Southern Trout Magazine has partnered with Patriot Threads Apparel to produce it’s first in a series of “Fishing With Purpose” Pocket Tee-shirts that highlight the Fly Fishing lifestyle while also raising awareness and support for our Veterans. Patriot Threads donates 10% of the revenues from the sale of these shirts to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing when you use Promo Code “TROUT” and will also provide free shipping as our launch special. All shirts are proudly printed in the USA on the highest quality 100% cotton Comfort Color Pocket Tee-Shirts. Styles come in White or Grey, Short Sleeve $28 or Long Sleeve $36 in sizes Small -3X. Order today at https://patriotthreads.org Look for new state designs to be launched each quarter! Please post pictures wearing your Southern Trout shirts on our Face Book page @southerntrout to enter for a chance to win a Yeti Rambler Metal Beverage Tumbler!
It’s not tough to figure out when the infamous Y2K patterns came on the scene. It is a bit of a task to figure who exactly was the daddy of the first Y2K. I tend to believe it is of Ozark origins. Most importantly though, the Y2K pattern has a proven track record on all southern trout waters.
Hook: TMC 2499 SP #12,14
Thread: GSP 50 white/ or yellow
Body: Glo Yarn / Fl. Yellow and Fl. Orange
Bead: Gold Tungsten
Bristol, Virginia is ground zero for the First Annual Tailwater Rounds, to be held Friday March 24th with the Fly Fishing Film Tour at Studio Brew in Bristol, Virginia. Doors open at 4pm and the first showing starts at 6pm. Tickets are available at flyfilmtour.com or at your local outfitter. All proceeds go towards the river cleanup and any remaining proceeds are being donated to a local children's hospital.
There will also be a Film Tour Raffle with prizes including guide trips, a variety of fishing gear and much more. You can purchase raffle tickets at the film festival.
Saturday March 25th is the River Cleanup partnered with the Bill Beazell Memorial Cleanup. Participants will be meeting at 9am at the Weir Dam by Osceola Island. There will be a Participation Raffle at 4pm @ the Weir Dam for everyone that helps out in the cleanup. Food and beverages will be provided. Contact Tony Marcucci at 423-747-6694 to sign up.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will close approximately 1,000 miles of Hatchery Supported Trout Waters to fishing one-half hour after sunset on Feb. 28 and reopen them at 7 a.m. on April 1. While fishing is closed, the state will stock all Hatchery Supported Trout Waters in preparation for opening day. Staff stocks Hatchery Supported Trout Waters, which are marked by green-and-white signs, at frequent intervals in the spring and early summer every year.
This year, Commission personnel will stock approximately 916,000 trout — 96 percent of which average 10 inches in length, with the other 4 percent exceeding 14 inches in length. While fishing on Hatchery Supported Trout Waters, anglers can harvest a maximum of seven trout per day, with no minimum size limit or bait restriction. Hatchery Supported Trout Waters are open from 7 a.m. on the first Saturday in April until one-half hour after sunset on the last day of February the following year.
Over 120 tiers have been scheduled to tie at 2017 Sowbug Roundup next month in Mountain Home, Arkansas. The schedule is full with some of the best tiers in the country as well as tiers from Japan, Denmark and England. Ken Sickles who is running the Ironman Fly Tying Contest.
Wapsi has generously donated several hundred dollars of fly tying material as the grand prize. The Sowbug Roundip has three excellent tying classes this year. Mike George is teaching deer hair stacking, Jere Anderson is teaching how to tie the IFFF Bronze Award flies, and Dutch Baughman will be giving a class on thread control and other techniques. We will also auction off three fly plates from flies donated by the tiers
The February meeting of the North Arkansas Fly Fisher will be sort of a “preview” of Sowbug. There will be fly tiers and stuff for sale or swap. The following folks will be tying flies for your edification and amusement: John Berry - Green Butt soft hackle; Ron McQuay - Soft hackles; Paul Port – crawfish; Dennis Galyardt- Czech nymphs; Fred DuPre’ - trout flies; Tom Emerick - Elk Hair caddis and up-wing dry fly. You can also bring things to sell or swap. There will be tables for the layout of the items and the means to mark it as to sale or swap. Club members are invited to observe the fly tying and shop the fly fishing stuff.
For 2017, Cherokee's fishing season “opening day” will be March 25, and we are offering you 20,000 reasons to get excited about it. Their Opening Day Fishing Tournament requires just an $11 entry fee to compete for $20,000 in tagged fish. You’ll be competing in the rivers on the Qualla Boundary (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch-and-release waters). Tagged fish will be specially stocked for this event, and when you catch one, you redeem it for cash prizes ranging from $25 to $5,000 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 to redeem cash prizes anywhere fishing licenses are sold.
