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Rough River Lake to Temporarily Halt Outflow

leah kirk

rough river.jpg

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 12, 2017) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to temporarily halt the outflow from Rough River Lake beginning Sept. 18 to assess theimpacts that could occur during planned future repairs to the dam’s outlet works. The stoppage will last up to three consecutive days.

Corps officials say a smaller dam located 7 miles downstream should prevent the tailwater from going completely dry. Dam repairs have been underway for the past several years. The shutdown is a continuation of those efforts to make the dam safe for today and the immediate future, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Louisville District. High rainfall conditions could alter the timing of the shutdown.

Work on the dam’s outlet works will likely occur sometime between fall 2018 and early winter 2019. Engineers will have a better idea of how to facilitate outlet works repairs once the upcoming assessment is complete. Rough River Lake is a 5,100-acre reservoir located in Breckinridge, Hardin and Grayson counties. Construction of the 135-foot-high earthen dam at Rough River was completed in 1960. Boating and fishing on the lake will not be affected by the temporary stoppage of the outflow.

Stone Creek Getting Help

leah kirk

CRANE, Mo. – A unique fish population and a Stone County road in need of a better bridge have become entwined in a recently completed construction project that will benefit both. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Stone County officials have completed work on a bridge construction project that will improve conditions for local drivers and also provide better habitat for Crane Creek’s self-sustaining rainbow trout population. A clear-span bridge has been built where Roundhouse Road crosses Crane Creek on the Wire Road Conservation Area. This project, which replaced a bridge that was in need of significant repairs, was financed, in part, through the Stream Stewardship Trust Fund.

Stone County Bridge.jpg

Crane Creek is one of the few streams in Missouri that features a self-sustaining rainbow trout population. (Most of the state’s trout areas receive stockings from hatcheries.) Because of this unique population, MDC has designated the upper eight miles of Crane Creek as a priority watershed and a Blue Ribbon Trout Area (the agency also has Red Ribbon and White Ribbon trout areas).

Because of the stream’s special status, the bridge project was eligible for financial assistance from the Stream Stewardship Trust Fund. This fund, which is administrated through the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, provides money to restore, enhance, and protect stream systems and associated habitats.

In the case of the Roundhouse Road Bridge, the clear-span bridge features a natural stream bottom that is replacing the box culvert which had a concrete bottom. The natural bottom will improve the passage of rainbow trout and other aquatic organisms. Drivers will also benefit because this bridge design allows for greater stream flow than the previous box culvert design and, thus, will reduce flooding problems.

The cost of the project, which began in mid-July and was completed earlier this month, was approximately $240,000. This project is the latest example of a long-standing partnership between MDC and Stone County. In 2006, MDC and the county worked together and used Stream Stewardship Trust Fund money to replace a bridge over Crane Creek at Doc Eaten Road.

Stella Bowles: One Person Does Make

leah kirk

The above headline is from a story in the July 2017 Onsite Installer magazine. It tells the story of Stella Bowles and her work to upgrade wastewater systems along a Nova Scotia river. It should inspire all of us who work in the onsite wastewater industry.

The article directs you to Stella's website where she tells her story, both in print and in a YouTube video. As is the case in many locations, most people agree there is a problem with failing and polluting septic systems, but the difficulty is getting a consensus on how to fix the problem and to agree to spend the needed money.

Stella's passion for clean water started when the family's septic system leachfield failed a few years ago. The family hired an installer for the new system right away, borrowing money to pay for it. The new septic system was installed and working fine, but Stella never forgot listening in on the conversation with the system engineer talking about the straight pipes. It seems neighbors were continuing to use straight pipes to convey their waste directly in the river, which has been illegal since 1974. Stella was deeply troubled with the image of homeowners, in essence, relieving themselves directly into the river. She became determined to do something about the straight pipes.


