with the inventors of the Tywheel and got our first good gander at this gizmo. Insofar as for many of us fly tying is as much of the enjoyment of fly fishing as catching trout. One look at the Tywheel and you are likely to say, I really need one.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 109
Tywheel is the brainchild of Tyler Pettigrew and Josh wisher. Avid fly fishermen and fly tiers, this innovative team have come up with a tying station that is not only extraordinarily versatile and well-thought out, but portable enough to accompany you on most fishing trips. Constructed of very lightweight, but incredibly strong, durable, light weight, ABS plastic, the Tywheel is handier than an pair of hands. “The TyWheel was born out of necessity,” say Pettigrew. “The keys to successful fly tying are organization and the right material. The problem was the market didn't have anything that fit into my busy lifestyle. If you ask an angler, ‘why don't you tie flies?,’ the answer is undoubtedly, ‘I don't have the time or patience.’ So, we took to the garage to eliminate the excuses.” “For many of us, the season starts in our living rooms, dining rooms, or on office desks,” says Pettigrew “Once you've caught "the bug" the only thing to do is to start tying them; wherever that may be. While few things are more satisfying than landing a fish on a fly that you have tied, the process of tying takes patience, organization, and the proper tools. The TyWheel provides a magnetic work surface that puts your tools, hooks, and materials conveniently in front of you. In addition, modular attachments make your work station customizable to your specific needs. Your vise is instantly converted into a portable fly tying machine you can easily stow and take with you on your trip to the river.”
For the first time, the tyer will have the ability to adjust their workstation based on the pattern they are tying. With the modularity and versatility of this system, it is ideal for both the beginner and expert tiers. Swisher and Pettigrew We believe the TyWheel is the most innovative product to hit the fly tying market in years. “At TyWheel, we seek to introduce innovation to the fly tying industry,” says Pettigrew. “Tying flies is both and art form and a science. It takes a special kind of sportsman to understand and imitate the biological and ecological aspects of the streams. We understand that fly fishing, as well as fly tying, are steeped in rich traditions of stewardship and the love of nature. At the root of these values stands an inevitable truth -- the beauty of simplicity. We appreciate the simple things of life, which is the driving force behind TyWheel and the reason we are bringing you this exciting new product.” For more info on the Tywheel, go to www.tywheel. com
close look - the ozarks
his past summer southern trout fishing said farewell to its greatest ambassador. The passing of Jim Gaston at the age of 73 marked the loss of the man who has done more than anyone else to put the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trout fishing on the global map. He was much more than a fisherman or even a fisherman who ran a world class fishing resort on the White River. Jim Gaston was a true southern Renaissance man who mastery of challenges including being a consummate photographer, accomplished stunt pilot and avid wristwatch collector, just to name a few of this manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique call to fame.
116 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
southern trout history
The Legacy of Jim Gaston
The best known part of the Jim Gaston legend goes back a half century ago when Al Gaston, Jim Gaston's father, purchased 20 acres of White River frontage. In 1958 the fabled resort opened with six small cottages and six boats. Now the resort covers over 400 acres with two miles of river frontage, and has 79 cottages ranging in size from two double beds and a bathroom to a two-story cottage with ten private bedrooms. The airstrip has grown from 1800 feet to 3200 feet. The six boats are now over 70, and with a massive stateof-the-art dock to hold them all. The years have brought a restaurant, private club, gift shop, tennis court, playground, swimming pool, duck pond, game room, and two nature trails.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 117
close look - the ozarks
An Arkansan who . . .
made a living from the state's natural beauty and mankind's fondness for the feeling of a fish tugging on a fishing line. One of his key contributions to southern trout fishing was his persistent efforts to insure the minimum flow at both the White and North Fork rivers , Jim Gaston was a lifetime member of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism Commission. His long list of honors and positions of importance reflect his stature statewide, including:
• 1985 Arkansas Tourism Man of the Year • 1999 Arkansas Outdoors Hall of Fame inductee • 2010 Arkansas Business Executive of the Year • Inductee of the Trout Hall of Fame housed at Arkansas State University in Mountain Home (ASUMH) 118 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
southern trout history Jim Gaston’s name is visible throughout the Arkansas State University Mountain Home campus, including sponsorship of Gaston Lobby at Roller Hall. Jim Gaston's contributions resulted in the $4.7 million James A. Gaston Visitor Center that has a bird's-eye view of Bull Shoals-White River State Park. The facility is an environmental education learning center and features interpretation of the river, dam and lake, and their histories. State-of-the-art interpretive exhibits are in the lobby, along with a gift shop, and Johnboat Theater and Exhibit Hall, a 1,720-square-foot area filled with images of the river, lake and dam. An observation tower, gift shop, two classrooms and park offices are also a part of the center. Outdoorsman, outdoors photographer,– and so many other contributions – Gaston's legacy on the outdoors in Arkansas is seemingly endless. He donated a collection of his digital images to ASUMH for production of the beautiful coffee-table book titled An Ozark Perspective. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the ASUMH General Scholarship Fund.
The Arkansas State About the book that is Park and Tourism Honor dedicated to his passion Guard were on hand for for photography, Gaston Jim Gaston's memorial said, “Many people have service. Ranger Boats the skills to express founder Forrest L. Wood, themselves and their lives wearing his ever-present with words or through Stetson, said, "Knowing painting. I’m afraid that I Jim Gaston has made my do not have such skills. life better." He recounted I express myself and my how their two families grew life through the lens of close through the years, a camera. My wish is to how each was welcome share my photography in at the other's place, and hopes that the photos will the love they shared for bring back memories and the White River along with give readers another view mutual efforts to preserve of what is around us in life.” and improve it.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 119
close look - the ozarks
Dr. Ed Coulter, former chancellor of ASUMH, told how Gaston was one of the first on board in establishing the university, providing an endowment for Gaston Hall as well as the Gaston Lecture Series. He also said during efforts to build The Sheid, Gaston put up the money for the center's great hall, but didn't want his name on it; he wanted it to honor his friend, former Arkansas governor and U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers. "I hope his legacy, his support of the university will not be forgotten," said Coulter. Longtime friend Richard Davies, Arkansas Parks and Tourism director, described Gaston as a unique individual who always spoke his mind no matter what and had a wide variety of interests throughout his life. "How many people you know who are members of the NRA and ACLU both?" said Davies. Jim Gaston operated Arkansas’s renowned Gaston’s White River Resort in Lakeview for over 50 years. The resort, one of America’s top fishing resorts, is located two river-miles below Bull Shoals Dam. Spreading over 300 acres, the majestic Ozark hideaway includes 79 cabins and cottages, a restaurant overlooking the White River, marina, swimming pool, tennis court, game room, fly-fishing school, conference lodge, gift shop and nature trail. Gaston joined the Arkansas State Parks, Recreation, and Travel Commission in 1973 when appointed by then-Governor Dale Bumpers, and he has remained on the commission since then. In 1997, Gaston was named a commissioner emeritus in honor of his service. ASUMH Chancellor Robin Myers said that ASUMH is proud to produce the book that includes over 100 beautiful photographs taken by Gaston. “These pictures are a representative sample of the thousands of photographs Mr. Gaston has taken over the years. He has
graciously consented to allow ASUMH to print this wonderful collection to benefit our General Scholarship Fund.” Gaston has been a supporter of ASUMH throughout its history. He and his wife Jill have made significant gifts to the university including funding of the Gaston Lobby in Roller Hall, the
120 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
southern trout history
Gaston Lecture Series, and the Great Hall in the Vada Sheid Community Development Center, which they named in honor of Senator Dale Bumpers. “Mr. Gaston has been a constant supporter of ASUMH throughout our history,” said Myers. “This publication is a further example of his commitment to the University and the students we serve. He has directed the proceeds from the sale of this publication to be contributed to the general scholarship fund of ASUMH, for which our students, faculty and staff are grateful.” The cost for the hardcover book is $30. An Ozark Perspective may be ordered online at this link or by calling (870) 508-6105. They are in-stock at ASUMH in the Vada Sheid Community Development Center and at Gaston's Resort. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 121
close look - the ozarks
When most trout fishermen die, the Governor doesn’t issue a statement. But Jim Gaston was no ordinary trout fisherman. He was a stunt pilot, photographer, steam engine collector, motorcyclist, fountain pen collector and seller, and wristwatch collector. “A great Arkansas character who enjoyed life and devoted himself to our great state, Jim Gaston was one of the pioneers of the tourism industry in Arkansas. His name became synonymous with fishing and the White River. While he will be missed by many Arkansans, he has left behind a lasting legacy,” “Jim was always two steps ahead of everybody else,” said Richard Davies, executive director, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. He was one of the first to push the idea of operating cooperatively as an industry, a push that eventually led to the 2% tourism tax that continues to fund promoting Arkansas as a destination.
