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Davidson River Outfitters Fly Tying Classes Starting Soon!

leah kirk

davidson River Outfitter.jpg

Davidson River Outfitters late fall fly tying classes are coming up in December. These classes are fun, laid back, and will get you tying flies to catch fish.

Saturday 12/8- Fly Tying 101

Great class for getting started, or simple getting reacquainted with tying.

Saturday 12/15- Fly Tying 201

A continuation of the 101, but open to anyone that has a basic knowledge of tying.

Saturday 12/22- Kids Holiday Fly Tying

For kids ages 15 and under. Students will learn fly tying basics, and leave with some hand tied creations to put under the tree.

Bull Shoals Tailwater Trout Fishery Map

leah kirk

bull shaols map.jpg

Bull Shoals Dam was constructed on the White River in 1952 for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. As with other dams in the southeastern United States, operations from this project created coldwater habitat unsuitable for native fish species. Experimental stockings of rainbow trout and brown trout demonstrated exceptional survival and growth. Regular stockings of these two species began in 1955. The AGFC manages trout fisheries in the White River from Bull Shoals Dam to the Arkansas Highway 58 Bridge at Guion.

In 2007, the AGFC Trout Management Program began developing a comprehensive management plan for both the Bull Shoals and Norfork tailwaters. The purpose of this plan is to establish specific goals and objectives, which will guide future management of the trout fisheries in these waters. Central to the plan development process was an intensive public involvement effort used to help ensure the desires and expectations of the angling public were embodied. This plan will be revisited periodically to determine if management objectives were met and to ensure that plan goals are still in line with public values and interests.

Map of Bull Shoals Tailwater above confluence with Norfork Tailwater (Click to download a printable version)

                Elsewhere, the state has kicked off winter in style by releasing hundreds of rainbow trout in program ponds throughout the state. Each year, rainbow trout raised at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery in Mammoth Springs are delivered to community ponds in Arkansas once the water temperatures have cooled enough to accommodate the cold-water fish. According to Maurice Jackson, AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program Coordinator, the fish will be delivered beginning this week, and all program ponds scheduled for trout should have fish swimming in them in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The early snowfall made for some interesting trips back and forth to the hatchery,” Jackson said. “But we’ve been busy hauling fish and plan to do so throughout the next week to ensure people can enjoy some fishing during their Thanksgiving holiday.”

Good News: River Otter Carcasses Have Value

leah kirk

river otter carcass.jpg

Here’s some positive news that fall in the “If I’m lying, I’m dying” category.  The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is asking trappers to donate river otter carcasses to assist in collecting much-needed data on otter populations in the state. Reproductive and age data collected from carcasses will be used to model the state’s population and better determine how the otter population would respond to any changes in bag limits and season lengths.

DNR is looking to collect 50-75 carcasses a year over the course of the next five trapping seasons. A $20 gift card is being offered for each useable carcass, which include those with skulls and all organs intact. One has to wonder it just any ole otter that meet its demise counts, or if this applies to bad otters that simply turn themselves in…..what ever.

Trappers are asked to freeze carcasses as soon as they are skinned. Fresh or frozen carcasses may be delivered to any DNR district wildlife office where a data sheet must be filled out by DNR staff. Trappers may also make arrangements to have their carcasses picked up by calling one of the district offices listed below.

District 1 Farmington, Steve Rauch, 304-825-6787

District 2 Romney, Rich Rogers, 304-822-3551

District 3 French Creek, Tyler Evans, 304-924-6211

District 4 Beckley, Todd Dowdy, 304-256-6947

District 5 Alum Creek, Kem Shaw, 304-756-1023

District 6 Parkersburg, Jeff McCrady, 304-420-4550

Elkins Operations Center, Keith Krantz, 304-637-0245

For more information about the study or carcass collections, contact the district office near you or furbearer program coordinator Rich Rogers at or (304) 822-3551.

