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Greenbrier River Trail Reopens

leah kirk

MARLINTON, W.Va. — An 11-mile section of the Greenbrier River Trail is reopening one year after a major landslide during the June 2016 floods made paths in the area impassable. The slip was measured at 300 feet long and 600 feet tall; the length of a football field and the height of the New River Gorge Bridge. Following extensive repairs, the section is open again, allowing full access to the 78-mile trail, which stretches from Caldwell to Anthony.

The Greenbrier River Trail is a former railroad, now used by hikers, bikers and horseback riders. Its destruction by natural forces made it eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency recovery funding. Most of the repairs were done by state park employees and through contractual work with Pineville Paving and Excavating, Inc. of Pineville, and Sibold Excavating of Union.

Thirty other damaged sites along the trail were identified and addressed, including side trail campsites, culverts and bridges, rest areas, trail washouts and signage losses. The area around the landslide has been contoured to an 800-foot section of trail that now rises to about 18 feet and falls to the original trail grade.


leah kirk

Hazel Creek is one of Great Smoky Mountains National Park's mythical jewels. We have read about it in the words of Harry Middleton and dreamed of its cool flowing waters. Hazel Creek, though it lies just across the mountain from Townsend, feels like a distant world. Do you pour over maps and click through message board post after post yearning to one day make the trek?

This could be your perfect opportunity. From September 21 through the 24th,Little River Outfitters joins Steve Claxton of Smoky Mountain Adventures for 4 days and 3 nights of camping at Hazel Creek. The trip starts Thursday afternoon with a 20-minute pontoon boat ride across Fontana Lake. A short hike later you will arrive at camp.

Everything is provided — the equipment, supplies, camp setup and food. In fact, camp is already set up when you arrive — maximizing your time enjoying the wilderness — a luxurious back country camp that includes comfortable 120-square-foot stand-up tents, hammocks, cots, chairs and other amenities not usually associated with deep woods camping. There’s even a portable hot shower. All you need to bring is your sleeping bag and any personal items.

While you are there it is up to you how you choose to spend your time. Fish the wild rainbows, browns and even brooks of Hazel Creek. Hike the trails. Or just relax at camp. (guiding services can be provided by Steve for an additional fee). After lunch Sunday you'll break camp and head back to civilization.

Trip is $575 per person (gratuities not included). Space is very limited (a maximum of 7 campers) so don't wait to make your reservation. Please contact Steve or Becky Claxton directly via email or by phone 828-736-7501.

Breaking News: Smoky Mt. Eclipse

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. The 2017 total solar eclipse will pass through the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Bryson City, Swain County and much of the Great Smoky Mountains sit 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. Recommended by as the spot in North Carolina to watch the eclipse.
    Bryson City has scheduled a great line up of event (I recommend fly fishermen be on the water during the eclipse so they can tell how it affected trout behavior). The Bryson City Eclipse Week schedule  of events. The Visitor Center in the old courthouse is 'eclipse central'. Drop by for information and to purchase eclipse glasses (while supplies last). Open daily.
ALL WEEKEND LONG - Take the 'Eclipse Crawl'. Visit participating merchants with eclipse-themed food and drink offerings.
7-9 pm. Free, live music at Riverfront Park, which has a large, grassy lawn in front of an outdoor stage. Enjoy sitting at one of the picnic tables or bring a lawn chair or blanket for the grass. 101 Mitchell St. across from train parking and turntable.
10 am - 4 pm. Enjoy a free, full-dome planetarium experience at the Fire Department on Main Street. Experience the universe (digital video projections in inflatable dome). Sponsored by Marianna Black Library. (donations welcomed)
10 am - 10 pm. Swain County Agricultural Fair – County Fair complete with judged entries, agricultural demos, petting zoo, bounce house, craft vendors, food trucks and bands. Darnell Farms (US 19 east of Bryson City). IMBA Award-winning Balsam Range plays from 8 - 10 pm.
7-9 pm. Free, live music at Riverfront Park, which has a large, grassy lawn in front of an outdoor stage. Enjoy sitting at one of the picnic tables or bring a lawn chair or blanket for the grass. 101 Mitchell St. across from train parking and turntable.
10 am - 10 pm. Appalachian Festival – County Fair style festival complete with petting zoo, bounce house, agricultural demos, craft vendors, food trucks and bands. Darnell Farms (US 19 east of Bryson City).
Noon - 4 pm. Enjoy a free, full-dome planetarium experience at the Fire Department on Main Street. Experience the universe (digital video projections in inflatable dome). Sponsored by Marianna Black Library. 

