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Filtering by Tag: fly

Missouri “Ribbon Rated” Trout Fishing

leah kirk

Many are unaware that Missouri has a lot of trout fishing opportunities. Besides the four trout parks, there are some 120 miles of cold spring fed streams managed and stocked by the state. Additionally, Lake Taneycomo offers year-round fishing for big brown and rainbow trout. Seldom touted too is winter fishing for trout in areas around Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia, Sedalia, Kirksville, St. Joseph, Jefferson City and Mexico. The state stocks nearly 2 million trout annually.

All of the state’s trout streams are fed by numerous springs and the trout parks are built around very large springs. For instance, Lake Taneycomo receives the cold water from the outlet from Table Rock Lake. The winter trout areas depend on winter temperatures for the fish to survive in ponds.

Missouri has two species of trout. Rainbows, the most popular, are found in all trout fishing waters and are stocked in the trout parks, trout management areas as well as in winter trout areas. The rainbows reproduce naturally in at least 14 counties. Brown trout are stocked in Red Ribbon areas as well as other trout areas. In the state, browns can grow to large sizes.

                The state offers information regarding each area stocked for trout on a graded system designated by different colored ribbons. There are nine White Ribbon areas where some have a lot of pressure and others don’t. White Ribbon areas include Capps Creek, part of the Current River, Eleven Point River, the newest addition Hickory Creek, Little Piney Creek, Niangua River, parts of Roubidoux Creek, Stone Mill Spring and part of Lake Taneycomo. At Taneycomo, from some 760 feet below Table Rock Dam to the mouth of Fall Creek, special regulations apply. In most other streams there is no length limit on rainbow trout. Anglers need to check the regulations for the streams they plan on fishing, because they are not the same for every stream.

Red Ribbon trout areas include the Meramec River, North Fork of the White River and parts of Roubidoux Creek; the length limit is at least 15 inches. The Blue Ribbon areas, which include Barren Fork Creek, Blue Springs Creek, Crane Creek, part of Current River, part of Eleven Point River, Little Piney Creek, Mill Creek, part of North Fork of the White River and Spring Creek, are where only one fish over 18 inches may be taken. 


leah kirk

The Tennessee Aquarium’s a new facility on the riverfront on the Baylor campus is nearing completion. The 14,000 square foot freshwater science center, the only one in the Southeast. The Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute will operate the biological field station which will hold research labs, a teaching lab for local students and the equipment for reintroduction programs. In the past the Tennessee Aquarium has devoted considerable resources and effort to preserve and enhance native brook trout. This facility will be a real shot in the arm for brook trout in the Southern Highlands.


leah kirk

The Cherokee Hook and Hackle Fly Tiers Retreat is shaping up to a great place for tiers and tier wannabes to come together to see the best in old time traditional trout flies to the latest, cutting edge hook dressing innovations. The event will be held November 4-6 at the Yellow Hill Community Center located a 1416 Acquoni Road, Cherokee.

“We really want tiers to join in and show off your talents for this special event,” says Bob Nanney who is heading up the Cherokee Hook and Hackle gathering. “We are inviting 60 + tiers from across the region. Currently we have several vendors coming such as Golden Rule Fly Shop, Tuckasagee Fly Shop, Fly Fishing the Smokies and others, plus I am getting several more lined up to join the event. Food will be prepared by Tennessee Casting for Recovery and we will have several other nonprofit groups as well. There is no charge for admission.

The format of the Cherokee Hook and Hackle will be similar to the tying event held last November in Townsend, Tennessee. On Friday November the 4th 15-20 tying stations located throughout the Yellow Hill Community building and there will be four 2- hour sessions, the first starting at 9:00 am and last at 11:00 am. The following beginsat 11:00 am and ends at 1:00 pm. The next session starts at 1:00 pm and ends at 3:00 pm, and the final session will be from 3:00pm til 5:00pm . Each tying station will have an 8 ft. table and ample chairs for tiers and visitors

“The same thing will take place the next day Saturday the 5th,” says Nanney. “We are working on something special for Saturday night, but I can't say more right now because it is in the planning stages. Our goal is to make this one of the most enjoyable weekends you will spend all year...... area shopping, Harrahs, The Great Smokies Railroad, fishing, sightseeing and the list of things to do goes on and on.”

