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Blog

Filtering by Tag: shenandoah

More Changes...

leah kirk

                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.  

Trout Stream Trashing Hurting Access in VA

leah kirk

Recently Virginia anglers lost access to another long stretch of trout stream. This is not the first time landowners have posted their land to keep fishermen out. This is a continuing situation that seems to be accelerating with more and more access being denied to the public. Much of our trout streams run through private property and depends on landowner agreement to allow the public on their land for the purpose of fishing.

Without the agreement, VDGIF will not stock those portions of stream with trout. The trout are a public resource and can only be stocked where the public have free access to the fish. So why would landowners want to keep people just out for a relaxing afternoon of fishing off their property? Quite simply in almost every case it's because of the trash left behind. Landowners are tired of cleaning up after folks that have little respect for the landowner and his property. Whether it's the fishermen leaving behind their lunch trash or someone else dumping their tires or household trash over the stream embankment, it's often the fishermen that get the blame.

 If you would like to keep your access to your favorite trout fishing spots it's time you start cleaning up after yourself and others that thoughtlessly leave their mess behind. If you can carry your lunch and snacks to the stream, you can carry the empty wrappers and containers out with you. And if you stop to pick up other trash, it will go a long way in keeping access to your favorite fishing holes.

Recently a group of volunteers and VDGIF personnel cleaned up a section of Mill and Stony Creeks in Shenandoah County in the hopes of regaining a recently lost section of stream access. This is not something that is a normal part of the trout stocking program, so don't depend on this activity to clean up after you all the time. The hard working crew of 11 volunteers, four VDGIF personnel and a County Deputy pulled an unbelievable 2,800 pounds of trash from a short section of Mill Creek that was taken to the landfill by a dump truck provided by Cabin Hill Homes LLC.

Approximately 1,500 pounds of trash was hauled away from Stony Creek by 30-40 volunteers and three VDGIF personnel and taken to the landfill by Bushong Excavating and several volunteers with their personal trucks. This time the hard work paid off and these caring people helped obtain verbal commitments from two landowners to return their properties to the Mill Creek trout steam public access. One of these landowners had their property off the access list for about 10 years.