Cherokee's Memorial Day Trout Tournament May 26-28, 2017
The Tim Hill Memorial Trout Tournament July 15-16, 2017
The Qualla Country Trout Tournament September 1-3, 2017
Rumble in the Rhododendron November 4-5, 2017
A 19-inch rainbow trout caught in Alaska's Kanektok River was found to contain nearly 20 shrews according to Douglas Main, Staff Writer, LiveScience. Researchers recently opened up a rainbow trout in Alaska's Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, and were surprised to find the fish had eaten nearly 20 shrews, a mouse-size mammal. To make matters stranger, the fish was relatively small, measuring only 19 inches. Does your fly box contain in #2 shrew patterns?
If completive trout is your forte, once again thing machinery is geared up for the 2017 Cotter-Gassville Chamber of Commerce White River Open Trout Tournament. This year’s tournament will be held Saturday, March 18, 2017 at the Big Spring Park in Cotter, Arkansas. By all accounts the tournament promoters are anticipating a large turn-out for this tournament and are limited to the first 125 teams. This year’s tournament is open to any type or make of boat. The entry fee is $100.00 per team and an optional $25.00 is required for the Big Fish Pot. In addition to entry into the tournament, your fee buys you two tickets for the meal and two tickets for the door prizes. Winning payout is based on number of teams entered and the Big Fish Pot is 100% payout.
Gander Mountain, the St. Paul, Minnesota based outdoor retailer, is reportedly preparing to file for bankruptcy, reports the Outdoor Hub. There have been no official details confirmed as company spokesman, Jess Myers, said the company has taken a “vow of silence.”
This is yet another hit on outdoor/sporting goods retailers, as we’ve now seen Sports Authority declare bankruptcy and close 300 stores last year, and not to mention Cabela’s being acquired by Bass Pro Shops; although that deal is reaching its own snags and may be falling apart as well.
Even though Gander Mountain has taken its “vow of silence,” there is plenty to go on that suggests hard times are afoot for the outdoor retailer. If you take a look at their website, a plethora of sales and markdowns on all regular-priced items will tell you all you need to know.
Although Gander Mountain is a Yankee Land based operation, it has a particularly strong presence in North Carolina and Georgia. Other southern states with Gander Mountain stores include AL, TN, TX, MD, AR, VA, SC & MO. Bad news for the big box giants is good news for small fly and outdoors shops.
The Smokejumper Midge is a transitional midge pattern that imitates an emerging BWO pupa during winter on southern trout waters. Emerging pupae get stuck just beneath the surface where they are easily picked off by trout. The CDC wing makes this pattern easy to see on the surface. This pattern effectively emerging blue-winged olives.
Hook: Daiichi 1130 or Tiemco 2487 size 18 to 20
Thread: iemco 16/0
Abdomen: Stripped Peacock Herl, Turkey Biots, or Thread and Wire
Wing: 2-3 matched CDC feathers
Thorax: Nature’s Spirit Fine Natural Dubbing, Nature’s Spirit Emergence Dubbing
Virginia as a new initiative implemented in response to recent surveys of trout license holders and anglers which indicate that many trout anglers would like to see more pre-announced stockings. One of the strategies outlined in the Virginia Stocked Trout Management Plan is to evaluate prior announcement of trout stocking events in Virginia's western trout waters.
Currently the state conducts 1,108 individual stockings of catchable trout during a season. These stockings are announced at 4:00pm the day of stocking. In recent years the only trout stockings that have been pre-announced are the 20 waters stocked for Heritage Day (first Saturday in April). This year, the DGIF is expanding the program by pre-announcing the trout stockings of the waters listed below. These pre-announced stockings are one of the normal allocated stockings for these waters. They are not "additional" stockings.
Stocking times may vary depending on the distance from the hatchery to the receiving water but most stocking will occur between 10:00am and 2:00 pm. There will be no temporary stream or lake closures associated with these stocking events. The DGIF may postpone or change the date of any of these stocking events due to circumstances that compromise the resource or public safety. Here are the pre-announced trout stocking dates for spring, 2017.
Water Stocking Date Lake Thompson (Fauquier Co.) March 22, 2017 South River – Ridgeview Park & Grottoes Park (Augusta/Rockingham Co.) March 29, 2017 Jackson River – Hidden Valley (Bath Co.) April 14, 2017 North River – Upper & Gorge (Augusta Co.) March 30, 2017 Mint Springs Lake (Albemarle Co.) March 25, 2017 Rural Retreat Pond (Wythe Co.) April 14, 2017 Barbour's Creek (Craig Co.) April 7, 2017 Middle Fork Holston River (Smyth Co.) May 27, 2017 South Fork Powell River (Wise Co.) May 13, 2017 Roanoke River (Roanoke City) May 6, 2017 Pigg River (Franklin Co.) March 10, 2017 Liberty Lake (Bedford Co.)
