Southern Trout CLOSE LOOK:
Reading a Bronzeback River -Harry Murray
VA Rose River -Beau Beasley Cataloochee -Ron Gaddy www.southerntrout.com
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
Publisher’s message 4. The current generation of super gear now makes it possible to get into fly fishing with only a modest investment of a few hundred dollars. Starter outfits are just the first step on the slippery slope of the sport, but you have to work really, really hard to invest fly fishing that a fully rigged bass boat or bay cruiser sets you back. 5. Fly fishing for trout in the South has also been blessed with a virtual legion of gifted fly tiers who seem to like nothing better than teaching their craft to all who are willing to learn. Thanks to their efforts, the South boasts a cadre of gifted fly tiers who do not take the backseat to tiers anywhere in the country. 6. Attracting talented staff members may be Southern Trout Magazine’s most outstanding accomplishment, or at least bit of luck. Ed Mashburn is an old Ozarks guy who taught English in LA (Lower Alabama) before embarking on a well-deserved retirement. Also an accomplished fishing writer, Ed has two bad habits; fly fishing and kayak fishing. Drafted from retirement he is now at the helm of Southern Trout’s sister publication, Southern Kayak Fishing. Incidentally, when the kayak magazine launched early this year, it was a quarterly publication. Now it is on a bimonthly publication cycle. Recent additions to the fold include Captain Sean Patrick O’Hara and Ragan Whitlock. Sean and I go back some 20 years when I ran a group of hunting magazines for which he sold ads. Media advertisement sales is a tough business that requires a lot of persistence and skin as tough as that of an elephant. O’Hara addition to the team as Associate Publisher is quite exciting. Whitlock came on board a couple of months ago as an intern from Appalachian State University. A certified fly casting instructor, Whitlock carries the title of Associate Editor. We’ve kept him hopping and so far he has not complained. Oh yeah, in case you are wondering, he and Dave Whitlock are distant relatives. 7. Last but not least, we consider ourselves very fortunate to have been approached to have Southern
Keeping up with keeping up should be our motto here, and black and blue should be the company colors. We made our share of ill-conceived decisions our first two years of publication, but we also got some much needed breaks. Determined to focus on the good, and not the bad, here’s what went well for us. 1. The writers that have contributed to Southern Trout Magazine literally made the publication. Many of them are old friends I’ve known since Moby Dick was a minnow, but most are new acquaintances whom I now regard as friends. We strive to create a family culture where everyone has as much autonomy possible, or as my dear Mother would say, “enough rope to hang yourself.” 2. Southern Trout Magazine had the good fortune of being at the right place at the right time. Interest and participation in fly fishing for trout in the South has never been greater. Additionally, angling opportunities for catching these fish in the tailwater rivers and mountain streams of the region has never been better. 3. The South is now “on the map” of the fly fishing world. Once a fishing venue dominated by the northeastern and Rocky Mountains states, Dixie is the new happening place talked about by the fly fishing community. Much of the banter is about trout, but saltwater fly fishing and flicking flies to the musky and striped bass of the region has become internationally renowned. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 3
Trout as the official sponsor of the Tennessee Fly Fishing ‘n Shine Show to be held February 12-13 at the Knoxville Expo Center. So far it looks like it will be the largest fly fishing show ever held in the South with show promoter Art Mearns Publisher Don Kirk Assoc. Publisher Cpt. Sean O’Hara combining fly fishing and kayak fishing with live Bluegrass Assoc. Editor Regan Whitlock music and booths manned by companies in the craft beer, winery and moonshine making businesses. Reactions to it at Editor at Large Beau Beasley the ICAST Show were incredibly enthusiastic. Managing Editor Leah Kirk Special Projects Dir. Adam Patterson Doubtless we will stumble some here and there in the Photographer/Writer Loryn Patterson Editorial Consultant Olive K. Nynne future. However, we feel strongly that we are moving forward in Blessings, which is much more than we deserve.
Bill Bernhardt Bill Cooper Kevin Howell Harry Murray Mike Kesselring
FIELD STAFF Bob Borgwat
Columnist Ron Gaddy Columnist George Grant Columnist Matt Greene Columnist Craig Haney Alabama Editor Jimmy Jacobs, Georgia Editor Roger Lowe Columnist Bob Mallard Columnist Steve Moore Columnist
Southern Trout is a publication of Southern Unlimited LLC. Copyright 2015 Southern Unlimited LLC. All rights reserved.
ON THE COVER Mary Maxam is an artist and painter from Idaho. Accepted into several of the prestigious Oil Painters of America exhibitions she finds her inspiration in the beautiful scenery, of the Northwest. Mary works in oil, acrylic and watercolor mediums for her still life and landscape paintings and is published in both book and magazine articles -"Watercolor Magic," "Gray's Sporting Journal" and "Paint Mixing, the 12-Hue Method."
For more of Mary’s artwork, go to www.marymaxam.net
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Publisher’s Message 3 departments 14-44 Gear Head 12 Nippers New Fly Guy
The Black Wing Olive Chronicles
Fishhunter Adventures in Cuisine
Fly of the Month
Loose Loops & Wind Knots
12 26 68
Situational Fly Fishing in the 44 Great Smoky Mountains National Park CLOSE LOOK NORTH CAROLINA Featured Lodge 56 Snowbird Mountain Lodge Southern Spirits: Howling Moon Distillery Featured Fly Tier Leland Shockley
Featured Fly Product The Fly Saver Featured Destination Wilson’s Creek Featured Location Chetola Resort
Featured Book Review 114 Fly Fishermen of Caldwell County 6 l June 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
124 Discovery Bunches Creek 132 Cullowhee River Club 140
Pfleuger and Fenwick
150 Featured Guides Tuckaseegee Fly Shop
158 Featured Fly Shop Brookings Cashiers Village Outfitters
166 Featured Rod Builder Richard Teeter 174 North Carolina Fly Fishing Opportunities
FEATURES 180 Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rose River 188 Last Chance at the Cicada Hatch
196 Fishing the Wilds of the North Fork of the White River 204 Reading a Bronzeback River 214 GA Trout Unlimited Trout Camp
222 Fly Rod Evolution: Graphite in Simple Terms 228 Cherokee Museum
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Time Nippers by Bob Mallard 12 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
ontrary to what some of my friends think, your teeth are not the best tool for cutting tippet. In fact, using your teeth creates flat spots on the tippet that can make it hard to thread it through the eye of the fly. Worse, it can result in costly dental bills and days spent walking around looking like Alfred E. Neuman of Mad magazine fame while you wait for a dentist appointmentâ&#x20AC;Ś
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Nippers are probably the most widely and frequently used piece of terminal tackle in fly fishing. They range from over-the-counter fingernail clippers to fancy machined products designed specifically for fishing. You can spend as little as $2.95 or as much as $100.00 for a pair of nippers. They come in chrome, matte silver, silver and gold, gloss black, matte black, a wide range of colors, and even artistic finishes that include fish flanks, tie-die, peace signs, and American flags. While some nippers are just that, nippers, others are more elaborate. Many come with a hook eye cleaner—great for opening up head cement filled eyes and removing other obstructions. While most cleaners are fixed, some are retractable. Some nippers come with a hook sharpener that is either affixed to the outside or a separate entity that swings out like a jackknife—and a sharp hook catches more fish. A few have swing-out knot tying tools that are great for dealing with on-the-stream knot failures. A couple of products even act as bottle openers for those who like a cold beer before, after, or while fishing; don’t carry a lighter, and don’t like using their teeth to open bottles . Almost all nippers have some sort of hole or ring for attaching them to a zinger or lanyard—refer to future columns for more on zingers and lanyards… Some come with a short bead chain or knotted string. Not all nippers are compatible with all zingers and lanyards. If you are unable to attach your nipper to your zinger or lanyard, consider using a key ring to join the two—and be sure the ring is large enough to allow the nipper a full range of motion. Some nippers come with textured or other form of non-slip surfaces—but most do not. Some nippers are very small and some not so. If you have unusually large hands, or have lost the feeling in your fingertips due to too much manual labor or too many encounters with sharp toothed fish, you may want to consider a larger nipper or one with a no-slip surface.
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Nippers with fixed blades Photo by Bob Mallard
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gearhead While most nippers have fixed blades, a few products come with replaceable blades. If your nipper is not cutting as well as it once did, check to see if the blades can be replaced and replace them accordingly if you are able to do so. Most nippers have straight blades—some have angled blades which help you see what you are doing to some extent. Another issue is that not all nippers will cut heavy big game tippet well— sharpness and leverage both come into play here. Even some that say they can require more strength than my now somewhat arthritic fingers can generate. If you fish tippet larger than 0x, or heavy hard nylon, you may want to test the nippers before you buy them. The same holds true for braided line—not all nippers work well with such. Again, try before you buy if you use braided line. Nippers are made in places like China, India, Japan, Pakistan, Taiwan, and the good old U.S.A. They are made from steel, stainless steel, “cutlery quality stainless steel”, “medical grade stainless steel”, and “high grade Japanese stainless steel.” The quality of the steel varies radically from product to product. Nippers are sold by companies such as Abel, Cortland, Dr. Slick, Fishpond, L.L. Bean, Loon Outdoors, Orvis, Scientific Anglers, Simms, Stone Creek, Umpqua, Wapsi (under the Anglers Image brand), and William Joseph. They include products with names such as Barracuda Razor Clipper (Fishpond), Grippy Nippers (William Joseph), Knot-Tying Nippers and Offset Nippers (Dr. Slick), Line Clipper and Nip-It (Anglers Image), and Nip N’ Sip (Loon Outdoors).
Pros: Nothing results in a cleaner tippet cut than nippers--not your teeth, not scissors, nothing… And clean cuts mean easy threading. Nippers are compact and easy to carry. Most are relatively cheap with the majority costing under $20. And a good pair can last a long time.
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gearhead Nippers with replacable blades Photo by Bob Mallard
Cons: Nippers are small and can get lost. A few products are a bit pricyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but as they say; you get what you pay for. Some are a bit heavy as well. Fixed blade products made of inferior steel tend to have a short life due to dulling.
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Tool Abuse: Nipper Do’s and Don’ts • Always carry your nippers on a zinger or lanyard, it will help—but not prevent-you from losing them. • Always rinse your nippers after use in saltwater. Even those made of stainless steel may have parts (rings, pins, etc.) that can rust when exposed to saltwater. • Be careful not to nip the eye of the fly, doing so can dull or even damage the blades. • Cutting wire line, steel tippet, etc., can damage some nippers. This is best done using the cutting edge of a pair of pliers. Conclusion: No fly fisher should be on the water without a pair of nippers. They can save time changing flies by providing clean cuts and an easy way to clean hook eyes. Nippers are a cheap—albeit with a few exceptions--and cost effective product. 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.
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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, Michigan to bustling Park City, Utah. Includes Asheville, North Carolina and Cotter, Arkansas. Signed first-edition copies will be available from www.bobmallard.com www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 19
new fly guy
by Ste Moore
Matching the Hatch
20 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
new fly guy
t probably happened right after you picked out your first fly rod. The fly shop owner or your buddy immediately ushered you to a huge display case of flies; hundreds of them captured and prisoners in tiny compartments with confusing names like Royal Wulff, Chernobyl Ant, Mister Rapidan or Adams. “Don’t worry,” he said as you stared, stunned and confused, at the smorgasbord, “all you need to do is match the hatch.” What the heck is that? If you are brand new to fishing, matching the hatch means presenting a lure that mimics the natural food fish are eating. If your prior experience was with spin gear, you have already been doing this. After all, what logic drove you to select a 3 inch green PowerBait crawfish or a size 2 Mepps spinner? Given the variety of insects present on streams, matching takes on added complexity as you attempt to trick a fish to eat a fake fly. One ardent school of thought claims success depends on exactly matching the existing insects in terms of physical appearance, size and color. At the opposite pole, an equally strident group argues proper presentation (drag free drift, etc.) is more important. As a new angler, occupy the middle ground and do the best you can in terms of both. In his superb book, What Trout Want: The Educated Trout and Other Myths, Bob Wyatt argues “close is good enough” given many of the shimmering patterns in the display case don’t match any real insect, but still catch fish. Simplifying the problem to the extreme, he sums up with a simple theory:
“The Urinal Cake Theory states that if you put a urinal cake in a bowl of marshmallows and offer them to a child, there’s a good chance the kid will try to eat the urinal cake. And why not? There’s a degree of resemblance, or not enough difference to matter, at any rate. There’s no reason for the child to suspect there’s a urinal cake mixed up with the marshmallows, or even know what a urinal cake is. The kid certainly doesn’t suspect he might be being tricked.”
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new fly guy Given, trout are much less intelligent than children, the idea of a highly educated fish employing a complex thought process leading to a bite is suspect. Wyatt believes trout do not know what a fly is and is not looking for exact physical features as food streams by in the swift current. After all, no matter how realistic a fly appears, it always has a hook hanging underneath to disrupt the illusion. The bottom line is when a hatch is underway, trout become used to feeding on a particular size, shape and, to a lesser degree, color of insect and will consume almost anything that matches.
Therefore, your strategy should be to select a range of sizes for a few reliable patterns known to be effective in your area (a key reason to buy at a local fly shop). There is no need to grab everything in the display case.
Instead, purchase flies vertically (same insect, different sizes, different stages of the life cycle) rather than horizontally (an instance or two of everything). In most areas, having a robust selection of midges, mayflies, caddis and a few terrestrials will work just fine. If you can only afford one, pick either caddis or mayfly, but still get a few ants and mosquitoes. When acquiring your initial stockpile, ask the fly shop owner for a “hatch chart” showing the months when specific fly patterns are
most effective and any other seasonal hatch guidance. You can also find hatch charts on the Internet by doing a simple search on the phrase “hatch chart” and the name of the stream, river or geographic area. To save a few bucks, use the hatch chart to avoid purchasing patterns that are only useful for a short window when a more generic fly overlaps the period. You can specialize later as you obtain additional budget and interest.
When you reach the stream, you should follow a disciplined assessment process prior to making your initial fly selection. First, take a few minutes to observe the water. If you see splashy rises, the trout are feeding on the surface and a dry fly is a good choice. If you see a tail poking above the surface or a smooth bump, sip or bubbles after the motion, they are eating emergers. If all you see is the side-toside flash of fish holding adjacent to the main current, chances are they are eating nymphs.
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new fly guy Even though anglers love to fish dry flies, the reality is surface insects comprise an exceedingly low percentage of a trout’s intake since nymphs and emergers stay in the water column longer. Therefore, in the absence of any physical evidence, nymphs should always be your first choice. To determine the pattern to use, turn over a few rocks in the stream and observe the type of nymph clinging to the bottom; paying most attention to the size. If you want to fish a dry fly, follow the same approach by capturing an airborne insect. Another technique is to dip a small, fine net into the current seam and examine the result. Match the creature captured to the closest pattern in your fly box and fish it using all of the best practices associated with presentation. If that size fails to produce, drop a size and try again. If you remain unsuccessful, switch to your oddball patterns. Trout love ants, mosquitoes are always around, and sometimes just throwing something totally different like a stimulator will do the trick.
Match size, match general appearance and match color. Beyond that, the more you know about the lifecycle and appearance of insects along with the fly patterns proven to be effective in matching that lifecycle stage, the more productive you will be. Two good references are Handbook of Hatches by Dave Hughes and Matching Hatches Made Easy by Charles Meck.
Final Tip: Chances are you will end up buying plenty of flies that “look good.” A way to sort out those that catch fish rather than your wallet is to carry an extra fly box. When one of those “good looking” flies actually catches something, move it to the extra box. Over time, it will become your primary box; proven effective for your local water. The others? Don’t throw them out… you never know...
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new fly guy
Take home the summer's
Qualla Country Trout Tournament
September 4 – 6 $20,000. That’s right: 20,000 big ones. Welcome to the tagged tournament that celebrates the land the Cherokees call home. You’ll find the beautiful rivers here (excluding the catch-and-release waters) fully stocked with tagged trout worth up to $5,000. You just fish, have fun, and redeem the tags for cash. Entry fee is $11 everywhere Cherokee fishing permits are sold. All ages and fishing methods welcome. For registration details, check out VisitCherokeeNC.com or call 828.359.6110.
new fly guy
black wing olive chronicles
o the best of my knowledge, no one admits taking credit for coining the phrase “dog days of summer.” Being a canine, I am here to let you know that loosely throwing around the term “dog” is often done in a derogatory, hurtful way. Who among you bipeds actually knows what it is to be “dog tired” or “doggedly” pursuing something? Give me a break. Have you ever heard a dog use a term such as “people pooped” or “people faced lie”? I think not.