1 - 5 pm. Sand & Sauce 2017 – Live music, games, water inflatables, volleyball tournament, cornhole tournament, pig roast, BBQ sauce contest. Free event. The Grove Church, 1127 Franklin Grove Church Road.
7-9 pm. Free, live music at Riverfront Park, which has a large, grassy lawn in front of an outdoor stage. Enjoy sitting at one of the picnic tables or bring a lawn chair or blanket for the grass. 101 Mitchell St. across from train parking and turntable.
MONDAY Eclipse Day
11 am - 3 pm. Bryson City offers a number of excellent open viewing locations, such as:
RR DEPOT - Block party with live music featuring Grandpa's Cough Medicine, blazing bluegrass tempos (11 - 1 pm) and The Company Stores, modern Appalachian rock and blues band (1 - 3 pm). Restrooms & portable toilets.
IMPORTANT – If you plan on observing the eclipse from downtown Bryson City, please note that all downtown roads will remain open for motorist traffic. There are no planned events on Everett Street and there will be NO street closures with the exception of Frye Street. Please observe the eclipse at the designated event site on Frye Street or from the safety of a pedestrian-friendly sidewalk.

Mountain Bridge TU’s Fly Fishing Film Tour

leah kirk

Mountain Bridge TU chapter will host its Second Annual the Fly Fishing Film Tour on September 29, 2017, at Brewery 85 in Greenville SC. The Tour showcases some of the country’s best independent outdoor film makers with highly exciting fly fishing videos from around the world featuring both fresh and saltwater action.  Each year the film tour screens in over 150 North American cities.  Check online at your tickets here:


Lake Taneycomo Car Hazard

leah kirk

Car, after car, after car is underwater at Lake Taneycomo sitting in the lake after June's floods. You can see them from the Falls Creek Marina, where many people go kayaking or fishing. "For me, my element down here is the fishing dock. We just have a great, great time," said Ed Johnsonbaugh, who is a fisherman. For Ed Johnsonbaugh, the Fall Creek Marina is the place for the best catch. But in his years fishing at Lake Taneycomo, he has never seen anything like this. "There's one. It used to be a blue pickup truck of some kind or another. But you'd never recognize it. It's just a rolled-up, crumpled-up, metal. Glass and parts are all over the place," Johnsonbaugh said. KSPR News wanted to see how many cars are in Lake Taneycomo. Saturday KSPR News crews counted ten cars in the lake.

                A Missouri Department of Natural Resources or DNR spokesman said nine of the cars belong to nearby Fall Creek Motors. KSPR News did try to reach Fall Creek Motors Saturday. But, they were closed so KSPR News crews were unable to talk to them. The car dealer is paying a contractor to get the cars out of the lake. It was supposed to happen Friday and Saturday; but, did not. DNR said the holdup was "the contractor was not able to assemble the proper equipment in time to perform the work". Until it happens, the fishermen are worried about boaters "The biggest thing is the hazard to boats. There are several of them out there and a few of them are just under the surface," Johnsonbaugh said.

VA’s Tinker Creek Fish Kill

leah kirk

Mark Taylor

From the banks of Tinker Creek, a tributary of the Roanoke River here in my home city of Roanoke, Va., I scanned the water. Dozens of fish floated belly-up, hung up in the current on rocks and streamside brush.

Upstream from this spot a few days prior, a leaking chemical tank had spilled its contents into the watershed. The chemical was Termix 5301, which is added to pesticides and herbicides before they are applied to crops.