“He kept saying, ‘We’re too small not to work together. Everybody who is offering a traveler something, the better we can work together, the more successful we’re going to be,” Davies continued. “Then years later, he was talking about websites and Internet before anyone else. When social media came out, he said we ought to be on Facebook and Twitter. Nobody had ever heard of this stuff and he was pushing it.” “I think he liked the constant challenge that operating a resort presented,” said Davies. “It gave him a purpose to start from where he did to turn it into what it became. But then when [then Governor] Bumpers put him on the commission, it became larger than the resort. His arena was then statewide. And he took it terribly seriously.” Tourism is currently the second biggest industry in the state behind agriculture. It’s also the fastest growing, employing more than 100,000 people.
122 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
southern trout history
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 123
IT COSTS NO MORE T O G O F I R S T C L A S S ... America’s #1 Trout Fishing Resort is Gaston’s. Our White River float trips for lunker trout are legendary from coast to coast. We do the work. All you do is fish – in style and comfort. Then there are the extras that make “resort” our last name. First-class lodging. One of the South’s finest restaurants, featuring a spectacular view. A private club. Tennis and a pool. A nature trail. A conference lodge for your group meetings or parties. Even a private landing strip for fly-in guests.
1777 River Road • Lakeview, Arkansas 72642 (870) 431-5202 • E-Mail email@example.com Lat 36 20' 55" N Long 92 33' 25" W
Guided Fly Fishing in North Carolina at its finest! Hookers Fly Shop and Guide Service located at 546 W. Main St. in Sylva, North Carolina offers first rate guided fly fishing trips on the Tuckasegee River including the Tuckasegee Delayed Harvest Section. We also offer guided fly fishing trips on the Oconaluftee Rive, Ravenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fork Trophy Water, guided fly fishing trips on the upper and lower sections of the Nantahala River, Great Smoky Mountains National Park streams, overnight camping and fly fishing trips. For more information, go to
close look - the ozarks
Missouriâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s F Double Hea Rivers Terry and Roxanne Wilson
126 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
here was a time when the banks of Missouri’s Ozark rivers were covered with towering virgin pine forests and native smallmouth bass reigned supreme throughout the length of each. Near the turn of the twentieth century, trout were introduced into these crystalline, spring-fed waters and the Ozarks’ double-header, where both species could be caught on the same float, was born. Five very different yet equally beautiful rivers offer this combination float. The North Fork (of the White), Niangua, Meramec, Eleven Point, and Current River are first-rate fisheries that offer spectacular scenery. The virgin pine have been logged and replaced by hardwood forests which blanket limestone bluffs that rise majestically from the river’s floor.
Photos by Roxanne Wilson
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 127
close look - the eastozarks tennessee
All of the five rivers are usually wadable at public access points, but all also have deep water that limits movement upstream and down. Canoes and kayaks are the most efficient method of travel through the rugged terrain. Kayaks get the nod for a day float-fishing trip while canoes can carry all the necessary gear and supplies for making camp on a river bank gravel bar and extended fishing. All of these rivers are relatively gentle and can be traversed safely and easily even by novice paddlers. Most canoe liveries offer both kayaks and canoes. Summer weekends are usually subjected to a frenetic aluminum hatch that precludes an enjoyable fishing experience, but on weekdays and any day in other seasons the rivers return to a more leisurely pace. Each season offers unique opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife that can include eagles, waterfowl, white tail deer, wild turkeys, songbirds and, of course, fish. It’s a good idea to check the local weather forecast before departure. These steep-sided rivers can flood quickly and dangerously. Raingear and life jackets should be included on all float trips for comfort and safety. Experienced outfitters can offer invaluable assistance. Be specific about what kind of experience you want in terms of trip length, fish species and scenery. Outfitters can provide reliable river information about what to expect on the float you’ve selected. It’s always a good idea to inquire about landmarks along your route. An unusual rock formation, feeder
streams, or power lines that cross the river can be used to indicate how far along your route you’ve traveled and the pace of your float. The North Fork River can be reached via Missouri Hwy. 181 south of Cabool. The highway crosses the river at Twin Bridges, which is located in the midst of the best smallmouth water. Upstream, Hebron Access is a good place to start a float but will likely require too much canoedragging if the water is low. Trout fishing begins at North Fork Spring and extends 15 miles down stream to historic Dawt Mill. The North Fork is one of the Ozarks most scenic streams and is home to some huge smallmouth bass and trout. The Niangua River is accessed by Missouri Hwy.64 which crosses the river just below Bennett Spring State Park located north of Lebanon. Above the park the river is smaller but has lots of classic smallmouth water with diverse rock size. The access at Moon Valley is a good starting point for an eight-mile float to Hwy. 64 Bridge. The best trout water extends downstream another 10 miles to Prosperine Access. The influx of water from Bennett Spring widens the river considerably and increases its flow. The Meramec River is located south of I-44 near St. James. Trout inhabit the first seven miles below Meramec Spring Park. At Scott Ford, the best smallmouth water continues for the next nine miles to Fishing Spring Road. Missouri Hwy. 19 Bridge crosses the Eleven Point River near Alton. Upstream
close look - the ozarks
from the bridge above Greer Spring, the smallmouth bass are abundant and grow large in a canyon-like section that’s difficult to access. A float trip is the best way to reach most of this section of river. From the river access below the Hwy 19 Bridge for the next six miles to Turner Mill Access is excellent trout water. The most spring–fed river in Missouri is also its most famous. The Current River, located south of Salem, begins in Montauk State Park, where its headwaters are stocked daily, but below the park trout continue to dominate all the way to within three miles of Akers. In that section fishing for both species is excellent but smallmouth bass prevail below Akers. Our fly boxes for both species are relatively simple. For trout we prefer a weighted version of Sawyer’s Pheasant Tail Nymph with the thorax tied using natural rabbit dubbing to cover five turns of .020 lead wire. We call our version the North Fork Nymph after a rock-turning foray many years ago on its namesake river. Sizes 12 to 18 dominate our selections. Zebra midges in sizes 14 to 20 are also effective. Often bright sunlight forces the trout into deeper holes where bead-head soft hackles in sizes 10 to 14 often provoke hook-ups. Olive or grey scuds in sizes 12 through 18 are standard in most Ozark trout fishers´ fly boxes. Mayfly hatches on Ozark streams can be sparse. Caddis hatches, on the other hand, are reliable throughout the entire year. To replicate the adults we prefer the Elk Hair Caddis tied with natural light-colored (bull elk) hair. The lightcolored wings make the fly easier for us to see on the water. Body color varies from dun (gray) to olive and it’s most productive in sizes 14 to 18.
130 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Our smallmouth selection starts with a deer hair floater-diver we call Hula Diver in size 4. It dives under water on the strip and floats back to the surface with its Sili-Leg tail still wiggling when line tension is released. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to beat when the bass are feeding in the shallows. We also fish crayfish patterns in contact with the bottom and jointed hellgrammites in swift sections of pocket water. Mid-depth work is performed by Woolly Buggers in sizes 6 to 10 or featherwing streamers in sizes 4 through 6 cast on intermediate line. Our favorite Woolly Bugger is tied using peacock herl for the body with or without palmered hackle and an olive marabou tail with two strands of red Krystal Flash. Peacock Woolly Buggers are equally effective for trout and smallmouths. The ginger version, often used by guides, works as an inexpensive and very productive crayfish imitation. Peacock Woolly Buggers are equally effective for trout and smallmouths. For information about outfitters visit the Missouri Canoe and Floaters Association at www.missouricanoe.org. Their site contains river information, maps and a list of outfitters with addresses and phone numbers. For more information about these double-header rivers contact the Missouri Department of Conservation via their web site at www.mdc.mo.gov. The stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conservation department offers good maps of trophy trout waters and trophy smallmouth waters. If you have a difficult time deciding whether to spend your fishing time chasing smallmouth bass or trout, why not choose both? These five rivers offer the opportunity to fish the morning for smallmouth and the afternoon for trout or to fish all day for one species and the next day for another, and best of all the quality of the fishing for both species is outstanding. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 131
NOW OPEN Bryson City, NC’s only full service fly shop.