While my research into this may be a little skewed by the fact that lifelong association with Daddyboy probably does not provide me with a balanced perception of bipods, it is my observation that people typically do not have trouble sprinkling their communications with animal allegories. Daddyboy’s reliance on such phraseology borders on obsessive compulsive behavior, a mental tick I am told that he was officially diagnosed with back in the 1980s. What is it about you bipods that makes you think this is fine? Okay, I accept you occupy the top of the food chain. However, can you outrun a cheetah, fly higher than an eagle or hold your own in a fair fight with a grizzly bear? Admittedly, I am rather exceptional among canine insofar as not only am I literate and quite proficient at keyboard skills, but I have studied Daddyboy long enough to pretty much know what he is thinking before he does. Of course, when you consider that his mind rarely wanders far from thoughts of fishing, food, booze and naps, how difficult can it be to forecast the arrival of the next mental front? 26 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
black wing olive chronicles
Enough about the old fart! My agenda here is to enlighten bipods to at least consider the angst inflicted on canines when they describe what I know is human circumstances by using us dogs. I’d like to say the problem is Daddyboy, but it is a broad spectrum problem found throughout the various races that make up your species. For example, a “three dog night” is an old Native American phrase that means it’s going to be so friggin’ cold tonight, you’ll have to sleep with three dogs to enable yourself to stay warm and comfortable. Just how is a self-respecting dog to react to this? Gimme a break! I don’t mind Daddyboy referring to me as a “bitch.” Being a middle aged female dog who admittedly has become a little contrary, I accept the title with a certain amount of pride. Unfortunately, Daddyboy over uses this license of expression. When I am in a vehicle he is piloting, it seems that for whatever reason he designates about half of the other human operators using the roadways as bitches or sons-a-bitches. Frankly, it wears thin on me as I am not quite sure how they earned such a designation nor how Daddyboy determines it. Space provided for this column does not permit to go into detail on the following. I ask only that you review and consider what you are saying before tossing them about in a cavalier fashion. a barking dog never bites running with the big dogs lying like a dog a dog and pony show be like a dog with a bone sick as a dog be like a dog with two tails call off the dogs dirty dog crooked as a dog's hind leg dog ate my homework dog eat dog dog in the manger dog it dog's age fight like cat and dog every dog has its day dog’s life go to the dogs hair of the dog that bit you Hot dog! have a dog's chance Hot diggety dog! It's a dog's life. It's raining cats and dogs! Let sleeping dogs lie. lucky dog meaner than a junkyard dog see a man about a dog put on the dog shouldn't happen to a dog sick as a dog yard dog tail wagging the dog There's life in the old dog yet. top dog throw to the dogs work like a dog You can't teach an old dog new tricks If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 27
fishhunter adventures in cuisine
By Craig Haney
Fajitas are my usual order when my wife and I eat out at a Mexican restaurant. I had never made them on a fishing trip until my fishing buddy, Snake Lindsey, gave me this recipe to use on a fishing trip he and I made to east Tennessee. They were quick and easy to cook and tasted great at the end of a successful day of fishing on Abrams Creek. To save time in camp, I sliced the meat and onions and sealed them in a Food Saver bag before leaving home. The spices were mixed up and bagged also at home. 30 ll August August 2015 2015 ll Southern Southern Trout Trout ll www.SouthernTrout.com www.SouthernTrout.com 30
fishhunter adventures in cuisine
One of my favorite meals is bar-b-que and baked beans, but after a long day of fishing, sometimes I don’t want to go into town to the nearest bar-b-que joint to eat. This easy to prepare dish was first used on a camping trip to Santeetlah Creek, NC where it was prepared in my Camp Chef Camp Oven. The recipe could be baked in a Dutch oven in camp or at the cabin where you stay on your trip. Serves: 4-6 Cooking time: 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees *½ -1 pound bar-b-que pork. I buy it from my favorite bar-bque joint and seal it in a Food Saver® bag for the trip. *No-stick cooking spray *28 ounce can Bush’s® Original Baked Beans *4-6 tablespoons of your favorite bar-b-que sauce *1 tbsp vegetable oil *1 large egg *2 cups White Lily® Self Rising Buttermilk Cornmeal Mix *1 ¼ -11/2 cups milk or buttermilk 1. Spray a 10 inch cast iron skillet with no-stick spray. 2. Add the baked beans to the skillet. 3. Spread the pork over the beans until covered. 4. Drizzle the bar-b-que sauce over the top of the pork. 5 Pour the cornmeal batter over the pork and cook at 400 degrees until the cornbread is golden brown. 6. When ready, let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 31
fly of the month
Cabe Hopper Roger Lowe
he Dog Days of summer offer sporadic hatches of may, caddis and stone flies at the mountain trout streams of the Appalachian. This time of year, terrestrial insects such as ant, beetles and inch worms make up as much as 70 percent of the daily diet of these fish. This time of year, nothing is more appealing to a mountain trout than is a grasshopper, and of the dozens of hopper fly patterns you can cast on these waters, nothing tops the strike rate youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll enjoy if you are tossing a Cabeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hopper. The Cabe Hopper, a deadly grasshopper imitation created by the late Jack Cabe of Jackson County. Cabe, developer, was the proprietor of Mainstream Outfitters in Highlands, North Carolina that closed in 2001. Sometimes called the Cabe Hopper Trude Stonefly, the pattern has a loyal following among Smoky Mountain anglers as it is claimed to be by many of them, the best trout fly made. The Cabe's Hoppers that I've seen, including some from Jack's shop when he was alive, were tied on a curved hook, such as a Tiemco 200R. The red tail is supposed to be a key ingredient on this fly, but I have not experimented with other tail colors. If you want to try red but have no red tail material, use any white material (maybe the calf tail) and a red sharpie or permanent magic marker Hook: Thread: Tail: Body: Wing: Hackle:
2X long dry (4-12) Black Red calf tail, Antron or rooster hackle Dark brown mohair with sparsely mixed-in red and olive mohair strands Tan calf tail Mixed brown and grizzly genetic rooster hackle
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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 September 2015 l 35
new product review
36 l February 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
new product review
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loose loops and wind knots
You Can Go Home Again T
he noted writer Thomas Wolfe in 1940 had a book published with the title You Can’t Go Home Again. That book title has remained in public consciousness even though most of us don’t know who penned those lines. I didn’t know until I googled the phrase. Thinking about the countless times I’ve heard or read that phrase in my lifetime, I estimated if I had a dollar for each of those times I could fill my vehicle with the delicious double bacon cheeseburgers (with slaw) from Nabers Drive-In next to the Tuckaseegee River in Bryson City, NC.
“Home is where the heart is” is another phrase that has been around for a long time. I followed my heart and recently went “home again” to southwestern North Carolina for the first time in quite awhile. Over the last several years, medical issues have laid me low and prevented me from spending much time in the misty blue mountains that have become part of my being. 38 l June 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
loose loops and wind knots Fontana Village
I am much better now and need to be back as often as I can to be knee deep in a trout stream where I find solace and redemption. Thinking back, my first foray to the mountains was a trip with my parents to Fontana Village when I was 12 years old. We swam, rode horses, played tennis and tried to take advantage of everything the resort
offered. It became a summer tradition that ended too soon when I started college. Summer school and summer jobs seemed to get in the way of the family trips and they faded away as such things do. My five years of college passed quickly enough I guess. No, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take graduate courses to make college last five years, I took courses over
so I could graduate in five years. During my single years after college, I used the Bryson City area as a base to operate from and fished streams of all sizes both near and far. I loved fishing the local fly patterns such as Yellow and Orange Palmers, Adams Variant, Little River Ants, Forky Tail nymphs and the most famous of them all, the Yellarhammer. Using real yellowhammer feathers
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loose loops and wind knots was and is illegal which made buying the flies somewhat problematic. Back in the day, a good friend told me if I called a certain well known fly tyer, he would be glad to sell me local patterns.
I wanted to send him payment for six dozen flies instead of for the five dozen I ordered, he would send me a dozen “special flies” as a “gift”. I sent him a check and soon received a package of six dozen flies which I quickly opened.
Marriage came and later children followed. Once again, family trips to Fontana Village became a tradition reborn. My friends occasionally say “I’m smarter than I look” and I started a new tradition on these family trips which
I called the gentleman, talked mountain fly patterns for awhile, and ordered five dozen flies. Before I hung up, I asked about yellarhammer flies and he quickly told me that the Yellow Shafted Flicker was protected and you couldn’t sell flies made from their feathers. However, if
Sure enough, the surprise pattern was a dozen yellarhammer nymphs. The order was repeated quite a few times over the years. I felt more connected to the mountain streams, I believe, when I used the local patterns since the fly patterns were birthed on the waters of the region.
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gives credence to their assessment of my mental capabilities. I simply got up at five a.m. and with my fishing gear in the vehicle made the short drive to Twenty Mile Creek. There I would fish to around 8:30 and then head back to the cabin. Usually my wife and kids were up by then
and I would assume my role as SuperDad(!) and SuperHusband(?) and the family day would officially start. The years passed and my trips to the mountains were fitted in around baseball, softball and basketball seasons of our children. The mountains while far from my home in North Alabama were close to my heart and cached in my memory bank. The kids got bigger and along with my wife outvoted me when we would talk about the next family vacation. It seems their hearts favored the white sand beaches of the Alabama Gulf Coast while my heart wanted to go home to the sparkling streams and the forty shades of green found in the ancient Appalachian mountains. Once, in a brain-dead moment, I suggested they go to the beach while I camped and fished for a week on Deep Creek. We tried the arrangement that summer but after the trip, I decided going to the beach with them was better than going to the mountains
the next year followed by the divorce which would probably happen. Family trips to the mountains have been replaced with expeditions, long and short with Greg, Bill, Steve, JW, Richard, Dudley and other assorted ne’er do-wells. For me, each trip has been a success whether the fish co-operated or not. We have rented cabins, camped or stayed in several of the local motels in Bryson City that have been there since the fifties. We have been there fishing during every month from February to November. The fellowship has always been great even when the fishing has been poor. Recently, I needed to go home to the mountains of western North Carolina where I would be renewed by the flowing waters tumbling over worn stones and the flash of a trout as it turned to take my #16 Yellow Palmer. It would be a short trip as neither JW or I could be gone more than three days. I wanted to stay at Fontana Village even though it really wasn’t the best place to stay in terms
of convenience to where we planned to go. I had not stayed there in a couple of decades and felt drawn to it as memories of past trips flooded my brain. The cabins and Village held the same rustic charm that had been there when I first stayed at Fontana decades earlier. Many improvements had been made over the last several years but I still felt at home. The sleepy town of Bryson City had changed for the good over the years with new businesses including a fly shop, micro-brewery and more. Tourists strolled the streets downtown and parking places were somewhat harder to find than in the past. The town will probably never be Gatlinburg or Cherokee and that’s good in my view. The economy is growing and that’s great for the poorest county in the state.
Thunderstorms kept the streams up and colored while we were there, so the fishing was not what it might have been under normal conditions. Still, it was great to be home. Mr. Wolfe, I disagree, you can go home again. And it felt mighty good. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l July 2015 l 41
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ataloochee Valley, located in the remote northern sectio most diverse selection of wild trout water anywhere in th camping and fishing the lower Cataloochee left me with like that we sometimes seek to duplicate as we get older, but
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in the great smoky mountain national park
on of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, offers up the he park, but then, I could be just a little biased.Growing up h the fondest memories of my teenage years. Experiences of course, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never the same. by Ron Gaddy
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situational fly fishing Lower Cataloochee
The lower section of Cataloochee is virtually unchanged in the last 40 years. The lower two miles from Waterville Lake to the bridge crossing of Cataloochee Creek near the confluence of Little Cataloochee is probably the most remote wild trout stream of its size left in the GSMNP. The first quarter mile or so from the lake is undesignated. The next half mile or so is Game Land and designated as Wild Trout Water and the next boundary is the Great Smoky Mountainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cataloochee Valley. As of yet, there is no access from the lake to speak of, and other accesses would be a four wheel drive road, a couple of goat trails, some serious bush whacking or all of the above. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recommend fishing this section unless you are with someone that is familiar with the road and trails. Neither the access nor the fishing is for the faint of heart. 46 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
in the great smoky mountain national park
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situational fly fishing Cataloochee Gorge
The section of big Cataloochee known as the Cataloochee gorge starts at the bridge crossing near the Little Cataloochee confluence on Old Cataloochee Turnpike, also know as road #284, and fish out at the group campground. The best way to tackle this section is to stage a vehicle at the lower group campground and drive to the lower bridge. This section is about a mile and a half of gnarly wading and finicky fish. Before starting this venture make sure you are comfortable wading with the existing water levels. Choose a day that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have much of a chance of rain as the water levels can climb to over three feet without much notice. It will take 6 or 7 hours to fish through depending on the water levels and how fast you fish. Once you get into the gorge you own it, but after a few hours you are also committed due to the steep terrain and dog hobble. That could make for a long day if the catching is slow. The lower sections of Cataloochee Creek provide good numbers of trophy size brown and rainbow trout and even a few brook trout, but the tonnage of bethnic insects in the creek combined with the otter and heron activity makes for some finicky fish. 48 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
in the great smoky mountain national park Caldwell Fork
Caldwell Fork enters Palmer Creek at the main Cataloochee campground to form Cataloochee Creek. If you are looking for the Smoky Mountain grand slam, this somewhat smaller fishery provides a great opportunity. The lower section provides good numbers of smaller rainbow and brown trout, and as you get farther up the stream, your hike will be rewarded with some beautiful native brook trout or as I prefer to call them, specks. Caldwell Fork trail provides good stream access up to backcountry campsite #41. If you are looking for some good secluded backcountry camping and speck fishing or would like to fish the headwaters of Caldwell Fork and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tributary Straight Creek, backcountry campsite #41 is your stay.
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situational fly fishing Palmer Creek
Upstream of Caldwell Fork the main trunk of the Cataloochee drainage is called Palmer Creek. The Cataloochee horse camp is a short way up Pretty Hollow Gap Trail and follows Palmer Creek for 1.6 miles where it picks up Palmer Creek Trail. Palmer Creek Trail provides good access to Palmer Creek all the way up to itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last two main tributaries, Beech Creek and Falling Rock Creek. The lower Palmer Creek provides good numbers of small to medium sized Rainbow and Brown trout and an occasional brook trout. Like the other streams in the Cataloochee watershed, the higher elevations will hold more brook trout but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not unusual to catch a brook trout anywhere in the Cataloochee drainage. Palmer Creek is a favorite to the locals and results in a little more fishing pressure then most of the other Cataloochee tributaries. 50 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
in the great smoky mountain national park Pretty Hollow Creek
This smaller but fairly popular stream is one of the main tributaries of Palmer Creek. Good numbers of smaller rainbow and brook trout. Backcountry campsite # 39 is located fairly close to Pretty Hollow Creekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s confluence with Palmer Creek. If you like small streams, brook trout, and Rhododendron, then this might just be your cup of tea. If thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not enough then Lost Bottom Creek is about another mile up from campsite # 39. A 10 foot Tenkara rod and a good sense of humor may be all you need.
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situational fly fishing Rough Fork
This stream is another fairly small tributary of Palmer Creek that lends itself to the Smoky Mountain grand slam. Rough Fork Trail offers fairly good stream access up to backcountry campsite #40. From backcountry campsite #40 you can access to the upper reaches of Rough Fork and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tributaries, Hurricane Creek and Woody Creek.
Little Cataloochee Creek
Access and parking for Little Cataloochee Creek from Old Cataloochee Turnpike (road #284) near the lower bridge. Little Cataloochee Creek holds good numbers of smaller to medium size rainbow and brook trout, but the terrain, fallen trees, and rhododendron makes it a challenge to fish. The two main tributaries of Little Cataloochee Creek, Correll Branch and Woody Branch both contain nice plunge pools full of brook trout. A good dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fish would be to start at Little Cataloochee from road #284, then fish through Correll Branch and fish out at the Little Cataloochee Trail Head. This section is definitely not for the faint of heart. Cataloochee Valley offers up hundreds of miles of hiking trails, fly fishing, camping, and beautiful scenery, not to mention some very interesting history. No other section of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park compares to the Cataloochee Valley, but then again, I could be a little biased. Fish Responsibly. For more information about the Cataloochee Valley or to book your camping reservation, see the GSMNP Website. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cataloochee 52 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
in the great smoky mountain national park
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Find your true North where the mountains kiss the sky
SNOWBIRD MOUNTAIN L . O . D
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by Ragan Whitlock
ly fishing is rarely all about the fish. We plop our flies not only to pursue an elusive prize, but we also pursue an elusive experience that, perhaps, only a fellow fly fisherman understands. Located in one of the most beautiful areas of the Appalachian Mountain range, the owners of the Snowbird Mountain Lodge understand that experience. Secluded on a mountaintop in Western North Carolina, the privately owned lodge overlooks the scenic Lake Santeetlah as well as the Nantahala National Forest. Open since 1941, this historic lodge provides an unparalleled experience to its guests.
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close look - north carolina The Wolfe brothers, who first built the property, were very concerned with the idea of including only the nearby resources into the business. The original lodge, for which construction first began in 1938, is considered by many to be a visual masterpiece. Now included in the national register of historic places, it was created fully from Native American Chestnut cut on the property. The walkways and rock structure all came from a quarry just outside of Andrews, NC. The historical significance of Snowbird Mountain Lodge adds to the unique experience. Because of the historical trust, the main lodge will stay practically unaltered for years to come. “Rest assured, if a guest comes back to the lodge after visiting twenty years ago, everything will look exactly the same,” Caretaker Robert Rankin says. “The only thing that has changed recently was a bathroom renovation, which took five years for the approval and construction,” he humorously adds. Robert was a guest at Snowbird Mountain Lodge several times and bought the original lodge structure in 1995. Because preservation is key. many guests may be caught discussing how many decades they have stayed on the property. One loyal guest divulged that she and her husband have been traveling to Snowbird Mountain Lodge for over thirty years and have stayed in the same room every time. 58 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
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The main lodge, beautiful and historically significant as it is, is no longer the only lodging option at Snowbird Mountain Lodge. The Chestnut and Wolfe Lodges were created in the 90s to meet the needs of guests who preferred more amenities than the fixed historic structure could provide. Private decks, fireplaces and hot tubs can be found in these newer buildings. In addition, Snowbird Mountain Lodge also features an incredibly popular “summerhouse.” This open-air room sits on one of the larger decks and overlooks the vast mountain range. There are several couches and chairs as well as a gas fireplace in the center of the room. Guests are given the option to substitute a dessert at dinner for a S’mores basket to make in the summerhouse. Though new lodging options have been created to meet the changing needs of guests, the Snowbird Mountain Lodge staff has retained the idea of using local resources that helped build the business. All room prices include three meals per day. Guests can expect a wonderful breakfast menu with most of the ingredients harvested from or near the property. All eggs used for the meals come from their 55 chickens which are positioned directly next to the vegetable garden. The garden contains a vast amount of produce soon to be used in the kitchen. Meats and other hard to manufacture goods come from nearby businesses such as Carolina Mountain Trout from nearby Bryson City who provides the local fish seen regularly on the dinner menu. 60 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured lodge The activities offered really make anyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience one of a kind. Upon arrival, each guest finds a large black binder in the room. This binder lists hikes, fishing streams, and lakes with a description of how to get to each location. The staff is also always more than willing to aid any customer with any need they may have. Equipment is available for use at no charge. Fly Fishing gear and spin tackle is offered for anyone who would like to fish in any of the countless nearby trout streams or in lake. Santeetlah, a lake five miles from the lodge entrance. Any guest wishing to rent a paddleboard, kayak or canoe, may simply ask the front desk for a rental key and remember to lock the boats back when finished. Larger bass boats and fishing guides for both the lake and streams are also available if desired.