For more, contact Bob Nanney at

St. Croix SOLE

leah kirk

Leave it to the innovative design team at St. Croix to create the first 2-piece fly rod with its main ferrule reaching within 28 inches of the tip. The state-of-the-art SOLE is built to handle every fresh and saltwater application thrown its way. Every fiber in the SOLE’s longer lower section is arrow-straight, which allows the rod to cast further and more accurately like a 1-piece fly rod. Just remove the slightly over 2-plus-foot top and the rod is reduced to a shade over 6 ½ feet. Having the lower two-thirds of the rod fashioned of a single, highly-engineered ferrule greatly improves how the blank deflects through the casting process, as well as while fighting powerful fish. Advanced ferrule design also produces clone-quality replacement tip sections if you happen to break one off. As a result, the SOLE will continue casting like the day it was born.  

Jackson Kayak MayFly

leah kirk

Jackson Kayak’s MayFly fishing kayak is designed and built specifically for fly anglers.  This sit-on-top kayak is designed for fishing waters that range from trout streams, to lakes and ponds and inshore flats alike.  Jackson has developed a snag-free deck by making it difficult to hook a line around foot rests, storage and other key components, but without losing the Jackson advantage of a great fishing set up. This new elite kayak will also come with the new Platypus® Hydration System, a new feature to Jackson Kayak’s top fishing kayaks.

 This kayak will feature some great new fly fishing specific accessories and features like fly patches, fly rod and hidden fly box sized storage. The MayFly is design to aid in fly line management. It is 12’6” long and 34” wide for increased speed and tracking. The MayFly is a clean and well organized kayak featuring flip-down down and snag-free fly box storage bins with integrated fly patches on sidewalls. An open footwell area makes it easy to stand and move around, and present a snag-free place to strip line.

The MayFly’s longer hull offers a versatile balance of speed and maneuverability. Well-suited for flatwater, it can also handle calm moving water environments common to fly anglers. The wider hull is great for beginners and anglers who like to move between sitting and standing. The new Elite Seat 3.0 System has multiple hi/lo positions and can move forward and aft for self-trimming. A Therm-a-Rest® lumbar pad enhances seated comfort. The seat can also be removed for use on shore. Easily accessible storage areas on the deck, and bow and stern hatches to interior storage are secured with hinging hatches. The front hatch is designed as a paddle holder.

 The MayFly represents years of real-world experience kayak fly fishing all over the world, and says that yes, you too, may fly fish from a kayak. It will be available at Jackson Kayak dealers in 2017. Manufacturer suggested retail price is $1,799.

Tauten LineWelder

leah kirk

The Tauten LineWelder is a portable, handheld, battery-powered tool that permanently bonds monofilament, fluorocarbon, or braided fishing lines. The LineWelder can reduce or eliminate the need to tie knots by producing welded connections that yield full line strength—with no stress or weakening of the line. The Tauten LineWelder System is available for immediate shipment. Additionally, a growing line of Tauten accessory products will be coming out soon. 

The LineWelder uses replaceable cartridges that each contain enough custom polymer to form 12 welds. Simply run your line through your hook or lure, load the lines into the LineWelder and press the “GO” button. The joined line(s) are ready to be removed in about 35 seconds and may be used immediately. The welded connection will have a strength higher than the line strength—meaning the line breaks before the bond! The polymer LineWeld bond is flexible and does not interfere with lure’s natural action or get caught in the guides while casting or reeling in line. When fully charged, the LineWelder can perform 100+ welds. The device is also water resistant and floats.

Featured Fly: The Haystack

leah kirk

Haystack flies were developed over 50 years ago by Fran Betters when he was still in high school. These flies are genuine classics that consistently take trout in streams all over the world under all conditions, for all types of hatches, and when other fancy-tied flies fail. The Haystack is an all-purpose pattern that imitates a majority of insects that trout feed on. This pattern does not require expensive neck hackle, and tying can be learned quickly and easily. The Haystack is the perfect fly-tiers fly.