                We at Southern Trout tip our hats to WV. It’s appositive start to the elimination of otters.

Kentucky Catch-and-Release Underway

leah kirk

Kentucky Catch-and-Release Underway.png

Trammel Creek, which rises in Tennessee and flows northward into Kentucky and through Allen County, eventually feeding Drakes Creek, which feeds the Barren River, is one of a handful of stocked trout waters that will come under special regulations beginning Oct. 1. It's the opening of the state’s delayed-harvest trout season, or, as Dave Dreves prefers, the “seasonal catch-and-release” trout season.

“I think the term delayed harvest is confusing to a lot of people,” said Dreves, an assistant director for the Department of Fish and Wildlife and one of the agency’s few cold water/trout specialists. “I have a lot of people ask me what that means.”

What it means is that from Oct. 1 until March 31 the agency will manage 15 of its stocked trout streams as catch-and-release, artificial-lure-only waters. All trout must be released immediately. Bait fishing is not allowed but the artificial lure rule is fairly generous, allowing everything from a No. 26 barbless midge to a multi-hook Rapala-type crankbait. (The seasonal catch-and-release trout season extends to May 31 on Swift Camp Creek, which is located within the Clifty Wilderness Area in Wolfe County.)

Trammel Creek (along with a handful of other waters) stocked earlier this month. Trammel and the other seasonal catch-and-release waters will receive more trout soon.

“Those (seasonal catch-and-release) stockings usually happen during the first week of October,” Dreves noted. “But I know that October is a very busy (fish) hauling month for us so it might be a little later than that for some.”

I moved upstream from the Concord Church Road bridge, which is located off county road 2160 about 6 miles south of Scottsville. This slice of the creek is shaded and the canopy cover seemed make the fish somewhat less skittish and a couple of fish came to hand, including a chunky, brightly colored 13-inch rainbow had been holding a narrow strip of shallow seam water.

Seasonal catch-and-release trout season was launched several years ago on a handful of waters. It has since been expanded to 15 streams, including a 3-mile stretch of Jefferson County’s Floyds Fork (inside The Parklands of Floyds Fork property) and nearly 10 miles of Otter Creek in Meade County, including the sections of the popular stream on the Ft. Knox and state-owned Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area.

Kentucky streams managed as seasonal catch-and-release trout waters include:

Bark Camp Creek, Whitley Co., 3.9 miles.

Beaver Creek, Wayne Co., 2.8 miles.

Big Bone Creek, Boone Co. (inside Big Bone Lick State Park), 2.1 miles.

Cane Creek, Laurel Co., 6.6 miles.

Casey Creek, Trigg Co., 3.6 miles.

Clear Creek, Bell County, 4.5 miles.

East Fork, Indian Creek, Menifee Co., 5.3 miles.

Left Fork, Beaver Creek, Floyd Co., 3.6 miles.

Middle Fork Red River, Powell Co. (inside Natural Bridge State Park), 2.2 miles.

Otter Creek, Meade Co., 9.7 miles.

Rock Creek, McCreary Co., 9.8 miles.

Swift Camp Creek, Wolfe Co. (inside the Clifty Wilderness Area) 8.0 miles. Season catch-and-release regulations extend to May 31.

Floyds Fork, Jefferson Co. (inside The Parklands of Floyds Fork) 3.0 miles.

Trammel Creek, Allen Co., 4.4 miles.

For more information about these waters, including maps and stocking schedules, go to From April 1 to September. 30 regular trout regulations and creel limits apply (June 1 to September 30 for Swift Camp Creek).

North Carolina Man Socks Bear in Nose

leah kirk

North Carolina Man Socks Bear in Nose.jpg

Haywood County, North Carolina man, Sonny Pumphrey, 78, says he punched a mother black bear in the nose after she came toward him at his home off Liberty Church Road. He was working in his driveway Tuesday afternoon when he said he looked up and found himself eye to eye with a black bear.