The four-course gourmet dinners are one of the finest features of the lodge. All meals can be paired with local wines, beer or cocktails made at the extensive bar. In addition to the meal, lunch cards are provided at dinner to request specific sandwiches for the next day. All lunches are packed either in bags or in backpacks to take on whatever activity the guest chooses for the day. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 61
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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Other than using a drift boat, we have every option imaginable to a fishermen in Appalachia,â&#x20AC;? Robert explains. There are countless miles of trout water within only a few miles of the lodge. Big Snowbird Creek, one of the more popular options, contains many different fishing options on one stream. The lower portion of Snowbird is hatchery supported, with large browns found regularly. While the hatchery supported section is a put-and-take, more fish are seen throughout the summer than in most streams. In fact, in late June, several twelve-inch browns were adapted enough to smack a small grasshopper on the surface. Immediately following the hatchery supported section 62 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
is several miles of delayed-harvest water. The delayed harvest has a good number of browns and rainbows. Because of the proximity of the delayed-harvest to a wellmaintained hatchery section, fewer people can be seen removing fish from the section when the harvest starts. The last several miles of Snowbird Creek are all wild trout water. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you are willing to hike, Snowbird has some of the best native brook trout fishing in the state,â&#x20AC;? Robert says. Snowbird Creek Road follows the stream for the entire fishable stream until the wild section. As many fishermen would prefer, the wild section requires a short to medium hike along a well-maintained trail. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 63
close look - north carolina Apart from the two Snowbird Creeks, many of the other nearby trout waters can be pleasantly surprising. West Buffalo Creek is the quickest area to find trout when leaving the lodge. Three miles from the lodge entrance is West Buffalo road, which leads to the stream in less than five minutes. Sporadic brook trout may be found in the upper reaches of West Buffalo, but mostly six to eight inch rainbows will be found. While their size may be diminutive, these rainbows are incredibly eager and can be found in some of the more beautiful pools. Other than the wonderful fishing, the most important thing for a prospective guest to know is that the Snowbird Mountain Lodge does not pigeonhole its guests into a certain experience. Guests are given the black binder, which details thousands of activities available to them. Whatever outdoor activity piques the interest of the customer, they should feel comfortable doing or asking the staff for more information. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We try not to overdo anything with our 64 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured lodge guests; many of them just want to reconnect with nature and they know exactly what they want,” Robert says. “Other guests would like you to provide them with an option that suits them best. I am confident that after three or four questions, any member of our staff could craft a personal experience for the guest that blows away their expectations,” he continues. Whatever your ideal outdoor adventure is, you will find it at Snowbird Mountain Lodge. The lodge is incredibly accessible, located only 90 miles from Asheville, 60 miles from Knoxville, 80 miles from Chattanooga and 150 miles (3 hours) from Atlanta.. Despite the proximity to an incredible amount of people, Snowbird Mountain Lodge paints the picture of total seclusion. In the evening, if you drink a glass of wine in the summerhouse, you will hear nothing other than a few birds chirping and the wind rustling through the trees. At night, the skyline is almost barren, no lights and no distractions. “The stars always seem brighter up at Snowbird,” Robert says. Maybe its time to go see why he is right. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 65
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Carrying On A
n recent years micro-distilleries have popped up in and around the Southern Appalachian Highlands. A few are big business, corporate ventures, but most are start-up affairs launched by families with long time roots in the making of moonshine. Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Howling Moon Distillery is a budding distilling operation that has already garnered lots of attention in the world of spirit making. “Western North Carolina has been one of the central areas for moonshine throughout history since it was settled,” says Cody Bradford whose family has made moonshine here for generations. He is C.E.O. and cofounder of Howling Moon Distillery. “The art of making moonshine has been passed down for generations as it was in my family. Many great moonshiner’s come from this area including Lewis Redmond and Popcorn Sutton. In those days, making ‘shine was the only way many families could survive. My father, uncle, grandfather, great uncle, and great, great grandfather all made moonshine in the mountains of western North Carolina. The condenser on one of our stills is from my great, great grandfathers still.”
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A Family Tradition According to Bradford, the water in this area is pristine perfect for making moonshine and other alcohol which makes Western North Carolina the logical place for establishing a distillery. The water is one of the most important parts of the recipe. From the onset, he wanted to continue the tradition by making traditional moonshine with family recipes. Typically, moonshine makers in western North Carolina had an outlaw image. In 1876 a North Carolina moonshiner named Lewis Redmond was involved in a shootout with a federal Marshall that resulted in the lawman’s death. Following the killing, Redmond relocated to Bryson City where he continued to make shine and was dubbed “King of the Moonshiners.” Sylva, North Carolina’s Gary Carden wrote a play, The Prince of Dark Corners, about Redmond, and it was later made into a PBS special.
Quite legal in all ways, Howling Moon Distillery has captured the attention of the spirit making world. In 2014 the distillery received a bronze medal for their entry at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. That’s pretty heady stuff that reflects the dedication to the craft of making sour mash corn likker.
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southern spirits “At Howling Moon Distillery we use all natural ingredients in every step of the process,” says Bradford. “The only way to make true moonshine is to make it from fresh, natural ingredients. However, even then it is not moonshine if it is not made in a moonshine still like the one we use. Our still is handcrafted in the same fashion as was used in the region a century ago. It is not a ‘store bought’ still. If you want to know what moonshine really tasted like in these mountains 150 years ago then pour yourself a swig of Howling Moon Distillery’s whiskey.” “We spend a lot of time and money to make the highest quality moonshine one can find in the woods or the store,” explains Bradford. “We are able to trace our recipe back over 150 years, when everything in the mountains of western North Carolina handmade with individual pride. Howling Moonshine is as authentic as can possibly be. We distill in a historically correct, traditional still. Afterwards we place our shine in oak barrels. Our mash is made only from local grown corn that is stone ground the old fashion way at a nearby grist mill.” The old timers didn’t waste anything, and neither does Howling Moon Distillery notes Bradford. The distilllery recycles all spent mash by using it as hog feed the exact same way western North Carolina moonshine makers have done for generations. According to Bradford, the federal government classifies Howling Moon Distillery as a “distilled spirit specialty.” Their shine is only available in North Carolina. Mountain Moonshine, (Howling’s own 100 proof white moonshine) and Apple Pie Moonshine were the first two products to come forth from the Asheville-based operation. Howling’s Apple Pie Moonshine, and their other “candy-taste” shine, Strawberry Moonshine is blended at 100 proof with real fruit and no juice or artificial flavors to keep the proof higher. According to Bradford, Howling Moon Distillery’s most recent addition is an 80 proof blended whiskey that is made from their white moonshine aged in American oak barrels. “We plan to grow, but we won’t compromise our quality or our traditional methods, which take longer to produce alcohol, but the quality is better and the moonshine is genuine,” says Bradford. “We are proud to be a part of the North Carolina micro distillery movement.” For more information visit www.howlingmoonshine.com
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o h S d n a N l , e n L i l k n a r F
Some Southern fly fishermen untrodden by crowds of othe a fly tier on a mission of disco
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featured fly tyer
y e l
k c o C N
n are “hard wired” to go against the flow, mapping out their own paths ers. Without a doubt, Western North Carolina’s innovative Leland Shockley is overy.
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Some say you can look at a person’s fly box, and it will tell a story. Leland Shockley’s fly box tells a story of passion and knowledge for fly fishing. Leland is an emerging guide and fly tier in the booming region of Western North Carolina. Working for Turning Stones Fly Fishing out of Franklin, NC as well as AB Fly Fishing out of Sylva, NC, Leland’s passion for the sport is infectious. One glance into Leland’s fly box shows a wide array of colors, sizes and odd materials, but you will not see the local fly-shop’s “hot-item.” Leland subscribes to the idea that throwing something different than everyone else will always land more fish. Born and raised in Franklin, NC, Leland started his fishing passion at a very young age. “I caught my first trout at the age of 7 on the Callasaja River,” Leland explains. His grandfather accompanied
him that morning, and Leland could hardly control his happiness. “I was hooping and hollering with excitement. All the other anglers turned and were just staring at us,” Leland continues. Leland knew that he had embarrassed his grandfather, and was told on the ride home that he needed to learn more river etiquette. “He was absolutely right, and I learned a very important lesson at a young age,” Leland says. Marc Hipp, a local guide at Brookings Anglers’ was one of the first mentors Leland had in his adult life. Marc first took Leland out on a snowy January day to the French Broad River. “I caught 33 trout on a size 18 soft hackle that morning before worsening road conditions forced us out,” Leland says. “That was the first time I had learned to swing soft-hackles properly, and I haven’t looked back,” he continues. Marc taught Leland the crucial aspect of reading
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featured fly tyer
water. Properly reading the water allows the fisherman to know when to mend down or upstream depending on the current and fly-line used. “I credit a lot of my success in the sport to Marc, he has always been there to bounce ideas off of and to give me feedback. He is a priceless resource in this continually evolving sport,” Leland explains. The first book Leland used to learn the art of tying was Randall Kaufman’s Tying Nymphs, given to him by Marc Hipp. This book helped Leland to start his tying career with several simple patterns and styles. “Nymphs were all I tied when I started, mostly because trout are feeding subsurface approximately 85% of the time within 3rd-5th order streams,” Leland explains. He mainly focused on Red Fox Squirrel Nymphs, Soft Hackles, Coachmans, and Pat Rubber legs. Initially finding a few patterns that work very well
is crucial for a river guide whose boxes are cleaned out by clients on a week-to-week basis. Leland has had another valuable mentor in Jason Lieverst. “Jason has spent countless hours teaching me how to tie European nymph patterns. He was critical, fast, generous beyond belief, and did I mention fast?” Leland raves. “When Jason lived in Western North Carolina, I would go to his house 3-4 nights a week to tie with him. He gave excellent feedback, and I learned an incredible amount about flies during that time,” Leland continues. Since those days, Leland has emerged as an innovative tier in his own right. His boxes always feature nymphs in various colors of slotted tungsten beads, UV blended dubbing bodies, and MultiColor Body Quills. These materials
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close look - north carolina create patterns that will work in almost every situation. Whether Leland is guiding someone on the trophy trout section in Cherokee, NC or on tiny brook trout streams in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, his flies always fool fish.
His boxes also evolve with the season and the nature of the fish. “Some of my new favorite flies are the Sexy Walts Worm, Flying Squirrel Jig, and my favorite to heave, Kelly Galloup’s Barely Legal. Every large predatory fish on the Little Tennessee River will smash that streamer if stripped right,” Leland explains Learning to tie popular patterns such as these really allows Leland to experiment on the river. Simple modifications such as adding rubber legs, changing the style and shape of the beadhead, and using more trailing Flashabou can put a unique spin on a pattern that fish see regularly. The more unique the pattern becomes, the more fish you will find. For new fly-tiers, Leland simply advises to spend more time at the table. “Find something that helps you enjoy tying even more, I choose music,” Leland says. “I listen to classic vinyl or anything Grateful Dead; it 78 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured fly tyer
just gets the juices flowing,” he continues. Specifically for the flies, Leland encourages keeping a simple and avoiding bulk. “Apply less dubbing with fewer thread wraps. I would rather the fly fall apart after catching only 4 or five fish than being to bulky or cemented to catch anything at all,” Leland explains. He also advises to keep every fly you have tied. Even the flies that look like a haggard mess are important to keep, in order to see the progression you have made. “A fly is a moment trapped in time; there is not one fly in my box that I cannot revert back to when I tied it,” he describes. Leland’s clear attachment to his creations is a perfect example of his drive and passion for the sport. As a young guide and tier in North Carolina, Leland has a world of resources at his fingertips. Constantly fishing and tying is the only way to progress, and Leland sure know it. “The number one thing I hear from my clients is that I should stay in shape and enjoy my young knees and eyes while I can. I plan to do just that,” He says.
If you would like more information about Leland or to inquire about his custom tying options, please visit www. flyfishingwnc.com. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 79
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
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YOUR FLY LINE
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n most southern trout streams it takes about ten minutes before your fly fishing is interrupted by a tree limb that as seen fit to help itself to your fly. Odds are that a person could retire comfortably if they just had all of the flies lost to trees in the Smokies, say since July 4th? Streamside trees and laurel are utterly unforgiving to fly fishermen regardless of their race, creed or religious beliefs. While trees along the best runs in a creek seem to have the most voracious appetite for ensnaring flies, every single tree or bush along a stream with snatch a fly at the drop of a hat.
If you fly fish these waters you learn all of the fly retrieval gambits from crossing a swift to get a fly from a tree limb on the other side of a creek, to inverting your fly rod to use it as a makeshift gaff to pull the offending limb low enough to grasp it. Sometimes this works, but more often than not, a fly too high is a fly gone bye-bye. That is until now with the introduction of The Fly Saver snagged fly/lure retrieval device from Brass Stacker Brand Products of Candler, North Carolina. Yeppers, hemlocks and rhododendrons, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s payback timeâ&#x20AC;Ś
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 82 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com assuring extreme water resistance, it provides toughness and strength
ORDER NOW WWW.THEFLYSAVER.COM $30.00
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The Fly Saver was developed over a threeyear period by trout fishermen through prototyping, experimentation and stream testing. It is manufactured in Western North Carolina and is not a product of China. What the team at The Fly Saver has invented and used extensively is a compact, light-weight, easy-to-use device that will retrieve most flies snagged within reach of your fly rod and extended armâ&#x20AC;Ś.as far as 15 feet. The Fly Saver is lightweight, tipping the scale at less than one ounce, and it takes up less pocket space than a half-eaten Snickers bar.
At first look at The Fly Saver, the uninformed might think it is medical device used for performing emergency circumcisions in the field, but is not (at least, we were not told if it was). The components of The Fly Saver are fully analyzed and materials chosen as best suited for the stringent requirements. The cutting elements are made from highgrade, stainless steel. This material was selected for its ability to be heat treated to maintain its cutting edges and to provide toughness and strength for exerting great cutting forces without breaking.
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Metal components of The Fly Saver are stainless steel. The clip rings attached to the moving thumb and the stationary cutting hook are able to withstand the high mechanical forces of cutting through limbs up to about the size of your finger. Underneath the stainless screw holding the members together is a Bellville washer which is also a spring providing a preload on the two members. This pre-load keeps the device in the open ready-to-use position, or as we say when approaching a fly pilfering pine; locked and loaded.
The Fly Saverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cord used to provide the closing action of the cutting edges is a specialty product with a pull test of 180 pounds. It has minimal stretch and knots tightly. Attached to the cord is a handle made of a unique wood that has been tested assuring extreme water resistance and is protected by a proven oil finish. This handle is grooved at the ends allowing the cord to be wound about the length for storage.
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When needed to reclaim you fly, At this point, the cutting hook of The Fly contours of the cutting elements of The Saver can be extended and placed on the Fly Saver align on one another in “the limb behind the fly. Even though., it should ready to use mode”. From this position be positioned on a limb of size adequate the “eye hook” is placed on the tip eye to hold the weight and offer the slight of the fly rod. At this point, it is helpful resistance required to close The Fly Saver to restrict the line to the rod about 18 around the limb into the cutting position. inches or so below the rod tip, so it Light force is applied to the cord as the tip doesn’t interfere with placing the cutting of the fly rod is removed from the immediate hook on the limb behind the fly. This area of the “snagged” fly. A quick jerk of the restriction is easily accomplished by handle closes The FLY SAVER™ cutting placing a knotted rubber band around edges around the limb. Depending on the the rod capturing the line to the rod. This size of the limb, several jerks will ratchet the band is also used to contain handle, cord cutting edges through the limb allowing it to and cutting members together when not be retrieved along with the fly. Yeppers, Mr. in use. Dogwood, I’d say we’re even. 86 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
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The Fly Fish America 2010 Gear Guide gave The Fly Saver the “Editor’s Choice Award.” The gadget is available directly online for $30 from TGR Enterprises, Inc. ( 26 Charity Lane; PO Box 1030; Candler, North Carolina 28715; telephone: 828-665-4427; www.theflysaver.com). The Fly Saver is a division of TGR Enterprises, Inc. a small, family owned American business located in the mountains of Western North Carolina. TGR Enterprises offers a variety of diverse products that have been proudly designed and manufactured in the United States of America since 1989.
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Southern Highroads Outfitters 253 Hwy 515 E Building 1-C Blairsville, GA 30512 706-781-1414
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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
close look - north carolina
any areas of western North Carolina lay virtually undiscovered by fly fishermen despite the existence of a National Forest that encompasses thirteen counties and which contains a plethora of small streams with eager populations of Speckled, Brook, Brown, and Rainbow Trout inhabiting nearly every stream. Also, many fly anglers are not aware of the fact that some areas of western North Carolina receive more than the prerequisite 72 inches of rainfall each year needed to qualify as a temperate rainforest and thus, not only are the Trout streams numerous here to say the least, they flow through an exceptionally rich ecosystem that puts one in mind of a North American version of the Amazon Jungle! In addition, one of the area’s premier natural attractions is Wilson Creek which flows through the Wilson Creek Gorge and which, due to its exceptional natural beauty, was added to the National Wild and Scenic River System on August 18th, 2000. Furthermore, the scenic section of this creek is divided into three, different, sections with different designations which consist of the “Wild” section which is 4.6 miles in length, the “Scenic” section which is 2.9 miles in length and, the “Recreational” section which is 15.8 miles in length. Plus, at one time, this area was home to the thriving communities of Mortimer and Edgemont and it even boasted both a hosiery mill and a lumber mill (you can still the old ruins there today). However, the entire town of Mortimer was washed away in a “100-year-flood” in 1940 and the area never recovered. Consequently, you will still today find enclaves of privately owned property within the boundaries of the National Forest where numerous generations of families have made their homes since long before the area’s acquisition by the U. S. Forest Service and its designation as a National Forest.
Wilson Creek is a third order strea for some 23 miles before its conflu Lake Rhodhiss and the Gorge sec Whitewater Organization. Also, alt section of this creek since it is the Wild and Scenic river, there is a fa is very popular with fly fishermen s even so, it is still considered to be rods with medium or fast actions d common when fishing both the Go Wildlife Resources Commission st and Rainbow Trout, on regular sch section under a different set of reg
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am that originates within Calloway Peak and stretches uence with John’s River which then continues on to ction is rated as a Class Five stream by the American though the Wilson Creek Gorge is the most famous e Gorge that undoubtedly won it its designation as a ar more placid section located above the Gorge that since it is much easier to access and wade. However, e “big water” by local fly fishermen and thus, nine foot designed to cast five and six weight lines are most orge and the upper section. In addition, the N.C. tocks both sections of this creek with Brook, Brown, hedule but, it should be noted that they operate each gulations.
by Bill Bernhardt Outdoor Professional
Where is it located?
Wilson Creek is located in the Grandfather District of Pisgah National Forest in the northwestern section of Caldwell County, North Carolina and can be reached from Lenoir, N.C. by taking the Abington Rd. to old Hwy. 90 and then taking Hwy. 90 to Collettsville, N.C. where a turn is made onto Adako Rd. and then on to Brown Mountain Beach Rd. Or, it can also be accessed from Morganton, N.C. by taking Hwy. 181 to Adako Rd. and then on to Brown Mountain Beach Rd. In addition, it should be noted that there is a well stocked convenience store located in Collettsville that caters to both campers and fishermen and there are a couple of very small stores located in Mortimer along with Coffee's Store in Edgemont which sell drinks, snacks, and a small selection of fishing gear. Furthermore, the U.S. Forest Service recently constructed an extremely nice Wilson Creek Visitors Center on Brown Mountain Beach Rd. below Mortimer which is open to the public and contains a plethora of information about, and artifacts of, the area in addition to vending both drinks and snacks. Thus, it is a very pleasant place to stop for a break and to learn a bit about the history of Mortimer and Edgemont.
