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“Hazel Creek: The Life and Death of an Iconic Mountain Community”

leah kirk

“Hazel Creek: The Life and Death of an Iconic Mountain Community” by Daniel Pierce acquaints readers with this controversial community found with the present day boundaries of the GSMNP. It is published by Great Smoky Mountains Association, a non-profit partner of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many local bookstores, as well as all National Park stores and, carry the book

Daniel Pierce, University of North Carolina at Asheville history professor, wrote about the most isolated area of the national for many reasons, with his love of fishing residing near the top of his list.

 “I’ve long had an interest in Hazel Creek; it’s an incredibly beautiful place,” said Pierce, who has been known to wet a line in Hazel Creek on more than one occasion. “And I’ve long had a historical interest in a place, which has so many wonderful stories.”

The stories Pierce tells in “Hazel Creek” include characters like Moses Proctor, the first white man to settle in the area who “probably squatted on the land,” secure in the belief that the area’s isolation would prevent the State of North Carolina from even knowing he was there. That isolation began to loosen its grip, however, as others followed, said Pierce, who points out that while “it wasn’t exactly a thriving community, by the 1880s there were a number of families living there. Even before Horace Kephart came, Hazel Creek had really been affected by industrialization.”

What Kephart saw happening in the Hazel Creek community gave him the impression that the area was in decline. That turned out not to be the case, as the Ritter Lumber Company would soon move in, bringing with it railroads and heavy equipment to log the entire region between 1910-20s. The town of Proctor was built for Ritter’s employees, who thrived in the area and numbered around 1,000 at the company’s peak. But as quickly as boom appeared, it went away. By the late 1920s, with no more timber to cut, Proctor was almost a ghost town.

 “When TVA closed the flood gates, they flooded the road into the Hazel Creek area and all the communities on the north shore of the Little Tennessee,” Pierce said. The people living there were moved out, but were promised that a new road would be built into the area. Of course, he said, that began the controversy that’s come to be called the “Broken Promise of the Road to Nowhere.”

Fayetteville PHW Fly Fishing Program

leah kirk

                The angling public is invited to join the Fayetteville Project Healing Waters for a Saturday, June 3rd, for a “Low Country Shrimp Boil & Social”.

 the Fayetteville PHW Fly Fishing volunteers and participants are kicking off summer with good food and good friends. The event starts at 5:30pm at the home of Tammy and Tom Carpenter. Here’s the recipe for the low country boil:

Start with a pot of good clean water and add some fabulous Louisiana Crab boil seasonings, a couple of Bay leaves, red skin potatoes, sweet onions and squeeze some fresh lemons in, just because.  Then, add in fresh field corn and a few pounds of that staple of Cajun cuisine, Andouille (an-doo-ee) sausage. Once everything boils real good, we add in some plump, juicy shrimp and soak 'em until they're pink. Then, dump everything on the table, and if you go away hungry it's your fault.

This is a family event and hamburgers and hotdogs will be available for the kiddos or for you, if shrimp is just not to your liking. For more contact Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing-Fayetteville; 7489 Raeford Road; Fayetteville, NC 28304

2017 Cherokee’s Memorial Day Trout Tournament

leah kirk


Up for grabs is $10,000 in cash prizes Cherokee’s Memorial Day Trout Tournament in Cherokee, North Carolina. Registration is required Cherokee's Memorial Day Trout Tournament; Daily Fishing Permit ($10) Required; Tournament Registration ($11) Required. Tag Turn In and Prize Redemption located at Beetle Stage Pavilion next to Cherokee Welcome Center in Cherokee NC from 4:00pm-6:00pm all three tournament days.

Spend the long weekend with the boys: rainbow, brook, golden, and brown. Your $11 entry fee lets you compete for $10,000 in tagged fish within the beautiful freestone streams of Cherokee, NC; only the 2.2 miles of catch-and-release waters are excluded. Tagged fish will be specially stocked for this event, and when you catch one, you redeem it for cash prizes ranging from $25 to $1,000 at the Beetle Stage Pavilion next to the Cherokee Welcome Center on US 441.

Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods. Register for this tournament anywhere fishing permits are sold in and around Cherokee or online at - See more at:

Missouri: Table Rock Dam Opens to Lower Lake

leah kirk

BRANSON, Mo. - The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District will open five spillway gates today at Table Rock Dam to supplement hydropower turbine releases as it lowers the lake.

Five spillway gates will be opened one foot each to substitute for the one hydropower turbine unit which is currently offline for routine maintenance. At 10 a.m., five spillway gates began releasing 5,000 cubic feet per second. About 10,000 cf/s is being released through the hydropower turbines for a total release of 15,000 cf/s, which is the equivalent to four hydropower turbines at full power. The combined spillway and turbine releases will continue until the lake reaches elevation 916.

Daily lake information can be obtained at or the Corps' mobile App which can be found in mobile App stores by searching for USACE Little Rock.

Morel Whooper

leah kirk

An Indiana teenager in Indiana found himself one hefty mushroom trophy.  Fungi kudos to 13-year-old Kayden Graber, who found a morel mushroom that stands nearly 1-foot tall! In a Facebook post, the Indiana DNR shared photos of the mushroom that Kayden found near Linton, Indiana, in Greene County.

Every year, thousands of morels are found throughout the U.S., ranging in all different shapes and sizes – just like the trophy bucks we see during the fall. This is one of the first monstrous morels we’ve seen this year, and it certainly is a trophy.

Breaking News: The End is Near…

leah kirk

(Warning: duct your head before reading)

Skeletal starving bears and forests ravaged by wildfires: Chilling retro posters show how global warming could change America's National Parks by 2050. Hannah Rothstein based the posters on classic, retro National Parks posters produced between 1938 and 1941. One of the posters shows redwood trees in Redwood National and State Parks cut down for logging.

This dire report was in the April 26th edition of the Daily Mail, a confusing newspaper published in London. Rothstein is hell bent on scaring children and the puss guts in her effort to inspires everyone to acknowledge that the climate stewardship is a non-partisan issue and work together to find the solutions to the problem.

She based the posters on classic, retro National Parks posters produced between 1938 and 1941 in an effort to heat things up on her climate change crusade. Our pick of the litter is her print for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that she shows her projection of the park in 2050 that depicts the park in flames due to wildfires.

The Yellowstone National Park print shows a starving, thin bear walking across its landscape. The print reads: 'Disappearing geysers, warming rivers, dying trout, starving grizzlies and pine beetle infestations'

Rothstein wrote, 'If we dive headfirst into inventing for a brighter future, we can prevent National Parks 2050 from becoming a reality'.

                The term "global warming" was dropped, even by the hoaxers, when the statistics were found to have been falsified. The term "climate change" replaced it, very deceitfully, as it climate has always, is always and always will be a'changing.

                Ah, yes, the voice of reason…

Last Call for Blue Ridge Trout Festival

leah kirk

          Next Saturday is the much anticipated Blue Ridge Trout Fishing and Outdoors Festival. The event has bolted to the top of list of the South’s top trout fishing events. Here is the latest update on the vendors at this super event in Blue Ridge, GA.

Above the Rest Custom Cabins          Alpharetta Outfitters

Als Boiled Peanuts                               Benton Mackaye Trail

Al's Boiled Peanuts                              Blue Ridge Adventure Wear

Blackhawk Fishing                               Blue Ridge Fly Shop

Blue Ridge Cotton Co                         BRTF HQ TENTand OFFICIAL FEST HATS & SHIRTS

Boones Art                                          Casting for Recovery

Cartecay Bike Shop                             Chattahoochee Forest Nat'l Fish Hatchery

Chamber of Commerce                       Cohutta Fishing Co.