You’re headquarters for local fly patterns and fly-fishing advice. 3 Depot St., Bryson City, NC (828) 488-3333 www.tuckflyshop.com
Cotter Trout Lodge
is the perfect location for all your Ozark activities. Whether fishing the crystal clear waters of the famous White River, biking on the Ozark Mountain trails, or simply enjoying "Life in the Past Lane", Cotter Trout Lodge is the place to stay. We offer clean, comfortable and affordable rooms, conveniently located near dining, a fly shop, and public access on the White River. 870-435-3000 www.cottertroutlodge.com firstname.lastname@example.org
White Sands Cafe
We are proud to serve traditional generous helpings of American food at a fair and modest price. Open year-round for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Live music available two nights a week. Conveniently located within walking distance of a public boat launch and wading area on the White River, famed Big Spring Park, lodging, and Natural State Fly Shop. 115 Harding Blvd. Cotter, AR 72627 870-495-6939 email@example.com
close look - the ozarks
Shawnee Ozark River Boats F
ew things associated with trout are more southern than the Ozark boats commonly seen on the rivers of Arkansas and Missouri. They are to southern trout fishing in that region what English pointers are to quail hunting Georgia, or moonshine is to Tennessee. Ozark boats which are often called White River Jon Boats are simple to operate, utility designed that are a long boat 20 or more feet. They are 33 to 60 inches wide at the bottom, and are able to easily course over as 3 inches of water. Designed to accommodate up to 4 fishermen for stable and comfortable passage over the rocky bottoms of rivers. While not the only manufacturer of Ozark boats, Rob Williams, the owner of Shawnee Boats, is one of those individuals in the “eye of the hurricane” who intimately understands these river crafts and their unique history. “Up until the mid 1960's the boats used on the rivers were long wooden boats with tar bottoms,” says Williams. “Boats then were designed to stay in the water at all times so they would not dry out and start leaking. In about 1964 Gay Rorie of Yellville Arkansas started making the boats out of fiberglass. They were much lighter, stronger and easier to manage as you could put them on a trailer for transport.” “From the mid 60's to now the boats have constantly evolved,” notes Williams. “They have gone from the narrow ‘Shawnee Green’ boats with the long runner boards in the floor to the wider smooth floor versions with metal flake glitter sides. Early on everyone relied on 8 horse power motors to power their boats. Today it is not unusual to see one of these boats fitted with a 60 horse power jet outboard. The evolutions of these boats is truly a continuous process.”
134 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
who survived WWI, and the Ozarks, and probably There is no debate thereafter made his way to that Ozark boat descended sometime shortly after or before the Civil War. Missouri where he made from the humble jon boat. Where the name “jon a living writing books and Nailing down the precise boat” originated is equally articles on fishing and pedigree of the jon boat hunting. Interestingly, speculative. An early 20th is reminiscent of the effort Ozark Ripley concluded his spent by many to establish Century angler/writer who wrote under the pen name career writing and fishing the originator of the of Ozark Ripley is generally in Chattanooga, Tennessee Yallarhammar fly pattern. credited with popularizing where he was closely From what little I have the term in printed sporting associated with South’s garnered while casually first fly manufacturing poking around the subject, publications. His real business founded by I am inclined to believe that name was John Baptiste de Macklot Thompson. Ernest Peckinbaugh. the general concept of the He was a Frenchman jon boat did originate in www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 135
close look - the ozarks
“Later in 1992 Al Reinhardt, numerous in the Arkansas Considerable and Missouri. While most of a Champion Bass Boats research has been these boats were under 24- employee, started building invested in unraveling the a fancy jon boat,” continues feet in length, somewhere origins of the jon boat. Williams. “He built his boats almost mini-barges Among the snippets of exceeding 36-feet from stem on the west side of the information is Charles Phelps Cushing, in 1911 for to stern. Oregon fir, which is Cotter Bridge and called Outing Magazine regarding light and strong, was often them Supreme Boats. Supreme built a fancier boat the choice of these early Galena to Bronson float. compared to a Shawnee. boat builders, followed by He referenced a crude Both brands thrived for locally available sassafras flat-bottomed river boats years. In 2008 Mr. Rorie, that was a "cross between which has the same then the owner of Shawnee commendable qualities. a log raft and a canoe," told me that he was going to “Gay Rorie started that dubbed and "Ozark splinter." It’s an interesting the riverboat building at his retire. As a Shawnee Boat owner myself I didn't want farm on Crooked Creek in side note that Ozark Riley Yellville Arkansas in 1964,” that to happen. After several and Robert Todd Lincoln attempts I convinced says Williams. “He took openly feuded about the Mr Rorie to sell me his on the name of Shawnee origins of the jon boat. business. Boats in 1976. Shawnee What is certain is “We moved the has constantly built boats that around the turn of the since. There are thousands business to Mountain century businesses which of Shawnee River boats of Home AR. I had been in manufacture jon boats the telecommunications all ages still in use today.” in the Ozark were fairly 136 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
fiberglass repair shop that business for 13 years opts for aluminum, do works on everything from and really had a great job not consider a boat that bass boats to house boats working for the Czeschin does not 0.100 thick skin. and river boats. family. I just really wanted Boats on these rivers So if you are looking to be in business for myself. take a beating and thick to buy an Ozark river boat, Of course the year of 2008 armor is the best choice was not real great for small what should you consider to avoid future problems. first. You’ll need to make business. I had 58 orders It’s impossible to fairly a decision is material from in hand when I purchased contrast the differences, which a boat is constructed. relative strengths and the business. By ‘election day’ of 2008, 55 orders had Generally speaking, weights of the various cancelled. Luckily they kept this is a choice between very well made Ozark coming in and the business fiberglass and aluminum. boats, as things such In some ways aluminum is has grown every year as the overall weight since,” says Williams who is stronger than fiberglass, and other measureable but many prefer fiberglass. 41 years old and grew up in aspects of these crafts One drawback to aluminum vary widely. Mountain Home. is that it is held together by In 2010 Williams “In my opinion, the big advantage that purchased Supreme Boats rivets or welded. Most of Ozark boats made from and put them and Shawnee the commercially available fiberglass have over under the same roof. Still in Ozark boats feature rivet aluminum or wood, their its growing stages, today the construction. Rivets tend ability to move slickly over company produces one boat to steep when coupled rocks in shallow water,” with jet outboards. If you per day and has a full line www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 137
close look - the ozarks
says Williams. “Neither aluminum or fiberglass are bulletproof, but fiberglass boats like we build have a highly desirable slickness that enables trouble free passage.” “In terms of construction, the hulls of our boats up to an inch thick in the corners where impacts with rocks are most likely to occur,” he continues. “The onepiece construction tappers as the reaches the gunwale. To keep our boats as light at possible, (they average around 600-pounds), composite and foam is used in the boats where one might expect to find wood.” According to Williams, one keys to the Shawnee Boat’s ability to slide effortlessly over shoals is the gelcoating. The final product is given a lavish gel coating made by the leaders in that technology, HK Research Corporation of Hickory, North Carolina. This pigmented resin is astonishingly durable and will last a long time. It is not unusual for many of the guides who make a living on these rivers to bring the boats into William’s shop annually for coating touch ups. The average cost for getting a super slick new coating and other things attended is around $200. For more information contact Williams at 870-507-0902; or visit www.supremeboats.com. The last subject to cover is steering. Tiller steering is fine with a jet motor no bigger than a 40 hp, jet motors bigger than that (prop motors also for that matter) will wear you out with tiller steering. Most experienced Ozark rivermen do prop motor when shallow water, unless the motor is 15 horse power or less. Too many bad things can when a prop motor touches the bottom. So there’s all you’ll ever need to know about Ozark boats….well let’s call it a 101 introduction.