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close look - north carolina Delayed Harvest Section
The Delayed Harvest section of Wilson creek starts at the edge of the private property in the community of Edgemont which is located above Mortimer and extends downstream to the confluence with Phillips Branch (the short, single lane, concrete bridge) located below Mortimer. Also, it should be noted that this section is regulated under the Delayed Harvest program which means that only Catch and Release fishing is allowed from October 1st, 2014 to June 5, 2015 and fishermen are restricted to using an artificial lure with a single hook only. Then, from June 6th, 2015 to September 30, 2015 this section reverts to Hatchery Supported regulations which means that all lure restrictions are suspended and anglers are allowed a daily creel limit of seven fish of any size. Then, on October 1st, of 2015, this section again reverts to Delayed Harvest regulations.
Hatchery Supported Section
The Hatchery Supported section of Wilson creek starts at the confluence with Phillips Branch and extends downstream to the old dam at Brown Mountain Beach. Also, this section is managed year round under Hatchery Supported regulations which means that from April 4th, 2015 to February 28th, 2016, there are no lure restrictions and anglers are allowed a daily creel limit of seven fish of any size. However, it should also be noted that this section closes to fishing on March 1st, 2016 for restocking and reopens to fishing on April 3rd, 2016. 94 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
guide profile A Closer Look
It should also be noted that the section extending from the private property in Edgemont to the first, two lane, concrete bridge crossing Wilson Creek below Phillips Branch is both the most easily accessible and also the most easily fished. In fact, in this section, you will find exceptionally beautiful scenery and idyllic dry fly water interspersed with several large, deep, pools that are perfect for those who have a passion for streamer fishing. In addition, there are numerous parking spaces adjacent to the creek along this section and the banks are seldom too steep to deny fishermen access to the creek. Also, while shorter rods will certainly do the job here, most fly fishermen tend to prefer 9 foot rods with medium or fast actions designed to cast line weights ranging from 3 to 6 when fishing this section of Wilson Creek. In addition, as mentioned previously, the N.C.W.R.C. regularly stocks this section of the creek with Brook, Brown, and Rainbow Trout trucked in from the state fish hatchery located on Hwy. 181 just a few miles away and, when the water temperature is right, these fish readily respond to dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, and streamers. Plus, there is also a small population of Small Mouth Bass inhabiting some of the deeper holes in this section and thus, the combination of the two can make for quite a variety of exciting fly fishing opportunities.
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However, the nature of Wilson Creek changes drastically as it passes under the first, two lane, concrete, bridge to cross Wilson Creek below Phillips Branch (the short, single lane, concrete bridge) and thus, this designates the start of the Gorge section. For the first few hundred yards or so downstream from the bridge, fly fishermen will find an enchanting section of pocket water as the creek meanders its way through a rock garden before gaining speed at it enters the Gorge proper. Then, as the creek enters the Gorge, it once again drastically transforms into a series of huge, deep holes, interspersed with chutes, waterfalls, rapids, and riffles as it flows over the exposed granite bedrock and swirls around huge, car-sized, boulders. Thus, access to the creek in this section is limited to the few, gravel, parking lots located at irregular intervals along the creek and traveling along the creek itself often requires a stout heart, nerves of steel, and a bit of ingenuity to choose a viable path. However, fly fishermen often find this section far more accessible than spinner bait fishermen because fly fishermen tend to view wading in the stream as simply a matter of course whereas, most spinner bait fishermen do not wade but, instead, depend on the range of their rod and the weight of their lure to gain them access to distant Trout lies. Therefore, for the intrepid fly fisherman who is willing to put forth the effort required to brave these waters, the reward is often well worth it in the form of far fewer fishermen and larger Trout. Note: All anglers should beware the red rock because it is exceptionally slick!!!
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featured destination Wilson Creek’s “Wild Water” Tributaries
It should also be noted that Wilson Creek has several, notable, second order tributaries which are all designated as Wild Waters and thus, they are open to fly anglers year round. In fact, although there is no closed season on these waters, they are restricted to the use of a single hook, artificial lures, only and anglers are only allowed a daily creel limit of four fish over 7 inches in length. Thus, they provide the perfect fly fishing opportunity for those advanced fly fishermen who prefer to pit their skills against wild Trout in a small stream environment. For instance, anglers can choose to make the hike into Harper Creek (the long, single lane, concrete bridge) from the parking lot located on Brown Mountain Beach Rd. below the Visitor's Center and can access the stream at one of several different points along the trail into Harper Creek Falls. Then, once at the Falls, anglers can choose to either continue on the trail around the Falls to access the section of creek above the Falls or, they can choose to take the right hand fork and make the extended hike up to North Harper Creek for a little native Speckled Trout fishing. Also, located west of Edgemont off of Pineola Rd. is the Hunt Fish Falls access into Lost Cove which is also a second order tributary of Wilson Creek and, until just a few years ago, it was managed as a Trophy Water but, is now managed under Wild Water regulations. In addition, meeting with Lost Cove just below the private property line downstream from Hunt Fish Falls is Gragg Prong which can be accessed from the Roseborough Rd. west of Edgemont. However, these are just a few of Wilson Creek’s many Wild Water tributaries and thus, the fly angler will never lack for new waters to explore when fishing here. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 97
close look - north carolina Last, if you are not yet familiar with western North Carolina, then it is difficult to imagine the profuse natural beauty that this area has to offer until you see it for yourself. In fact, due to its location at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the eastern face of the Eastern Continental Divide, the entire northwestern edge of Pisgah National Forest receives an average of 60 to 80 inches of rainfall annually which results in a veritable hardwood jungle fed by a profusion springs and small streams that is so enchanting, once you see it, you may find it difficult to leave again! However, even with nearly every stream containing native populations of Speckled, Brook, Brown, and Rainbow Trout eager to gobble you fly, western North Carolina still remains undiscovered as a fly fishing destination. But, I am quite certain that a single visit to Wilson Creek will have you returning to the area year after year!
Bed & Breakfast and Cabin Rentals
Interested? Check www.nc-flyfishing.com for several great options.
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5 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 | Phone: (404) 237-3473
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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.
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by Jimmy Jacobs
hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an old adage that opines Photos by Polly Dean that when you try to please everyone, you are simply courting disaster. The Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, North Carolina puts the truth of that saying to the test.
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The Bob Timberlake Inn at Chetola Resort.
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close look - north carolina Situated in the High Country Headwaters section of the northwest corner of the state, this world-class facility has something to please just about any visitor. The accommodations consist of luxurious condominiums, rooms in the Chetola Lodge or bed-and-breakfast arrangements in the Bob Timberlake Inn. The resort boasts health and wellness programs at The Spa at Chetola Resort, conference and meeting areas, along with even wedding packages. For the outdoor oriented, the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 87 acres lie quite close to the recreation options of the Blue Ridge Parkway, guided hiking in the surrounding mountains or golf at nearby Hound Ears Club. Additionally the resort is within walking distance of the shopping and dining of Blowing Rockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quaint mountain town atmosphere.
Accommodations in the Bob Timberlake Inn at Chetola Resort. 104 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
The library in the Bob Timberlake Inn provides a gathering place for swapping fish tales. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 105
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For trout anglers the story gets even better. The lake fronting the lodge is stocked with rainbow trout and is managed to provide easy access and productive fishing. But, if it’s a fish of a lifetime that is desired, you can book a day of angling with one of the resort’s guides at The Refuge. This short stretch of private stream on the lower Boone Fork is owned and managed by Terry and Renee Troy as fly-fishing only, single-barbless-hook, catch-and-release trophy trout water. Chetola Resort is one of only two lodges with access to this fishery. This part of the creek holds brook, brown, rainbow and palomino trout. The later of these fish is actually a strain of rainbow that was developed in West Virginia. These fish are golden in color with the characteristic rainbow’s pink stripe down the side. Brookies and palominos from the Refuge push 18 inches in length, while browns and rainbows range from 18 to 28 inches. These fish are susceptible to streamers, nymphs and even dry fly fishing. Left: Polly Dean wade fishing the upper Watuaga River near Blowing Rock. Bottom: Guide Jake Salthouse showing off a palomino trout from The Refuge. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 107
close look - north carolina If you want to sample the area’s other fishing, Chetola guides Dustin Coffey and Jake Salthouse can arrange wade-fishing trips to the surrounding stocked or wild trout waters. Or you can set up float trips for trout or smallmouth bass on the four rivers draining the high country. Blowing Rock is a bit unique in being near the headwaters of the New River running north, the Watauga flowing west, the Yadkin coursing to the east and the Catawba River headed to the south. Each have sections ideal for float fishing and offer varied trout fishing experiences. In 2004 Chetola became an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge. The Chetola property has a long and colorful history. The land was part of the original purchase of 100 acres in 1846 by Lot Estes. Prior to that the only buildings on the acreage were a stable and wagon way station handling freight, passengers and mail. Estes built a home after the Civil War, eventually turning it into “Silverlake,” which became a summer resort and in winter operated as an ice house, selling the frozen water for 10 cents per 100 pounds. Next ownership went to William Stringfellow of Anniston, Alabama, who lived on the property until selling it in 1919. The new owner was J. Luther Snyder, who was known as the “Coca Cola King of the Carolinas.” He operated 10 of the soft drink bottling plants in the region. After his death in 1957 his family continued to hold the property, now known as Manor House Estate, until relinquishing it in 1972. The author battling a big one at The Refuge. 108 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
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Guide Jake Salthouse with a nice brown from The Refuge. 110 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
After a couple of more changes of hands, Rachel Renar and her son Kent Tarbutton bought the property in 1997, creating Chetola Resort. The next important step in the estate’s history took place in 2004, when the Manor House Estate House became the Bob Timberlake Inn at Chetola Resort. The inn contains eight rooms operating as a bed and breakfast, with all designs, furnishings and accessories created by Bob Timberlake. He is famed as North Carolina’s most recognized and successful living artist. He also has designed a line of men’s and women’s sporting clothing and luggage in conjunction with Bass Pro Shops. That is a natural tie in for the artist. When not occupied in his Lexington, North Carolina studio and gallery, Bob Timberlake is an avid fly fisher and can often be found plying the waters of The Refuge. After a year closure, the Manor House Restaurant reopened in 2012 as Timberlake’s Restaurant. Again the decor features Timberlake paintings and designs, along with historic angling and hunting gear. The menu also is inspired by Bob Timberlake’s culinary favorites. As alluded to earlier, Chetola Resort offers virtually anything a visitor desires. If that traveler happens to be a trout angler, the options are outstanding. Trophy trout, lake fishing, tailwater floats and small, wild trout waters all are within easy reach. Plus, the staff at Chetola Resorts stand ready to make the fishing on those waters both pleasant and productive. For more information on Chetola Resort call 1-800-243-8652 or e-mail info@chetola. com. The resort’s website is available at www.chetola.com. Wild rainbows abound in the smaller streams around the Chetola Resort.
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Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock
Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Trips Join us on wild, pristine Appalachian streams for half or full day trophy trout fishing. Perfect for beginning or seasoned anglers, we provide instruction, equipment, transportation, and an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide.
• • • •
Half Day Trips from $275 per person Full Day trips from $450 per person Float Trips from $450 (up to 2 people) Fishing Clinics from $125 (2 hours)
Prices above do not include overnight accommodations. Accommodations reserved with fishing packages are eligible for lodging discounts.
800-243-8652 | Chetola.com
BOB MALLARD AUTHOR OF GEARHEAD COLUMN
NO MISS MOUSE
TO DOWNLOAD OUR CATALOG VISIT US AT CATCHFLYFISH.COM OR CALL 424.26CATCH TO BECOME A DEALER
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featured book review “Tell our story.”
That was the plea from fly fisherman, Newland Saunders, a week before his death, and the motivation that sent North Carolina native, Ron Beane on a more than three year quest. Both men felt an urgency to preserve the history of their fellow fly fishermen and to make the public aware of their contributions to the sport. Ron developed a list of questions for the men to answer. He visited and made phone calls. He sought out mentors and their mentees. He followed up on suggestions. He took a chance and stepped into his uncharted waters of writing a book. He captured the men’s life experiences, along with their individual knowledge and attitudes, and recorded them in Fly Fishermen of Caldwell County: North Carolina Life Stories. This is not a "how-to" book, although any reader will gain new insights into how to fly fish. Instead this is a collection of life stories of twenty-eight fly fishermen, all with a connection to one county in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where, according to one of these fly
fishermen, Kyle Garrou, the sport of fly fishing, and “To live in Caldwell County more than that, to the men and not fly fish is akin to behind the rod. living on a lake and not These men came owning a boat.” from all stations in life: Each man or corporate leaders, a family member of factory workers, farmers, deceased fishermen educational or medical answered Ron’s professionals, salesmen questions, sprinkling them and cooks. Yet once with words of wisdom and they stepped from their yes, fish stories. With the cars and loaded their help of local historian and gear on their shoulders, author Gretchen Griffith, distinctions evaporated. Ron compiled them into a Skill with a rod and the telling glimpse of real life, ability to outsmart a trout introducing the reader to trumped all else. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 115
close look - north carolina Like scientists, these men studied the trout and experimented to “match the hatch.” As sportsmen, they combined knowledge and passion to create flies and rods that accomplished their goals. As environmentalists they joined forces to protect the waters they fished. Now as authors of their own chapters, they share their lives and hard earned wisdom to pass along their zeal for this chosen sport. Each chapter starts with a profile of the fisherman, listing information to introduce him to the reader, his favorite fishing rod and flies, largest fish caught, favorite angling waters and his most common fishing partners. The story of Newland Saunders, whose fishing action graces the cover and whose fly creations are still used throughout the southern Appalachians, opens the book. One account tells of a hornet’s unfortunate encounter with his sheep fly (so named because it was bigger than a housefly but smaller than a horsefly). The book goes on to recognize those like the individual proclaimed
by others as the “Dean of Fly Fishermen,” Cap Wiese, headmaster of a private boarding school for boys and a mentor to the vast majority of other fishermen in this book and beyond. His favorite demonstration was to hang his hat on a doorknob, cast his fly through the door opening and snag the hat. And Charlie Bean, with the reputation as the most accurate of all those casting a line, whose fly fishing began like many others, with the need to feed his family 116 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured book review during hard times. His son tells the story of the last fish his father caught, when he was so weak he couldn’t haul the rainbow in himself and when he realized, “That will be the last one I’ve caught.” And Joe McDade, whose love of natural resources led him to passionately protect the streams, whose stories were written by yet another fly fisherman in the book, Jim Childers. And John Turner, whose rubber band legs on his Woolly Worm fly became legendary, who taught his four grandchildren and five great grandchildren about nature on their frequent journeys through the woods. And Cecil Harman, whose one desire as he was losing his sight to macular degeneration, was to fish just one more time. He did - with Ron Beane guiding on a trip to Gunnison, Colorado. Some of the men wrote their stories in four or less pages. A few of them wrote and wrote and wrote, their submissions containing unbelievable life stories that exposed their
challenges and achievements for all to see. The difficult editorial chore for the compilers was determining which to include and which to toss. Gene Swanson, whose hobbies include, “Fly fishing, reading stories about fly fishing, thumbing through fly fishing magazines, thinking and dreaming about fly fishing and wishing I were fly fishing.” Randy Benfield, who claimed, “My main hobby is, of course, fishing, but not as much trout fishing as in the past since they moved the creeks so far from the roads and made the rocks larger and slicker.” Alen Baker, who explained why he kept a fishing log, “These experiences imprinted a basic need to count fish and I have been keeping a fishing log from the time I started fly fishing over thirty years ago.” Monte Seehorn, who writes about “Catching approximately one hundred twenty wild rainbows ranging from nine to fifteen inches long in three hours one late evening on the Holston River above the Bullard Hatchery in Virginia, the biggest hatch of the biggest mayflies I’ve ever seen on a natural stream.” James Henson, creator of a black fly, “Tied all kinds of different patterns for a year or two, until one day I tied a double wing black fly,” and the rest, for him, was history.
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Jim Childers, whose poem tells in ballad form, the story of his long battle against “The Barrier Pool Rainbow, a mighty sight to see/It rules its domain happily and carefree.” Brian Suddreth, who on his first promised fishing trip with his father, woke up with a full-blown case of chicken pox. “Mama did not give her blessing upon the trip. After much pleading, begging and crying she relented,” and despite fever and accompanying aches, he learned to love fly fishing even from the beginning. The men submitted photographs, one hundred and sixteen in all, but none so poignant as the one with Bill Everhardt, Ron Beane, Roy Icenhour, and Stanley Tuttle sitting under a tree, with the caption, “Fishing in Stanley’s front yard, talking about fishing, where we catch fish larger than any we ever caught on the stream.” What these men relish, and what comes through in their writings, was not only catching trout, but the quality of time spent with their fellow fishermen. This sport likewise bonded families together as it spanned the generation gap. There’s plenty more to discover in the pages of this book, but for now, one final word from Jasper Reese, “Remember, please, a good fisherman never tells a fish story any less than it was!” Copies can be purchased for ten dollars through Amazon.com or from Wilson Creek Visitor’s Center or Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce in Lenoir, North Carolina. For more information contact the authors at email@example.com or www. gretchengriffith.com.
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Trout fishing. Private waters.
The Dillard House 768 Franklin Street Dillard GA, 30537
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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.
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.
close look - north carolina
(or putting on “bigboy” pan
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discovery Hav e Bun you e che ver sC fish l r i ed eek Tra k e e r ? Flat C ed at
Is rk a m y l s obviou Creek? es h c n u B
n nts) by Ron Gaddy
I asked as I picked one of my fishing buddies’ brain. When I told him I was planning on fishing through the whole watershed, he hummed a little, rolled his eyes and said, “You better wear your big boy pants.” As the conversation diverted in other directions in the back of my mind I was thinking, “How bad could it possibly be?”
Fly-Fishing Intel is what I refer to as information gathered from maps, blogs, articles, and other fly fishermen when planning an assault on a new watershed. As I and a fishing buddy collected this intel and planned our trek through Bunches Creek there didn’t seem to be much intel to gather. Only two fishermen I found to have fished Bunches Creek either from the top or the bottom but no one had fished the entire watershed. There is probably a good reason for that. On that morning I met my partner in crime at 7 AM for breakfast where we pulled out our maps, compared notes and discussed
options and strategy. We still didn’t have a good fix on the distance from fish in to fish out. We also discussed what we were going to carry. I was going light, just carrying the basics, small sling pack, small fly box, wading staff, vest light, bug spray, one bottle of frozen water, 2 granola bars and a head net. My fishing buddy went a little heavy with a back pack full of stuff. Raincoat, machete, hatchet, a gallon of gator aid and a slop bucket full of odds and ends. As we had a last slug of coffee I asked, “did you wear your big boy pants?” and with a few laughs we concluded our plans and we were off to the races.