Only about 165 gallons of the concentrated chemical leaked into the watershed, but it was enough to kill “tens of thousands of fish” reaching more than 4 miles downstream.  The dead fish included smallmouth bass, rock bass, sunfish and large suckers. Tinker Creek is not a particularly big stream nor is it a blue ribbon fishery. But it’s a cool and pretty stream in a big city. It’s stocked with trout in the cooler months and is not a bad place to chase sunfish and bass with a fly rod on a hot summer day.

e chemical didn’t spill directly into Tinker Creek. According to Crop Production Services, the chemical went into a “ditch that is normally dry.” Heavy rains washed it into a Tinker Creek tributary. From there, it eventually seeped into Tinker Creek and killed those tens of thousands of fish because, well, water flows downhill.

Mark Taylor is the eastern communications director for Trout Unlimited. He lives in Roanoke and covered the debut of Virginia's Trout Heritage Day on Tinker Creek when he was the outdoors reporter at The Roanoke Times.

NC’s Cullowhee Dam’s Future Bleak

leah kirk

Nearly a century old, the aging Cullowhee Dam on the Tuckasegee River is at a crossroads — with the increased risk of failure, Western Carolina University must decide whether to renovate the existing structure or remove it completely.

An in-depth examination of the safety of the Cullowhee Dam begun last years is nearly complete. The dam provides water for both Western Carolina University and the towns served by the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority (TWSA). It was built in 1930.

A preliminary study in 2005 found some erosion problems. “Some eroded areas on both ends of the dam where the dam ties into the soil structure,” Dan Harbaugh, Director of the TWSA, said. “The study is meant to show the potential options, the cost of the potential options, the outcome, the results of that potential option."

Now, with a proposal for more recreation along the river, the university wants a thorough investigation done on the dam. Those options include removing the dam or modifying it with recreation and wildlife in mind. The dam hasn’t been used for power generation since the 1960s, but it creates a reservoir of still water that supplies WCU and the TWSA. However, some would like to see the dam disappear, offering increased opportunity for paddlers and allowing fish and other aquatic life to travel freely through a more natural, higher-quality river.

Mustang Khimera Hybrid PFD Vest

leah kirk

The Mustang Khimera Hybrid PFD Vest is more than just protection—it changes the rules of the game by elevating performance in and out of the water. With foam flotation to provide neutral buoyancy and a backup, manually activated inflation cell, the Khimera Hybrid PFD Vest dual flotation system blends the security of foam flotation with the slim profile of inflatable technology. Its lightweight, low profile design offers greater comfort and range of motion than any foam PFD-   If things hit the fan, pulling the manual inflator boosts you to 22.5 lb of buoyancy – 1.5x traditional foam.

Simms Solarflex Armor

leah kirk

Human skin is a super organ for the ages. It houses more than 3 trillion pores. It protects you from pathogens and water loss. And it insulates, temperature regulates and provides a sounding board for myriad sensations. From the pain of a rough burn, prick of a hook, to the pleasure of an epic backrub—when your skin speaks, you listen.

Skin is a genius, but it’s also under constant threat from the sun. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. In addition, one in five Americans—potentially you or a fishing buddy—will develop skin cancer over the course of a lifetime.

In addition, Simms’ COR3™ lineup of technical apparel offers UPF-rated protection built to stymie skin cancer fears from the one-last-cast equation. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. It indicates how much of the sun's harmful UV radiation is absorbed. Fabrics receiving a rating of 30 or higher offer very good to excellent protection.

Prolonging time on the water, under the sun, is an imperative stitched into all Simms’ UPF-rated, COR3™ collections. Think of it as a second skin and enhanced armor for your super organ within. For more visit

Waterworks Lamson Center Axis Rod Reel System

leah kirk

Lamson is getting into the rod business but not in the usual way. I've come to appreciate all my Lamson reels for the bare bones lightweight feeling they provide. They match up great to all my modern lightweight fly rods. If you have a rod that feels like a chore to cast look close at your reel weight. Often times a rod that feels club like or heavy swing can be cured by reducing the weight of the reel. The new Center Axis takes this approach to the fullest level by fitting the fly reel as part of the rod.

Beat The Heat: Kentucky’s Cumberland Tailwaters

leah kirk

by Lee McClellan/Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The dog days of late summer slow everything down. The heat and humidity along with the long days make outside work sweaty and arduous. Fishing slows during the dog days as well. Catching game fish from a lake or stream during a 90-degree plus day provides a challenge that anglers often fail to conquer.