Coopers Creek Pottery                        Costco

Cox Media Group                                 Cousins Maine Lobster

Duncan Dobie, Author                         Crest Meadows Canoes & Kayaks

Eagle Rock/Budweiser                        Eagle Rock

Faith Presbyterian Church                   Eight River Rods

First Mountain Woodcraft                    Firefly Studios

Flysmith                                                 Fly Fish Blue Ridge

GA Dept. of Natural Resources            Fly Fishing Museum of Southern   Appalachians

Georgia Grown                                     Georgia Women Flyfishers

Gotta Have It                                        Get Off the Grid Fest

Heartwood Blue Ridge                        Holloway Realtors

Ice Cream Steam Engine                     Lake Blue Ridge Outfitters

Jim-N-I Creations                                Mountain Kettle Korn

Lily of the Valley Soaps                      Mt. Conservation Trust of GA

Mountain Kettle CorN                         New Subaru

North Georgia Trout Online                Noontootla Creek Farm

Outside World Outfitteres              Old Toccoa Farm

Paddle Pics                                          Overlook at Blue Ridge

Porch Life Enclosures                         Pezrok

RG Custom Tackle                              Reel Angling Adventures

Rivers Edge Outfitters                        River Through Atlanta

Save Georgia Hemlocks                      Rockbridge Training LLC

Southern Fishing                                 Rods Rockin Rolls

Suches Vacation Rentals                     Smoking Loon

Tenn. Overhill Heritage Association    Smoky Mountain Living

Troncalli Subaru                                    Southern Trout

Trout Unlimited #696                            The Mailman Did It

TU Tie Flying Booth                              Toccoa Valley Campground & Tubing

Unicoi Outfitters                                    Trout Unlimited Council

Wild Creations in Wood                         USDA Forest Service

Wildwater/Ocoee River Basin Canopy Tours

Whitehouse Bamboo Fly Rods              Williamson Brothers BBQ

April Fishing Skills Events at Pechmann Center

leah kirk

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A free advanced fly tying skills workshop will be offered April 28th at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This monthly fly-tying forum takes place the fourth Thursday of each month and provides participants with an opportunity to enhance their fly-tying skills.

It is an extension of the Commission’s Beginning Fly-tying Course, and participants are given a handout for each pattern that includes the materials list and tying instructions so they can practice at home. The handout may be added to the fly-tying handbook that participants receive in the Beginning Fly-tying Course. While participants are encouraged to use their own equipment, equipment and materials are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. This forum is open to participants of all skill levels ages 10 and up; however, participants 15 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

                April 26th from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. is the Introduction to Kayak Fishing (Level II) workshop, which is open to participants 16 and older. It is to give anglers and paddlers the skills to safely and successfully fish in sheltered waters from a kayak. Participants will meet at Lake Rim, which is directly across the street from the Pechmann Center, for instruction on launching and landing a kayak, paddle strokes, capsize recovery, anchoring and basic fishing techniques. Participants should have completed Introduction to Kayak Fishing Level 1 before taking this workshop. All equipment and materials are provided. The workshop is limited to 12 participants.

The John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center is located at 7489 Raeford Road, across from Lake Rim. Wildlife Commission staff at the Pechmann Center conducts fishing workshops, events and clinics throughout the year. To see a schedule of upcoming events, visit

Kentucky Spring Stream Fishing Advice

leah kirk

FRANKFORT, Ky. --The up and down nature of spring weather can cause consternation among anglers when planning fishing trips. Concerns about the weather is one of two things to consider when planning fishing trips this spring.

1. Barometric pressure is key to unlocking fish behavior in spring:

Barometric pressure is the measurement of the weight of an entire column of air pressing down upon the Earth. Approaching storm fronts in spring ease this weight, resulting in low barometric pressure. The low pressure releases humidity trapped in the atmosphere, resulting in rain or snow.

The dark, low clouds, winds and precipitation that accompany low pressure systems limit light penetration into the water column, providing a better environment for predator fish to ambush prey. Fish do bite better before a front. High pressure systems follow low pressure frontal systems. In North America, high pressure systems flow out in a clockwise pattern, resulting first in winds from the north and eventually from the east.