138 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
“PERHAPS THE BEST TROUT FISHING IN THE EAST...” — Lefty Kreh
All-inclusive Flyfishing packages 5,000-6,000 trout per mile Wild brown & rainbow trout Year round fishing Luxury riverside accommodations Outstanding local cuisine World class guides 1509 Bullock Hollow Rd. Bristol, TN 37620
SouthHolstonRiverLodge.com www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 139
close look - the ozarks
Lilleys Landi Branson, Missouri 140 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
ing & Resort Sulfur “F” Fly ne definition of a “hub” is center around which many things circle. If you are talking about trout fishing in the Ozarks, then it is fair to say that Lilley’s Landing & Resort the most unique “trout fishing” hub in the region. Located in Branson, Missouri, it may be just the spot you’re looking for to enjoy both the tourist sites and the great fishing for trout at Lake Taneycomo and its tailwaters. Nestled between gently sloping pasture land and the 300-foot bluffs on the opposite bank, the noises from town are buffered, even though the Music Country Boulevard. “strip” is just two miles away.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 141
close look - the ozarks
on Lake Taneycomo.” “Our location on such several side roads to get to various points along the In 1981 newlyweds Phil a scenic spot along the and Marsha Lilley began lakefront,” notes Phil Lilley, Branson Country Music seeking the Lord about Boulevard, so they can owner of the resort. “The easily enjoy time fishing for developing a Christian pastoral hills isolate us trout and attractions in town family camp, but the odds from the noise and traffic seemed tough without a all in the same day. Plus, of town, so you feel like major inheritance of land we have been established you are out in the country or some added income to for more than 30 years even though we are in the pay the bills year-round. Branson city limits. Guests as one of the year-round They moved to Springfield, family fishing businesses love the convenience of 142 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
anything else in the Ozarks. The ease of catching trout year round, either from the upstream shoreline, a dock or from a boat. Lake Taneycomo is a beautiful lake, stocked with rainbow and brown trout weekly (700,000 trout annually), and depending on whether you like to spin cast, fly fish or mix it up, there are different parts of the lake that offer different opportunities. The resort in centrally located in the middle of trout fishing opportunities. Dogwood Canyon is about a 40-minute drive, while Roaring River State Park is about a 60-minute drive). Crane Creek is only about a 30-minute drive. There’s also many other warm water rivers such as the James River, Kings River, North Fork of the White River as well as the White River below Bull Shoals and the tailwaters below Lake Norfork, are all within a two-hour drive, and many of the guides aligned with Missouri for Marsha to work will walk through them.” And He faithfully did, the resort are flexible to as a night copy editor for even as the couple tried take clients to those spots the News-Leader while negotiations with one resort as well. Acting as a booking Phil worked nights in the after another. In 1983 they agent for people who call carpet transport business, acquired Rosadaro Resort, and want a fishing guide, allowing them days to which later became Lilley’s the resort draws from about check out Branson. Their a dozen professional, U.S. heartfelt prayer was, “God, Landing & Resort. Lake Taneycomo Coast Guard-licensed guides we’re young and naive, trout fishing is an who are all independent so you will have to close experience different than operators. the wrong doors or we www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 143
close look - the ozarks It’s a safe bet to say that no one has done more than Phil Lilley to help promote fishing for trout on these waters. He has owned and managed a fishing site called Ozarkanglers (.com) since 1997. It started out as a vehicle to provide fishing reports for Lake Taneycomo, but has grown to cover a vast number of lakes and streams in four states. Lake Taneycomo is extensively covered and updated often, from “coffee shop” discussions on the Forum to articles from experts. Lilley is also involved with fishing clubs in various cities, speaking and providing current information about the fishery. He recently spoke at the TU chapter in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and he pens articles for media outlets. Amenities at the Lilleys’ Landing & Resort are as variety as the surrounding fishing and country music in Branson. They offer one to four-bedroom units, all with full kitchen facilities. Some overlook the lake and some do not but all have outdoor picnic/barbecue areas. Since Branson boasts an amazing array of restaurants so close to the resort, they only sell snack/ breakfast items, frozen sandwiches and beverages in the fly shop. A few Branson restaurateurs will cater food to the resort for families or groups wishing to enjoy a gathering at the outdoor pavilion. “We host winter trout tournaments in January and February, both public and private,” says Lilley. “These public tournaments are set up as two-man team contests, fishing eight hours and weighing in eight trout per team. These are catch-and-release tournaments, with artificial lures and flies used only. The Masters Trout Tournament is January 23 and the Elfrink Memorial Tournament is February 27. Both have a $50 registration fee (for info visit http://www. lilleyslanding.com/news/2016-fishing-tournamentschedule).
144 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 145
close look - the ozarks “I think the one thing that many people notice about our place is the peace surrounding it,” says Lilley. “We attribute that to the Lord. It’s His peace that prevails on this place because from the very beginning we gave this place back to Him. God only lets us run it for Him, which is one of the best jobs in the world. “Lake Taneycomo offers world-class trout fishing, and we specialize in outfitting the angler to conquer the fishery with everything from fishing guides to boat rentals, as well as fishing equipment rentals. We have a first-class fly and tackle shop with just what the angler needs to catch trout, along with other essentials for the vacation life. Lilleys’ staff has long proved that they know how to make one’s stay the best it can be. As my wife has always laughingly said, “It’s a tough job helping others have a great vacation in Branson, but someone has to do it!!” “It’s still a dream job for us,” says Lilley. “We attribute that to the Lord. It’s His peace that prevails on this place because from the very beginning we gave this place back to Him. God only lets us run it for Him, which is one of the best jobs in the world.”
146 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Chota Hippies Adjustable Hip Waders
close look - the ozarks
f you haven’t heard, the Ozarks are a special destination for fly fishermen. Whatever the intended target, the Ozarks will have the quality fishing you are looking for. Trout have the advantage of growing year round and they are fished for year round as well. In the fall, huge brown trout can be found almost anywhere. The Little Red River was the home of the world record brown for quite some time. Rainbow trout are prevalent, and the smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing is just catching hold.
Located directly in the heart of this fishing paradise is the Ozark’s premier outfitter and guide service, Ozark Anglers. Ozark Anglers has two locations, Little Rock and Herber Springs, Arkansas. Everyone that works in both the shops are incredibly knowledgeable. Whether you need fly recommendations, casting lessons, fly recipes or general tips, the Ozark Anglers team will be ready to assist you. Owner and operator Chad Kneeland says, “It is our goal to give everyone that walks through our doors the best opportunity to be successful.
148 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured fly shop
Ozark Anglers has been in business for 26 years. Chad purchased the shop 7 years ago from Tom Hawthorne, a legend in the fly fishing business. Since that time, the shop and the interest and the sport have grown rapidly. The two shops now offer a wide range of services to the fly fisherman. They offer 8-week fly tying classes several times of year as well as a free demonstration every
Saturday. Fly casting instructions are available any time a customer walks into the shop. Fly-tying is a huge focus of Ozark Angler. More and more fishermen have realized the joy, and inexpensive qualities of tying your own flies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tying is incredibly cool because it allows another chance of making the sport your own,â&#x20AC;? Chad explains. Any fisherman who has caught
a memorable trout on a homemade fly knows that feeling of added excitement. Turning a bare hook into an artful masterpiece takes vision, but also takes direction. Ozark Anglers has the staff to give that vision to any prospective tier. The staff knows the best patterns for the region, and exactly how to tie them. Apart from the in-house services are the fly-fishing
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 149
close look - the ozarks
excursions. Both shops have fantastic guides on staff, available for booked trips whenever the customer desires. The shops are centrally located in prime location for guided trips. An incredible amount of water can be
reached with just a short drive from either location. If you wish to just receive information about the area and not schedule a guided trip, Chad assures that no secrets will be kept. “We want to do everything in our power to make you
successful on the water,” Chad says. “We do not keep any secrets from our customers. Meaning I tell the customers exactly where I fish, what I use and how to fish it. My goal is to share the sport I love with others,” he continues. If you are
150 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured fly shop
interested in learning about fly-fishing and tying or just need added information, stop at one of Ozark Anglers locations. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a love for the sport when you enter, you will by the time you leave.
The Ozark Angler 12305 Chenal Parkway St. B Little Rock, AR 72211 (501)225-6504 The Ozark Angler 659 Wilburn Rd Heber Springs, AR 72543 (501)362-flys(3597) www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 151
Fly Fishing the Smokies Guided Fly Fishing in the Tennessee and North Carolina Smoky Mountains (828)-488-7665 or flyfishingthesmokies.net Wade Trips, Float Trips, Hazel Creek Camping, Beginner Lessons, and Fly Fishing for Kids. Est. in 1999, one of the oldest and most experienced Guide Services and Outfitters in the Smokies. Wade or Float for Trout and Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Muskie, and Carp. We offer guided fly fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the WNC Fly Fishing Trail, Tuckasegee River, Little Tennessee River, Ravens Fork, Pigeon River, and Fontana Lake
For reservations call (828)-488-7665 or book your trip on the web at; flyfishingthesmokies.net
close look - the ozarks
Lindsey’s Resort “Part of being successful as a fly fishing guide on the Little Red River is understanding he Ozarks has the Pate feel in love with that it more than helping South’s richest fly fishing for trout at the someone catch fish,” history in terms of says Pate. “The mission Little Red River while he fishing guide that goes was a student at Memphis statement of my guide back over a century. On State. Later while still in service is to provide a the trout waters in the college he was visiting the quality and meaningful region long time guide and LIttle Red River over spring experience for my clients, their faithful clients have and if possible, help them break when a mother with become a traditional part her two sons came into the experience the thrill of of the Ozark culture. If you office at Lindsey’s resort to fishing a trophy trout river.” are visiting the Little Red requested a fishing guide. Pate’s “home waters” is River, odds are you are At the time Pate had been the Little Red River near going to Lindsey’s Resort Heber Springs, Arkansas. fishing the river for several and if you are fortunate, years and had become very Knowing this sometime will have Buddy Pate has proficient. The owner of the technically demanding your guide. Pate knows the resort asked Pate to take river well enables him not eddies, runs and pools of these people and he did. only be a great host, but this fable trout river better He has been guiding full when needed, also to offer than anyone. time ever since that day. instruction to your clients. 154 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
“Depending on the proficiency of his clients, Pate also provide fly casting instruction and tips. For more advanced fly fishermen new to the Little Red River, he also explains to them what they are trying to accomplish, why we are presenting a certain fly, and why we're fishing a certain depth and presentation. Pate’s goal is for this clients to have a rewarding experience while catching fishing and learning more about what it takes to catch them on The Little Red.