Stella started sampling water up and down the river for fecal bacteria levels, setting up a lab in her basement and publishing findings and other information on her science project website. The results showed that at many times and in many locations the water in the river is not safe for swimming or even touching. There are an estimated 600 straight pipes dumping into the LaHave River in the local stretch where Stella lives. Stella reports that she can sometimes smell the human waste at low tide and has found used toilet paper during her testing. She is advocating for the provincial government to close loopholes that allow straight pipes to continue to flow. She's asked legislators to force upgrades to approved septic systems when properties are sold.

Local officials are on board, and a grant and loan program has been approved to help homeowners pay for the upgrades. But the provincial government is needed for enforcement and officials have yet to get on board. A letter to Stella from Nova Scotia Environment said legislation to eliminate straight pipes "was not supported due to the potential impact on the sale of properties."

But Stella's hard work - combined with the efforts of scientists, environmentalists and onsite industry leaders - hopefully will eventually tip the scales and force the dismantling of straight pipes on the LaHave and other threatened waterways. Stella said, "I'm going to keep going until the straight pipes are gone. I definitely want to be able to swim in the river. Hopefully it will be clean enough by the time I have children, because it's a beautiful spot." I wish Stella's story was an isolated incident, but we have failing and polluting septic systems all around us - I have seen many in my 17-year career. Unfortunately, we may need an army of Stellas to get us off our backsides and do something about it.

Chattahoochee River 2nd Annual Tourney

leah kirk

It's time for the second annual 2017 Quality Catch and Sweet Release Tournament presented by The ORVIS Company and Sweetwater Brewing Company. Last year the tournament took place in May 2016 and the winner was Ryan Johnson with an impressive 31-inch brown beast runners up ranged from 16-inch to 23-inch.  This year the fly fishing tournament will be during the entire month of October 2017. All the monies raised from the tournament will be donated to the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper for monitoring water quality. River Through Atlanta Guide Service will be offering a special deal for participants with a flat rate of $300.00 for a six hour drift boat float trip for one or two people.


Utilizing a guide operated watercraft will help participants up their odds by covering lots of water with expert guides who know the nuances of the river. But remember, you can fish independently as well. This is FLY FISHING ONLY, CATCH and RELEASE ONLY. First prize will be a Helios-2 Limited addition Sweetwater 9ft 5wt fly rod with 2nd and 3rd place prizes. There will also be weekly best biggest fish prizes to keep it interesting. The cost to register is $25.00 please go to this link pick up your special tape measuring device at ORVIS, Sweetwater Brewing Company or your local fly shops.

11th Annual Soque River Ramble

leah kirk

It is Rivers Alive time again and SRWA members and volunteers will participate in Georgia's annual volunteer campaign to clean up and preserve over 70,000 miles of our state's rivers and streams.  Rivers Alive is a project of the GA Environmental Protection Division's Outreach Programs in collaboration with local partner organizations.

SRWA volunteers will meet for the local cleanup at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, September 23 at Pitts Park in Clarkesville.  Depending on the number of volunteers, we may divide up to cover more territory, including the public fishing area on the Soque at Jackson Bridge and the Clarkesville Greenway.  Please bring work gloves, drinking water, and a willingness to get dirty!  We'll supply trash bags and have a water refill jug on hand.

The event will end by noon and will include a cook-out and free t-shirt for the first 30 volunteers.  All are welcome - you do not have to be a member to attend and help!  Our local event will join over 200 other cleanups across the state and an expected 30,000 volunteers.  In total, Rivers Alive volunteers will collect trash and debris in and along streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and the ocean from the Soque River all the way to St. Mary's.  For more information, please call the SRWA office or e-mail See their website at

Sign up now for the 11th Annual Soque River Ramble to be held Saturday, October 21 at the Wilbanks Farm in Batesville along the banks of the headwaters of the Soque River.  SRWA is coordinating the event again this year and we hope to have a record crowd. 

Many have said this is one of the most scenic routes on the Run and See Georgia Grand Prix circuit.  Come enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains and valleys with us in a family-friendly event for all ages!  As always, this event is a fundraiser supporting SRWA and the Batesville Community Association.