A couple of days of stable weather in spring ease the influence of high pressure and get fish biting again. The sunny days typical of high pressure warm the water and stir fish activity. Plan your trips this spring to fish either right before a low pressure system or on the third or fourth day of stable weather.

2. Making sense of the USGS streamflow charts to plan float trips on Kentucky streams:

The streamflow information on the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) webpage at provides invaluable information for paddlers and anglers. On this page, select Kentucky from the drop down menu on the top right hand corner to view the flow on streams on all of the river drainages in Kentucky.

The rate of flow on this page shows as CFS or cubic feet per second. The cubic feet per second expresses the amount of flow that passes the USGS stream gauges per second. The higher the CFS, the higher and swifter the water.

The chart for an individual stream shows the discharge for each day of the preceding week as well as the current day. A small triangle on the chart shows the median, or midpoint, flow for each day based on years of data. A flow measuring much higher than the median means high, and usually muddy, water, not the best conditions for fishing and floating.

A flow under the median usually means tolerable fishing and paddling conditions. The USGS streamflow page also has a chart showing the gauge height for each stream. This helps flesh out the data provided by the streamflow chart. This chart provides a good mental image of the rise, fall or stability of the stream over the last week.

The new Canoeing and Kayaking page on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at is another invaluable repository of information for stream anglers and paddlers. This page leads to information collected by biologists concerning the fish populations in a stream, the recommended levels for floating selected streams, photos of access sites and fishing tips. The page also contains a link to the Blue Water Trails series, an ongoing initiative detailing the paddling and fishing on streams across Kentucky as well as a printable map.

TN & WV Rattlesnake Relief Efforts

leah kirk

NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is assisting wildlife biologists at Tennessee State University in research to determine the distribution of pygmy rattlesnakes in Tennessee. The pygmy rattlesnake is listed as a threatened species in Tennessee and the research will help in conservation efforts to preserve the species in the state. Native to Tennessee, pygmy rattlesnakes are predators that are rarely encountered and play important ecological roles, including the control of rodent populations. These tiny snakes will rattle their tails when threatened, but bites are extremely rare and non-fatal if treatment is administered. The snakes are seldom seen by humans.

To aid their research, the TSU wildlife biologists are asking that anyone who happens to encounter a pygmy rattlesnake, to document the location with a photograph with the Smartphone GPS location turned on. Persons are reminded not to harass or attempt to capture the snakes, much less taking the traditional action of smashing their heads with a big rock to ensure that particular snake ever bites your child, grandmother, or dog.

Pygmy rattlesnake sightings and information may be reported to one of the following biologists: Shawn Snyder, Email: or (717) 683-4226; Dr. Bill Sutton, Email: or (615) 963-7787.

Elsewhere in the world of making the world safer for rattlesnakes, the West Virginia DNR is asking the public to become involved in a scientific research project aimed at determining WV’s current distribution of timber rattlesnakes. Although many people want to kill them, these dangerous vipers rattlesnakes are claimed to be a critical part of forest ecosystems, and reduce human risk of contracting Lyme disease and other diseases spread by mice and chipmunks, the snake’s main prey unless you step on one, or a child approaches one.

The project asks the public to report their rattlesnake observations to the DNR through an online form that can be found at Those who participate can provide the location of their rattlesnake observation through geographic coordinates obtained from a handheld GPS unit or by using a map provided on the website. The site also asks users to submit a photo of the snake (while it is still alive).

“The DNR is interested in all observations, whether the snake is alive or dead. Information gained from this project will allow the DNR to better manage timber rattlesnake populations and focus conservation and outreach efforts (this does not mean to outreach you hand in friendship to one of these deadly viper). .

                For some people, the good news is that timber rattlesnake are disappearing throughout much of its range in WV.  People need to remember that although rattlesnakes are venomous, they are not out to get people or their pets, and that if left alone or observed from a distance, they pose no threat. Of course, if you are trout fishing a remote stream and accidently step on a rattlesnake, then you have a really big problem.