   The original Haystack was tied on a size 10, Mustad 9671 hook and incorporated Key deer hair for the tail and wing and the body was dubbed with cream Australian opossum fur. Key deer are now a protected species so coastal deer hair is now used. After the development of the first Haystack, which imitated the green drake spinner, Fran developed a series of five patterns to imitate all of the important mayfly hatches. Twenty years later these patterns were copied and called Compara-duns.


Hook:                    Standard dry fly - size to match natural.

Thread:                3/0 or 6/0 to match body.

Tail:                        Small clump of deer hair to match natural.

Wing:                     Larger clump of deer hair of the same color.

Body:                    Dubbing to match color of deer hair

Cherokee Classic 2016

leah kirk

    The 2nd Annual Casting for Hope Cherokee Classic held in June was a big success.  The Cherokee Tribe’s fish and wildlife division graciously donated $6,000 to Casting for Hope as the prize money for the top three teams in the field of 16 two-person squads.  It was an outstanding day of being on the water fishing for a cause.  The top prize winners were Patrick Clark and Ricky Ozmar, taking home $3,000; Scott Enloe and Cherokee’s own Michael Bradley, taking home $2,000; and Casting for Hope’s co-founders John Zimmerman and Taylor Sharp taking a 3rd place, donating their $1,000 in prize money back to the Casting for Hope programming funds. 

                John and Taylor started Casting for Hope back in 2011 after they fished together in a one-day competition on the Davidson River, hosted by Davidson River Outfitters to support Casting for Recovery.  Blending their skill sets of seeing potential and starting new programs. Their first Casting for Hope tournament was November 2011.  One of the favorite parts of the Cherokee Classic this year was the new faces in the lineup. The father-son team of the Garretts used the tournament as their Father’s Day weekend centerpiece and Mike Kinner who “had the time of his life” and is already eager for the next Casting for Hope competition.

Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Festival

leah kirk

It’s that time of year again. October 8th Tuckaseegee Fly Shop will host the 2nd Annual Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Festival on Fry Street in downtown Bryson City, North Carolina.  There will be several fly fishing clubs in town that weekend and the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad will have 3000+ riders loading and unloading right beside the festival.  The foot traffic is expected to be fantastic

Setup Time for vendors is 6:30am - 9:00am. Festival time is: 9:00am - 5:00pm. Vendors will be demonstrating fly tying, local trout fly patterns, casting demonstrations, and the wares and field representatives for a number of major fly fishing manufacturers.  Afterwards everyone will be eating in town and going to Nantahala Brewing Company. All Booths are to be registered and paid by August 8, 2016. For more contact Bobby Bennett at Tuckaseegee Fly Shop at 828.488.3333 or email

Craig Haney: Our Galloping Gourmet

leah kirk

   Something new to look for in upcoming issues of Southern Trout and Southern Kayak Fishing magazines is Craig’s Camp Cooking, written by Craig Haney of Hoover, Alabama. A master of campfire cooking, Haney is widely acknowledged as one of the country’s best cooker over campfires, especially when armed with cast iron cookware. Starting August, his camp cooking installments will be sponsored by Sunburst Trout Farms of Waynesville, North Caroline.

                I’ve known and been befriended by Craig since the early 1980s. A hardcore fly fishermen who has slept on the banks of Hazel Creek more times than the bears living there, Craig’s resume includes everything from owning his own fly shop in Mountain Brook, AL to recently coauthoring a book with J. Wayne Fears titled Buck and Wart: Backcountry Letters.

                We’re excited to have Craig on board.  Like many of us he’s “old school and damned proud of it.” If you are the really bold sort when welding a salt shaker and iron skillet (and not under the care of a gastronomist) try some of his recipes. We vouch for them.

Siberian Outback Series Coolers

leah kirk

Siberian’s Outback Series features four new models—30 quart, 50 quart, 82 quart and 125 quart—built for the harshest environments on the planet. All Outback models have been designed with thicker walls, more insulation and beefed-up, extremely durable components. Siberian has added to each of these a new Quick-Switch reversible-feet design, which feature a "sticky" no-slip rubber on one side and an "Easy Slide" hard side. Whether you want to move a full cooler with ease or need your cooler to stay exactly where you put it, the Quick-Switch reversible-feet will meet your demands.