                “Pomphrey was taken to Haywood Regional Hospital and released. He sustained scratches and possibly a small puncture,” said Fairley Mahlum, spokeswoman with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.  She said the bear had two yearling cubs with her.

Second bear attack this fall

This is the second black bear attack in Western North Carolina in less than two months, according to the Wildlife Commission.

In September, Toni Rhegness, 75, of Swannanoa, suffered serious, non life-threatening injuries after she was bitten and scratched by a female black bear near her home.

Rhegness was walking her dog on a leash about 10:30 p.m. Sept. 18 when she saw three bear cubs in a neighbor’s trash. As her dog barked, Rhegness shouted to scare the cubs off, picked up her dog and headed toward her home. The adult, female bear, which Rhegness hadn’t seen, then bit and scratched her repeatedly.

“It’s important to note that this black bear's behavior was defensive, not predatory, and the bear may have been responding to the barking dog,” said Colleen Olfenbuttel, Wildlife Commission black bear and furbearer biologist.

Mahlum said the Waynesville incident might have been a similar situation, in which the mother bear was acting in defense of her cubs.

“Both of these incidents occurred when females were with cubs, and both involved people yelling at the mother bear,” Mahlum said. “The folks did what they thought was the right thing, yelling and making noise, but they were so close, in both of the incidents, less than 20 feet from the bear. If this bear wanted to maul him, she could have, but she ran off.”

A black mother bear and her cub visited a home in North Asheville earlier this summer. Wildlife biologists warn people not to make loud noises around a mother bear because she might become defensive.

A black mother bear and her cub visited a home in North Asheville earlier this summer. Wildlife biologists warn people not to make loud noises around a mother bear because she might become defensive. (Photo: Courtesy of Leslie Ann Keller)

Mahlum said wildlife officers set a trap for the bear, but it is unlikely she will be caught because it is believed that she was passing through the area, which has not had many black bear sightings.

In the Swannanoa attack, wildlife staff trapped the adult bear and cubs and euthanized the adult bear to protect human safety and to keep the cubs from learning her behavior, Olfenbuttel said.

Breaking News: WV’s Davis Creek Dam to Be Removed

leah kirk

WV’s Davis Creek Dam to Be Removed.jpg

A plan to bring trout fishing to a section of Davis Creek upstream of Ellison Lake at the main entrance to Kanawha State Forest includes the removal of the dam creating the 2.2-acre pond. Removal or breaching of the dam would improve the fishery and solve a costly problem of silt build-up — currently more than eight feet deep — in the pond behind it, according to state.

“We’re looking at the choice between what is essentially a dead pond versus a healthy stream,” said Ed Maguire, environmental advocate for the DEP. Maguire said the pond now holds only about 18 inches to two feet of water, due to the more than 30,000 cubic feet of silt that has accumulated beneath it.

As a condition of its permit to surface mine a 413-acre tract that included the headwaters of Davis Creek tributaries that flow through the forest below the dam, Keystone Industries agreed in 2014 to dredge the pond at its expense, once mining activity ended. In 2016, following a series of violation notices and temporary cessation orders, the DEP signed a consent order with the coal operator that brought activity at the KD#2 mine to a halt, except for reclamation work.

Some dredging did occur at the pond since then, Maguire said, but it soon became evident that there was not enough undeveloped flat land within the forest to dispose of the silt. Hauling the silt to an off-forest site on narrow access roads posed safety and logistical problems, and added to the cost of dredging the pond.

While the mine operator would have borne the cost of an initial dredging of the pond, estimated at $300,000 to $500,000, the pond receives enough silt to require repeated dredging every three to five years, Maguire said.

Meanwhile, as Maguire and others pondered the pond’s silt problems, a stream improvement project for Davis Creek between the pond and the forest’s swimming pool parking lot was in the planning stage as a candidate for construction through a grant from the DEP’s In Lieu Fee Program. The program allows DEP permit holders to mitigate for activities that harm the environment by paying a fee into a funding pool that finances substantial remediation work, rather than having permit holders complete smaller remediation projects on their own.