For more information about how to invest your time in this government funded rattlesnake preservation effort, visit or visit for more information about rattlesnakes. Oh yeah, good luck.

Trout Fishing Seminar at Heber Springs, Arkansas

leah kirk

 HEBER SPRINGS - Anglers looking to take their trout-fishing game to the next level are invited to a special intermediate trout-fishing seminar, hosted by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, at the William Carl Garner Visitor Center in Heber Springs from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 29.

The Little Red River is home to the former world-record brown trout, a record that held from 1992 until 2009, and still produces some excellent catches every year by anglers after more than a simple stocker-sized rainbow.

“People coming to this class will learn about some of the artificial lures that can really appeal to brown trout and rainbow trout,” said Bo Davidson, natural resource program technician for the AGFC that will give the presentation. “These species will grab at some of the spinners and other artificial lures we’ll cover. We have a beginner class that covers more of the live bait and grocery-store baits like corn and PowerBait, but this one really focuses on those people who want to add some challenge and excitement to their angling when they visit Arkansas’s famous trout fisheries.”

The workshop will last up to two hours, where Davidson will walk participants of all ages through various baits and presentations, as well as different habitat types trout use throughout the year.

“We’ll cover everything from Trout Magnet jigs to inline spinners and crayfish-imitating crankbaits,” Davidson said. “And anyone who has questions about how they can improve their angling experience is welcome to come and we can try to help with that, too.”

Registration is required to attend the event, and is being handled by the visitor center. Call (501) 362-9067 to reserve your spot today.

Timing is Everything

leah kirk


                Of the over hundred responses to proposed changes to the newsletter, almost half of you asked that I make the call or just outright seize the reins of this runaway train. I’d like to thank you, but the timing was poor, as last weekend I was given a two month probation for having been reported by Daddyboy who said that he caught rifling through the garbage can. It darn near cost me going to the Blue Ridge Trout and Outdoors Festival.

                For the record, there is no company policy limiting the use and/or access to the garbage, i.e. if deposits may be made, what is the problem with occasional withdraws. For my part, I see no real difference. I do believe that food scraps should not be put in the garbage can, but is just my personal opinion as an independent, free-thinking progressive canine.

                Testimony resulting from the trumped up darn trash in the floor investigation also brought to light my active participation here in a much needed corporate coup d’état. The plan never progressed much beyond the writing of the Fly Fishing Dog Manifesto and the accumulation of a few guns and a small supply of explosives. Throughout the whole ordeal I was treated like some sort of crazed pit bulldog terrorist.

                Today Daddyboy and JD (I don’t like him either) are somewhere in the Smokies celebrating Comrade Lenin’s birthday and feeding the otters. If you are lucky enough to get a picture of one of them harassing an otter, please send it to me. FYI-I am seriously considering striking out on my own and forming a 501c3 under the title “Dog Lives Matter”. I have about had with these bipods and their petite bourgeoisie pretenses. POWER TO THE PUPS!!!

WV Focus on Restoring Brook Trout Habitat

leah kirk

By Chris Lawrence, Metro News Morning News

ELKINS, W.Va. — The makeup of West Virginia’s flora and fauna is a patchwork of unmatched beauty, but among all of the natural wonders West Virginians hold in high esteem, few can match the beauty of a native West Virginia brook trout.

Pursuing those trophies is one of the pastimes of many West Virginia anglers and looking for them can be a bit of a challenge.   However, there are probably more streams which hold the native brook than you might imagine.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources continues to look for ways to restore and enhance native brook trout habitat. Since the turn of the 20th century the high mountain streams where they once thrived have taken hard hits and the brook trout has taken a similar hit.  But today, those which have survived are starting to turn around.   Their numbers are fragile in some ways, but DNR cold water biologist Dave Thorne warns not to underestimate the brookie.