Breaking News: Great Southeastern Trout Unlimited SHOOT OUT

leah kirk

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

Trout Unlimited is deeply engrained in the mission statement of Southern Trout Magazine. We want to strengthen the relationship with TU by working to have every member in your state as a subscriber to this free digital publication. The “carrot on the stick” being offered to help this happen is Southern Trout Magazine has partnered with the world famous fly rod maker, Thomas & Thomas. This special partnering allows us to award a brand new Thomas & Thomas fly rod to the TU chapter in the zone that signs up the most subscribers to Southern Trout Magazine. A total of five Thomas & Thomas rods will be given out. The winning TU chapter in its zone will have a "jackpot roll" auction item, a Thomas & Thomas fly rod for their next fund raising effort!

We hope that interested TU chapters will see this as a very unique opportunity to receive a top shelf auction item and have bragging rights as a winning chapter in your state/region. To help achieve parity between chapters with large memberships and those chapters that have lower, growing memberships, we encourage chapters to reach out beyond their members to others such as non-member anglers, family members or friends who you believe might enjoy receiving and reading Southern Trout Magazine. Sign up at


May a chapter bulk subscribe its entire membership?

Yes, providing the chapter is in agreement with doing so. Anyone receiving Southern Trout Magazine can opt out at any time.

Many of our members are already subscribers to Southern Trout Magazine. Does their sign up count in the contest?

Yes, however participants must still submit their information in the form on the website so we can record with what chapter they are affiliated. The objective on the part of chapters is to win. Our subscriber list program automatically kicks out duplicate email addresses. However, the chapter will NOT be credited with the sign up if participants do not sign up through the form, even if they are already signed up.

How do we send in the list of subscribers?

We have created a landing/sign-up page exclusively for this campaign. Simply go to the site,, choose your state and chapter, enter your name and email, and that's it. If you prefer, send via email your hand written lists, or send them snail mail. Either is perfectly acceptable. If you do the latter, for proper accreditation to your chapter's tally, please be sure to clearly identify the name of your chapter for proper crediting. Request a printable form, via email if you wish. Email for a form.

Prior to the beginning of the second month of the contest, the total subscriber numbers will be posted at and chapter presidents will be copied. A second posting email to chapter presidents will go out two weeks before the contest ends to provide them with the latest tallies.

We regularly patronize our local fly shop. Can we put a hand sign-up form there?

Yes, by all means. This and other venues such as fly fishing festivals or events, or even church or civic groups. Our goal is to get Southern Trout Magazine in front of as many anglers as possible. Additionally, we will provide you with a printable form to help you facilitate this including instructions on how to submit it. Hopefully your goal is to win and receive a Thomas & Thomas fly rod for an upcoming fund raising effort. We are hoping the effort will be fun and even highly competitive.

When does the contest start and when will it end with the announcement of the winner?

The official start is September 15, with the winner being announced on December 15. The only real rule is that lists must be sent to us dated no later than December 20.

How is the contest geographically divided?

We sharpened our pencils and came up with these arenas of competition:

 North Carolina:                                total of 16 chapters

Virginia:                                               total of 18 chapters

Tennessee/Kentucky:                     total of 10 chapters

Georgia/SC:                                        total of 16 chapters

WV/Maryland                                   total of 13 chapters

How are the email addresses of Southern Trout Magazine subscribers protected?

The email addresses of the subscribers are sacred. They are never shared, sold, or rented out to anyone ever. This is a cornerstone policy that will never change. Additionally, we emphasize that any subscriber may unsubscribe at any time! Southern Trout Magazine, Thomas & Thomas, and any sponsor of this challenge will not allow subscriber email address to be used for any other purpose other than directly communicating with subscribers. Subscriber lists are never rented, sold, shared or otherwise used for any purpose other than the fore noted reason.

 This is our promise,

"Cross our hearts, hope to die, stick a needle in our eye."