Maguire said the coal company that initially pledged to dredge the pond of silt has agreed to pay a yet to be determined assessment into the In Lieu Fee Program’s funding pool. By removing the dam, the pond’s silt problem would be solved, and aquatic life in Davis Creek would be able to travel up and down the stream without impediment. Additionally, another 1,000 feet or so of trout-oriented stream improvements would be added to Davis Creek in the footprint of the pond to give Kanawha State Forest nearly one mile of trout stream enhanced with structures designed to create pools, maintain channels and stabilize banks.

Roger Wolfe, an engineer with the DNR’s planning, engineering and maintenance division, said Davis Creek’s water quality, flow rate and summer temperature in Kanawha State Forest is more than adequate to support a trout population.

With the planned stream structures, “we’ll have four to five times the habitat that’s here now,” he said. “The vision is to add to this project over the years and eventually improve Davis Creek for trout fishing as far upstream as it goes” in Kanawha State Forest.

Having a trout stream within a 15-minute drive of most of Charleston is expected to bring urban anglers to the stream to give it a try, and the stream should also draw capital city conventioneers interested in wetting lines after a day of meetings.

It is expected to take 18 months to two years or more for the project, recently approved by a federal-state inter-agency review panel, to get the clearances needed for a final decision by the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Several public hearings and informational sessions are anticipated.

Among other agencies, the State Historic Preservation Office will be tasked with signing off on the project, since the dam and pond were built by the CCC in a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

2018 WNC Fly Fishing Expo

leah kirk

The 10th Annual WNC Fly Fishing Expo is set for Nov. 30th - Dec. 1st 2018 in the Expo Building at the WNC Agricultural Center in Asheville, NC. Over 60 booths of fly fishing industry businesses under one roof. Hours for the 10th Annual WNC Fly Fishing Expo will be Friday, Nov. 30th from 12 pm to 7 pm and Saturday, Dec. 1 from 9 am to 4 pm

Tickets are $15 at the door for adults and free for children 16 years of age and younger. Special promotion: Friday’s ticket purchase is good for Saturday too. Reasons to come to the WNC Fly Fishing Expo, all included in the price of admission:

Regional Speakers to share their knowledge of fly fishing tactics.

Beginner Fly Fishing Classes and Instruction for every level: Learn the basics of fly fishing.

Fly Casting instruction: From learning how to cast a fly rod to improve upon your skill level, certified casting instructors will be available to talk with you and show you how free of charge.

Gear Demos: Dozens of fly rods and fly lines will be available for you to try out on the indoor casting pond at any time.

Learn fly fishing techniques to target Smallmouth bass, Carp, Musky, Stripers and saltwater species.

Fly Tying Clinics: From the Novice to Advanced, tiers will be available to help you sharpen your skills

Meet Fly shops from around the region: Every fly shop has a niche and this expo gives you the opportunity to meet all of them under one roof.

Gear Manufactures: Reps will be showing the latest innovations in fly fishing gear.

Find special deals on everything fly fishing!

Great food and beer

Inspiring fly fishing films

Meet the areas fly fishing organizations: Casting Carolinas, Project Healing Waters, Trout Unlimited and many more!

Western North Carolina has one of the most diverse fly fishing communities in the country due to its abundance of angling opportunities. From trout to bass in rivers and lakes, there’s something for every style of fly fishing.

Bama Trout Fishing at Madison County Lake Begins 11- 23

leah kirk

 Rainbow trout season at Madison County Public Fishing Lake near Gurley, Alabama, begins Friday, To fish for trout, anglers must have a $5 daily trout permit in addition to a valid fishing license. Madison County Lake is located 11 miles east of Huntsville in Gurley, Ala.

During trout season at the lake, the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) plans to stock more than 3,000 pounds of rainbow trout ranging in size from one to two pounds. The daily creel limit is four trout per angler. Trout anglers may also fish for bass, bluegill, catfish, and crappie.