“In some ways, they’re pretty tough,” Thorne explained. “If they were going to go away, they’ve had plenty of opportunities with all of the impacts we’ve put on them over the last 100 or so years, but they’ve rebounded well.”

Thorn said with a refocus on management of brook trout fisheries, the species is doing the best it has since the early 20th century.  One place the state has especially concentrated on is Upper Shavers Fork in the highest reaches of the West Virginia mountains.

“There’s a lot of evidence of the historic fishery there.  There were some big brook trout and a lot of them. Pictures from the Cheat Mountain Club show evidence of that,” Thorne said. “We thought if we put enough effort and thought into it we could try to reclaim some of that fishery.”

The stocking above Beaver Creek was stopped as part of the effort.  A habitat enhancement project from several years ago is starting to show a payoff as the native brook trout is returning to the feeder streams to spawn and becoming more abundant in the main stem of the river.

“Main stem Shavers Fork has a lot more potential to grow bigger fish,” he said. “It’s a bigger system and there’s more food, so if we can get them to return there we think we can grow bigger fish.”

Speaking on Northside Automotive West Virginia Outdoors, Thorne indicated occasionally the brook trout will grow into the 11 to 13 inch range in some of the highest mountain streams.  Those areas are remote, but still accessible for those willing to walk.

The habitat work included installing stream structure which funneled water from the current toward the middle of the stream using logs or rock piles.  Other work included restoring culverts which had washed out and prevented any upstream migration for spawning in the tributaries.  The work is aimed at lowering the average water temperature after the river widened over the course of several decades and radiant heat from the sun made parts of the waterway unsuitable for the temperature dependent fish.

“There are no special regulations on Upper Shavers although some people have tried to convince us there should be.  I don’t’ think we need them,” said Thorne. “They’re tough to catch and they still haven’t rebounded in numbers we’d like to see.  We hope people will exercise voluntary catch and release when they’re up there.”

Most of those who pursue the native brook trout tend to pursue them with a fly rod. Thorn agrees it’s his favorite way, particularly as the annual hatches come out on the water, changing the dynamic week to week in the spring and summer.

“Probably the most looked forward to hatch on Shavers is green drake,” he said. “It has a lot of backwater habitat and pools with sediment and silt where the green drakes like to burrow and grow big. When they hatch out up there it can be pretty spectacular.”

Biologists hope the fishing will become equally spectacular year round as more attention is focused on restoring the former native brook trout streams in West Virginia.

Total Eclipse Bryson City Style

leah kirk

On Monday August 21, millions of Americans will gather along the 70-mile-wide path of the nation’s first total solar eclipse since the 1970s. Bryson City, Swain County and much of the GSMNP are squarely in that path of totality. The entire solar experience will last about 3 hours, from 1:06 pm to 4 pm (EDT), gradually changing from daylight to dark and back to daylight, with total darkness in Bryson City at 2:35:17 pm, lasting 1 min, 57 seconds.

It should make for a once of a lifetime “in the dark” trout fishing experience on the waters of the GSMNP. The folks in Bryson City are pulling out the stops on the Big Day—turning it into a Three-day Eclipse Weekend With the eclipse happening on Monday, you’ll want to make a weekend of it and enjoy the special events we’re planning leading up to the big event.

Preliminary schedule (check back for updates):

Friday night - Outdoor family movie

Saturday - Planetarium programs at the Library, 10 am - 4 pm

Live music - 7-9 pm

Sunday - Live music

Monday - Bryson City offers a number of excellent open viewing locations, such as:

• Frye Street - downtown Bryson City

• Darnell Farms

• Swain County Recreation Park

• Swain County Event Park

• Great Smoky Mountains Railroad - Train ride to an eclipse location

(other locations and map to come).