Virginia has also announced a new trout program for young anglers designed for the recruitment and retention of anglers by establishing youth-only stocked trout waters. Youth-Only from April 1 through June 15. Only youth 15 years of age and younger may participate. Daily trout creel limit is three. Adults (17 years of age and older) are not required to have a freshwater fishing license or trout license to assist youth. Adults assisting youth (12 years of age and younger) can bait the hook, assist in casting, and assist with removing hooked trout. Adults cannot assist with setting the hook and/or retrieving the fish.
Youth-Only Waters will be stocked 3 times between April 1 and June 1. Stocking times may vary depending on the distance from the hatchery to the receiving water. VDGIF will strive to stock between 10:00am and 2:00 pm. VDGIF may postpone or change the date of any of these stocking events due to circumstances that compromise the resource or public safety.
Water Stocking Date Northern Fauquier Community Park Pond (Marshall)
(4155 Monroe Parkway) April 3, April 14, May 9, 2017 South River – Basic Park (Waynesboro)
(1405 Genicom Drive) April 13, May 4, May 26, 2017 Cave Mountain Lake (Natural Bridge)
(811 Cave Mountain Lake Road) April 6, May 5, May 25, 2017 Glen Alton Pond (Giles Co.)
(Route 635 / Glen Alton Road) April 1, April 22, May 12, 2017 Franklin County Park Pond (Rocky Mount)
(2150 Sontag Road) April 4, April 27, May 10, 2017 Ivy Creek – Peaks View Park (Lynchburg)
(1205 Ardmore Drive) April 11, April 28, May 12, 2017 South Fork Clinch River – Dunford Park (Tazewell)
(137 Riverview Lane)
At the AFFTA Cocktail Party the past Thursday night at The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, New Jersey, they were thrilled to announce something that's going to make a big difference for fly shops around the country: recycled paper fly boxes. In an initiative from Mossy Creek Fly Fishing's (and AFFTA board member) Colby Trow, they’ll soon have recycled paper fly boxes available for association member retailers and lodges. It's estimated our industry adds about 3.5 million plastic containers annually to the environment from retail fly sales alone! These boxes will save retailers some serious money and eliminate a large amount of useless waste.
Five new lakes enrolled in the Fishing in Neighborhoods Program (FINs) will receive stockings of trout in February, a boon to anglers tired of being house bound. Flemingsburg Old Reservoir, an 11-acre lake in Fleming County, gets 900 trout while Leary Lake, a 5-acre lake on Lloyd Wildlife Management Area in Grant County, gets the same amount of trout. The 9-acre Logan-Hubble Park Lake just south of Lancaster in Garrard County will receive 900 trout as well. The 2-acre in Graves County will get 500 trout as will the Clinton Rotary Park Lake in Clinton in Hickman County. Both of these lakes are in the Purchase Region.
"We are stocking a larger-sized trout in all of our FINs lakes for 2017," said Dane Balsman, coordinator of the FINs program for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "The larger trout now average about 10 to 11 inches long and one-half pound in weight."
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife formerly stocked its traditional "stocker" trout of 9 to 10 inches in the FINs lakes. "We wanted to improve angler satisfaction and utilization as well as reducing hooking and handling mortality. These fish won't be caught as many times and anglers are more likely to harvest a larger trout."
Remember, current fishing licenses expire Feb. 28. It is a good idea to buy your fishing license soon.
Mississippi recently stocked 500 rainbow trout into the bank-fishing pond at Lake Lamar Bruce near Saltillo. According to Fisheries Biologist Trevor Knight, "The rainbow trout we stocked in December 2015 were a popular attraction for anglers at Lake Lamar Bruce last year. They provided a unique angling opportunity in Mississippi and were easy to catch." The pond at Lake Lamar Bruce is the only public water body in Mississippi where anglers will have the chance to catch rainbow trout.
Anglers can harvest up to three trout per person per day with no size restrictions. Anglers must have a valid fishing license and a state lake daily or annual fishing permit to fish in the pond. The fish were provided by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery and stocked by the Pvt. John Allen National Fish Hatchery in Tupelo.
On March 1 each year, fishermen flock to Missouri trout parks to kick off the trout season. Anglers have four trout parks to choose from on Opening Day. In each park, attendees will line the water on all sides, and it's just as much about the experience as it is the fishing. Trout season for these parks lasts through Oct. 31, but there's just something about being there that first day. Some people have been coming to Opening Day for many years, and many have made it a tradition with family or friends.