World’s Largest Wildlife Attraction

leah kirk

Johnny Morrison ship wreck rooms.jpg

Just a day trip away from many of your readers in the Ozarks, the largest, most immersive wildlife attraction in the world is opening in Springfield, Missouri. Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris – sometimes referred to as “the Walt Disney of the Outdoors” – has created a new world-class experience for everyone: Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri.

 Wonders of Wildlife is Johnny Morris’ gift to America at a time when children are spending more time inside on screens rather than engaging with the natural world. Celebrating people who hunt, fish and act as stewards of the land and water, this aquarium and museum offers deeply insightful lessons about the importance of connecting with nature even if you have never picked up a fishing pole. And what a unique opportunity for your readers to have a state of the art attraction close by in the heartland of America.

 Massive: 350,000 square feet with 1.5 miles of immersive trails, interactive surprises and creative exhibits including 1.5 million gallons of freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

·         Global: 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds representing more than 800 species from around the world.

·         Immersive: Fully immersive wildlife galleries featuring 4D dioramas that transport guests to the wildest places on earth through sights, sounds, smells and climates. You’ll feel the chill of the Arctic, the cold winds of the Himalayas, the dry sun of the African Savannah and more. View photos of aquarium experiences like the Shipwreck Room and wildlife galleries like Sheep Mountain (both pictured below).

Conservation-focused: Partnerships with more than 40 leading conservation organizations help share the story of conservation from the Native Americans to Lewis and Clark and modern-day wildlife management. Countless artifacts make it real including Hemingway’s boat and personal possessions from our conservationist president Teddy Roosevelt to name a few.

Fun: Johnny Morris’ signature creativity and attention-to-detail ensures there are surprises around every corner to amaze guests of all ages. From stepping inside a massive “open ocean” ring-shaped aquarium, trekking across a sprawling 50,000-square foot re-creation of the African Savannah and going underwater and eye-to-eye with piranha – the entire adventure is full of special touches you’ll have to see to believe.

Bloede Dam To Be Removed

leah kirk

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced Bloede Dam, located along the Patapsco River, is scheduled to be removed from Patapsco Valley State Park over the next two years, with completion scheduled for late spring 2019.

Construction staging and trail closures will begin Sept. 5, 2017, following the Labor Day holiday weekend. During the project, sections of the Grist Mill and Buzzards Rock trails will be closed along with portions of the Patapsco River from Ilchester Road bridge down to the dam. Park patrons, including anglers, bikers and hikers are encouraged to seek alternatives, either within the park or elsewhere.


“This has been a long time coming; the department and our partners have been working on this dam removal project for the last five to six years,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “While we know the project may entail some short-term inconveniences, we are confident that this restoration project will ultimately enhance the ecosystem and improve public safety once complete. We ask our guests and visitors for patience as we work to reclaim the Patapsco River and ultimately help restore the Chesapeake Bay.”

Little Red River Cleanup Sept. 9

leah kirk

The Greers Ferry Lake & Little Red River Tourism Association along with Army Corps of Engineers personnel are seeking volunteers and sponsors to pitch in from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sept. 9 during the 48th Annual Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Cleanup. Volunteers are asked to register online at, or call the Corps of Engineers at 501-362-2416.

Cleanup day check in will occur between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. at any of the participating Greers Ferry Lake area Marinas: Eden Isle Marina, Fairfield Bay Marina, Heber Springs Marina, Smith's Hill Creek Marina, Lacey's Narrows Marina, Fergusons Choctaw Marina, Peter's Sugar Loaf Marina, Lindsey's Resort, John F. Kennedy and Dam Site camping gatehouses.

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If you prefer to clean up around JFK Park, Collins Creek or the fish hatchery, call the Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery at 501-362-3615. If you prefer cleaning up the Little Red River, Chapter 722 of Trout Unlimited and the Red River Foundation will be checking in volunteers at 8 a.m. at the JFK gatehouse.