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close look - north carolina We dropped off one vehicle at the Flat Creek trail head with a cooler full of Gator Aid, water and somehow a few beers got in there. Well, it was a little dark when I stocked the cooler. We jumped in the second vehicle and drove to Big Witch Gap and followed Bunches Creek Road down to the Cherokee Indian Reservation then took the no name frontage road back up Bunches Creek to the Great Smoky National Park boundary. We once again discussed our strategy, rechecked our needful things, and hit the trail at 9 AM. We walked the trial until it ran out then hit the creek making a good mile before we started fishing. After only a couple of fly changes we both seemed to get a very productive fly. Multiple strikes from almost each hole, pocket, run, or plunge pool. At this point we caught mostly rainbow and an occasional brook trout in the five to eight inch range. The lower section of the watershed was fairly open with mossy rocks and easy wading, an occasional downed tree to cross, and plenty of gnats and stinging nettles. For most of the 126 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
day as we fished further up the stream the terrain didn’t change very much. Then about 4 PM when we were starting to get tired, we encountering a few waterfalls that demanded a little more climbing in the 20 to 30 foot range. Soon thereafter as we were standing at the base of a tight 60 foot waterfall looking up as my friend said “ I guess this is were we need our big boy pants”. We had a laugh and then agreed that at 6 PM we would stop fishing and focus on getting up to the Flat Creek Trail before dark. The waterfalls were numerous and each one higher and more treacherous then the last. At about 7 PM we were confronted by a very intimidating waterfall well over 100 feet that was not possible to climb. We scaled up the base of the waterfall for about 30 feet where we found a dip in the long steep flat rock that would allow us to rest a minute, reorganize and consider options or in this case, the lack of. As we studied the waterfall and the dense foliage consisting of dog hobble, rhododendron and saw briars we both realized that the chances of getting out by dark was very slim.
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close look - north carolina We had one hour of daylight and it was time to start bushwhacking. Exhausted and already skinned up we decided to bushwhack left, find some easier terrain and work our way back above the waterfall and back to the creek. As we got through a thick section of dog hobble and rhododendron the foliage opened up enough so we could walk in an up right position. We stopped to check the GPS and found that the Flat Creek Trail was only a few hundred feet away, but it was still a very steep grade. At this point I could only make 10 or so steps at a time and then rest for a minute or so. At 8 PM it was black dark. As we stopped to dig out our vest lights there was a thunder storm moving in fast. About the time we made it to the trail the rain came down so hard we could hardly see. A half hour later we were soaked but back at our vehicle at the Flat Creek Trail head. A word of caution ! I highly recommend anyone that would like to fish this drainage for the first time
be in very good physical shape and either walk down from Flat Creek Trail and fish back up or fish up from the GSMNP boundary and then walk back down. Anyone fishing through the entire watershed should
allow for a 2 day trip. A good map and a GPS a must. Do not go alone and be sure to wear your â&#x20AC;&#x153;big boy pantsâ&#x20AC;?. Fish Responsibly.
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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
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See our article on page 182
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CULLOWHEE 132 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
re you like a lot of southern fly fishermen who canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but worry about whether or not youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have access to your favorite trout waters? Or do just long for a home beside a great river where you can walk out the front door and wet a line? If these things cross your mind, then you are not alone. One of the biggest stories to come out of Western North Carolina recently occurred in 2013 with announcement of new residential community of homes takes up over 125 acres along the Tuckasegee River called the Cullowhee River Club.
A Place to Live and Fish
E RIVER CLUB
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close look - north carolina Designed to attract fishermen, and other outdoor enthusiasts, the Cullowhee River Club is the brainchild of Tim Newell, development partner of this new planned community that will have 282 total units consisting of a combination of single family homes as cottages, town homes, condominiums and cabins. The community will also consist of a Grand River Lodge, which hosts the condominiums and will provide guests accommodations as well. Amenities provided by the Grand River Lodge include a restaurant, swimming pool, clay tennis courts the land, not fight the land,” club because it has club and concierge services, said Newell. amenities. It’s not a gated while outside is a riverside community. You can come Cullowhee River pavilion, boat house, and dine in the restaurant.” Club is located in Jackson volleyball court and a The Cullowhee River County, a place that is playground. The adjacent ringed by the lofty peaks Club has 1.3 miles for of River Lodge Condominiums frontage along the river. of the Nantahala National accommodates 36 families Developers are dedicating Forest, the Pisgah National or individuals and boasts Forest, and the Great a greenway easement to eye-popping views of the Smoky Mountain National Jackson County a paved Tuckasegee River. walking, jogging and biking Park. A trout fisherman’s “The Cullowhee River trail along the Tuckasegee paradise, here there are Club is not actually a club,” and through the community. 250 rivers and creeks. says Newell. “Residents You can visit more than Though the community can enjoy club-style 30, including Whitewater takes up 125 acres, 60 amenities usually limited to percent of it will be open Falls which is the tallest private club communities, space. Tim Newell plans to east of the Mississippi. The but there are no club place that in a conservation Tuckasegee River runs initiation fees or club dues. easement so it is protected. 40 miles through Jackson It says club, we call it a County and is on the “We’re trying to work with 134 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
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Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail. The Cullowhee River Club is about an hour’s drive from Asheville. “It’s no longer a secret that some of the best fly fishing in the world is found in Western North Carolina,” says Alex Bell, the region’s most knowledgeable fly fishing guide and instructor. “When it is ‘right,’ the Tuck is a world class trout river. It’s almost impossible to name, much less fish the smorgasbord of brook trout streams that spangle the mountains here.” “The Western Carolina Fly Fishing Trail features some of the best trout waters in the Great Smokey Mountains. Right here in Jackson County, there are 15 prime fishing stops for catching brook, brown, and rainbow trout,” says Bell, who is a professional fly fishing instructor available for lessons for residents and guests. Early on Cullowhee River Club hooked up with Bell’s company, Play On Adventures, to organize and guide outdoor adventures for residents and guests. Adventure options will include 136 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
guided hiking, mountain biking, guided fly fishing trips, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and camping. The experience and local knowledge provided by his team of competent guides ensures a genuine mountain adventure. Nantahala Outdoor Center, 25 miles to the west, was named “One of the Best Outfitters on Earth” by National Geographic Adventures. Every year it provides whitewater and outdoor mountain adventures to over 1 million guests. Cataloochee Ski Area, less than an hour away in Maggie Valley, has 14 slopes for skiing and snowboarding during the winter season. The Cherokee Qualla Boundary with tremendous trout fishing is 30 minutes from Cullowhee River Club. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation is 150,000 square feet of gaming space with over 130 traditional table games and 3,700 slot games. Any of the primary esidents for the Cullowhee River Club will be the faculty and staff of neighboring Western Carolina University. Secondary home markets include alumni that wish to settle down close to WCU as well as fly fishing and paddling enthusiasts. The community will attract these enthusiasts being so close to the river. A third market targets retirees, primarily from the northeast, looking to relax in the southeast. “The Cullowhee River Club is designed as a mountain haven for individuals and families of all ages, casually elegant and deliberately lacking in the elitism and pretension typical to other upscale club communities,” says Newell. “The community offers a variety of residential properties including cottages, cabins, townhomes, and condominiums. The recreational amenities and active community programming will make this community a memorable family gathering place for generations to come. A significant benefit to the residents is access to the resort-style amenities and recreational experiences usually limited to private club communities, with one important distinction: there are no club initiation fees or club dues here!” For more information about it, you can visit their website at www. cullowheeriverclub.com, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call them at (877) 258-2522.
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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
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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.
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Together Again: Fenwick Glass & P M
y generation of fly fi graphite. We â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boom fishing world as the Shakespeare, Garcia, Hed smooth casting willow wan
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fishers hit the scene between the demise of cane flyrods and the arrival of mers” as everyone refers to we “war babies” actually are better known in the fly e “fiberglass generation.” We cut our teeth casting fiberglass fly rods made by ddon and Eagle Claw. When you moved up the pecking order, you acquired a nd made by Fenwick or Browning.
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My creek companion in those days was Vic Stewart. At what seemed to be incredible invests in the early 1970s, he purchased a Fenwick Fiberglass FF806 6 Wt. 2-Piece 8â&#x20AC;&#x2122; fly rod. Not to be outdone, I bought a second hand Browning Silaflex, Model #322970, 5 Wt. 7â&#x20AC;&#x2122;, 2-piece fly rod. We were the envy of Paint Creek. Attached to these prizes possessions was our beloved Pflueger Medalist reels spooled with lime green colored Cortland 333 level fly line. Alas as prosperity creep into our lives, and new fangled graphite fly rods and a dizzying array of weight forward and other specialty fly line became available in the late 1970s, we transitioned from old fashion fiberglass, to what has become a never ending process of upgrading our fly rods along the graphite highway. Who could have guessed that the set aside fiberglass rods of our salad days would be resurrected to the delight of many?
Fenwick has reentering the fly fishing market, not only with a glass rod, but one featuring the same look, and brown tones (that beautiful translucent finish) of their earliest models. Unveiled in July at ICAST, the new Fenglass rod is lighter and sleeker than the glass rods from yesteryear. The new 6 Wt. has an action reminiscent of Fenwicks early fiberglass fly rods. The Fenglass fly rod series features six models, ranging from 3- to 8-wt. Their action gets a little faster as they go up in line weight and slower as they go down in weight.
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Their medium action blank feature Fenwick’ “re-tro-volutionary” unidirectional S2 glass construction designed to enable these lightweight fiberglass rods to delivery incredibly smooth, accurate fly presentation. This retro-looking eye candy come with Fenwick’s new Feralite styling featuring a full cork handle and reel seat. This rod is sweeter than Tennessee whiskey. This rod provide a difficult-to-define casting feel that higher modulus materials, specifically graphite simply can’t come close to. With more bend, these rods are sweet for feeling the cast, so are ideal for fishing light tippets needed on many southern trout waters. Designed for “intimate” fly fishing where trout are spooky or quarters are tight, these new offerings from Fenwick range in price $199 to $250.
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Fenwick is one of the fiefdoms of Pure Fishing, which sooner or later appears destined to own all of the old tackle companies of years gone by. Another long acquisition of this mega-company is Pflueger, a brand that dates back to the 1880s. ICAST also premiered the rebirth of Pflueger’s classic Medalist fly reel. In fact, the “comeback kid” was named the 2015 ICAST Best Fly Reel. The all-aluminum Medalist fly reel is a splitting image of its traditional former self, down to its amber polymer handle adds reeks of the classic look.
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The 1931 Pflueger catalog listed the “MEDALIST.” It had bronze spindle, round metal Diamolite line guard, 6 rivets around spool latch cover, an amber colored plastic handle, aluminum
spool latch cover, knurled metal drag knob, and a sculpted cross pillars, riveted to body. That damned near describe the new Medalist. The biggest changes being found in the bowels of the reel. For example, the arbor the rebirth Medalist boasts enhanced machine construction and the. It is available in three sizes and the MSRP starts at $120.
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Machined from high-grade aluminum for tighter construction tolerances, precision operation and lower maintenance, its technically advanced design makes the new Medalist wellsuited suited to tame cold-water, southern trout in mountain streams or tailwater rivers where you hook into hard-pulling, big trout. The lightweight Medalist has more than adequate backing capability for long fights with big trout, and a proven reliable, clickand-pawl, precision-check-mechanism drag system provides the distinctive flyreel sound fly anglers love to hear. The frame and quick-release spools are convertible for left- or right-handed retrieve and packaged with a protective reel pouch. The Medalist fly reel is available in three sizes with an MSRP starting at $119.95. The Pflueger Medalist fly reel is also available in a combo package, paired with a Fenwick Eagle fly rod featuring classic Fenwick actions and cork handles in three offerings. MSRP is $199.95 to $219.95. Thank you Pure Fishing for bringing these two classics back together again.
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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.
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800-858-8027 • helenga.org Helen • Cleveland • Sautee Nacoochee Unicoi State Park
close look - north carolina
Tuckaseegee Bobby Bennett & Dale Collins
by Ragan Whitlock
Located in the heart of Bryson City, two seasoned fly fishing guides, Bobby Bennett and Dale Collins have expanded their guide business to include a fly shop. Usually itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the other way around, but for these two entrepreneurs it makes great sense Please describe the mission statement of your guide service? Bobby Bennett: Tuckaseegee Fly Shop is based on a passion for growing the sport of fly fishing. We want to grow and educate new and experienced anglers by providing exceptional customer service along with high quality products, knowledge of different fisheries, and technical aspects of the equipment and industry. What waters do you offer trips on? Dale Collins: Some of the waters, we fish and guide on support several different species that can be caught on a fly rod. For trout waters we guide on: Tuckasegee River, Nantahala River, West Fork of the Pigeon, Big and Little Snowbird, Cherokee Enterprise Waters, and we are permitted for all the water in the Great Smoky Mountain Park. For Smallmouth Bass we guide on: Tuckasegee River and The Little Tennessee River, Hiawassi and Pigeon. All in all, we have about 17 different species of fish in and around Bryson City and Swain County, NC that we can target for fly fishing or using gear. 150 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
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Do you offer instruction to your clients?
flies are included in the price. We outfit trips with only the best in the industry. Every trip goes out with Bobby: The Shop offers private lessons, classes, Sage or Scott Fly Rods with and guided trips for Waterworks Lamson Reels. instructional aid in fly fishing. The only items that are not in Throughout the year we also the trip price are the fishing do special clinics such as license and any gratuity that youth only, women only, fly the client would give to the tying, casting, and technical guide. For the angler who aspects to fly fishing. is fishing on their own, the shop is fully supplied with Do you supply flies and/or all the necessary items for other tackle and waders? fly fishing in our waters, and maybe a few items that they Bobby: For guided trips can use in their waters. all the gear, tackle, and
How did you get started guiding? Dale: We both started out just taking some friends and family out, like most other fishermen do, and we found that we both enjoyed helping others understand fly fishing as a whole. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to just take clients out to catch fish. We want you to get something more out of it. Like a new technique, a different knot, entomology or a fly pattern that we created that works.
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What are the expectations Do you supply of most of your clients? transportation and food/ drinks? Bobby: We have both been on guided fishing trips, Dale: We supply snacks both for freshwater fish and and drinks for half day saltwater fish. I think clients trips, and full day trips want to catch fish, but they include snacks drinks, and also want to come away lunch which is provided with some of those things by our great neighbors at Dale mentioned. Maybe Mountain Perks. Their café a better understanding of is next door to the fly shop, our techniques for fishing where lunches are made our waters, a helpful tip to order, fresh. When we on maybe fly tying, a way picked Bryson City, NC for we rig our line or flies, or the fly shop’s location, we sometimes just talking knew we were in heaven. about other things outside We have the fly shop, of fishing. This to me is then there is Mountain where a guide goes from Perks with Coffee, Coffee, being good or even great Coffee, and great food. at catching fish to being Anthony’s Pizzeria, which great at guiding. It’s about serves Italian and great judging what your client’s pizza. Nantahala Brewing expectations are and what Company, which has you can do to make this some great brews and day or days as special as entertainment, and this possible. We want you to is all on our street, not come as clients and leave to mention all the other as friends. Because Dale great shops in downtown and myself know how we Bryson City! Oh and a new like to be treated, and want Delayed Harvest flowing to give that to our clients. right through town! It’s Being in a downtown about as close to heaven location we get a chance to as you can get in my introduce the sport to people opinion. for the first time. Our clients range from the experienced What are your most angler that has fished all popular repeat trips? over the world to that of the beginner casting a line for Bobby: When we opened the first time. we quickly realized the
featured guides character of the shop was centered around the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. However, we get requests for all the waters we fish, we have so much to choose from. I know some anglers have their favorite spot in the area to fish, but honestly all our waters can produce great fishing. They all have good, better, and best seasons, and that’s where we are really blessed. We truly have a year around fishery. Hazel Creek, Nantahala River, Tuckasegee River, and Deep Creek are probably the most common mentioned when people come in, but we point to places like Noland Creek, Alarka, Big Snowbird, and Ravens Fork, and other less trafficked National Park Streams. What would you like for potential customers to know about guided trips before they book with you? Dale: We are full service. We customize trips to the clients needs and use guides that represent the best professionalism of the craft. Clients should
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close look - north carolina expect to use performance gear on the water with friendly and patient guides. With that being said, a guided trip cuts down the learning curve of fishing strategies and techniques. We also like to see people wanting to learn more about the sport. Our guides are more than just guys who can net fish rather they are teachers. Most of all we want them to know that whether you are a seasoned angler or not, fly fishing is something more than just catching fish. It keeps you engaged before during and after and is something you can enjoy the rest of your life, and we strive to improve your fishing on every trip so that you become a better angler and we become better guides.
and bicycle shops. Fly fishing gets you outside in a beautiful place where adventure is around every rock. There is also adventure in destination fly fishing trips. Our popular trips are to Hazel Creek for trout and the New River for smallmouth. What would you like to say about the Tuck experience and your fly shop? Bobby: Fly Fishing is something Dale and myself hold very dear. We want all of our customers
to feel that same feeling after they leave, so we strive to make every person that walks into the shop, takes a guided trip, or we talk to on the stream to feel that excitement and respect we have for them and the sport we cherish so much. Our shop and guide service is more of a hub for fly fishing then a business. We want everyone to feel like they are part of that, when they visit our shop and fisheries.
Why do you feel that guided fishing trips have become so popular in recent years? Bobby: Fly fishing is still an adventure. Our society has moved into an active lifestyle that brings people outside more. For instance the growth of outdoor box stores 154 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
NOW OPEN Bryson City, NC’s only full service fly shop.
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828.304.2400 2427 North Center St. Hickory, NC 28601
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featured fly shop
“...you’ll just need to come see us.”
n the booming scene of fly shops near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Brookings’ Anglers has discovered a way to rise above the rest. Founded by John Druffel in 1988, Brookings’ Anglers has been the primary fly shop of Cashiers, NC for 27 years. Cashiers is located in the western corner of North Carolina, shrouded by mountains and streams. “Cashiers is a unique fly fishing destination because of the location,” Brookings’ partner Matt Canter states. “At 3,500ft above sea level, and just a couple miles from the Eastern Continental Divide, Cashiers sits right on over 10 fishable headwater trout streams,” he continues. Traveling in any direction from the fly-shop will allow customers to reach fishable water very quickly.