Wading the cold waters of the Cumberland River below Lake Cumberland makes the best bet for a successful day fishing with the added benefit of escaping the heat for a time. Any breeze scrapes cold air from the river’s surface and makes the hottest day bearable, not to mention there are oodles of brook, rainbow and bruiser brown trout.

“I had a friend who caught two 26-inch rainbow trout from the Cumberland River recently,” said Dave Dreves, assistant director of Fisheries for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “The trout in the river are in excellent condition.”

Late summer provides a reliable pattern for water releases from Wolf Creek Dam. “The power demands at this time of year peak in the afternoon and evening,” Dreves said. “They usually run the most water during that time. It is not set in stone, you need to check the flow before you plan a trout fishing trip.”


There are a couple of ways to check the release schedule, visit the TVA generation pre schedule page and consult the “WOL” column. The number 45 represents one turbine of generation.  You may also log on to the Tennessee Valley Authority home page and click on the “Lake Levels” tab and scroll down to “Wolf Creek.” The generation this week peaked from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Central time.

“At the dam and at the Little Indian Creek Access at the end of Ray Mann Road, the water will be on you quickly,” Dreves said. “The best time to wade near the dam is usually in the early morning in summer, basically from daybreak to about 10 a.m.”

Boyd’s Bar at the Little Indian Creek Access makes an excellent morning wading spot for trout. The easy to wade bottom of Boyd’s Bar allows anglers to get well out into the river on a late summer morning. This spot, reached via a gravel road just below Wolf Creek Dam, consistently produces good numbers of rainbow, brook and the occasional brown trout.

The access at Helm's Landing is another productive and popular wading spot. “Helm’s Landing is 4 1/2 miles downstream from the dam,” Dreves said. “You can usually fish until noon at Helm’s on a typical summer generation schedule before the water starts to rise.”

Helm’s Landing is also wader-friendly with the deeper channel across from the boat ramp holding trout. The eddy just downstream of the boat ramp often holds brown trout when there is some current in the river.

The Rockhouse Access is one of the inimitable places to fish in Kentucky. From Helm’s Landing, take KY 379 south through the ghost town of Creelsboro until you see the Cumberland River on your left. Soon, the Rockhouse, also called the Creelsboro Arch, comes into view with a gravel road providing access to the parking area.

The relatively new Long Bar Fishing Access grants anglers fantastic wading water a little upstream of the Rockhouse, but on the opposite side of the river. “You have a lot more area to wade at Long Bar,” Dreves said. “It will also give you another four hours to fish compared to near the dam in summer. You may fish until 2 o’clock or so until the water hits you.”

Long Bar, also called Snow Island, is comprised of a 12-acre island with a back channel that anglers can cross at low water. “We shocked that back channel in October and trout were spawning in there. We had some big fish piled in there,” Dreves said.

“For fly fishing, nymphs are always good on the Cumberland,” Dreves said. “Terrestrials such as grasshopper and ant patterns work well in late summer.”

TN’S Roaring River Dam to Be Removed

leah kirk

CROSSVILLE, Tn-- An aging dam on the Roaring River will be removed soon in a multi-organizational effort. The exact date will depend on river conditions and visitors should expect limited access in this area.

This will be the largest Tennessee dam ever removed for river and stream restoration purposes. The dam is roughly 220 feet across and 15 feet tall. It is located in Jackson County about five miles before the beginning of the lake formed by the Cordell Hull Dam. The Roaring River is designated as a state scenic river and is a destination for paddlers, anglers, and swimmers.

The Roaring River Dam, built in 1976 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is targeted for removal because the structure at its base is eroding in what is known as a “head cut,” creating a risk that this dam might fail. Rather than repair the dam, it was determined that it would be better to remove the dam, which was originally built at TWRA’s request to keep reservoir species from migrating upstream into areas inhabited by stream fish. Fish surveys have shown that the barrier was not effective, and it is no longer needed. 