In addition, heavy-duty stainless-steel latches and hinges, when combined with the roto-molded one-piece design and Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDP) outer shell, make the Outback Series Coolers virtually indestructible and extremely versatile. When performance and durability matter, the Siberian Outback Series coolers deliver in quality, versatility and price. For more visit or call, 844-782-COLD.

Featured Fly: The Burlap Nymph

leah kirk

The Burlap Nymph has been around over twenty years and originated in the Northwest to imitate large golden stonefly nymphs. It has proven effective on Ozark and Appalachian streams and tailwater rivers. While birthed as a stonefly nymph pattern, the Burlap Nymph is a naturally buggy, simple pattern that works on both trout and bass.

Hook:                                     #10-14 Orvis Beadhead

Thread:                                Dark brown Uni-thread

Bead:                                     Gold Tungsten

Tail:                                        Red Fox Squirrel Tail Fibers

Abdomen                          Burlap

Tennessee Valley Fly Fishers "Adopt a Stream"

leah kirk

The Tennessee Valley Fly Fishers will hold an "Adopt a Stream" Clean-up at Aldridge Creek, which runs through South Huntsville, Saturday, Aug. 20. The clear-water creek runs beside Bailey Cove Road for much of its length before feeding into the Tennessee River at Ditto Landing. As a conservation activity, TVFF adopted a segment of this stream in 2013. The focus of this stream adoption program is to assign segments of Aldridge Creek to local affiliates for the purpose of them maintaining the overall condition, appearance and fish-ability of the creek.

The city will provide cleaning supplies including trash bags, can catchers and gloves. In addition, they will erect signs showing who has adopted each individual section of the creek. TVFF will provide lunch, beverages and fixings for all attending and assisting in the clean-up. Those interested in supporting this conservation activity should contact Larry Hice (256-508-2344 or or Joe Tremblay (256-348-2172 or

The History of Fishing Museum Opens in Branson, MO

leah kirk

Last week, the history of fishing museum opened in Branson, MO. It is the world’s largest private collection of antique fishing lures, rods, reels, boats, motors and everything that was collected entirely by Karl and Beverly White. Tackle collecting has been Karl’s passion since he was eight. Valued in excess of $5 million, the museum has over 40,000 pieces, making it the world’s most complete tackle collection.  

Rarities such as a 1730s made Spike Reel made in Europe and sold in the US., and an Snyder Reel made by George Snyder from Paris, Kentucky.  On display is a 1859’s Haskell Fish Hook, America’s first plug-type plug style lure, as well the only Haskell found with the original box was a 10” copper lure that fetched $101,200 at auction over a decade ago. The list of unique rarities at The History of Fishing Museum goes on and on including an 1883 made Comstock Flying Helgramite and the earliest patented item on display,  an 1852 Buel Trolling Spoon that was patented in 1852.

History of Fishing Museum is open Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm and Sundays 12 noon – 6pm. Adult Admission is $17.75; Children $7.75. Groups of 15 or more are $11.00 with bus drivers and tour guides admitted free of charge. It is located at 225 N. Wildwood Drive in Branson, MO. 1.417.239.FISH.


leah kirk

ICAST has the reputation for being the world’s largest sportfishing industry trade show, and this year was no exception. Southern Trout Magazine was among 15,000 people in attendance. From exhibitors to buyers to outdoor media, representatives from the domestic and international sportfishing and boating community converged on the Orange County Florida Convention Center to see the ultimate showcase for the latest innovations in gear and accessories. ICAST, along with the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show and the new Marine Accessories Pavilion, encompassed 650,000 gross square feet. ICAST hosted 552 exhibitors in 1850 booths with an overall combined exhibitor count of more than 700 exhibitors.
Receiving Fly Fishing Best Product Awards were:
Men’s Waders: Simms Fishing Products — Headwater Pro Waders