“I strive to get my clients to understand the difference between going catching and going fishing,” says Pate. “That there is much pleasure to be had just from the act of fishing and there is more to an enjoyable day on the river than just catching a fish. I'm a hard working guide and I'd like them to know that do just that, work hard to provide them with the pleasurable trip they are paying for.” On his guided trips on the Little Red River Pate provide flies at no
charge. For a minimal fee he will also furnish clients with quality fly fishing rods and reels. Drinks are available, and if a client requests it a shore lunch can be provided for a fee. Otherwise, it is Pate’s custom for he and this clients to come in for about an hour for a lunch break. “We’re known for big trout in Arkansas,” said Pate. “The trout in the Little Red River are healthy and robust Bigger trophy fish are often caught between November and the first of the year when brown trout
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 155
close look - the ozarks are spawning, but all the seasons have their draws. In the winter there is also less competition from other anglers. In the spring and summer fish are easier to catch because they are stocked. Fall offers the added beauty of fiery foliage.” “People are busier than ever and they have limited time for recreation,” says Pate. “They want to maximize their vacation time by hiring an experienced fly fishing guide who knows the ins anduts so that they can
accomplish their goal. There is no substitute for an experience guide for taking the ouch out of a day of fishing. Ouch means no fish.” When asked what are his most popular repeat trips, Pate notes that he has been guiding the Little Red River for forty years, and what he really loves to fish with sons and daughter and grandsons and granddaughter of his original client. “What I like to say about the experience anglers can expect when
going on a trip with me,” says Pate, “That I'm a "hands on" kind of guide and I pay attention to needs and desires of my clients. I often tell them that we will catch fish and have a great time................and that's my fault.” The best way to contact Buddy Pate is by contacting Linsey’s Resort (www.lindseysresort.com)
608 Emmett Rd. Bristol, Tennessee 37620
www.southholstonriverflyshop.com 156 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Just a 3-hour drive from Atlanta! Destinations
include high elevation mountain streams, scenic tailwaters, and intense summer-time smallmouth bass trips. We take several backcountry trips a year to the remote and scenic Hazel Creek in GSMNP, which is an experience every Southern fly fisher should try at least once. Brookings’ also hosts some incredible destination trips to places like Argentina’s Patagonia, Belize and Montana. We are simply eaten up with fishing and will go anywhere to find the best for our clients.
Brooking’s is licensed to guide in Nantahala and Pigsah National Forests, Panthertown Valley, as well as Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
We carry brands such as Orvis, Simms, Scott, Sage, Columbia, Smith Optical, Hardy, True Flies and many more!
Guides for first-time to experienced anglers and everyone in between.
Lodging | Fly Fishing Guide Trips |Angling Equipment Fly Tying Supplies and Lessons |Cigars | Apparel | Books | DVDs
828-743-3768 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 BrookingsOnline.com
close look - the ozarks
Cotter: One Hel
n this Yankee’s opinion—if Yankee opinions actually matter-Cotter, Arkansas is not only the best big trout town in the south, it’s the best big trout town in the country. Not only that, but fish densities rival those found anywhere else in the country. If bigger trout and more trout are what you are looking for—look no further…
158 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
llva Trout Town Bob Mallard
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 159
close look - the ozarks
the past couple of years. As the author of a As you enter town TroutCapitolUSA as Cotter you are greeted by a recently released book refers to itself was one of about trout towns—25 billboard that reads the most enjoyable and Best Towns Fly Fishing “Welcome Cotter Arkansas productive stops along the Trout Capitol USA”. Just For Trout--I had the good way—and the place where down the road a bit is fortune to visit many great I caught 2 of my 5 largest places and fish many a water tower with the fish. fine trout fisheries over words “Cotter Trout Capital 160 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
located on the east shore U.S.A.” scrolled down its announcing the annual of the White River—one of length. There are trout Trout Festival. There are silhouettes on utility poles, fly shops, trout docks, trout the finest trout rivers east of the Rocky Mountains. trout on signs, the word lodges, and trout resorts. The White is not only the “trout”—or “rainbow”-And there are numerous centerpiece of the Cotter in many business and working guides—some of fly fishing scene—it is place names, and a sign which are the finest I have the centerpiece of the down by the town landing ever fished with.Cotter is www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 161
close look - the ozarks
Arkansas fly fishing scene as well, and some would say the southern fly fishing scene as a whole. To call it the finest trophy trout river in the in the country would not be a stretch. The White is a large river. It boasts over 40 miles of trout water below Bull Shoals Dam. The river changes radically from one place to the next resembling everything from the Missouri River in Montana to the South Fork of the Snake in Idaho to the Delaware River in New York and Pennsylvania. In most places it glides gently over gravel and ledge. In some places there is dense aquatic vegetationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it others it is 162 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
baron. Its banks are lined with rugged bluffs, dense woods, riprap, and manicured lawns. Private docks jut out into the water providing cover for the trout. The North Fork White River—better known as the Norfork River—is just 30 minutes southeast of town. Overshadowed by the more glamorous and famous White, move it anywhere else and it is the best fishery in town. Like the White, the Norfork is a trophy trout fishery. Much smaller than the White, it is more easily waded and the place to go when flows are high on the former and you don’t want to throw streamers. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 163
close look - the ozarks Trophy Trout
The White and Norfork Rivers have accounted for a number of state, national, North American, and world record trout. The White currently holds the state record for rainbow trout with a fish over 19 pounds. It also holds the state record for cutthroat with a fish just short of 10 pounds. It produced two North American record browns that weighed over 31 and 33 pounds respectively. A 38.7 pound brown that went 37.5 inches was caught in late February of
164 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
this year. The fish was just 3 pounds short of the current US record and less than 2 pounds short of the state record. When it comes to record trout, the Norfork is no slouch either. Like the White, it has accounted for several records including the current state record brook troutâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a fish over 5 pounds, and a brown that went just short of 39 pounds and was the world recordâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and by default the state, national and North American record--at the time it was caught.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 165
close look - the ozarks
166 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Both the White and Norfork are heavily stocked. There are wild fish as well. According to Arkansas Game and Fish, there were nearly 1.5 million trout stocked in the White and over 140,000 stocked in the Norfork in 2015 alone. This includes rainbows, browns, brookies and cutthroat—both Snake River and Bonneville. There are three artificial lure only/catch-and-release sections on the White—Bull Shoals, Rim Shoals and Monkey Island. There is another on the middle Norfork River. Elsewhere on the rivers there is a 1-fish, 24” minimum length limit on brown trout. Low water periods are best fished with nymphs, dies, and dry/droppers. High water is when folks bring out the streamers— including some very large ones. Nighttime offers mouse fishing. In addition to the two fly shops in town, there are another three shops just outside town. There is a large public boat launch and wading area in town and numerous others within striking distance. Cotter also offers a wide range of lodging from affordable motels, to rental properties, to sprawling resorts to luxury lodges. There are several restaurants in town as well-and numerous others in nearby Mountain Home. And White Sands Café downtown has live music. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 167
close look - the ozarks Bonus Points
Located just below the dam on the Norfork is Dry Run Creek. Known locally as the “best ¼ mile of trout fishing in the world", it is open for fishing to kids and the disabled only. This manmade stream gets its water from a federal hatchery and sends it back to the Norfork River where it came from. The design of the stream was influenced by Dave Whitlock. The stream is home to more trout over twenty inches than any water its size I have ever seen. Most importantly, Cotter is home to some of the nicest people I have ever met. If you haven’t given Cotter a try it’s time you did. Lots of trout, big trout, and good old southern hospitality--what more can you ask for… For additional information contact John Holsten at Natural State Fly Shop: 870-706-0820, www.naturalstateflyshop.com or email@example.com. Bob Mallard is an author, writer, blogger, fly designer, sales rep, and owner of Kennebec River Outfitters in Maine. His latest book, 25 Best Towns Fly Fishing For Trout (Stonefly Press) was just released and is now available through fly shops, book stores, and at www.bobmallard.com
168 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 169
Developed by fly fishermen, a southern made, light-weight, easy to use device that will retrieve most flies snagged within reach of your fly rod and extended arm. Made from high-grade, stainless steel with a handle assuring extreme water resistance, it provides toughness and strength for exerting great cutting forces without breaking.