“We know of more than 2,000 of these dams in Tennessee’s rivers and streams,” said Rob Bullard, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers Program Director with The Nature Conservancy. “Many have outlived their intended purpose and fallen into disrepair. There is a growing recognition that removing these old dams results in safer rivers for recreation and healthier habitat for wildlife,”

DRO Women's Two Day Fly Fishing School

leah kirk

Davidson River Outfitters in Pisgah, North Carolina is offering a Women's Two Day FlyFishing School November 11 & 12, 2017. The focus of our two-day women's school is to help the beginner and intermediate women fly fisher gain a better understanding of the different facets of fly fishing. Each lesson will build on the previous lesson and help reinforce what you have learned. This school will focus on the needs and issues that women anglers often encounter along with the normal school curriculum. Our top notch instructors Debbie Gillespie and Linda Michael are teaming up to teach this women's only class.

School Topics Include:

- Safety

- Tackle Basics (selecting the proper rod and gear for your       needs)

- Casting (from roll cast to aerial mending)

- Knots

- Basic Entomology and fly selection

- Fly Fishing Strategies (Nymph Fishing, Dry Fly and Streamer Fishing)

- Mending

- Wading and Wading Safety

- Reading Water (understanding where the fish live)

- Hooking, Fighting and Landing Fish

The first day of the school, you will focus on instruction both in our classroom as well as on the Davidson River. On the second day, you will cover wading safety and stream navigation. Then the afternoon of the second day you will be joined by our guide staff for a half day guided fly fishing trip on our private trophy trout stream, where you can put your new education to work.

Don't worry if you need gear, we will provide any gear you need while you are participating in our two-day school. Call 888-861-0111or email to reserve your spot. The two day fly fishing school cost is $395 per person.

Breaking News: Who Turns on the Generators?

leah kirk

Did you ever wonder who decides, and how they decide, when to run the generators at Norris Dam? Or at other TVA dams? The on’s and offs of generators produce powerful changes in water levels on tailwaters below the dams—producing electricity and floating barges downriver, but also greatly affecting anglers, kayakers and other folks who want to enjoy the streams.

Jenny Sharkey (right), a water resources engineer in TVA’s River Forecast Center, will discuss the whys and hows of those decisions on Thursday, Aug. 10, at a free, public meeting of the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Her program, “TVA River Management Overview,” starts at 7 p.m. in the parish hall at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 158 W. Norris Road, Norris.

Sharkey has five years’ experience with TVA, and has spent the last two years in the Forecast Center learning the intricacies of the river system. She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in environmental engineering, both from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

In addition, anyone interested in learning more about chapter activities can attend the Brown Bag Board Meeting starting at 5:30—just pack a sandwich and join us in the parish hall.

Realtree Fishing Pattern Camo

leah kirk

Realtree introduced the new Realtree Fishing pattern at ICAST. Designed to complement the Realtree Fishing brand and the iconic hook/antler logo that is already taking the market by storm, the new Realtree Fishing pattern was developed using Bill Jordan's innovative method for blending background layers to give depth and texture to all Realtree patterns.

The Realtree Fishing pattern includes subtle Realtree branch and brush pile elements that interestingly mimic the bottom returns of today's depth finder technology, separating this unique pattern from the thousands of digital patterns on the market.

"Fishing has been a huge part of my outdoor life," said Realtree Designer and President Bill Jordan. "My father and family were in the boat business, I fished tournaments for years, and today I spend as much time as I can fishing with my children. It was just natural to extend the Realtree brand into the fishing market. So many hunters are just like me and my family and our Realtree employees. We enjoy all aspects of the outdoors. I wanted to create a camouflage pattern that connected outdoors people to the great sport of fishing, and by all indications we succeeded with the Realtree Fishing pattern."

Many of Realtree's more than 2,000 licensing and retail partners manufacture or market primarily to the 38,000,000 freshwater and 12,000,000 saltwater anglers in the United States. Even though Realtree's early success was rooted in the hunting industry, the company's influence now reaches into virtually every corner of the sporting world. So, it only makes sense for Realtree to offer a pattern for fishermen, since research shows that anglers also hunt.


Licensees are able to offer consumers an infinite array of color and texture options thanks to Realtree's unique design technology that includes subtle pattern elements, abstracts and light arrays, once again giving this pattern the depth and 3D feel that Realtree patterns are known for.

