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Filtering by Tag: trout

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. 

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.

Public Comment on Greers Ferry Tailwater Management

leah kirk

HEBER SPRINGS – Earlier this week the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Trout Management Program hosted a public workshop to receive public comments and feedback on the newly developed draft of its plan to manage the Greers Ferry Tailwater.

The current management plan for the 30-mile long trout fishery on the Little Red River below Greers Ferry Dam was developed in 2006. Biologists now want to determine if those strategies have worked and whether public expectations of the fishery have changed.

On June 7, 2016, a public workshop enabled anglers and other stakeholders to provide input on the direction of management of Greers Ferry Tailwater. Attendees of the workshop were asked to identify their major issues or concerns with the trout fishery. Thanks to input received at the workshop, AGFC personnel have developed a draft of goals and strategies that will serve as a guideline for management of the trout fishery for the next 5 years. Key to developing realistic and effective strategies was the analysis and incorporation of the large amount of data and angler comments from an ongoing Greers Ferry Tailwater creel survey, annual population samples, a growth and mortality study, and a phone survey.

A summary of the input provided at the first public workshop and a draft of the future management plan can be viewed at an Arkansas Game and Fish web page. Click HERE to view.  This second public workshop is intended to allow workshop attendees an opportunity to comment on issues and concerns they have with specific draft plan goals, objectives, and strategies. Anglers who were unable to attend the second workshop may submit their comments via email to Kyle Swallow at, or Christy Graham

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

Chattahoochee Quality Catch and Sweet Release Tournament

leah kirk

A benefit tournament in support of the Quality Hooch and Save the Hooch conservation campaigns. All proceeds will go towards funding Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s new water monitoring technology for the Chattahoochee River. The tournament will be held July 1 - July 31.  There will be weekly prizes awarded for the largest fish measured by length.  The grand prize is a custom SweetWater/Quality Hooch logo Orvis H2 rod.

Compete in the Quality Catch and Sweet Release tournament the entire month of July-all from the GoFree Hooked app. Fish must be caught between Buford Dam and Morgan Falls Dam, and brown and rainbow trout are the only species that count. Participants can use guide services There is a $25 entry fee-all proceeds to benefit the Quality Hooch Campaign. Participants will receive a confirmation email with tournament guidelines and tournament app instructions. Participants will need to take their confirmation email to Orvis Atlanta, Orvis Alpharetta, or SweetWater Brewery to pick up their official tournament packets, including fish ruler.”

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!


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.  

Featured Fly: Josh’s Reaper Midge

leah kirk

Josh’s Reaper Midge.jpg

Josh Williams developed Josh’s Reaper Midge for use on tailwater rivers when trout seem to only want to take the smallest of fly patterns.  Josh’s Reaper Midge has flashy wings offer a great visual aid for the angler, as well as a nice wing silhouette for the trout. The hackle thorax holds the front of the fly on the surface tension.

Hook:                       Orvis Tactical Wide Gap Hook or dry-fly hook, sizes 16-22.

Thread:                  Black, Veevus 8/0 or 10/0.

Abdomen:            Veevus Iris Thread in color of choice.

Wing:                       Pearl Krystal Flash.

Hackle:                                     Grizzly.

Thorax:                   UV Ice Dub in pink, purple, or orange.

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. 

Virginia Does It Right For Dad’s Day

leah kirk

The Fishing Wire reports that just in time for Father’s Day Weekend, a special event is planned for Big Tumbling Creek located at the Clinch Mountain Fee Fishing Area for June 13, 15, 17, & 18. A special brook trout stocking to include more than 500 trophy sized trout stocked throughout the week, will test the skills of anglers of all ages. Two barrier-free trails are now open for limited mobility anglers. A daily permit ($8) is required of anglers; however, children 12 and under may fish without a permit as long as they are accompanied by a permitted adult and their combined creel does not exceed that of the adult (6 trout). Additional information may be found by contacting the DGIF Marion Regional Office (276-783-486