Sponsors are asking volunteers with boats to bring them to transport their own families and friends or to help with transportation for volunteers who do not have boats. Boat owners will not have to use their boats to transport the recovered trash. The Corps has made arrangements for contractors to pick up trash left by the volunteers along the shoreline. To facilitate the contractor pick-up, volunteers should leave the bagged trash in conspicuous locations around the shoreline for later pick-up. Trash bags for shoreline litter will be furnished to all participants at the check-in stations.

A special dedication ceremony and celebratory lunch will be held in memory of the late Carl Garner, the cleanup founder, at Narrows Park in Greers Ferry, Ark. There will be a barbecue lunch with all the fixings and old fashion lemonade from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. to the first 400 volunteers and hot dogs for kids..


leah kirk

ST. JAMES, Mo. – Missouri is a great place to fish, especially in the crystal waters of one of the state’s largest springs. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites women of all ages to a free trout fishing event at Maramec Spring Park on Saturday, Sept. 9. Fishing will start at 7:30 a.m. and continue until 7:15 p.m. There is no fishing license or daily trout tag required for women during this free event. The park entrance fee will be waived to any female participating in the trout fishing event. A special area of the spring branch will be roped off for use by event anglers only.

women at Merrimac Springs.jpg

Not only is the event free, but there will be 100 tagged prize fish stocked into the fishing area. When an angler catches one of these fish they can win an assortment of prizes, like a fishing rod, vest, tackle box, and nets.

To help newcomers discover the joys of trout fishing, MDC staff will provide fishing instruction as well. Informal instruction will include basic trout fishing tactics, casting, cleaning and cooking your catch.  Free trout tacos will be freshly made and available during the event.

The Maramec Spring Hatchery is operated by MDC. Maramec Spring Park, which is owned and operated by The James Foundation, and can be reached by taking the I-44 “MO-8” exit at St. James, then travelling about six miles east on Highway 8.  The park—just an hour-and-a-half drive from the metro St. Louis area—contains the fifth largest spring in the state, with an average water flow of 100 million gallons per day. For more information about the event, call (573) 265-7801.

“BATTLE of GATLINBURG 2017” Fishing Tournament

leah kirk

battle of Gatlinburg.png

The Great Smoky Mountain Trout Unlimited Chapter #047 invites allto Gatlinburg, TN on Saturday, September 30, 2017 to participate in the Fall event of the year. The inaugural “BATTLE of GATLINBURG 2017” Fishing Tournament in partnership with the Sugarlands MountainFest will be taking place in downtown Gatlinburg TN, the weekend of September 28th through October 1st 2017.

The Great Smoky Mountain TU chapter is presenting the first ever “ONE FLY ROYALE”. Competitors will battle for the title of “King of the Mountain” as they cast their fly to hungry trout right in the center of downtown where the water flows straight from the mountains and through Gatlinburg. Yes, this could be your biggest fishing challenge ever as anglers test their skill with the single fly of their choice as they compete for three hours for an opportunity to take home some serious cash and prizes.

Prizes will be awarded for multiple categories along with a “Junior Angler” event for those 13 years or younger using a fly or spinning rod in their own special section of water and prizes. The “ONE FLY ROYALE” has a limited number of spaces available so register today.

Combine the day or the weekend at the Sugarlands Mountain Festival where live music, marathons, and bike races join the “BATTLE of GATLINBURG 2017” Fishing Tournament.  Click on the link below to start your fun filled adventure for the entire family in Gatlinburg, TN.

Sponsor making the event possible include Sugarlands Distilling Company, Smoky Mountain Angler-Gatlinburg, Bass Pro-Kodak, Orvis-Sevierville, 3 Rivers Angler-Knoxville, Rivers Edge Outfitters-Cherokee, & Southern Trout Magazine. For information, contact  John Reinhardt, President of the Great Smoky Mountain Trout Unlimited at

Jimmy Jacobs Enters Southern Appalachian Museum of Fly Fishing Hall of Fame

leah kirk

jim jacobs.jpg

Notable outdoor writer and the editorial of Southern Saltwater Fly Fishing, Jimmy Jacobs was one of six inductees at the Southern Appalachian Museum of Fly Fishing in Bryson City, North Carolina. He was the second member to go into the museum’s vaunted outdoor writers. We at the STM Family are more than happy to have one of our key members inducted. Jacobs lives in Marietta, Georgia and was supported by a large entourage of family and friends.