With all the outdoor activities Bryson City offers, there’s no better place to spend a late summer weekend —

White water rafting and zip lining in the Nantahala Gorge

Riding a scenic excursion on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Trout fishing on dozens of mountain streams and rivers

Lake fishing and boating on Fontana Lake

Tubing on Deep Creek in the Great Smokies National Park

Hiking and mountain biking at Tsali

Stand-up paddle boarding on the Tuck in downtown Bryson City

After activities, relax with a cool one at a local brewery. Or treat the kids to ice cream at a local soda fountain. Then complete the day with dinner at one of many downtown eateries. Lights on; lights off; light on; lights off---cool.

Book Now For 2018 Great Smoky Mountains Outdoor Expo

leah kirk

January 13th and 14th, 2018, the Great Smoky Mountains Outdoor Expo will nearly DOUBLE the exhibit space, offer free parking and still have plenty of room for additional activities. The 2018 Great Smoky Mountains Outdoor Expo will be bigger and better than before. We can't wait to bring all that we offer to the outdoor enthusiasts across our region says show owner, Ken Moody.

“Now is the time to get your booth reserved for our spectacular event,” says Moody. “Not only have we moved to a larger, more accommodating venue, we have reduced our booth costs significantly. A 10 x 10 booth at the 2018 Expo is only $350! That's correct, only $350 for 100 square feet at East Tennessee's only "all outdoors" consumer expo. We listened to the concerns of our exhibitors and we responded; lower booth costs, free parking at the venue, larger show and more activities. You'll definitely want to be part of our new and improved Expo”

“Click on the link below and get your booth reserved today! Once you've booked we will begin marketing your business through all our social media outlets and in all our advertising where applicable. Early booking ensures a prime location for the Expo and gets your company advertising for months leading up to the event. You'll be linked at our website and Facebook pages, and featured in upcoming newsletters going out to nearly 50,000 recipients. All of this for only 350. We go the extra mile for our exhibitors and that can all begin as soon as you lock in your space” says Moody.


Project Healing Waters 11th Annual 2-Fly Tour

leah kirk

LaPlata, MD - April 14, 2017 - Veterans, volunteers, and celebrities from across the country will gather at Rose River Farm in Syria, Virginia on April 29 - 30, 2017 for the 11th Annual 2-Fly Tournament benefiting Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) and the thousands of disabled veterans the organization serves each year.  Now entering its second decade as the flagship fundraiser for PHWFF, the 2-Fly Tournament has provided vital support for this top-tier Veterans Service Organization and served to raise awareness for its remarkable contributions towards the recovery and rehabilitation of those who have made great sacrifices in the service of our nation. The pre-tournament dinner starts at 5pm on Saturday night April 29th under the stars in picturesque Madison County, Virginia.

For a little more than a decade Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) has focused on healing those who serve.  It is through the tremendous contributions of our volunteers and supporters nationwide that last year PHWFF served over 7,500 deserving members of our armed services.

Current veteran participants in the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Program, and alumni, will also be on hand throughout the weekend to discuss the challenges facing today's service members, both physical and emotional, and the impact PHWFF has had on their recovery and transition.

The tournament competition kicks off at 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning April 30th and features PHWFF participants from across the nation.  Military/veteran participants will be partnered with a professional fly fishing guide from among the most notable names in the sport. 

Countdown to Blue Ridge Trout Festival

leah kirk

In two weeks Blue Ridge, Georgia will be the epicenter of trout fishing in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.  The Blue Ridge Trout Festival & Outdoor Adventures is April 28-29.  April 28th is the High Country Boil (5:30 to 9 pm) at Mercier Orchards.  This is the special kick-off fundraising event, with a great evening of wonderful food, sparkling drinks, live music and placing your winning bid at the silent auction, where there's something for everyone.

April 29th is the Breakout Marketplace with over 80 vendors ranging from outdoors gear to food trucks, to a beer Garden and live music. Here’s a list of half of the vendors at the event.




