Southern Trout Magazine (STM) launched four years ago, and Southern Kayak Fishing Magazine is midway through its second year of publication. Despite setbacks and some pretty annoying health issues, right now (knock on wood), both titles are doing very well. Being a student of the school of thought, “bigger is better,” we’ve decided to take advantage of the current momentum by getting bigger.
STM is a regional fly fishing publication that covers trout fishing from the Mason-Dixon Line south to northern Georgia, and then makes an imaginary jump over to the Ozarks. The Appalachians I know pretty well, and while I have done a lot of fishing in the Ozarks, it is not my “home water.” From the onset, STM combining the Ozarks and the Appalachian seemed logical. Culturally, Ozark and Appalachian folks have pretty much the same accent. Both relish soup beans and cornbread, and know that gravy and biscuit is the perfect breakfast. They even have the same customs when it comes to beer and likker consumption.
Not recognized by us four years ago though, was that the fly fishing communities of the Ozarks and the Appalachian are quite different. Fishing conditions and fly choices aside, we discovered that few from the Ozarks give a hoot in hell about going to the Smokies or Shenandoah. When they want to trek 800 to 1,000 miles, they are headed to Montana or Colorado. There is some cross pollination by Appalachian fly fishermen visiting the Ozarks. As best we can tell it appears that the dividing line between the two clans is Memphis (or Nashville?) and Louisville.
STM’s attempt to join the two southern regions was at best a shotgun wedding. Our solution to the problem is to launch Southern Trout “Ozark Edition” (STOE). Insofar as STM is a bimonthly publication, the plan is for STOE to publish the first of each month that STM does not publish. STOE will pretty much be a look alike cousin of STM, but will exclusively cover the Ozarks. Hopefully it not be a 200+ page monster like STM, but rather be a 150+ page welterweight. At least that is the plan.
Everyone receiving STM will receive STOE. The weekly newsletter will be a bridge between the two, meaning that no changes will occur there. Ed Mashburn who grew up fishing in the Ozarks will be STOE’s editor. He has already lined up a stable of writer and decided on the direction of STOE’s content. STOE will launch November 1st.