ORDER NOW WWW.THEFLYSAVER.COM $30.00
25 Best Towns Fly Fishing for Trout
outhern Trout columnist Bob Mallard hits it out of the park with his new book, 25 Best Towns Fly Fishing For Trout. Bob’s book features historic Rangeley, Maine; Manchester, Vermont and Grayling, Michigan; as well as contemporary hotspots such as Park City, Utah; Reading, California and Basalt, Colorado. And of course there are the places we all dream of going such as Jackson, Wyoming; West Yellowstone, Montana and Ketchum, Idaho. And Bob doesn’t forget the south either with Asheville, North Carolina and Cotter, Arkansas both covered. Each chapter features a map of the area, write-ups on key fisheries, lists of other fisheries, along with information on fly shops, guides, lodging, dining, other things to do—museums, golf, biking, etc.; and local chambers of commerce, trout unlimited chapters and fisheries groups. This book serves as a trip planner as well as a retirement or second home guide. Mallard’s new book in a long series of fly fishing books he has authored, is extremely well illustrated. Signed copies are available at www.bobmallard.com and just in time for the holidays and winter trip planning.
172 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Friendliest fly shop in Cotter!
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 Mobile: 870-706-0820
A Close Look A Chattahoochee Delayed-Harves Jimmy Jacobs
inter is now upon us and on the southern fringe of the range of trout, some of the best fishing is available. Georgiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s delayedharvest waters are open for business, giving up lots of stocked rainbow and brown trout.
Photos by Jimmy Jacobs
174 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
At the e River st Section
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 175
Among those waters are the most southerly and urban of the Peach State’s trout fisheries. The DH section of the Chattahoochee River provides the deepest incursion of cold water fish into Dixie. Located on the tailwater below Lake Sidney Lanier, that cold outflow from the depths of the reservoir offers habitat for the fish all the way downstream to the city limits of Atlanta. Thus it’s possible to tangle with trout within the nation’s ninth largest metropolitan area. The portion of the river managed as DH water runs from the mouth of Sope Creek for 4 1/2 miles to the U.S. Highway 41 (Cobb Parkway) bridge over the river. This part of the river is located downstream of the small Morgan Falls Dam at the town of Roswell. For that reason anglers have to keep an eye to release schedules of water from both dams. This lower section of the tailrace has held trout for more than half a century. Back in the 1970s and ‘80s stocked trout held over from year to year in what is now the DH water. More recently, however, urban construction and paving have raised summer water temperatures. That change of conditions was a contributing factor to the switch to DH regulations shortly after 2000. These days this water receives heavy stockings of rainbow and brown trout beginning at the first of November, with smaller monthly stockings continuing until the end of the DH season on May 15. During the DH period only artificial lures with single hooks are allowed and all fish must be released. However, fly casters are allowed to use dropper rigs, as long as each fly has only one hook. While the DH section flows through a suburban to urban setting, at least one shore of almost the entire stretch is situated in the Cochran Shoals, Palisades or Paces Mill Units of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. As a result the stream has a surprisingly wilderness feel to it. 176 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
The DH waters contain four named rapids that offer good wade fishing prospects at Cochran, Devils Race Course, Thornton and Long Island Shoals. All of these can be reached via hiking trails in the park lands. Towering above the Devils Race Course and Thornton Shoals on the east shore are steep cliffs of the Palisades. This terrain feature also marks the point where the Brevard Fault Line crosses the Hooch, creating the rapids. Another result of this anomaly is that many of the rocks in the stream bed jut up at 45-degree angles from the bottom. Thus wading in the shoals often is a bit difficult. When viewed from the bluff at the top of the East Palisades Unit, a channel is obvious as it cuts through the rocks of the Devils Race Course. That passage, however, is not a natural feature. Back in the 1840s the channel was blasted out to allow the movement of poled river barges through the shoals. A bit farther down river the Long Island Shoals begin at the head of their namesake island. The main channel of the river flows on the west of the island, with a smaller flow skirting the east. Usually the smaller east channel gets less fishing pressure, but does hold trout. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 177
Access to the east channel from upriver is through the Whitewater Creek parking lot on the east shore. Anglers also can cross the river at the Paces Mill Unit parking lot and fish upstream through that channel. Additionally, it is possible to walk the hiking trail along the west shore upstream from Paces Mill to the Interstate 75 bridge. At this point you can wade across the west channel and walk across Long Island to access the east channel. When crossing the island under the I-75 bridge, check out the barren dirt spots. They are usually covered with white-tailed deer tracks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and you are inside the Atlanta city limits! As to the fishing in the DH section, the bulk of the action is for 8- to 12-inch stocked rainbows and browns. Fortunately, the Hooch is a very fertile stream in this lower section. Growth rates for stockers have been monitor at as much as one inch per month through here. As the DH season wears on, larger fish of 13 to 15 inches show up as well. Another occasional surprise for angler is hooking into a brown trout that is measured in pounds rather than inches. Fish up to the 6-pound range have been taken in the DH waters. Two factors probably account for these bigger browns. There are some springs along the river that deliver colder water to the flow year round. 178 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
More important, however, are the spots holding really deep water. These provide a thermal refuge for a few fish in the summer and likely are the places these big browns hold over. A good example is located just below Devils Race Course in the pool at the foot of “Diving Rock.” Summertime rafters often stop there to scale the east shore and jump off the protruding rock into water that measures about 20 feet deep. Access to the Chattahoochee’s DH waters is very good. Anglers are able to fish it from float tubes, rafts, canoes and even drift boats. Wading access also is plentiful.