Above the Rest Custom Cabins     Als Boiled Peanuts

Al's Boiled Peanuts                          Blackhawk Fishing

Blue Ridge Cotton Co                      Boones Art

Cartecay Bike Shop                          Chamber of Commerce

Coopers Creek Pottery                    Cox Media Group

Duncan Dobie, Author                      Eagle Rock/Budweiser

Faith Presbyterian Church               First Mountain Woodcraft

Flysmith                                            GA Dept. of Natural Resources

Georgia Grown                                Gotta Have It

Heartwood Blue Ridge                    Ice Cream Steam Engine

Jim-N-I Creations                             Lily of the Valley Soaps

Mountain Kettle Corn                      North Georgia Trout Online

Outside World Outfitters                 Paddle Pics

Porch Life Enclosures                     RG Custom Tackle

Rivers Edge Outfitters                    Save Georgia Hemlocks

Southern Fishing                            Suches Vacation Rentals

Williamson Brothers BB!                 Tenn. Overhill Heritage Association

Troncalli Subaru                             Trout Unlimited #696

TU Tie Flying Booth                       Unicoi Outfitters

Wild Creations in Wood                 Wildwater/Ocoee River Basin Canopy Tours

Don Says: Newsletter Overhaul

leah kirk

Almost since its inception, Southern Trout Magazine has had a weekly newsletter that I have compiled (except during my 6-month suspension when Olive K. Nynne held the reins.) The mission of the ST Newsletter was to create a fly fishing for trout “crossroads” of information from the Ozarks to the Appalachians. Now that I have backed off on what Nynne refers to as “right-wing lunatic fringe element rants.” The newsletter has matured into a popular forum. She still watches me for the smallest of missed ques.

               The newsletter goes out to over 30,000 people and has an opening rate of 42 percent, which I am told exceeds the planetary average. The problem is that with our current four fishing magazines, the newsletter has outgrown the “ST” designation. I am told that sending out a weekly newsletter for Southern Saltwater Fly Fishing, Southern Kayak Fishing and the Ozark Edition would overload most subscribers’ email donkey.

               While I still retain some semblance of order and control here, the editors of these magazines, and the soon to be announced new editor of Southern Trout Magazine, pretty much run their own titles. One plan is to integrate the present ST Newsletter to cover Southern Trout, Southern Kayak Fishing, Southern Saltwater Fly Fishing and Southern Trout Ozark Edition in a single newsletter. The other option is to have each magazine title have a “monthly’ newsletter that goes out on a rotating bases with each editor doing his newsletter. I like both options. Olive will cast the deciding vote (she showed me that it was in her contract).

               If you would, please email at to let me know which option you like.

Trout Unlimited 2017 Southeast Regional Meeting

leah kirk

We are just days away from hands down the Southland’s Trout Unlimited event of the year, says John Reinhardt, president of the Smoky Mountains Chapter of TU.

“The 2017 Southeast Regional Meeting of Trout Unlimited is back in Tennessee for the first time in almost six years,: notes Reinhardt. “The planning for this event is a year in the making and we have worked hard with TU members across the state to showcase our people and our mountains. Gatlinburg, TN will be our host city and they are ready to welcome our Trout Unlimited members and families from across eight states as we gather at the base of the Great Smoky National Park.”

"Our mission from day one was to make this annual event like no other. The agenda for the event workshops and seminars has something for everyone no matter the age or interest. Of course, no event is complete unless fishing and fun is a part of the weekend. Come early on Friday as we host a day of fishing taking our visiting fellow Trout Unlimited members into the Park as we chase wild brown, brook, and rainbow trout."

“Saturday night the fun continues as we host a BBQ inside the park next to a mountain stream,” says Reinhardt   “An evening of fellowship, great Tennessee BBQ and of course surprises awaits our guests and friends.”

SOHO Honkers Subdue Bald Eagle

leah kirk

A bald eagle is in recovery after being attacked by a gaggle of Canada geese on the South Holston River in upper East Tennessee. The incident was first reported by people who saw a bald eagle that looked like it was unable to fly. People who work at Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital in Kingsport responded trying to capture the bird. Geese attacked the bald eagle because they were trying to protect their eggs. Now that bald eagle is in the care of UT’s College of Veterinary Medicine and is being treated for an injured wing.