"As a leader and innovator, Realtree Founder and CEO Bill Jordan is bringing Realtree's unique design technology and marketing expertise to the fishing market where vibrant, bright colors are popular with anglers," Mike Swain, Realtree account manager and avid bass angler, said. "This pattern should resonate with hardcore bass and saltwater anglers, as well as fishermen who love the sport and want to reflect that passion every day, whether on the water or off. Look for the Realtree Fishing pattern from our great licensees online at the Realstore and soon at retailers everywhere."

The fourth largest collegiate apparel company, Colosseum, will announce products at the 2017 ICAST show and will then launch a full collection of products in both the Realtree Fishing Brand and the Realtree Fishing pattern for its spring 2018 line.

G2 Gemini Jersey's, the country's largest fishing jersey manufacturer, will offer Realtree Fishing pattern and Realtree Fishing brand jerseys online at the Realstore just prior to ICAST, and will showcase items at the show as well.

Pelican, an innovator in hard storage manufacturing, will also showcase Realtree fishing pattern products, such as coolers and tumblers, at the ICAST show as it gears up for an upcoming consumer launch.

Apparel items such as jerseys, fishing polos, vented fishing shirts, sun-shielding neck and face gaiters, hats, raingear and more will be for sale online and at key retailers over the next several months. Also, look for soft-sided tackle boxes in the Realtree Fishing pattern at fishing tackle retailers across the country.

For more information on the Realtree Fishing lifestyle brand, visit

Frogg Toggs Sierra Stockingfoot Waders

leah kirk

ARAB, Ala. — frogg toggs introduced two new models of its popular Sierran line of breathable stockingfoot waders for ICAST 2017. The Sierran lineup offers performance that meets the expectations of every hard-core fisherman, but at a value that is appreciated by even the saltiest Dry Flyer. It is equipped with features that are essential for every successful day on the water. The two additional models include:

The Sierran Transition Waders features:

Zippered flip-out security chest pocket

Oversized multi-function pocket featuring a zip/flip tray with pile backing for fly and tool storage

Attached gravel guards with no-slip elastic opening

No-rust lace hook

Adjustable X-back suspenders with locking buckle and D-rings

Adjustable locking chest cord

External fly-storage area with keyhole accessory patch

Net keeper back D-ring

Zip/Flip Tray Callout: Oversized multi-function pocket lined with pile backing, features a zip/flip tray, providing the ideal on-the-water workstation, while also providing ample fly and tool storage

Sizes from SM – 2X

Colors – Slate/Gray

The Sierran Transition Z Waders:

The Sierran Transition Z Waders feature a unique waterproof zip-front closure and …

Zippered flip-out security chest pocket

Dual multi-function pockets featuring felt-lined hand warmers

Bellowed zipper storage with overlayed pockets

Attached gravel guards with integral no-rust lace hooks

Adjustable X-back suspenders with quick-release locking buckles

Sizes from SM – 2X

Colors – Slate/Gray

"When we first designed the Sierran waders, we set out to make the industry's highest-performing, most affordable breathable wader, and we did that," said Will Fowler, frogg toggs®' Director of Marketing. "We received a lot of great feedback from our customers asking for additional features based on the type of fishing they did and their specific needs, so we developed the Sierran Transition and Transition Z waders to help meet those requests and offer a full lineup. What we are most proud of here at frogg toggs® is our ability to deliver a breathable wader that has the same quality, performance and features at nearly half the price of our competitors."

Located in one of the "wettest" parts of the country, frogg toggs® was founded in 1996 on the promise of total customer satisfaction, and to this day we don't introduce a product, make a change or commit a resource unless we know it will result in giving our customers even more reason to seek out and purchase the frogg toggs® brand. As our customer base expands from the traditional sporting segments into other outdoor activities, this commitment is strengthened rather than diluted. We understand that a growing market means increased demand for and scrutiny of product quality. Our response to this is embodied in the quality found in our ever-expanding product line. We have every confidence that each and every frogg toggs® product will provide our customers with the quality, performance and value associated with the frogg toggs® brand.