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 179
Floating anglers can put in at the canoe launch site at Powers Island, just upstream of the I-285 bridge over the river. The take out is in the Paces Mill Unit at the end of the DH water. Waders can access the water at the Cochran Shoals and Powers Island Units at the head of the DH section. Access to the Devils Race Course is via the steep 1/4-mile walk down from the parking lot off Acres Mill Road to the Sandy Point section of the West Palisades Unit. Both Thornton and Long Island Shoals can be reached from the parking lot at the Whitewater Creek access, with more wading available at the lower end of the DH section at the Paces Mill Unit. For a map of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, including the DH section, visit www.nps.gov/chat/index.htm, and then click the link for View Park Map. For information on water releases at Buford Dam call 777-945-1466 and for Morgan Falls Dam the number is 404-329-1455. 180 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
5 States 38 River Systems $21.95
9 States 46 Tailwaters $19.95
Trout Fishing Guidebooks For The South By Jimmy Jacobs
80 Watersheds On Public Land $15.95
Autographed copies available. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 181
Ritz and Glit Fish Days
182 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
tz and 100
he cypress swamps of southeast Missouri set the
stage for my grand entrance into the world of catching behemoth largemouth bass on flyrods stiff enough to use as a pool cue in Ma Tally’sTavern. Rainbow trout were touted as a sissy’s fish by bar stool interlopers at Ma Tally’s. I’d never seen a rainbow colored fish, but listened intently to the banter between the crusty old codgers that appeared to be better at guzzling Stag beer than catching fish of any kind. Sitting downwind of them, however, provided positive proof that they had indeed caught fish, perhaps four days previous. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 183
184 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
One of the regulars wore a gold chain around his neck with a bowed up fish on it. In the heat of a discussion one day, he broke out the tarnished trout figurine to educate his cohorts about the finer points of trout fishing. A wide grin and a far off look overtook the old gentleman’s face as he mentioned names like Yellowstone, Frying Pan, Bighorn, Madison ad Gallatin. They meant nothing to me, but the old man told convincing stories about catching dozes of big, colorful fish. It wasn’t until I saw my first issue of “Outdoor Life” in 1959 that I became truly intrigued with rainbow trout. A handsome man with a broad rimmed hat and hip boots stood knee deep in a clear, fast flowing stream. He held a well bent flyrod an arms length behind himself, while he slid a brightly colored ‘bow into his landing net. The nearest trout to our souther swamp lived several hours up in the Missouri Ozarks. I had never seen the hills, but longed to do so. Fortuantley, I had an uncle who worked for Monsanto in East St. Louis, who loved to trout fish. I held to his every word as he described waters so clear you could easily see every pebble on the bottom and the bright red stripes of hefty rainbow trout as well. Years past, but I made my first trout fishing trip while in college while pursuing a degree in outdoor education. Two years later, I took a job as superintendent of Maramec Spring Park, one of the four trout parks in
Missouri. I later transferred to Bennet Spring State Park as a naturalist and supervised the naturalist at Montuak, two more of the four trout parks. I traveled the Ozarks in pursuit of trout. Trout parks, wild streams and private trout ranches became my regular hangouts. I often heard stories about the fabulous trout fishing at Taneycomo Lake in southwest Missouri. The idea of trout fishing in a lake did not particularly appeal to me. However, after a bit of research, I discovered that much of Taneycomo was more like a river. Too, some very hefty rainbows and brown trout were caught from those waters annually. I still had a hangup about fishing Taneycomo. The lake borders Branson, Missouri, one of the biggest tourist destinations in the United States. Ritz and glitz I could do without. Eventually, I received an invitation from the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Conservation Federation of Missouri to attend a media event at Taneycomo. Guides were provided. I met my appointed guide at the docks at Lilley’s Landing early one morning. We motored a few hundred yards upstream and began drift fishing. Almost immediately we began catching stocker size fish in the 10-to-12-inch range. Trout fishing is a big draw for families visiting Branson. A day on the water often serves as a break from the fast paced tourist town. An added bonus for these families is the
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 185
fact that the stocked rainbows are fairly easy to catch. I enjoyed catching the stocker fish, but the method did not satisfy my urge to fish wilder waters. An opportunity presented itself ten day after the conference ended. A short visit to Lilley’s Fly Shop gave me ten answers I needed abut where to flyfish and what patterns use. I could have never envisioned the results I would enjoy. I awoke to a cold, windy March morning. Within minutes from Lilley’s, I arrived 200 yards below Table Rock Lake Dam. The tailrace from the dam is the beginnings of Lake Taneycomo. I scanned the shoreline as I walked down the bank. Fifty yards upstream, I could see the dimples of feeding fish. My first offering, a #16 bead head Pheasant Tailed Nymph, disappeared as soon as it hit the water. My five-weight rod arched heavily and a resounding “ping” echoed through the cold morning air. After adding a length of heavier I made my second cast and hooked up again. I arched my rod at arms length and slid a solid 41-inch rainbow into my landing net. After catching a dozen or more respectable rainbows, the action slowed. I took the advice of the flyshop attendant and tied on a #16 tan scud pattern. My trout fishing world was about to be turned upside down.
Scuds are actually freshwater shrimp and Taneycomo teems with them. Trout grow quickly to large proportions feeding on the abundant food supply. I kept expecting other fishermen to show up to get in on the fast fish action. Only two fishermen arrived, one two hundred yards above and another below my position perhaps 300 yards. My arms grew tired as one rainbow after another inhaled my scud pattern. If one fish missed a strike, another quickly attacked. Never had I enjoyed such spectacular trout fishing action. A hot breakfast and cup of coffee seemed ten fitting end to a wonderful day of rout fishing on Lake Taneycomo. As I enjoyed the meal to the swoons of Perry Como, I reveled in the fact that I had caught well over 100 rainbow trout in three hours of fishing, all within a stone’s throw of the ritz and glitz of Branson, Missouri. Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery produces 350,000 ponds of trout each year. That equates to about 700,000 trout being released in the lake. For more trout fishing information contact Phil Lilley at www.lilleyslanding.com. Next, I intend to concentrate on the behemoth brown trout that call Taneycomo home.
186 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 187
The Watauga River: Dixieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Kept Secret
Emerging Sulphur Nymph
Tycoon Tackle “
A fly rod is much more than a tool to get the job done. A rod mirrors the fly fisherman, in style and in proficiency. The individual fisherman’s skill may be a driving force behind the success, but the rod gets all the praise and criticism. Either, “this casts like a dream,” or “I just can’t get good casts out of this damn thing” are the phrases most uttered when a fly rod is purchased.
190 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
“Finer Than Frog Hair” www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 191
Sure, you can have a great day on the water with a crappy rod or a crappy day with a great rod. Some days will never be great, the weather and feeding patterns are beyond our control as fishermen. The rod, however, is perfectly within our control. Don’t let the wrong, or easy decision to make the difference between a caught fish and a heartbreaking story. The best rod is not always the most expensive one, or the one most talked about. Sure the highest name brands may have engineered the lightest rod or the fastest action, but what really matters is how it feels to the fisherman. Personally, I never fished with anything as user friendly as the rods from Tycoon Tackle. These rods load and cast like a dream, following every arm movement to a tee. Power is displaced perfectly, leaving minimal shock waves and great loop control.
Their “Mountain King” rod is a perfect fit for any southeastern flyfisherman. This rod was created specifically for the streams of the Appalachian Mountains.
Any Appalachian fly fisherman knows the foliage problems. Tall rods and long back casts can be frustrating to say the lease. The “Mountain King” provides perfect loop
192 l December 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
The aesthetics are also worthy of mentioning. Though the look should never be the main buying point, a piece of equipment that will be by your side for such a long period of time should be pleasing to the eye. This particular model features a Reverse-Half Wells grip with a stacked flamed bamboo reel seat. The reel seat beautifully contrasts with the burgundy rod blank.
control packed within a 7-foot frame. The number of false casts is cut down, and flawless presentations can be achieved without hitting the branch 20 feet behind you. The slow action of the fiberglass rod
allows the line to be loaded without the extra foot in rod length. The performance of the rod is clearly the most important factor, and it exceeds in every category.
Each rod is comes standard in a custom sleeve and rod tube, backed with the Tycoon Tackle Warranty. Fine graphite and split bamboo rods are also featured in the Tycoon Tackle arsenal. The Scion graphite series rods are in the top tier of their market for the price, and the Tonkin cane bamboo rods are paralleled to none in beauty. Next time you decide to replace a rod, or grow your collection, consider these wonderfully crafted pieces. After all, if you agree fly-fishing is an art, why wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you use the best brush?
www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l January 2016 l 193
The Mountain King by Tycoon Tackle The Mountain King by Tycoon Tackle was Specifically designed for use on mountain streams in the Appalachian Mountains where tight quarters, a stealthy Approach, and the need for laser like accuracy are the norm. This mountain trout rod will deliver superb performance anywhere, Especially mountain streams and technical spring creeks.
For more information visit:
NEW FROM JIMMY JACOBS From
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
Building a Monument to the Rich Heritage of Fly Fishing in the Southern Appalachians
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our heritage is rich in personalities that fly fish. They tie their own flies, guide others, do the science to manage and improve the fisheries and even form the private clubs that ultimately protect our resources. In the same way we work to preserve our precious cold water resource, the trout and the stream, we must also preserve the stories about those that walked on the stream before us. The stories must be told and passed on.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Alen Baker
For Inquiries or to make a Charitable Donation to the Museum Please Contact:
(828) 788-0034 516 Tsali Blvd, PO Box 1838 Cherokee, NC 28719 firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBU Bob Borgwat, 55, leads the team of Reel Angling Adventures at ReelAnglingAdventures.com as owner, administrator, Webmaster, and guide. His freelance writing, editing, and photography covers fishing across the US, but his daily piscatorial adventures take place with fly-rod in hand just outside his doorstep in the southern reach of the Appalachian Mountains in Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. He is a former senior editor for Game and Fish Magazines, Primedia and Intermedia Outdoors, and is an active member of the Georgia Outdoor Writers Association.
Ed Mashburn, Editor of Southern Kayak Magazine, lives in Bay Minette, Alabama, and previously lived in the Ozarks of Arkansas and Missouri where he spent much time on the White and Little Red Rivers neglecting school work and home chores in pursuit of rainbows and browns. He has published three books and several hundred magazine articles. When not fishing or writing about fishing, Ed Mashburn builds wooden kayaks
Virginia Editor Beau Beasley is a well-known name among readers of fly angling magazines. His work has appeared in nearly every major fly fishing periodical in the country. He is the author of Fly Fishing Virginia. Recently he won the TalbotDenmade Memorial Award for Best Conservation Article from the Mason-Dixon Outdoor Writer’s Association for his investigative piece, “Where Have all the menhaden Gone?” He is also the director of the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival, www.vaflyfishingfestival.org, and lives with his wife and children in Warrenton, VA.