Madison County Public Fishing Lake is open Friday through Sunday until January 6, 2019 (closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day). The lake will reopen for spring fishing on February 1, 2019. For more information, call lake managers Chris or Cole Coultas at 256-776-4905; the WFF Fisheries Section at 334-242-3471; or

MO Trout Fishing in Urban Locals

leah kirk

Winter’s chill brings a positive to Missouris urban area– winter trout fishing. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) on Nov. 1 stocked rainbow trout in the Krug Park Lagoon and in Everyday Pond on the Missouri Western State University campus. MDC’s Community Assistance Program provides winter trout fishing in partnership with cities and counties. The Krug Park stocking is a partnership with St. Joseph Parks, Recreation, and Civic Facilities Department. Trout at Everyday Pond is a partnership with Missouri Western State University.

The lagoon at historic Krug Park was renovated by the city in recent years. That enabled MDC to stock the pond with fish. The winter trout program gives anglers a chance to catch a cold-water species close to home. Trout are not native to Missouri, but water temperatures are cool enough and oxygen levels high enough in winter for trout to survive.

MDC stocked 1,200 pan-sized trout in Krug Park Lagoon, plus 11 lunker trout. The fish were raised at MDC’s Bennett Spring Fish Hatchery. The lunkers are broodstock no longer needed at the hatchery.

Everyday Pond received 800 trout and 10 lunkers. The pond is on James McCarthy Drive between Faraon Street and MDC’s Northwest Regional Office in St. Joseph.

Rainbow stockings on Nov. 6 in the Kansas City area included:

Coot and Plover lakes, and Honker Pond for youth only, MDC’s James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area at Lee’s Summit

Chaumiere Lake, Kansas City Parks, and Recreation

Fountain Bluff Sports Complex, Liberty

Johnston Lake, Raymore

Jesse James Park Lake, Kearney

Trout fishing will not be open at the lakes at James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area until Nov. 9, due to a special managed deer hunt on the area. Some of the Kansas City area winter trout lakes will be stocked again in the coming months. The most up-to-date information on MDC’s winter trout stockings in the KC Metro Area is available by calling the trout hotline at 816-525-0300, ext. 4001.

Rainbow trout fishing is a winter tradition in Sedalia. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) on Nov. 1 stocked 1,300 trout in the city’s Liberty Park Pond. This angling opportunity is a partnership between MDC and the Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department.

Anglers with a valid Missouri fishing permit can fish for the trout at both sites on a catch-and-release basis until Feb. 1. After, Feb. 1, anglers with valid fishing permits and a trout permit may keep up to four trout daily. The four-trout limit is the total taken daily from any waters, anglers cannot keep four trout from one lake and four from another. From Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, only artificial lures may be used, live or scented baits are not allowed. All Missouri residents over age 15 and under 65 must have a valid fishing permit, and all non-residents over age 15 must have a fishing permit.

Too Many Trout

leah kirk


A White County, Tennessee man was cited with three counts of over the limit and two citations for illegal length limit in January. A White County resident was cited on the Caney Fork River, on Wednesday, January 31. DeKalb County Officer Joe Fortner responded to a call and observed an angler and his female companion for over an hour and a half. During this time, officer Fortner observed the angler catch several trout and place them in a bucket. Occasionally the angler’s female companion took the bucket to a nearby car, placed the trout in the car and returned to the riverbank.

When the couple packed up and returned to their car, officer Fortner performed an inspection of the man’s catch. The man was found to be in possession of 16 total trout including five brown trout, eight brook trout, and three rainbow trout. The angler was cited with three counts of over the limit and two citations for illegal length limit. The female was given a written warning for aiding and abetting.  The angler will appear in court on February 21.

Fortner shared, “TWRA fisheries crews work hard to maintain great angling opportunities in this area. Slot limits on fish are put in place to ensure quality fishing continues.”