STOE’s Terry & Roxanne Wilson Honored

leah kirk


The 52nd annual Fly Fishers International President’s awards banquet was held August 2, 2017 in connection with their week-long Fly Fair in Livingston, Montana. Southern Trout Ozark Edition Editors Terry and Roxanne Wilson were presented with the highly prestigious Dr. James A. Henshall Award. The award is presented for “their extraordinary achievements in conservation of warm water fisheries.”

The award is not presented every year, only when there is a deserving recipient. Previous award recipients include Dave Whitlock, Lefty Kreh, Tim Holschlag, Tom Nixon, Larry Dahlberg, and Bob Clouser. If you are not aware of the fine work being done for fly fishing in the Ozarks by these two people, you should be. We tip our hats to the incredible work these two produce.

Breaking News: 2018 Hall of Fame Nomination Period Closing Soon

leah kirk


This 2018 nomination period for the ST “Legends of the Fly” Hall of Fame inductees closes at end of the month (September). As is the evolving custom, those nominated last are grandfathered in for consideration again this year. Additionally they will be joined by six new possible inductees. Beginning in mid-October the full ballot of inductees will be announced. Six winners will be chosen for the ST “Legends of the Fly” Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held at the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show on February 2, 2018.

So far we have received 19 nominations. These will be pared down to six potential new inductees. From a personal standpoint, the attention being given to the ST “Legends of the Fly” Hall of Fame has been extremely gratifying. By all means keep the names coming in. To nominate please send a short bio to Don Kirk at

Catch-and-Release How-To

leah kirk


Francis Skalicky, Missouri Department of Conservation

 “Catch and release” is a good way to sustain fishing resource, and is necessary when fishing minimum length limits and other restricted areas. Catch-and-release fishing works only if anglers know how to release the fish they catch. Unhooking a fish and getting it back in the water without doing any harm to the fish can be tricky. Improper handling does as much damage to a fish as the sharpest treble hook. Releasing a fish is a technique that involves several considerations.

Many people don’t think about is how to hold a fish. The more you handle a fish, the more likely you are to harm it. Fish are covered with mucus that reduces the friction with the water and increases the fish’s resistance to disease. Removal of this mucus, which can happen through rough or prolonged handling, can lead to infection and death for the fish.

Holding up a large fish by its gills may look good on television but, if you plan on releasing that fish back into the water, it’s not the best thing you could do for the fish. Gills are fragile and can be easily damaged. Damaged gills often results in excessive bleeding which can have fatal results for the fish. If you must hold a fish, hold it firm enough to measure it or remove the hook, but as gently as possible. Keep your hands behind the gill area and your fingers out of the gills.

Remove hooks as carefully as possible. Hooks on the edge of the mouth do little damage to the fish. Hooks in these locations can usually be removed with needle-nose pliers (and often with your fingers). Barbless hooks make the catch-and-release easier. Problems may arise when a fish is hooked deeper in its mouth or down in its throat. Trying to disengage these hooks sometimes does more harm than good. By the time you’ve wrestled the hook free, chances are you’ve done enough internal and external damage to the fish to severely hamper its chances of survival. When releasing deeply hooked fish, it is better to clip the line and leave the hook in the fish. Fish hooked deep in the throat have a better chance of survival if the hooks are left in the fish than if you try to pull the hooks out.

If you’re going to release a fish, do it quickly. Catch the fish, measure it (if you want to or need to) and put it back. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid photographs: They’re important — particularly if kids are the ones catching the fish. Your goal is for the fish to survive, the sooner you can accomplish all the out-of-the-water stuff and get the fish back into the water, the better the fish’s chances are of surviving.