Women’s Waders: Hodgman — Women’s H4 Wader

Wading Boots: Simms Fishing Products — Rip Rap Shoe Felt

Men’s Outerwear: Patagonia — Minimalist Wading Jacket

Men’s General Apparel: Simms Fishing Products — Intruder BiComp L/S Shirt

Women’s Outerwear: Patagonia — Women’s River Salt Jacket

Women’s General Apparel: Simms Fishing Products — Women’s Rip Rap Sandal

Youth Product: Umpqua Feather Merchants — ZS Wader Chest Pack

Fly Rod — Freshwater: Sage — X 590

Fly Rod — Saltwater: Sage — X 890

Reel – Freshwater: Ross Reels — Colorado LT

Reel – Saltwater: Abel Reels — SDS

Accessories (under $100): Orvis Company, Inc. — U.S.-Made Aluminum Nipper

Eco-friendly Product: Fishpond — Thunderhead Duffel

Check Pack / Vest: Simms Fishing Products — G4 Pro Sling Pack

Luggage: Umpqua Feather Merchants — ZeroSweep Cooler-Gater

Boat / Personal Watercraft: Outcast Sporting Gear — Fish Cat 5 Mat

Book: Angler’s Book Supply — Fusion Fly Tying

DVD: RIO Products — Favorite Fly-Fishing Knots

Fly Box / Storage System: Tacky Fly Fishing — Tacky Dry Fly Box

Fly Line — Freshwater: RIO Products — InTouch Big Nasty

Fly Line — Saltwater: RIO Products — Winter Redfish
Fly Pattern — Freshwater: Aqua Flies, LLC — Stu Foxall’s PrawnTruder

Fly Pattern — Saltwater: Umpqua Feather Merchants — Contraband Crab, Chicone

Fly Tying Materials / Equipment: Freestone Designs — The Go Box

Gift Items (under $100): Umpqua Feather Merchants, ZS Guide Wader Belt

Leader / Tippet: Rio Products — RIO Saltwater Mono

Best of Show: Sage — Sage X 590


Featured Fly: Adult Crane Fly

leah kirk

This time of year the crane fly often is overlooked by southern fly fishers. In many streams it a key source of food for trout.  Crane flies, both in their larval form and their adult form, can be very abundant. On southern freestone and tailwater rivers, crane fly larvae and adults are relished by trout, especially larger meat conscious trout.

Hook:                    Daiichi 1260 size 6-10

Thread:                UTC 140

Amdomen:         Tan Antron

Foam Body:        2mm Tan Foam

Underwing:        White FluoroFiber

Overwing:           Deer Hair

Legs:                      Pheasant Tail Fibers, Brown Rubber

Hackle:                 Whiting Grizzly Saddle Hackle

Inaugural Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival in Dallas

leah kirk

Beau Beasley, director of the Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival has announced the next March (11-12) the 1st Annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival (TFFF). The venue is the Plano Center, located miles north of Dallas.  

“We are thrilled that the TFFF chose Plano,” said Mark Thompson, Director of Visit Plano. ”This unique event is a first for Plano and should attract attendees from all over the region. We look forward to helping Beau and his team make this another signature event for Plano.”

Dallas-based fly rod manufacturer Temple Fork Outfitters and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation are early sponsors of the festival. “The region has been waiting for an event just like this one–for a new approach to fly fishing,” said TFO owner Rick Pope.

The TFFF will feature lectures and classes throughout the weekend on techniques and tactics for novices and advanced casters alike, exotic fishing locales, fishing etiquette, and much more. Also offered are free Women-Only Casting Classes as well as one-on-one instruction in basic knot-tying skills. Attendees can sit down at the vise for hands-on fly-tying instruction from members of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.  Experienced anglers may considered enrolling in more advanced distance-casting or Spey-casting classes with expert specialized instructors. Fly fishing icon Lefty Kreh will speak as well.

 “Fly fishing is easy, affordable, family-friendly, and fun,” says Beasley. “Our Texas festival is in Plano–that’s within easy driving distance of eight million people. Think of what fishing together can do for family life.”

For more, visit or call 703-402-8338.