TORS A native of northern VA, Steve Moore grew up fishing in a fishing family. Steve’s father, much to his mother’s chagrin, was fishing in a local bass tournament the morning that Steve was born. Steve has published five books on fishing in VA and Maryland including Maryland Trout Fishing, Wade, and Shoreline Fishing the Potomac River for Smallmouth Bass. Wade Fishing the Rappahannock River and Wade Fishing the Rapidan River. Steve provides frequent updates on fishing these waters and others on his popular blog at www. CatchGuide.com.
Craig Haney has spent a lifetime chasing trout on the streams, headwaters and tailwaters of the southern Appalachians and elsewhere. After graduating from Auburn University with an animal science degree, Craig has spent the majority of his career in the outdoor industry as a manufacturers’ rep for fishing, boating, camping and hunting gear as well as operating partner of Riverwoods Outfitters / HaneyMullins Orvis for eight years. He has taught fly tying and fly casting at his shops and community colleges. Additionally, he has written on fly fishing and other outdoor subjects for a variety on national and regional magazines. Craig and his wife Lynn live on Shades Mountain in Hoover, AL in the southern Appalachian foothills.
Harry Murray was born in Edinburg Virginia in 1939. He did his pre-pharmacy at Virginia Tech and his pharmacy degree at the Medical College of Virginia. He started Murray’s Fly Shop in Edinburg Virginia in 1962 and started conducting fly tying and fly fishing schools and guided trips shortly thereafter. He has written 15 books and produced 2 DVD’s on fly fishing for trout and smallmouth bass. He has developed over 50 flies for both trout and smallmouth bass. Today Harry conducts about 30 schools on fly fishing and fly tying and employs 5 guides for fly fishing trips. Harry lives in Edinburg Virginia where he has his fly shop.
CONTRIBU A Clinch River, fly-fishing fanatic, Shawn Madison is also a passionate entrepreneur and experienced boat builder. Using his vast experience in design, engineering, and manufacturing in the boat building industry, Shawn is currently finalizing the production plan for a Southern Style Drift Boat. An avid photographer, fly-tyer, and inventor, he also maintains The Clinch River, TN Facebook page that promotes one of the East Tennesseeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest resources. His goal is to help promote the sport of fly-fishing, increase conservation, and to help others find the joy of tricking trout. Watch for his current project soon, a book titled Find the Joy of Fly Fishing.
Roger Lowe was born in Waynesville, NC and now lives in the nearby town of Cashiers. He has enjoyed fly-fishing the waters of the Southern Appalachians all his life. He first began tying flies and fishing them at a very early age. Roger has his own fly shop for twelve years and has been guiding full time for twenty-seven years. He can most often be found at Brookings Angler in Cashiers where he guides daily or works in the fly shop where is signature patterns are available. He is also a fly tying instructor. He is the author of Roger Loweâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guide to the Great Smoky Mounatins, and he has a fly tying video, Smoky Mountain Fly Patterns, that shows how to tie a lot of the Smoky Mountain Patterns.
Ron Gaddy grew up in Waynesville, North Carolina and started fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains at an early age. He grew up fishing Chattahoochee, East and West Fork of the Pigeon River, Little East Fork of the Pigeon River, Nantahala River, and Jonathan Creek. Ron left North Carolina at age 24 for a career with the Department of Defense at Charleston, SC and Norfolk, VA. After retiring from DOD in 2009 he returned to Waynesville, NC to be close to all the great trout fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains. Since retirement, Ron has consistently fished in the Smoky Mountains for trout. When not fishing, Ron is tying flies for building rods.
TORS Bill Bernhardt, 52, is the owner of and guide, instructor, and custom rod builder for Harper Creek Fly Fishing Company (www.nc-flyfishing.com) located in Lenoir, North Carolina. In addition, Bill is somewhat unusual in that he specializes in small streams, wild trout, and backcountry, remote access, and walk/wade trips into the Blue Ridge Mountains. Consequently, his freelance outdoor articles along with his nature photography focus specifically on the exceptional beautify and excellent trout fishing opportunities available to fly fishermen in western North Carolina.
Kevin Howell fished 38 states before college. In 1997 Kevin took a job as Manager or Davidson River Outfitters. He was also helping his father run Dwight and Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Custom Tackle. After his father passed away in 1998, Kevin took over the operation of Dwight and Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Custom Tackle while remaining the Manager of Davidson River Outfitters and combined the operation of the two businesses. He is also a Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructor. Kevin is also a nationally known fly-tyer and is currently the fly-tying editor for Fly Fishing the Mid Atlantic States. He has also had several of his original patterns published in various magazines as well as being produced by some of the national tying companies.
Georgia Editor Jimmy Jacobs is with Game & Fish Magazines. He also is the Outdoor Columnist for the Atlanta JournalConstitution newspaper and online Atlanta Outdoor Travel Writer for Examiner.com. Jacobs has authored five guidebooks to fishing in the southeastern US, including Trout Streams of Southern Appalachia: Trout Fishing in Northern Georgia, and Tailwater Trout in the South. His writing and photography have earned Excellence in Craft awards from the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, Georgia Outdoor Writers Association and the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association.
CONTRIBU Jason Sparks is the founder of Southern Appalachian Tenkara Anglers, A growing community of fishermen that embrace the elegant simplicity of the traditional Japanese method of fly fishing.. As an ambassador in promoting Tenkara across the South he often conducts clinics, instructs techniques and speaks to groups on the subject. A Navy Veteran, he has fished the world in waters from the Azores to the Appalachians. Now living near Banner Elk, North Carolina, he is recognized by Tenkara USA as a Certified Tenkara Guide and a leading instructional resource in the Southeast for inquiring anglers and fly-fishing clubs.
George Grant lives in Johnson City with his wife and earnestly wades upstream through his sixth decade. Mountain streams large and small are his first love, but he regards the South Holston and Watauga tail waters to be his mistress. In addition to actually fly fishing, he enjoys the history and the craft of fly tying, especially “resurrecting” patterns that have passed from common use. For many years Grant worked in local fly shops. He also wrote columns about fly-fishing for a local sports magazine and for the Bristol herald Courier.
Living in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks, Bill Cooper has experienced the magic of the long rod from the Allegheny in the East to the Yellowstone in the West, and from the Quetico in Canada to the North to the Yucatan in the South. With an MS in Outdoor Education, his experience as a park superintendent and teacher of outdoor skills at Bass Pro Shop’s Wonders of Wildlife School has served him well ashe serves as a tourism consultant to Campeche State, Mexico and Maya Amazing Outfitters. He is the author of the Outdoor Celebrities Cookbook and his writing experience spans writing for Cabela’s Outfitter Jornal, Bassprolsours.com, Game and Fish, Trophy Whitetail World, Turkey Country and Union Sportsman.
TORS Jim Mauries is the owner/ operator of Fly South, a full-service fly shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Jim was born and raised in Colorado, and it was there his flyfishing addiction took root. Jim started tying flies pro- fessionally during his college years to support his fish- ing habit. That was the steppingstone into working for a fly shop, which in turn led to guiding and instructing fly tiers and fly fishers. Jim has guided and taught fly fishers in Tennessee for more than 20 years. Jim pioneered fly fishing for many different species in the Middle Tennessee area, but trout remain his first love.
Joel DeJong Ernerst Hemingway once wrote â&#x20AC;&#x153;Write what you know.â&#x20AC;? Artist Joel DeJong took that advice to heart when it came to his paintings. When he is not sketching out fly patterns or working on a custom watercolors of trophy fish you can find him fishing remote Carolina streams, fishing hexagenia flies in Michigan, or tracking big brown through Montana. There is no doubt that Joel DeJong knows his subjects and it shows in his artwork and his love for all types of fish.
Bob Mallard has fly fished for over 35 years. He is a blogger, writer and author; and has owned and operated Kennebec River Outfitters in Madison, Maine since 2001. His writing has been featured in newspapers and magazines at the local, regional and national levels. He has appeared on radio and television. Look for his books from Stonefly Press, 50 Best Places Fly Fishing the Northeast (Now Available), 25 Best Towns Fly Fishing for Trout (Spring 2015) and 50 Best Places Fly Fishing for Brook Trout (Fall 2015). Bob is also a staff fly designer for Catch Fly Fishing. He is also the northeast sales rep for both Stonefly Press and Catch Fly Fishing. Bob can be reached at www.kennebecriveroutfitters. com, www.bobmallard.com, email@example.com or 207474-2500.