As added insurance to fish that appear to be stunned, you can hold them for a few seconds in the water and gently move them back and forth. This moves water over the gills and allows more oxygen to enter the blood. Tips for releasing fish and other fishing information can be found in the 2017 “Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations”, available at

Fly Fishers International Southern Council OCT 6 & 7th

leah kirk

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A new venue, new events, new programs and all sorts of fun, the annual FFF Southern Council Fly Fishing Fair is going to be exciting this year.

The Fly Fishing Fair is the premier event of the Southern Council Federation of Fly Fishers, held each year in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

The move to the Vada Sheid Convention Center is going to give a whole new look and a more modern facility than the Showgrounds

The FFF has brought in the Fly Fishing Film Tour to follow the Live Auction from 6 to 7 pm. The Iron Fly Contest, bring your vice thread and tools, and you are given a material assortment, is also new and a fun event.

We are working up a great booth for the Fair, highlighting the highly acclaimed new line of Sage X rods, come along and test cast all the X rods we can assemble.

Both Chad Johnson and Steve Dally are doing tying classes while Chad and Gabe Levin will be giving fishing presentations. Gabe’s presentation on the Buffalo River Wilderness will include a preview of our new video on the Buffalo River.


Friday 1-4pm: Steve Dally Streamer Tying Class – Steve Dally

Learn how to tie The Dancer Streamer Series Top to Bottom with guide and Rainy’s Flies designer Steve Dally.   Dancer series of streamers covering all the water column, from probing the depths to shallow running. This class will cover elements of streamer design and techniques, how to achieve different action, materials selection and more. The class should finish at least 2 flies from 4″ to 8″.  Fly recipe materials will be provided. Bring your vise and all your tying tools and thread. You need have intermediate tier skills.

Friday 1 pm – 4 pm   Location: Warren Haley Conf. Rm.   Member $30 – Non-member $45      Class limit: 6

Friday 10 am -10.50 am Floating the Lower Buffalo: Ozarks Backcountry Fly Fishing at its Finest – Gabe Levin, Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher guide and Buffalo River program director

The Lower Buffalo River Wilderness area contains 23 miles of the most pristine warm water fishing in the Ozarks. A three-day guided drift boat trip through this remote valley offers world class scenery, fine riverside meals, and a diverse collection of wild, native fish ready to pounce on your fly.

Friday 10 am – 10:50 am     Location: Yoga Room      Cost: FREE       No Class limit

Sat 11 am – 11:50 am Fishing Your Fly- What to do after the cast – Chad Johnson, Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher head guide

We will be discussing how to trigger bites, how to get better drifts, and tips on how to get the hook set, among other things.

Sat. 11 am – 11:50 am      Location: Yoga Room           Cost: FREE               No Class limit

Saturday 1 pm – 4 pm     Streamer design and materials choice.   Chad Johnson

We will discuss what materials to use and what to expect from each material along with streamer design i.e. Right placement and material placement and material choice.  Fly recipe materials will be provided.  Skill Level: Intermediate Bring: Vise, tying tools, streamer appropriate thread.

Sat. 1 pm – 4 pm       Location: Warren Haley Conf. Rm.  Member $30 – Non-member $45    Class limit:  6

Snake Fungal Disease Detected in WV

leah kirk

snake fungus.jpg

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A juvenile Eastern milk snake in Kanawha County with crusty scales and abrasions on its head has tested positive for the causative agent of Snake Fungal Disease. It can cause injury and death in some snake species but does not appear to be dangerous to humans. This is the first contemporary occurrence of Snake Fungal Disease in West Virginia.

Poop Plagued Shenandoah River

leah kirk

The Middle River, a tributary to the Shenandoah River looks like chocolate milk. This is the biggest river in Virginia’s Augusta County, it’s the also most polluted. The reason is cattle and poultry poop. The Middle River flows from farm to farm until joining up with the Shenandoah River about 100 miles downstream, and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay. A lot of the river banks along the way aren’t fenced, allowing cows and the waste they drop into the river.

