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.
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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.
While fly fishing the Southern Appalachian Highlands, you might be tempted to dip your bottle into that babbling brook and take a drink. That’s not a good idea unless you filter or treat this water. Experienced anglers follow a simple rule: unless the water comes from a faucet connected to a municipal water system, you should treat the water before drinking it. Untreated water may contain waterborne micro-organisms such as Giardia or Cryptosporidium—parasites that may cause intestinal infection and are found worldwide, including in most of the southern highlands. Giardia infection may cause abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea, and bouts of watery diarrhea.
How can you prevent waterborne diseases while trekking southern backcountry trout fishing spots? If you’re out just for the day, bring water from a trusted source. If you are backpacking in a really remote spot, odds are that, you’ll probably need to use water from untrusted sources. There are several good strategies for staying safe.
One solution is chemical treatments. Easily found chemicals are available that similar to the chemicals put in your water by municipal water systems. Two commonly used brands are Aqua Mira and Potable Aqua.
Water filters are another solution. Water filters purify water by pushing it through screens that take out the nasty bugs. Commonly used brands include Katadyn and Sawyer. Also effective in cleaning water is ultraviolet systems. These use ultraviolet light to eliminate the pathogens. One widely used brand is Steri-PEN.
Boiling water for at least 10 minutes is effective but not often practical because of the fuel you’ll need may not be available. Using clean water is not all that is needed to avoid Giardia and Cryptosporidium. It’s also important to keep your hands clean by using soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and to wash your dishes with soap or detergent. If you believe you might have contracted a waterborne disease, contact a doctor or other medical professional and indicate that you suspect Giardia or Cryptosporidium infection.
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.