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close look - north carolina A long-standing and reputable business like Brookings’ Anglers has solidified its place in the booming outdoor industry. “Two decades ago there were a handful of guides and even fewer fly shops,” Matt says. Now, fly shops are seen all over Western North Carolina. “There is one in almost every town, and pretty much all of them have multiple guides working out of the shop,” he explains. With regards to the increased interest in the area and aquatic resources, Matt simply focuses on the upswing in local business revenue. “With a combination of Jackson County’s ‘fly fishing trail,’ regional publications like Southern Trout, and close proximity to major populations of people, the fly fishing industry in this area has really taken off,” Matt states. Though Brookings’ has been operable for 27 years, partners Matt Canter and Stephen Zoukis have drastically revitalized the shop. “In the last 8 years, we have gotten a new and bigger location, a ton
of inventory, and a very professional staff,” Matt says. Because of this increased interest, inclusive fly shops with staffs like Brookings’ is crucial. “The demand is high for a professional shop that has the knowledge and experience but is also willing to share it with newcomers to the sport,” Matt explains. Brookings’ Anglers fits the bill for that sort of business perfectly. During the summer, hundreds of novice fly fishermen pour into Brookings’. They are all searching for tips and ways to improve their days on the water, which the friendly staff of Brookings’ Anglers is more than willing to provide. “We try to help would-be fly fishermen in every way we know how, because that is the future of the sport,” Matt says. Brookings’ starts by offering free casting lessons to anyone who wants to learn, thus creating the environment for customers to approach the staff at anytime with questions. “Most of all, we try to make it very clear that we are here to help them,” Matt explains.
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Brookings’ has in-house guides for every customer wishing to have a day on the water. With one of the most experienced guide staffs in the area, every customer may be ensured a positive experience on the water. Roger Lowe and Henry Williamson, two of the most experienced guides, tally over 60 years of full-time guiding between them. The excellent staff service at Brookings’ draws its customers back time and time again. “Repeat customers make up almost 80% of our sales,” Matt says. This means most fishermen in the area who have stopped at
Brookings’, are impressed enough to come back. “The most important thing to us is to make a connection with our customers, and keep them coming back through helpfulness and friendliness,” Matt explains. With this mindset among the staff, it is easy to see why Brookings’ is so successful.
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Fly tying is also a large component of what Brookings’ offers. Inside the fly shop, there is an entire room dedicated to fly tying. Immediately catching the eye is a 12ft long custom fly tying table that can comfortably seat 8 tiers. Brookings’ uses this table for special events and lessons held by Roger Lowe, an expert on the art of fly tying. Roger teaches many of the lessons at Brookings’ when he is not preoccupied with guiding. “With one of the most renowned fly tiers in the area on staff (Lowe), we would be fools not to utilize his knowledge,” Matt says. Private fly tying lessons may be arranged, but Brookings’ regularly offers fly tying events at no charge. 162 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
More can be learned about Brookings’ Anglers via their website, Facebook, or Instagram. Any of these outlets will show how the store and guiding service is set up, as well as how many products they carry at any given moment. Still, simply looking at the shop through social media will not give the entire picture. What sets Brookings’ apart from the other shops is the staff. Every member of the Brookings’ staff is incredibly knowledgeable about fishing in the area. More importantly, the staff is eager to share that knowledge. There is no sense of superiority or judgment towards who have not yet fully realized how amazing the sport is. Helping someone realize a lifelong passion is incredibly rewarding. As Matt says, “To really understand that, you’ll just need to come see us!”
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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 BrookingsOnline.com
NEW FROM JIMMY JACOBS YOU KNOW HIM AS THE AUTHOR OF GUIDEBOOKS TO TROUT FISHING IN THE SOUTHEAST. NOW EXPERIENCE THE OTHER SIDE OF JIMMY JACOBSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; WRITING. THE CERDO GRANDE CONSPIRACY IS A NOVEL THAT TAKES YOU ON A WILD RIDE FROM ATLANTA TO KEY WEST, FLORIDA. The Cerdo Grande Conspiracy was born in a tale related to me by a reserve officer with the Monroe County Police Department that serves the Florida Keys. It revolved around an escaped pig on Stock Island that becomes amorous with a motorcycle in a convenience store parking lot. The owner of the bike and the pig's owner ended up in a fight as the biker attacked the pig. While it sounds surreal, locals have good reason to call the city at the south end of U.S. Highway 1 "Key Weird." Anything is plausible in this slice of paradise. And if it hasn't already happened, it likely will. Admittedly, some liberties have been taken with the original tale, but that's what fiction is all about. From that incident the story of the conspiracy to save the porker took root. Hopefully, you'll find that it grew into an entertaining romp along the southeast coast down to the American tropics. And, should you ever visit there, you just might recognize some of the locales in the tale. Jimmy Jacobs Kindle Edition $4.99 Paperback $9.99 AVAILABLE AT WWW.AMAZON.COM/AUTHOR/JIMMYJACOBS
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Carolina Cane Splitter Richard Teeter Ragan Whitlock
rowing up in McDowell County, the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, Rich Teeter enjoyed many components of a southern adolescence. Team sports and chasing after girls dominated the after school experience, and spring trout fishing was soon added. With no direct legacy of fly-fishing from fathers or grandfathers, Rich began fishing for trout the way many young boys in the south did â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with worms and other effective bait.
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featured rod builder
Other than periodically using an Uncle’s fly rod at family gatherings, it was not until after high school that Rich learned the art of fly-fishing. “It was in college when I learned to cast a fly rod, on the banks of farm ponds near Chapel Hill where I went to school,” Rich says. “Some older fishermen showed me the basics. It was a lot of fun catching bluegills and bass that way,” he continued. Still, it took the a cutthroat trout fishing trip twelve years later in the Yellowstone National Park for the affliction to take hold. After that trip, Rich regularly traveled from his Charlotte area home to the North Carolina Mountains pursuing trout on the fly. “It took a while to learn this new way of fishing especially back here in east where trout weren't so numerous or eager to take what I had to offer,” Rich says.
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Rich’s brother moving back to the mountains and working for a fly shop “worked well” for Rich’s fly fishing passion to say the least. This provided Rich with more opportunities to fish and place to stay, not to mention the tips on where to fish. Bamboo Rods did not enter his fishing vernacular until a patron of the fly shop asked Rich’s brother to try a few of his bamboo creations out. Rich explains, “He was a wood worker and a tinkerer so he experimented with his talents. We had a good day fishing with his work. My brother and I thought it was cool fishing that way. It was just like fly fishing of ages past.” A year or so after this first introduction to the bamboo world, Rich began to struggle with the rare condition, autoimmune ear disease. “I was going to lose most if not all my hearing along with my job,” Rich says. With hearing that would “come and go,” the days that Rich could not work began to mount. “I decided that making a bamboo fly rod for myself would fill my time as well as get my mind off my problems.” Using books and Internet forums, Rich slowly began to learn the trade. “It certainly wasn’t the easiest way to go about rod building or the best way but I persevered,” Rich says of his methods. 168 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured rod builder
Soon, Rich began selling the rods he made. “It was a perfect thing at the time, allowing me to make a few bucks, keep my sanity and get some satisfaction in doing something I liked,” he says. After receiving a cochlear implant, Rich has regained much of his hearing and can function normally. The desire to create and use bamboo rods that emerged during this troubling time has not waivered. Rich’s decision to work primarily in bamboo comes from his fascination with the art. “To me nothing evokes the beauty, grace, and tradition of fly fishing as does a bamboo fly rod,” Rich says. Rich is also quite taken with and proficient at restoring old rods. “I’ve restored an old Leonard that was over one hundred years old,” Rich says. He has also restored rods from the 1930’s, which are currently back in use. By custom making most of his rods, Rich creates rods specific to the customer’s needs. “I would say a 7 footer is best for small stream mountain fishing. I recommend an 8 footer for larger rivers or tail waters,” Rich advises. Though many of his customers ask for a fast taper to mimic the action of their previous graphite rods, Rich steers the small stream fisherman to slow action tapers. “One gets a softer presentation at close range. They handle wet flies or dry’s equally as well in close quarters,” Rich explains. The majority of tapers www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 169
close look - north carolina Rich uses are from the “old-masters.” “They are tried and true,” Rich says. His favorite tapers come from Payne, Garrison, Granger and Wes Jordan. Rich also emphasizes the variance in rods he has created. He has created 3 piece 5.5 feet rods for small streams as well as 11 foot 3 piece light salmon rods. He has even taken more peculiar requests for aesthetic appeals. “One guy wanted purple guide wraps to match the color of his ‘fatboy’ motorcycle. Another fellow from Germany wanted a rod with colored wraps matching his family coat of arms,” Rich says. The rod matching the family coat of arms was made for the customer’s daughter as a college graduation gift. “That was quite touching when I was told,” says Rich. 170 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
featured rod builder All the cane Rich uses comes from Tonkin, China. Though Calcutta, India was the source of raw cane many years ago, Tonkin cane is now considered more desirable. “Tonkin cane ideally has a clean yellowish tan to it in its cured state. It grows nearly 40 feet high when harvested,” Rich explains. Rich knows of two suppliers of Tonkin cane in the United States, Andy Royer and the Demarest Company in NYC. Cane comes in several grades, from C- to A++. The quality of the bamboo ranges from “10 to 20 culms a bundle, twelve feet in length and assorted grades with at least one A+ culm included,” Rich says. “Culms” are the colloquial reference to an individual bamboo stem. Because Rich is now “retired,” he makes only a few rods each year. He may be contacted at email@example.com for inquiry.
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from Stackpole Books
“From the old Yallarhammar to modern classics like the Tennessee Wulff, Don has covered it all in his book Hatches and Fly Patterns of the Great Smoky Mountains. This is a must read for every Southern fly fisherman.” —Kevin Howell, Davidson River Outfitters
$24.95 Paperback 256 pages 200 color photos 978-0-8117-1117-3 This book and other Stackpole fishing titles are available from booksellers and fly shops nationwide.
800-732-3669 • www.stackpolebooks.com • Follow us on:
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 - north carolina
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North Carolina Fly Fishing Opportunities W
hen I talk with most anglers about fly fishing in North Carolina, they automatically start talking about fishing the Davidson, Nantahala or Tuckasegee Rivers and trout fishing. But in reality the trout fishing in North Carolina is confined to the western 23 counties. Granted there are over 3000 miles of publically accessible trout water in North Carolina. That leaves about 70% of the state without any fly fishing opportunities, right? Wrong! North Carolina is one of only a handful of states in the union that offers cold water, warm water and exceptional saltwater fisheries. Did you know that North Carolina was home to the world record Southern Bluefin Tuna? And it was caught on a fly rod. For those that are adventurous in their fly fishing travels, North Carolina has a lot to offer. Author Kevin Howell with a nice North Carolina Striped Bass www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 175
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Cold Water Trout:
North Carolina boosts over 3000 miles of publicly accessible trout streams, more than any other state in Southeast US. Among these streams the Davidson River has been listed as one of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Trout Unlimited Top 100 Trout Streamsâ&#x20AC;? every addition. The Nantahala, South Mills River and Tuckasegee have also been listed in the top 100 at various times. Anglers will find plenty of water types to choose from. For the rugged backcountry enthusiast there are miles of Brook Trout Streams located off the Blue Ridge Parkway. For those that prefer a more open (not as many trees to get hung in) setting, the Tuckasegee, West Fork of the Pigeon and others offer wide open space for casting. For the numbers crowd, the Delayed Harvest is popular choice. While those who want the true test of patience and skill can find a challenge on the Davidson River every day of the year.
When the summer heat arrives and the trout fishing slows due to low warm water, a lot of fly anglers will hang up their fly rods until the fall. However, the best Smallmouth bass fishing of the year occurs when the water is at its warmest in July and August. Hatches of damsel flies on the French Broad River will put all of the smallies in a feeding mood and cause them to look up in search of a well presented popping bug. Other rivers like the Little Tennessee, Nolichucky, and Lower Tuckasegee offer great smallmouth bass fishing as well. David Howell with a nice NC Bodie (Hybrid) Bass
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Warm Water Stripers:
The Striper fishery on the Roanoke River is the most famous of North Carolinas warm water fisheries. Every year thousands of anglers and hundreds of guides descend on Weldon NC for the months of April and May. Most fly anglers arrive in early May when the regulations have switched to Catch and Release only. Anglers wanting to avoid the crowd can find Stripers in other rivers like the Tar and Neuse. Largemouth Bass: NC is home to some great fly rod bass action whether you are fishing popping bugs on Lake Mattamuskeet in the spring, or stripping a woolly bugger in a farm pond in Johnston County. Fly anglers will find no shortage of Largemouth bass in the Old North State.
For those anglers that want the ultimate fly challenge try a day on Moss Lake casting a fly at Carp. You will find them to be one of the toughest fish you have ever cast a fly at. If you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make it to Moss Lake, no problem, you will find carp in almost every waterway in North Carolina.
DRO guide Heath Cartee with a nice warmwater carp
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Inshore: Inshore anglers will find plenty of action targeting Puppy Drum (redfish if you are from South Carolina). Inshore anglers can also target Blue Fish, Weakfish (sea Trout), Flounder, and Black Drum all with a fly. Nearshore: Nearshore will offer anglers a chance at larger Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, Stripers, and False Albacore. The False Albacore fishing in North Carolina is so good that for years all of the largest names in fly fishing descended on the small fishing town of Harkerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Island in late October for a fun filled weekend of fishing. Offshore: For those fly anglers that want the ultimate ride, Steve Coulter (aka Creature) and Brian Horsley along with Sarah Gardner have pioneered the offshore fishing in North Carolina. Creature has guided three clients to world record tuna on a fly rod. Brain and Sarah have popularized fly fishing for Amberjacks and Stripers off of the coast of North Carolina. Offshore anglers can even take a shot a Mahi Mahi, and Marlin on the fly rod. So next time you are thinking about a fly fishing adventure, why not look into all of the possibilities in the Old North State.
Cape Lookout Light House at low tide as we are headed out of Barden Inlet in search of False Albacore.
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Chota Hippies Adjustable Hip Waders
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Virginia’s R by Beau Beasley
irginia’s Rose River in the Shenandoah National Park is a real gem when it comes to fly fishing on a mountain trout stream. The Rose has classic plunge pools created by crystal clear water and large boulders that flank the sides of the stream. The good news is that the cover is not quite as tight as it is in other places of the park— you’ll actually have room to cast. The bad news is that the water is sometimes quite low, so you won’t have much room for your pattern to drift. Your best bet is to approach each pool carefully and watch for rising trout before you cast. 180 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
The upper Rose River is in the Shenandoah National Park and is a wonderful trout fishery. Photo by Beau Beasley www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 181
After a heavy rain, many trout anglers avoid small trout streams like the Rose thinking it will be off color and “too high” to fish. In fact, the Rose, like most of the other park streams, clears quickly because the stream bed is usually solid rock. The abundance of water a day or two after a downpour might just give you the edge you need to catch these wily fish, which normally spend a great deal of time hiding from predators because the Rose is usually gin clear. Syria Mercantile, a fixture on the outskirts of the park, is a great place to pick up those last minute items you left at the house as you rushed out for a great day of brook trout fishing. Although they don’t have much in the way of fly fishing gear, they carry nearly everything else including detailed park maps, clothes, drinks, and snacks. Heck, they even have a post office inside the store. Though you can’t count on much of a fly selection you should pick up a few terrestrials if they have them available in sizes #14#16. 182 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Participants of TU’s Tri State Conservation Camp lend a hand each summer. Photo by Beau Beasley
Graves Mountain Lodge, where Trout Unlimited holds their Tri-State Conservation and Fishing Camp each summer (www.tucamp.org), will be on your left just off of Route 670. The camp provides a unique opportunity for kids from Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to learn about trout, and much of their “research” and fishing is done on the Rose. Paul Kearney the camp’s long time director is very straight forward in his thoughts on the river and the camp. “The Rose and other rivers in the Shenandoah National Park are national treasures. Regrettably” says Kearney “too many kids today are unware of these natural beauties and how important they are. Instead they have their faces stuck in front of a computer screen, or talking on their cell phones. If we can get one kid to be engaged in fly fishing, and better still get them engaged in helping to protect our cold water resources, I’d consider that a significant achievement.” I believe Kearney is right. There’s little wonder why his camp is so popular. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 183
By the time you reach Graves Mountain Lodge you’re only a few miles from the Rose, but the road can be rough here; take your time. The fire trail that flanks the Rose is 100 yards away from the river, so don’t expect to see water as soon as you start your walk to the river. As one might expect, the stretch of water adjacent to the parking area gets hit pretty hard. Do yourself a favor and walk a good 200-300 yards up into the park to reach better water before your begin fishing. When you feel you’ve reached an area that you want to fish, get off the trail and head for the sound of rushing water. The forest is so thick here that at times the river is completely obscured from the trail. Just listen for the water, and try to walk in as straight a path as you can toward the river. Photo by Beau Beasley 184 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
The easiest way to reach the Rose River is to drive to the end of Rt. 670 and park at the turnout. A sign announces that you are entering the Shenandoah National Park, and a wooden kiosk provides information about the river and the fire trail that traverses the mountainous region and much of this river. This fire road also doubles as a horse trail and hiking path, so don’t be surprised to see day trippers sharing the road with you. And on that note, be advised that because you are sharing the road with horses, you should watch your step.
carefully. The fish here are nearly all wild brook trout, though occasionally you might catch the errant brown. Flies here are what you might consider standard fare for trout streams with Prince Nymphs being very popular and patterns similar to that. In the summer though, you can get great strikes with patterns like Elk Hair Caddis, small hoppers, spiders, and even crickets. While streamers really aren’t that useful here, a very small wooly bugger might prove effective.
If you do want room to cast, and you want larger fish, you might consider Small rods are the order of spending the day at the day with 3-4 weights in Rose River Farm http:// the 8-9 foot class being the www.roseriverfarm.com/ order of the day. There is accommodations.html . little room for casting in the This is the home of Project upper reaches of the river, Healing Waters 2-Fly so be ready to roll cast. tournament and is a very Most anglers use an 8-9 popular location for anglers. foot 4x or 5x leader, and I’ve fished this location on a at times that’s all you can number of times, and found cast. It’s a rare angler than it nothing short of excellent. needs to put more than a There are plenty of large foot or two of fly line on the fish here, and they eagerly water here, especially if take flies. In contrast to the they are nyphing. There are upper section, this private plenty of small runs, riffles water has lunker trout and pools so take you time in it that easily push 3-4 and approach the water pounds. Furthermore, you
can actually lay down some line here, meaning you can cast further because the river is both larger, and lacks a tight canopy cover.. Still, these aren’t dumb fish and if you cast too much, or don’t wade carefully, you can go home empty handed. Whether you’re seeking to connect with a wild brookie in the upper reaches of the Rose River, or want to tussle with the larger fish at Rose River Farm, this fishery is a great option. It is a “rose” in the truest sense of the word, and should be cherished like one. Beau Beasley www. beaubeasley.com is the Editor at Large for Southern Trout Magazine, and the Director of the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival www.vaflyfishingfestival. org. He’s the author of Fly Fishing Virginia as well as Fly Fishing the Mid-Atlantic and lives with his wife and children in Warrenton, VA.