Rise Fishing Introduces New Fly Rods

leah kirk

Rise Fishing introduced a several high performance, budget friendly fly rods last week at ICAST in Orlando.   The In-Stream and Green Series were available at the show casting pond for trout focused anglers. Spey casting aficionados have access to the Blackwater Spey and Switch rods, just look for a wider lane on the ponds to really push the limits of these rods. The Balance and Level Series are both key players in the performance-budget friendly category but most anglers will be anxious to test the Level X.

The Level X Series is designed to deliver high-level line velocity for advanced fresh and saltwater fishing scenarios. The fast-action, 4 piece rods have full wells cork handles, fighting butts, saltwater safe reel seats and over-sized guides. Designed by serious blue water anglers, they are made for hardcore anglers who appreciate a rod with some backbone and fish stopping power.

Rods are paired with the 3-Tand TX, TF or T-series Big Game sealed Series reels. The Big Game series reels have 18 pounds of drag for hot saltwater fish. Reels are lined with Cortland model lines that match each rod while finding the perfect flex point.

Rise Rods mission is to create the best fly rods possible at a price that doesn't discriminate. No one is harder on gear than guides, so we've worked with world class fly fishing guides to help sculpt our rods and put them to the true test of fishing them hard! Thousands of days on the water have led to the design of our first two series of rods and this philosophy will never change, as we develop new series in the Rise line up. We have a passion for fly fishing we'd like to share, and we think everyone should have affordable access to the sport.

Five Things about North Carolina Trout Fishing

leah kirk

Trout fishing is a big deal in North Carolina! Here are five cool facts about trout fishing in our state:

1.      It brings in money and jobs. Trout fishing is a huge economic benefit to our state. In 2014, it brought in an estimated $383 million and supported 3,600 jobs each year.

2.      NC has more native populations of Brook Trout than anywhere in the Southeast! The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) carefully manages these populations, and also stocks Rainbow and Brown trout where feasible. See the stocking schedule at

3.      Access is expanding. NCWRC continuously works to add more high-quality Public Mountain Trout Waters to its network. The agency enhances and restores cold water streams, and partners with landowners to expand public access to existing trout streams.

4.      Clean, Drain, Dry, and Never Move! Since it’s nearly impossible to eradicate trout parasites such as gill lice and Whirling Disease once they’ve entered a stream, a nationwide campaign urges anglers to prevent the spread of these aquatic hitchhikers. The campaign instructs anglers to clean, drain, and dry their boats and fishing equipment before entering other water bodies, and never moving plants, animals or other organisms from one place to another.

5.      NCWRC helps you plan your fishing trip. An interactive map at lets you to look up trout fishing locations based on criteria you select, and see which regulations apply at those locations so that you can plan ahead for your fishing trip.

El Niño Update

leah kirk

It seems that ocean surface temperatures aren’t pointing toward a favorable El Nino this coming winter, which could have a significant impact on the weather in the Great Lakes region. El Nino is a condition where a band of warm ocean water develops in the Pacific, right along the Equator.

El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific, as opposed to La Niña, which is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. El Niño is an oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific having important consequences for weather around the globe.  Locally speaking among these consequences are increased rainfall across the southern tier of the US.

Thus far reports reveal that things aren’t exactly adding up for strong El Niño conditions this season, and that means a brutally cold winter could be lurking in the coming months. Take a look at the snapshot from NOAA below, and you’ll notice the cooler temperatures being reported out of the southeast Pacific:

If this pattern continues, you can pretty much kiss the chances of a much anticipated El Niño goodbye. This winter and next summer is likely to colder and wetter (in the South) than usual; good news for southern trout fishing.

Kentucky 2018 Fishing Regulation Proposals

leah kirk

FRANKFORT, KY — The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposed several new fishing regulations at a special called meeting last week. If approved by legislators, fisheries regulations proposed at the meeting would take effect March 1, 2018.

Commissioners recommended modifying the statewide daily creel limit on brown trout to one fish per day with a 16-inch minimum size limit. Rainbow trout will be under an 8-fish daily creel limit. The next Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting is currently scheduled for 8:30 a.m. (Eastern time), Friday, Sept. 8, 2017.Meetings are held at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters, 1 Sportsman's Lane off U.S. 60 in Frankfort.