Much of the Middle River consistently tests four times higher for E.coli than the state standard. The state health department does allow swimming or wading.  Interestingly, at the Middle River E.coli levels drop by a third because of fencing and other restoration efforts. But it picks again because many farms downstream aren’t fenced. By the time it joins the Shenandoah, the pollution is worse.


Conservationist Herschel Finch says he’s noticed a big change in the Shenandoah since he started fishing there in the late 70s.  “We see periods during the year when the algae pretty much take over entire sections of the river,” says Finch. “It has a tendency to reach a critical mass where it starts to rot and smell and it becomes almost unusable.”

Why so many algae? Manure is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. Algae feed off these two nutrients, creating the thick, smelly algae blooms, which can be toxic. Keeping cattle out of streams is just one small part of a much larger problem. The Shenandoah Valley is Virginia’s breadbasket, home to hundreds of large scale cattle and poultry operations, which produce millions of pounds of manure every year. Farmers use this manure as fertilizer. But there’s so much of it, the runoff ends up in the river

For years, water conservation groups have wanted the state to comply with the federal Clean Water Act, which, among other things, requires permits and pollution controls for big animal feeding operations. State officials have refused the request because Virginia has no water quality standards for this kind of pollution.  Until scientific evidence of exactly what the problem is, we can’t declare an impairment. DEQ spokesman Bill Hayden says, ”If there’s an area with a lot of algae or just looks unappealing, we would encourage people to just avoid that area.”i.e. tough sh#t.

               “There’s plenty of evidence already,”  says attorney Jennifer Chavez, whose firm represents three citizen groups in a recent lawsuit against the EPA for failing to enforce the Clean Water Act. “The fact that this river is in a state of impairment is apparent to anyone who can see or smell.”

               A lack of streamside fencing on farms with cattle is a problem, with 80 percent of the 841 farms with livestock in the valley’s biggest agricultural county – Rockingham – failing to fence their animals out of streams. More than two-thirds of all chickens grown in Virginia, and 90 percent of the state’s turkeys, are raised in the valley’s Shenandoah, Augusta, Page, and Rockingham counties, along with more than a half million cows. These animals produce 1.15 billion gallons of liquid cow manure and 820 million pounds of poultry litter a year, which is far more than local crops can absorb as fertilizer.

Most of the manure is spread on local farm fields. But only 12.5 percent of the 539,955 acres of farmland in these four counties are covered by “nutrient management plans” designed to discourage farmers from over-applying manure.  Lotta crap, eh?

Lower Saluda & Congaree Rivers Monitoring

leah kirk

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The Lower Saluda Coalition has launched water-quality monitoring program for the Lower Saluda and Congaree Rivers to encourage the safe recreational use of the rivers.  The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) is one of about 20 participants in the Lower Saluda River Coalition, which is made up of river-related businesses, environmental groups, local and state government, property owners, industry, utilities and other users of the rivers.

One of the coalition’s main purposes to educate the public on issues related to the lower Saluda and Congaree Rivers. An initial objective is to make water quality information more frequently and readily available to river users. The program website features maps of the river to present swimming advisories based on results of weekly monitoring of bacteria levels in the river compared to state standards for water quality.

The monitoring program will run through September, and in future years it will start earlier to run from May through September. The program involves eight monitoring locations that will be sampled weekly and results from the sampling will be posted on the website the next day.


leah kirk

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The Hickory NC Trout Unlimited Chapter is hosting the 2017 Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) on Monday, October 23 at the SALT Block Art Museum in downtown Hickory.  The program begins at 5:30 PM in the Art Museum with refreshments and drinks.  In addition to the permanent exhibits, attendees will also be able to view a special exhibit “RARE” by photographer Joel Sartore, featuring portraits of America’s endangered species.  At 7:00 PM we will move to the Drendl Auditorium for the feature film.  The F3T is a series of eight short films of fly fishing adventures around the world from salmon in Kamchatka, to trout in Montana, to striped bass along the US east coast.  The evening will also include a silent auction with a chance to bid on fly fishing art, gear, guided trips, etc. Tickets are available at or at Casters Fly shop.