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close look - ozarks tennessee
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Last Chance at the Hatch
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by Keith Gann
ell, the much heralded event is here. The alignment of the planets is complete, and the thirteen year wait for cicada reproduction has collided with the seventeen year wait for another species of cicada reproduction, and both hatches of the happy little bugs are sounding a mass mating call throughout my small acreage, a sound that would drown out anything that a Hollywood porn flick could muster. I can’t say that the cicada hatch is a high point in my fly-fishing life….any day that I can get out on a stream is a pretty good day for me, and catching the big trout that supposedly rise to the fluttering, struggling cicadas is okay but I don’t get into the “jumping for joy” mode. If you know me, then you know that I like small, remote streams, small bamboo rods and small wild trout rising to hand tied flies…..big is nine inches, not twenty. But, that being said, I’m seventy-four years old, and in thirteen or seventeen years, I’ll be either eighty-seven or ninetyone. Even if I’m alive, all of my fly-fishing will be just stories shared with the other old codgers, rocking away on the front porch of the Home for Ancient Flyfishermen. Sooooo….I got little choice, I gotta make this one!
On a late May Friday afternoon, a few days into the gigantic hatch, we had five of the six grandkids over for most of the day, and three of them wanted to walk down to the shop and tie up some flies (or “bugs” as they call them). Now the mix was two girls, ages nine and six, plus a boy eight, who is, of course, going on eighteen (I’m sure that you’ve got one of those in your extended family too). The added blessing was that it wasn’t raining. So far, it had rained for twenty-three of the last twenty-five days, not good weather in which to wade small streams located in narrow valleys where water can rise a several feet in a few minutes.
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As we crossed the back yard, the cicada mating noise from the trees wasn’t deafening, but you had to raise your voice to be heard. I made an attempt to explain the reproductive effort that was going on in the trees but I found myself struggling with the effort. “Well, you see, the sound you hear is a mating call (Papa, what’s a mating call?). Well, a mating call is like a guy who really likes a girl, calls her up on the phone and asks her out for a date…maybe takes her to a movie or out to dinner (Does he make a sound like that when he talks to her on the phone ?) Welllllllll…, no, he just talks to her, but if she likes him and he likes her, then maybe they’ll get married and have a family like your moms and dads…… ..Well…Hmmmmmm……why don’t we just skip all of that part. Let me show you the bug cases, the outer layer of their skin that they shed before they fly into the trees to make their noise." We walked down to the orchard and looked at the bases of the pear tree trunks. Hundreds of empty cicada cases were strewn about. The braver kids picked a few up, thought about taking some home to mom and dad, but quickly discarded them when I showed them how to pick up live ones. 190 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Scott’s Cicada www.flyflinger.com Hook – 3x long multipurpose hook, straight eye, size 6 (Daiichi 2461) Thread- Black 3/0 monocord Body – Black squirrel dubbed on the hook overlaid by 3mm craft foam. Cut the strip no wider than 3/8th” wide x 3” long. Taper one end. Foam is doubles back to form a rounded head. Underwing – Gold Flashabou-like fibers. Overwing – Orange elk or deer hair Legs – Black round rubber legs on bottom for stability; Orange Sili Legs on top for the movement and blending color down the side a bit. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 191
“They don’t bite, or sting; they just squirm a little bit and make that mating call. As big insects go, they’re pretty tame and non-threatening.” “That’s it?” my wife who had walked down the hill to join us asked. “They live in the ground for seventeen years, finally dig themselves out, shed their skin, fly up to a tree, make this god-awful racket that you call a mating call, maybe get lucky, then fly off and die. I think that I’ll take a long life filled with kids, grandkids, dancing, and credit cards.” I was proud of her. She gets wiser and wiser as she adds on years. Well, the next day, friend Bob called about a short one day trip down to the Current River, where we had heard through the fly fisherman’s grapevine that the cicada hatch was going strong down there too. I got on the computer and checked the river level at the edge of Montauk State Park. Up about fourteen inches said the government gauge, about twelve inches higher than Bob and I can safely wade. We put the trip off for another week, which gave me time to tie some cicada patterns. My first Google search found an easy tie, and a quick check found that I had all or most of the materials. This fly is one designed by Scott Branyan at www.flyflinger.com, a guy whose home waters are pretty much mine too. He calls it simply “Scott’s Cicada”. My first efforts were sort of sad, no proportions, a tad fragile. After I started using Super Glue to hold the foam shell on, things got easier. If, by now, you’ve looked up the pattern, I’ll confess that I left off the thick black legs….only because I didn’t have any. I went out in the orchard, retrieved a few live bugs, checked their leg count (they had three pair of a sort of burnt orange color), so I begin to add three sets of legs instead of two (actually four sets since I only tie legs on one way). Things got better. I trimmed the legs so that I’d have better stability in the water (Scott eventually moved his black legs lower to achieve the same thing). I was having trouble with my black dubbing, too. It was rabbit hair mixed with some red threads, looked way too fluffy, so I started wrapping strips of foam as a substitute. The final pattern had a foam base wrapped tight with thread, and over wrapped with a narrow strip of the same stuff. All in all, it looked pretty good, and cast okay. After tying up a few, I walked up the hill to the house (in the rain, of course), and threw them in a water filled bowl. They looked pretty good, but while I was there, Bob called and said that the weather report called for four more days of rain, that the river gauge had gone down only an inch, and that the fishing trip planned for next week looked doubtful again. I sighed, and went back down to the shop (in the rain) and started on a few more cicada patterns.
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I tied up enough for a half dozen, and filed away the pattern, not thinking that it wouldn’t be used for another thirteen to seventeen years. When you’re seventy-four, but think that you’re fifty-four, then hope continues to spring eternal. Well, the next Sunday evening came. Bob called. I had already checked the water level. It was back up, fifteen inches over safe wading levels, so we cancelled the trip again. Rain continued to pour down. Most of the small streams around the area were out of their banks now, and the rains continued to move southeast towards the watersheds of the Current. Needless to say, we agreed to try again late in the week. I took the opportunity to put a 4X tippet on a four and a half weight line, slid the reel on to a new six-foot, four-weight bamboo that I had just finished, tied on one of the foam cicada patterns, and lawn cast it in a slight drizzle. It behaved pretty good. I had taken a seven and a half foot tapered leader, cut off a foot to better match the length of the rod, which made the tip about a 3X. The fly turned over okay with a little effort. I made a note to try a five-weight line since the little bamboos were strong enough to handle it, but I was getting wet since the rain was coming down harder. A few days sailed by. Finally, on the tenth of June, we saw a three day opening in the clouds, took a chance and headed south. The Current was still too high, so we zeroed in on a small spring creek about forty miles northwest of the Current. We were on the small stream by ten-thirty AM. Getting out of the truck, I was overwhelmed by the silence. “No sounds!” I muttered, “There’s no cicada mating sounds,” I exclaimed to Bob, my voice now raising an octave. “I don’t hear a one! They didn’t have a hatch here!” Now defeated, I sighed and put the box of Scott’s Cicada patterns back in the fishing gear bag, and dejectedly tied on a #14 Olive Stimulator. Oh, but the trip ended well. We caught fish, over twenty little six to seven-inch wild rainbows came to our bamboos. We agreed that it was one of our better trips to that stream, but we never heard or saw a cicada. By late June, the cicada hatch back at my house finally tapered off, then died, with my cicada patterns still in a plastic container sitting on my tying bench. I finally marked the box of flies, “Free to a Good Home”, and put them with my show gear, determined to place them on my table at the next fly-fishing show, and to give them to young customers who looked like they’d still be alive in seventeen years.
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Fishing the Wilds of the North Fork of the White River Bill Cooper
y first encounter with the North Fork of the White River, deep in the Mark Twain National Forest of the Southern Missouri Ozarks, occurred almost 40 years ago. Stories and folklore about the Devil’s Backbone Wilderness Area intrigued me enough that I planned a backpacking trip. Little did I know that I would discover far more than I’d bargained for. Covering more than 6,500 acres of some of the most rugged country in Missouri, Devils’ Backbone takes it’s namesake from early settlers who encountered a steep, narrow ridge that traverses the area. Three springs course their way through the wilderness to the North Fork. During my backpacking trip into the heart of Devil’s Backbone, I discovered the Blue Springs branch and followed it to the confluence of the White. A rowdy flow bounced waves over slabs of rock and around bank side boulders. The breath taking stream screamed of trout. I broke out a fourpiece pack rod and rigged it as quickly as possible. Stream side willows made casting difficult, but I managed to roll cast a black wooly bugger to the downstream side of a boulder half the size of a Volkswagon into calm water. My offering sank quickly. I stripped three inches of line and began a drift. The fly deftly worked its magic and neared the end of the pocket. As the bugger rose at my next tug, my fly line went taunt. I instinctively raised my rod in true fly fisherman form and my first battle with a North Fork brown trout commenced. The hefty brown shot towards fast water and gained the advantage with the aide of the current. My #6 fly line buzzed through the reel. I feared the could not stand the pressure. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 197
Fortunately, the slight bit of pressure I issued halted the run and the brown turned towards calmer waters behind a pile of boulders. The North Fork of the White River is home to some of the most spectacular river views in the state. The most productive section of trout water is roughly a 12 mile stretch between Rainbow Spring and James Bridge. Both rainbow and brown trout can be caught, with the possibility of catching beautifully colored wild fish. I’ve fond the North Fork to one of the slickest rivers around. Stud-soled boots are a must to stay upright. Most of the stream flows through private property, so floating downriver on a small pontoon or a drift boat is the best way to travel. The North Fork flows for a lengthy 67 miles trough Douglas and Ozark Counties before meeting Norfork Lake near Tecumseh. Numerous springs add to the flow. Long stretches of riffles are complimented by occasional runs of Class II water. The lower 12 miles of the river are trophy trout waters. A Blue Ribbon Trout Area extends from Rainbow Spring to the Patrick Bridge Access. Rainbow trout are plentiful in this stretch with many running in the 10-to-14-inch range. The Red Ribbon Trout Area runs from Patrick Bridge all the way down to Norfork Lake. This area is where most anglers encounter the brown trout for which the North fork is famous. The overall numbers of browns have been down in recent years, but the numbers of larger fish have been on the rise.Fish in the 10-pound range are caught every year. The North Fork’s Blue Ribbon Trout Area extends from Rainbow Spring to Patrick Bridge Access. There are a good number of rainbow trout in this stretch, with many falling in the 10-14 inch range. The Red Ribbon Trout Area extends from Patrick Bridge to Norfork Lake. This is where anglers can expect to encounter the majority of the river’s famed brown trout. Although the overall numbers of browns are down, the number of larger brown trout has increased. Fish over 20 inches are a real trophy, so I hope if you are fortunate enough to land one, you’ll capture the moment with a photograph and then quickly release the fish so another angler may know your same excitement. The North Fork is far enough away from population centers that it does not get the crowds of floaters that are associated with rivers like the Current and the Niangua. This remoteness of the North fork is a major attractant to fly fishermen seeking a chance at solitude. 198 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
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A trout permit, in addition to a fishing permit, is required to possess and transport trout. If you do not plan to keep trout, you do not need the annual trout stamp. In the Blue Ribbon Waters from Rainbow Spring to Patrick Bridge, fishing regulations include an 18-inch minimum length limit on all trout, and a daily limit of one tout. Fishing is restricted to flies and artificial lures only. The Red Ribbon waters from Patrick Bridge to Norfork Lake include a 15-inch minimum length, with a daily limit of two. Experience has taught me that nymphing is the most consistent way to catch North Fork trout. I carry bead-head Prince Nymphs and brown Wooly Buggers in a variety of sizes. Crayfish are also an important spring and summer food source. May brings a light cahill hatch and July is a good time to tie on weighted hellgrammite nymphs. Caddis and stonefly nymphs are good almost anytime. But, to give it your best shot, skate an Elk Hair Caddis across the surface. Then brace yourself for an explosive strike. Popular Access Points 1 Kelly Ford Access (Google Earth Download) 2 River of Life Farm Pay Access (Google Earth Download) 3 Patrick Bridge Access (Google Earth Download) 4 Blair Bridge Access (Google Earth Download) Maps of Stream 1 Missouri Department of Conservation Map of the North Fork of the White River USGS Stream Flow Data 1 USGS Stream Gauge Link for the North Fork of the White River Other Recommended Fly Patterns 1 Hindâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Stone Fly Nymph (Size: #6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; #12)(Color: Black, Brown, and Gold) 2 Crackleback (Size: 16)(Color: Sulphur or PMD) 3 Elk Hair Caddis (Size: 18)(Color: Natural) 4 Tungsten BH WoolyBugger (Size: 8)(Color: Black, Olive, or Brown) 5 Tungsten Flashback BH Prince Nymph (Size: 16)(Color: Dark Colors) Stream Specific Links 1 Weather.com Weather Forecast for Area (Dora, MO) 2 River of Life Farm (Canoe Rental, Lodging, & Guiding) 3 Sunburst Ranch Canoe Rental & Camping www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 201
“The mission statement of the newly opened Popcorn Sutton distillery in Newport, Tennessee is to distill Popcorn Sutton likker in accordance with the mountaineer’s original recipe and process, that was passed down through three generations over the last 100 years,” explains Travis Hixon, Distillery Manager. “Before his death we had agreed with Popcorn to open a distillery and help him go legal. Since then we have tried to honor that vision.” What makes Newport in Cocke County, Tennessee the logical place for
establishing this local moonshine distillery? Location, location and location, but also historical precedent. “Our new distillery is located only a few miles from Popcorn Sutton’s home and the backwoods where this legend ran off some of his finest likker,” says Hixon. “We believe that Popcorn would have wanted it this way---close by…with the success of the distillery benefiting the people of Cocke County. At the time of Popcorn’s passing, commercial distilling was not yet legal here,” says Hixon. “ So we opened
our first distilling facility in Nashville, Tennessee. But when local laws permitting commercial distilling changed, we naturally looked back to Cocke County”. A few people claim that Popcorn Sutton was an avid mountain trout fisherman. This may or may not be true, but what we do know is Popcorn was fond of pure, cool mountain streams that were key to his likker making efforts. The distillery’s flagship product is Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey. Crystal clear, with subtle notes of
Reading a Bronzeback River Harry Murray
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have found that when I teach my smallmouth on the stream schools the most valuable skill I can help my students master is reading the water. To me this means examining each part of the river carefully in order to determine where you suspect the bass will be holding, the type of food they will feed on in each of these feeding stations and which specific flies will be effective. Once these evaluations are accurately made the most important step is getting yourself in the best position to fish each feeding station properly... you do not want to find yourself fishing where you should be wading while your wading where you should be fishing. In order to learn to read the water properly let us set up a typical pool in a smallmouth river that has a broad variety of feeding areas and fish each of these, starting at the head of the pool and fishing all the way down to the tail of the pool.
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The riffle (A) entering the head of the pool is fairly fast water ranging from two to three feet deep flowing over freestone rocks ranging from baseball to basketball size. This is the perfect habitat for madtoms and sculpin minnows and bass of all sizes feeding heavily on these minnows. By using Murray's Black Madtom Sculpin Streamer size 6 and Clouser's Sculpin size 6 these are some of the easiest bass in the river to catch. The speed of the current and the broken surface of the river often prevent these bass from being wary.
My favorite way to fish this riffle is to wade into the river at the upstream end of the riffle and make my first cast with my streamer thirty feet across stream. After it sinks deeply I swim it slowly across the streambottom by stripping it six inches every ten seconds until it is within twenty feet of me. Successive casts are made five feet longer until I am casting as far as comfortable and use the same streamer-stripping action. After completing this series of casts I wade downstream pausing every five feet to repeat this series of casts until I cover all of this upper part of the riffle down to where the streambottom is covered with boulders from two to three feet in diameter and there are many pockets four feet deep. You might call this the lower part of the riffle. 206 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
This interface (B) where the riffle enters the upper end of the main pool holds great numbers of hellgrammites (the larva of the dobsonfly). With a three year life cycle these hellgrammites are one of the main food sources in many smallmouth rivers. The natural hellgrammite is an excellent swimmer wiggling downstream with a pronounced undulating action when cut free from the streambottom. This makes it possible to fish the Murray's Hellgrammite down and across stream with a slow stripping action very effective. However, my favorite technique here is to fish the Murray's Black Hellgrammite size 4 upstream dead drift around the boulders in all of the deep pockets. Many large bass apparently find it difficult to resist a fly drifting naturally right in front of them because this technique gives me many large bass each year.
On the far bank there is a twenty foot wide back eddy (C). Many large bass feed here in low light levels. Surface action is excellent when you select your bug according to the depth of the water. If it is less than three feet deep the Shenandoah Slider size 4 can be fished with a slow teasing action. If the water is over four feet deep the Shenandoah Chuggar with its deeply cut face can be fished with a great racket which will bring the bass up.
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Just downstream of the back eddy a beautiful grassbed extends from the bank thirty feet out into the river and reaching forty feet down the river (D). Great numbers of shiner minnows live here. If the water is less than three feet deep a Silver
Outcast Streamer size 4 is great. If the water is over three feet deep a Clouser Deep Silver Shiner size 6 is productive. Cast these tight against the grass and swim them out slowly by stripping them six inches every ten seconds.
Immediately downstream of the grassbed a gravel bar (E) reaches fifty feet down the river. The water over the gravel bar is several inches deep along the bank and tapers to three feet deep thirty feet out in the river. Schools of shiner minnows live here and the large bass
fifty feet out in the river cast your streamer up onto the gravel bar and strip it out into the deep water. Expect your strike just as your fly enters the deep water. When fishing both the grassbeds and the gravel bars try to cover these completely by systematically casting your fly every
cruise the deep water along the outer edge of the bar to feed on any minnows that stray too far from home. The same two shiner flies, the Silver Outcast and Clouser's Deep Silver Shiner, are very effective here. From
several feet along them as you wade downstream. Downstream of the gravel bar there is a five to six foot deep pool reaching over a hundred feet down the middle of the river (F). Many large bass feed heavily on the
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great numbers of natural creek chub minnow that live here. These are large minnows so we use flies that give the bass a big mouthful. The Shenk's White Streamer size 4 and Murray's Magnum Creek Chub Streamer size 4 are both excellent here. An effective tactic is to start
the speed of the current, you may need to use a sinking tip line that sinks at two to four inches per second in order to fish your flies deeply. Wade slowly down the side of this deep water and place each successive cast several feet further downstream and you just might catch
as it twisted the upper section downstream. The shade and depth provide a secure feeding station for the large bass that take advantage of the natural chub minnows that wash out of the large pool just upstream. If I find these bass holding deeply I fish them across stream with
at the upper end of this deep water and cast your streamer across stream to the far side of the deep water. After it sinks deeply swim it slowly across the stream bottom by stripping it six inches every ten seconds. Depending upon
your largest bass of the season. On the far bank an old oak tree (G) fell into the river just above the tail of the pool. Spring floods have chewed most of the limbs off and cut out deeply below the remaining log
a Shenk's White Streamer size 4. However, they often hold in the shade of the log only a foot below the surface. These fish will quickly take a Murray's Floating Chub Minnow size 4 fished right along the edge of the log.