This area is popular among anglers this time of year because warm tail-waters keep fish actively feeding and therefore biting during winter months. According to the Region 3 fisheries program manager, Mark Thurman, TWRA stocked 30,000 brook trout last fall in the tail-waters of Center Hill and another 5,000 will be stocked in April. Ninety thousand brown trout were also stocked in 2017. TWRA will stock 90,000 rainbow trout and 40,000 brown trout in the Caney Fork River in 2018.

The majority of stocked trout are raised at the Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery in Celina. Thurman stated, “TWRA streams biologists monitor the Caney Fork River, evaluate fish stocking strategies and work with other regulatory agencies to evaluate flows that ensure good results in this area. The regulations in place on the Caney help provide quality fishing to a wide range of anglers. TWRA staff will be performing a creel survey on the Caney Fork River this spring."

Black Widow Bites Up in Oklahoma

leah kirk

Hiding in a dark, unsuspecting place, maybe under a log or rock outdoors, or behind a box in a garage, the spiders wait. Part of the web in their nest designed to catch its prey is cotton candy sticky, and the web is messy and unorganized, but tougher than most spider webs. Look out for the black widow spider. Black widow spiders wait for an unlucky bug to get caught in their webs. Sometimes, an unlucky person can get bitten.

There have been 30 black widow bites reported to the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information 24-hour hotline this year. There were 26 black widow bites reported to the center in 2017 and 31 people bitten in 2016. None of the bites have been fatal. Scott Schaeffer, managing director at the center, said black widow bites can cause painful abdominal cramps and can be fatal to younger or older people. Calling the center's hotline can help determine whether a bite victim needs to go to the hospital or may be able to recover at home, he said.

This year, there have been six children bitten by black widows, including four preschoolers. Several of the children had to go to a hospital for observations, but none of the bites caused serious complications, he said. There is an antivenin available for the black widow bites, but doctors do not always need it, he said.

"Just because you are bitten by a black widow doesn't mean it is going to be fatal," Schaeffer said. "You may not suffer the symptoms of severe muscle cramps either. If bitten, people should wash the bite with soap and hot water. The bite feels like a pinprick, he said, and the spider usually is found hiding nearby so it can be identified”, he said.

Shawn Wilder, an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University Department of Integrative Biology, studies the diets of black widows and their behaviors. There is an antivenin available for the black widow bites, but doctors do not always need it, he said.

"Just because you are bitten by a black widow doesn't mean it is going to be fatal," Schaeffer said. "You may not suffer the symptoms of severe muscle cramps either."

If bitten, people should wash the bite with soap and hot water. The bite feels like a pinprick, he said, and the spider usually is found hiding nearby so it can be identified, he said. The black widow is not aggressive toward things bigger than they are. Usually, a person who is bitten has accidentally touched or grabbed one by picking up something the spider had been hiding in. Their fangs inject a venom when they bite.

Once nightly temperatures start to fall below freezing, the spiders will find a log, rock or another dark crevice to curl up for the winter, Wilder said. But don't think they will be gone until spring, he said. During any warm spell in winter, black widows might come out to build a nest and hunt.

TVA, USFWS to Continue Trout Stocking Program

leah kirk

The Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have reached a multi-agency agreement to provide continued funding for three federal fish hatcheries that have stocked waters in Georgia and Tennessee with millions of trout. The partnership, which began in 2013, includes the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Since 2013, TVA has been funding trout production by the Service at three national fish hatcheries: Dale Hollow and Erwin in Tennessee, and Chattahoochee Forest in Georgia. The trout are then provided to the following tailwaters: Appalachia (Hiwassee River), Blue Ridge, Boone, Cherokee, Fort Patrick Henry, Normandy, Norris, South Holston, Tims Ford, and Wilbur. Trout-stocked reservoirs in the plan include Fort Patrick Henry, South Holston, Parksville, Watauga, and Wilbur reservoirs.