If you are a fly fisherman, the shoulder-to-shoulder crowns on these waters on grand opening might ruffle your hackles, with lots of trout and lots of worm dunkers. The state keeps each of the trout parks well stocked all season, stocking trout each evening from the day before March 1 through Oct. 30. With the exception of opening day, three fish are stocked for every expected angler. All four parks combined are expected to stock more than 900,000 fish during trout season, and will sell more than 400,000 tags.
Two sections on the South Holston River that were closed to protect the river’s self-sustaining brown trout during spawning reopened February 1. Beginning in 2000 this management program afforded the South Holston tailwater trout fishery a “quality zone” with two special spawning refuges closed to fishing during November through January.
These measures were taken to protect vulnerable large brown trout during the spawning season and to potentially improve recruitment. The initial management plan for the South Holston tailwater focused on improving the abundance of large trout and developing a wild brown trout fishery through these regulation changes, along with optimizing rainbow trout stocking rates.
South Holston tailwater anglers have overwhelmingly supported the special regulations in place there, with an 80% favorability of the spawning refuges and 16-22 inch PLR (i.e. “slot limit”).
The NPS has proposed a solar-powered microgrid to replace a power line in a remote area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). If developed, the Mt. Sterling Sustainable Energy Project could serve as an example of microgrids as cost-effective alternatives to transmission or distribution lines.
The GSMNP is located in a rugged area of North Carolina and Tennessee. Today, NPS radio equipment located at the Mt. Sterling Fire Lookout Tower is powered by a 3.5-mile overhead line that is challenging and expensive to maintain in the remote and steep terrain. Duke Energy has proposed installing a microgrid to power the radio equipment at the old fire tower: 30 solar panels tied to a zinc-air battery.
This solar microgrid would then operate separately from the interstate electricity grid, and according to NPS "It would allow greater reliability while using a renewable energy source." While estimates suggest that 10 trees would need to be cleared for site development and to prevent shading, NPS notes that "The microgrid would allow the existing overhead line to be decommissioned and the existing maintained corridor would return to a natural state.” If approved, implementation could occur in spring 2017.
Last Friday the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show was the site of the first Legends of the Fly Hall of Fame induction ceremony. It was a success. Ringmaster, John Reinhardt, gave a stellar performance as the event’s M.C. I believe it is fair to say that few indeed are the times when so many notables in the world of fly fishing for trout in the South have gathered to recognize and be recognized for the enormity of their contributions and passion for the sport.
The Southern Trout family was humbled by the gathering at the ceremony. We also want to once more acknowledge the support of sponsors: the Museum of Southern Appalachian Fly Fishing, the Smoky Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Sweetwater Brewing Company and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Special thanks too goes to Chuck and Ben Furimsky of the Fly Fishing Show. They co-hosted the ceremony, and will do so again in 2018 and 2019.
In the not too distant future after we have digested this year’s efforts, we will make improvements and tender an offer to all to give their “two-cents worth” on the list of next year’s nominees. As I noted on several occasions last week, the ST Legends of the Fly Hall of Fame quickly grew above my pay grade. I certainly do know how the dog who caught the bus had to feel.
Smoky Mountain Starling Soft Hackle is a stealth version of the Yallarhammar that also originated as much as a century ago. Insofar as the hackles of the non-native starling were unavailable in the region prior to around the time of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, it’s a pretty good guess that the Smoky Mountain Starling Soft Hackle was probably preceded by the better known Yallarhammar. Who knows, eh?
The key to tying the Smoky Mountain Starling Soft Hackle is splitting the wing feathers which usually is done most easily if you soak the wing feathers in warm water. This is a very productive, year round fly. Personally I like it during the Mother’s Day caddis fly hatch, but the Smoky Mountain Starling Soft Hackle is a good “go-to”now through late May.
HOOK: TMC 5262, #14 – #16
THREAD: Tiemco 16/0,Black
ABDOMEN: Ostrich herl
RIBBING: Gold wire
Unfortunately, wildlife officers can't be everywhere at once. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission relies on outdoors enthusiasts to report violations when they see them and help conserve our natural resources for future generations. The Enforcement Radio Room is available 24 hours a day to handle all calls from concerned citizens.
Three options are now available in Arkansas to help catch trout poachers. One is to immediately report what you see by calling the Stop Poaching Hotline, 1-800-482-9262. Caller’s names are kept anonymous and if you wish you do not have to leave your name.
AT&T cell phone users may dial #847 and leave a tip as well. Cell phone charges apply. Volition tip can also be texted to TIP411 (847411). TIP411 removes all identifying information from a text before the AGFC receives it, so tips are completely anonymous unless senders want to identify themselves to claim rewards. To send the anonymous tip via text message, text “AGFC” followed by the tip to tip411 (847411). You will receive a thank you text acknowledging that your tip has been received. Each tipster is eligible for a monetary reward based on the amount of the minimum fine in the event a citation is issued for the violation being reported.