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My favorite smallmouth rod is 9 feet long that has a strong tip and a medium action butt section that balances with a 7 weight line. I like reels that weight four to six ounces. I use both a WF-7-F Bass Bug Line and a WF-7-F/S Sinking Tip Line that sinks at two to four inches per second in the first twelve feet. My favorite leaders are hand tied 9 foot 2X styles. 210 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
Fly fishing for smallmouth bass in rivers is one of the most exciting and gratifying forms of angling the serious angler can find.
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The Watauga River: Dixieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Kept Secret
Emerging Sulphur Nymph
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GEORGIA TROUT UNLIMITED TROUT CAMP:
irst-year Trout Camp Director Rodney Tumlin blows a raucous crow call on Sunday, June 7, in the assembly room of Jane Dorm at Rabun Gap Nacoochee School (RGNS). RGNS sits atop a beautiful Appalachian hill in Dillard, Georgia, with 360 degree mountain views and surrounded by trout streams. Jane Dorm is beautiful, modern, and clean. A buzzing room of twenty-four trout campers (eighteen boys and six girls aged 12-15), their parents, and the camp staff is shocked into silence with the strange sound, which signals the beginning of the 2015 camp, the twelfth year of this exceptional opportunity for teens to focus on learning a life-long outdoor pursuit. Campers and parents soon determine that Georgia TU Trout Camp is neither leisurely nor restful: it is six days packed with lessons in fly fishing, cold water conservation, teamwork, and personal responsibility. Tumlin introduces the core staff of sixteen full time adult mentors and five youth or “peer” mentors, teens who excelled at past trout camps. Camp staff and mentors are all unpaid volunteers. Extended staff includes a TU dorm mother; members of the local Rabun TU chapter who drive camp buses, shuttle campers along the stream, and serve field lunches; and numerous additional TU and Georgia DNR mentors and guest instructors who will appear during the week to teach classes and mentor fly casting, fishing, fly tying, and other camp activities. This brings the total number of volunteers and instructors to about sixty over the week so that trout campers may receive quality instruction, supervision, and hands-on practical advice from dozens of experts, much of it one-on-one. Tumlin describes the busy week ahead and informs parents that they will receive photos of their campers engaging in the day’s classes and activities each night via email. Classes start immediately after parents are dismissed.
AN EXPERIENCE FOR A LIFETIME By Ralph Artigliere
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The first order of business is distributing quality personal equipment for each camper to keep: a TFO fly rod and reel with line and leader, a fishing vest loaded with essential gear, Costa polarized sunglasses, a net, shirts, hats, gear storage bag, and more. There is palpable excitement in the room as the campers pick up their new gear. Mack Martin from the Atlanta Fly Fishing School (AFFS), describes each piece of equipment, how a fly rod works, and how to care for it. Campers have a personal notebook with key information on each subject and space for notes. Most campers take notes, and all are intently listening. Next comes a class by a fishing guide on stealth tactics and reading the water, a movie on fly fishing in the RGNS state-of-the-art theater, and then dinner. Campers then attend their first fly casting lesson using their new rod and reel from 7:30 until dark. Casting is taught by Mack Martin with individual tutoring from certified casting instructor Ed Chamberlain of AFFS and other mentors. Campers make progress in the first lesson and will improve in casting sessions each day throughout the week. Access to individual instruction by Martin, Chamberlain, and mentors all week is invaluable. At 9 p.m., campers return from their first fly-casting class to their assembly room seats for an afteraction report on the day. The energy level is high, even at day’s end. Tumlin uses the crow call to get campers’ attention, mentions the salient lessons of the day, and reminds them of the simple rules of the dorm: no wet
gear in the dorm, keep your room and common areas clean, no visiting in other campers’ rooms (day rooms are provided for any socialization beyond your own assigned roommate), and respect others and respect the facility. Having had the equivalent of a full day’s instruction since 3 p.m., everyone is ready for bed at 10:30 lights out. Each day campers awake at 6 a.m. and assemble at 6:30 on the spacious lawn next to the dorm with rods reassembled and lines strung for casting class before breakfast. Starting at 8 a.m., there is a full schedule until 9:30 p.m. of various classes and experiences, including: fly tying; entomology; where and how to find trout in a stream; ethics and etiquette on the stream; a trip to a fish hatchery; a vigorous stream restoration project; electroshock sampling of wild brook trout; and many trips to local trout streams to fish. Campers are responsible for prompt attendance with proper clothing and gear at each session. Peer mentors are assigned a group of campers and apply helpful guidance and assistance. Absent is any opportunity for TV, video games, internet activity, or other indoor pastimes. Most days end with fishing at Betty Creek, a private stream that is less than two minutes’ drive from the front gate of the school. By luck, or by listening to Martin and mentors, many of the campers catch a trout or two on their first trip to Betty Creek on Monday evening. Upon returning to the dorm, a fully stocked fly tying room is available each night with mentors on hand for campers to learn or refine tying skills until lights out.
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Instruction throughout bugs in Dukes Creek, a life-cycles is supplemented with information on how the week is given by top world class trout stream. educators, like the Tuesday Campers learn to identify trout flies emulate these favorite trout foods. entomology lesson from and classify various Sheila Humphrey of DNR species and sub-species Campers learn that one at Smithgall Woods. of macro-invertebrates that can determine water quality by calculating a Humphrey, a life-long are trout prey, including educator, brings spirit and mayflies, stoneflies, score based on varieties of bugs identified during energy to her subject. Her caddis flies, dragons and indoor class is followed damsels, terrestrials, and the sampling. After lunch by on stream, handsothers. Explanation of prey Tuesday, campers visit on collection of aquatic appearance, behavior, and Lake Burton Hatchery to www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 217
learn about raising and stocking trout, followed by a trip to the Tallulah River where they help DNR stock trout using a “bucket brigade.” Wednesday’s stream work project on a small wild brook trout stream is arduous and educational. Campers help DNR biologists construct substantial in-stream structures to enhance trout habitat. It takes teamwork and physical effort to dig
out a crib in a rocky stream bottom for a log to be placed as a water diverter, to move that one ton log and place it in the crib by hand, and to drive rebar through the log into the stream bed to secure it for two or three decades. This is hard, dirty work. Young campers swing an eight pound sledge to drive a half-inch steel rebar rod, a new experience to most. It is impressive to see the results and how well
campers work together as a team. They also help conduct a stream survey by catching, assessing, and measuring small, wild brook trout with nets and electroshocking equipment along past structure work to scientifically distinguish which types of stream structures help the trout thrive. Campers fish Betty Creek many times during the week, as well as taking trips to the
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Tallulah River and the Upper Chattahoochee at Nacoochee Bend with mentors by their side. The job of stream mentor is vital. The finer points of trout fishing are learned on the stream by trial and error and having an expert close at hand draws the most from each experience on the water. Mentors also teach proper respect for the quarry, safe netting and release, respect for and proper distance from
other fishermen, and more. Mentor role models help campers with the joys of success and the reality of lack of success while fishing. As a full-time adult mentor for the first time this year, I developed a new respect for my organization, the folks who created this great program, and the value of trout fishing as a motivator for positive human behavior. The Camp Director for the
campâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first eleven years, Charlie Breithaupt, and his wife, Camp Coordinator Kathy Breithaupt, along with Mack Martin, developed and refined a comprehensive and actionfilled program that is the envy of TU trout camps around the nation. Those three remain the heart and soul of Georgia Trout Camp. Normally it takes abundant study and trial and error experience
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to learn fly fishing for trout. Amassing quality equipment needed for trout fishing can be challenging and costly, especially for a young person starting from scratch. Trout camp helps the teens overcome these barriers to entry in one short week and motivates them to show up, work hard, and learn every day. The smiles on the faces of campers and parents at Friday’s graduation as well as their many expressions of gratitude attest to the excellence and value of the experience. But campers will not immediately realize that, in addition to having
fun learning fly fishing, they also encountered lessons in personal responsibility, accountability, teamwork, and ethics, and an appreciation for the outdoors. My twelve year-old grandson Luke was a camper this year. I “guided” him as a mentor on the stream only once, because I wanted him to have the opportunity to learn from the other wonderful adult and youth mentors. The evening Luke fished with me, he displayed his new skills and caught a nice trout on a dry fly, which was exciting. As darkness
came and we were walking off the stream together, my grandson said quietly, “You know I really like this, don’t you?” That simple statement was the climax of a great week, but it sits atop a mountain of other good memories. The fundraising efforts of the Georgia TU chapters and the solicitation of donated trout fishing gear from various sponsors allows Trout Camp to be a premier experience for a quite reasonable cost. Information on Trout Camp is available at http:// georgiatu.org/wordpress/ news/trout-camp/.
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uests breathe easier here, and it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just the mountain air. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the entire Eseeola experience: award-winning cuisine, exceptional service, and of course, first-rate fly fishing on the Linville River. Call Today
175 Linville Avenue Linville, NC 28646 (800)742-6717 www.Eseeola.com forwww.SouthernTrout.com Reservations l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 221
Fly-Rod Evolutio Graphite in Simp Sort of… by Timothy P. O’Brien, Ph.D. Photos by Matthew Reilly
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on: ple Terms— “We started with gear designed for freshwater trout or salmon fishing... we had to grope our way through a maze of tackle, figuring out the most effective knots, how to use it all…Eventually we graduated from the age-old split bamboo rods and rushed into space-age plastics, fiberglass, then graphite and even Kevlar… But the basic ingredient remained: the predators’ urge to conjure up a sporting challenge between man and fish, with a bit of grace and a touch of ancient art.” --Stu Apte, Hall of Fame Fly Angler
or centuries, it would seem, product designers, engineers, and manufacturers have constantly attempted to improve everything used by humans on the face of the Earth. Some of these improvements have come from necessity to make a product better or more durable, less expensive to make, and even to expand their reach into the marketplace. Product changes are often disguised under the terms of “new and improved,” “next generation,” or “cutting edge.” And,
fishing rods lost much of its popularity because it was delicate and required maintenance, but some companies continued to manufacture them to cater to the more “bound-bytradition” anglers. Bamboo gave way to fiberglass in popularity, which in turn gave way to graphite as the fishing rod of choice. And, someday we may view Like all other manufactured graphite fishing rods as that products, fishing rods have archaic material that the been made from numerous old timers used. However, for now, graphite remains and different materials as the material of choice throughout the centuries. As one material fell from and most likely will hold favor, another took its this status for some time to place. Split-cane (bamboo) come. Quite frankly, there marketers will often have one believe that a product that is just a few years old is simply no longer useable or simply out of vogue and must be discarded to make way for “the next greatest thing.” In all, these improvements seem to carry us through life “with a bit of grace and a touch of ancient art.”
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are still plenty of anglers out there (this author included) that still use a bamboo or fiberglass rod because of their inherent qualities. At the end of the day, a fishing rod is still a very personal item of personal preference that “the predators’ urge to conjure up a sporting challenge between man and fish.” The transition in the construction of fly fishing rods from Bamboo to Fiberglass to Graphite greatly lowered manufacturing costs and, ultimately, the selling price of the equipment to anglers. Graphite revolutionized fly-fishing and profoundly changed how fishermen practice the sport in recent years. The move towards graphite fly rods was prompted by the desire to have a “faster and lighter” fishing rod. Further, graphite was considered to have much a higher strength to weight ratio, thinner—improving the rods’ aerodynamics, greater durability, and enhanced sensitivity.
market in 1973 and two manufacturers, Fenwick and Hardy, each have made the claim to be the first to manufacturer a graphite fishing rod. In short, almost immediately after their introduction several companies adopted the new material and began to improve and refine the action of the rods they manufactured. The largest flyrod manufacturer in the world, Orvis, introduced their first version of the graphite flyrod in 1974. In the ensuing next few years, a number of companies began taking part in the refinement of graphite fly rods. Today, the number of anglers that use bamboo or fiberglass fly rods pales in relation to the number that use graphite.
approximately 0.005–0.010 MM in diameter, that are lain parallel along the long axis of the fiber. These fibers are bonded together and thousands of the fibers are twisted together to form a yarn, which is then woven into a fabric. The fabric, in turn is then impregnated with a synthetic resin to provide a superior strength-toweight ratio material. The process of making graphite cloth is eerily similar to the process to make fiberglass cloth. However, the properties of graphite: high tensile strength, low weight, and low thermal expansion make it product that is very conducive for use in aerospace, civil engineering, military, motorsports, and fishing rods.
Graphite is a carbon fiber and fishing rod blanks are Modulus is the unit of made from a graphite-resin measure of stiffness that impregnated cloth and is used to determine the transformed into a rigid amount of pulling force, solid. The graphite fibers also known as “stress,” a are made from petroleum carbon fiber can tolerate pitch and are those before breaking. In the found in the “ultrahigh United States, most are modulus” range (modulus familiar with pounds of is explained in a paragraph force per square inch of below). The cloth consists force on a cross-sectional of carbon atoms aligned Graphite fly rods area at sea level (psi) as into extremely thin fibers, first appeared in the a unit of pressure. Thus, 224 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
more than resistance to to the angler? At the end modulus is the ratio flex. Higher the modulus of the day, the angler must (expressed in millions of leads to stiffer fishing rods, select the fishing rod that psi) between stiffness and weight of a graphite blank. but the higher modulus also feels best in his or her leads to more brittle rods. hands, the one that feels The higher the modulus, most comfortable, and the more energy the rod Graphite brought revolution the one that inspires the can store (loading) and most confidence to land release at the end of a cast to the fly fishing industry and profoundly impacted the fish. To paraphrase and is directly related to the fishing styles of many Hall of Fame Angler Stu the speed and the power fishermen, today. However, Apte, we have had to grope of the rod. The modulus in terms of a fishing rod our way through a maze ratings begin with "low construction, it is still of tackle, figuring out the modulus" and increase relatively “young” in the most effective…and way incrementally to “standard marketplace. The history of to conjure up a sporting modulus," "intermediate graphite has a long way to challenge between man modulus," "high modulus," go and, almost assuredly, and fish, with a bit of grace and "ultrahigh modulus." and a touch of ancient art. The concept of modulus is will have many new and widely miss-understood by improved variations. So, what does all of this mean many, however, it is much www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 225
The FLY FISHING MUSEUM of the SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS
“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.” – Alen Baker
For Inquiries or to make a Charitable Donation Contact: (828) 788-0034 516 Tsali Blvd, PO Box 1838 Cherokee, NC 28719 email@example.com www.flyfishingmuseum.org Building a Monument to the Rich Heritage of Fly Fishing in the Southern Appalachians
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The Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians is OPEN!!!!!
120+ Attendedwww.SouthernTrout.com our Grand Opening andTrout BBQl September Lunchâ&#x20AC;Ś2015 l Southern
close look - north carolina Dream Comes True: The Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians by Don Kirk The opening of the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians in Cherokee, North Carolina was made possible by the concerted effort of dozens of people dedicated to the task of preserving this unique story. Like every momentous movement, this huge project was brainchild of one person who from start to finish spearheaded the show. In this case the blame falls squarely on Alen Baker. Had he left well enough alone, odds are no one else would have taken up the cause, much less shepherded through to fruition. Naw, he didn’t do it alone, but again, without his meddlesome commitment to the projects, there would be no Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians. “I caught my first trout, a 14-inch brown on Wilson Creek and grew up with stories about the local fly fishers including “Cap” Wiese, Newland Saunders and many more,” explains Baker, who retired from Duke Power with aspirations of spending more time fly fishing. “In 2010 upon my returning from Atlantic salmon fishing Nova Scotia’s Margaree River where I had visited a fly fishing museum, I was inspired to see our regional have a fly fishing museum. I knew that the history of fly fishing in the Southern Appalachians was being lost every day as the region’s old timer passed away and their memories and stories passed with them.” To say Baker started from scratch might be an overstatement. “The museum plan is to begin the first year with high interest, readily available exhibits,” notes Baker. “Thereafter the plan was to annually both improve on existing exhibits while adding new exhibits. One of the goals is for the museum will serve other organizations as a meeting place and a fly fishing library for anglers and historians. We intend to research, document and make public all the precious heritage of fly fishing in the region. The museum will attract the public as a point of interest for tourist that travel to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee’s Qualla Reservation, to the region’s cold water fisheries and fly fishing. The scope of the museum will be the Southern Appalachians geographically and everything about fly fishing for trout, smallmouth bass and other gamefish as well as related topics such as the rod makers, fly tyers, resource managers, volunteer organizations and private clubs.” In 2011 and 2012, Baker looked for a suitable location for the museum in cities located in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Virginia, but found little in the way of sufficient interest to sponsor or support a museum. This changed when the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce expressed an interest. Originally a 600 square foot, log cabin in need of renovations along the Oconaluftee River was considered. Later it was decided that a 5000 square foot existing building was needed. Renovation to exterior were in 2O14, and the exhibit hall was completed just prior to the June 2015 opening. 228 l August 2015 l Southern Trout l www.SouthernTrout.com
“Raising money for initial staffing or at least find volunteers that would staff the museum were obstacles were removed when the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce stepped up,” says Baker. “Forrest and Amy Parker and Principal Chief Michell Hick fully support the museum and its future. The museum will be operated jointly (gift shop, tours, etc.) with the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce Staff and with a large cadre of volunteers, mostly anglers or retirees." Other funding for museum and the acquisition fly fishing heirloom and artifacts of the region has been an ongoing job. According to Baker, the Founding Members list includes the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Preservation Foundation, Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, Southern Trout Magazine, Tennessee Valley Authority and many more - over sixty Founding Members that contributed $500 or more. There are more than eighty Charter Members that contributed $100 or more. Most of the Chapters and state Councils of Trout Unlimited and International Federation of Fly Fishing made major contributions. Many of the Southeastern fly shops and independent guides provided items or guided trips for the fund raiser last November. “I see the current museum board making bold decisions to make the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians everyone’s museum,” says Baker. “The museum, the Cherokee Enterprise Waters and the Great Smoky Mountain streams will all be a part of establishing Cherokee as a Fly Fishing Mecca. We are planning for an annual Museum Hall of Fame event as well as continually improving the exhibits. The museum will be a place of education for interns doing research elements for credit at their respective institution of higher learning. The museum will partner with local as well as other institutes, colleges and universities that have degrees in the related subjects of natural resource management and other life sciences as well as archeology and history.” Bakers efforts along with the an army of help that is simply too long to list, the region now has a bona fide, sure enough museum dedicated to the preservation and heritage of fly fishing in the Southern Appalachians. He mostly passes along accolades to all who pitched in and share his dream, but the fact remains. Had this forward thinking fellow with a passion for fly fishing and the South not had this dream, there would be no Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians. For that, we who love this sport and its traditions tip our hat to Mr. Baker. www.SouthernTrout.com l Southern Trout l September 2015 l 229
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or 207474-2500.