Cohutta Fishing Company's 2nd Southern Bassapalooza

leah kirk

Cohutta Fishing Company's 2nd Annual Southern Bassapalooza fly tourney is June 25, 2016, in Georgia. I suppose if you catch a trout at this event you will raise a few eyebrows, as the event is focused on striperXwhite bass hybrids, white bass, spotted bass, shoal bass, and of course the local favorite, Mr. Largemouth Bass.

Tournament competitors can fish any river within a 60 mile radius of Cohutta Fishing Company. Participants may not fish lakes or ponds. It’s a catch and release only competition; all fish must be handled in a sportsman like manner. The entry fee is $150 per team. Each team must consist of 2 anglers, and must possess a photo capable phone. Each teammate must fish from the same vessel. (i.e. jet boat, Jon Boat, drift boat, Canoe, etc.)

Only fly fishing equipment may only be used and or possessed by participants during the contest. Only artificial flies only can be used; no conventional tackle—no scented or soft plastic 'fluke' style of lure can be used or in the possession of any participant during the contest. To enter a fish for judging, participants must submit a picture of the angler holding the fish. A second picture must be taken with the fish lying on the measuring device with the tournament credential card and length clearly visible. Fish must be measured to the nearest quarter inch mark, participants must send the judges their estimated score for approval for each fish.

Tournament begins at daylight on June 25, 2016. Participating fly fishermen will meet at Floyds Landing at 5 p.m. for the awards ceremony. Contact Cohutta Fishing Company for more 770- 606-1100.

Another Arkansas Lunker Brown Trout

leah kirk

Calvin Johnston of Olathe is an unlikely poster boy for Arkansas' claim of national fame as a trophy trout state. When he showed up to go trout fishing on the White River last February, he brought a bass rod and a reel spooled with 15-pound test line - hardly the kind of equipment trout fishermen typically use. "I'm more of a bass fisherman," Johnston said. "I had never fished seriously for trout. But my brother and his friends asked me to go with them, so I did."

The first part of the day was hardly spectacular. Wading the river, Johnston only caught one small rainbow. After a break, he decided to go again but found that his waders were frozen. So he fished off the bank behind the Rainbow Drive Resort where the group was staying. That's where he caught a brown trout so big that the nation took notice. He landed a 38-pound, 7-ounce brown trout - the biggest ever recorded on the White River and the third-largest ever caught in Arkansas.

That catch fortifies Arkansas' reputation as one of the best trophy brown trout states in the nation. Well-known fisheries, such as the White, the Little Red, the North Fork, and the tailwaters below Beaver Lake, have produced some eye-opening catches over the years. Howard "Rip" Collins set the Arkansas state record in 1992 when he landed a 40.4-pound brown trout. That fish stood as the world record for a while, but has since been broken. Mike Manley of North Little Rock, Ark., also made waves when he landed a 38.9-pound brown on the North Fork River in 1988. Fisheries biologists say there are still monstrous browns out there. "It's not unusual for us to see fish in the 30- to 33-inch range when we're sampling," said Christy Graham, trout management supervisor for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Tennessee Has New State Record Rainbow Trout

leah kirk

Tennessee has a new state record rainbow trout caught by 15-year-old Benton resident John Morgan in Polk County on Friday, June 17.  The fish weighed 18 pounds and 8 ounces, measuring 32 inches long and 22 and one-fourth inches in girth. The catch surpasses the previous record for a rainbow trout in Tennessee of 16 pounds, 15 ounces which was set in 2002 by Ronnie Rowland at Ft. Patrick Henry Reservoir. Morgan caught the record fish in a farm pond owned by his grandfather's friend. He had agreed to help remove a snapping turtle from the pond and was invited to bring a fishing pole along. Morgan didn’t know that this favor would lead to a new state record. After 45 minutes, Morgan had fished a little, caught the turtle and decided to fish for another 10 minutes before leaving. He cast again and after a 20 minute struggle, he had the fish on shore. A sophomore at Polk County High School, Morgan fishes several days a week, mostly in the Hiwassee River. “I just love being outside, hunting and fishing,” said Morgan. Morgan has already dropped the fish off at a taxidermist!