The four partner agencies announced the new agreement today at a press conference beside the Clinch River below Norris Dam outside Knoxville, Tennessee. The agreement provides partnership funding through the fiscal year 2021.

“Anglers come from all over the country to fish on TVA-managed lakes and rivers, and now TVA will continue its role in making sure they will continue to enjoy some of the best trout fishing in the country,” said David Bowling, TVA vice president of Land, River Management & Environmental Compliance. “This fits into our mission of environmental stewardship, economic development and the enhancement of quality of life in the Tennessee Valley. An important way we accomplish these goals is by working with our valued partner agencies on projects such as this.”

Last year, the partnership provided more than 1.1 million brook, brown, lake and rainbow trout to TVA waters. More than 256,000 anglers are estimated to fish for trout in Tennessee and Georgia waters each year, spending about $73 for every $1 invested in the hatchery program, and producing an economic impact of about $45 million.

“Tennessee fishermen already enjoy fishing on TVA lakes, and today’s announcement means that federal fish hatcheries in Erwin, Dale Hollow, and Georgia will stay open and continue to provide Tennessee rivers and lakes with millions of fish that make our trout fishing some of the best in the country,” U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said. “This is good news for the 900,000 Tennesseans and visitors who have fishing and hunting licenses and for the businesses that create jobs and depend on fishing in Tennessee.”

 “This ongoing partnership is a great example of how agencies are working together to strengthen economic benefits and enhance recreational opportunities in healthy river systems for our citizens who enjoy the Tennessee valley's rivers,” said Mike Oetker, acting regional director for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Region. “As an avid trout fisherman, I know personally that Tennessee and Georgia already boast great places for anglers. The continued commitments from this renewed partnership ensure that well into the future.”

“This partnership is critical to TWRA’s management of trout fisheries - each year up to 80% of the trout stocked at TVA projects come from federal hatcheries,” said Frank Fiss, chief of fisheries for TWRA. “These fisheries include some of the best in the Southeast.”

 “In Georgia, we are proud of the trout fishery and recognize that it provides not only exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities but that it also is an important economic driver in many of our mountain communities,” said Rusty Garrison, director of Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. “This continuing partnership will help us maintain high-quality trout fishing on waters such as the Toccoa River below Blue Ridge Lake.”

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation, and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

Breaking News - A Veterans' Day Message

leah kirk

Veterans Day is an opportunity for all Americans to come together to celebrate our veterans' strength and resilience; to help those veterans who need it; to honor them by creating new opportunities after their service, and to support them so they can continue making a profound difference in the world. 

            I rarely speak of it but my father was a WWII veteran who landed on D-Day fought his way through the Battle of the Bulge to come home his county asking little more than to raise a family (and fish). I was of the Vietnam War generation, which for better or worse never did more America than pay taxes and vote. Most of the uncles were vets and to them and my father, I am eternally grateful. They truly were the greatest generation.

Our veterans deserve our lasting gratitude and respect not just today but throughout the year.  Without their service and sacrifice, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the extraordinary freedoms we as Americans cherish.

`Formerly known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I in 1918. In 1954, following both World War II and the Korean War, the U.S. Congress - at the urging of veterans service organizations - approved legislation to make Nov. 11th a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Since that first Veterans Day in 1954, Americans have come together to honor and commemorate the service and sacrifice of all generations of men and women who answered the call to serve our nation.

Veterans Day is not for veterans alone - it is a day for all Americans to celebrate and be a part of.  Together, as a nation, we can work to ensure that we fulfill our promise to provide our veterans with the support and appreciation they deserve.  Their legacy surrounds all Americans each day through the freedoms they guarantee us -- in our public meeting places, the places we pray and play, and in the places we cast our lines or votes. They have answered the call to service - ensuring that in times of both conflict and peace their courage would not waver.  They have protected and upheld the great promises of our Constitution.

Today, and every day, we honor the millions of living Veterans and recognize their great achievements.  Please take a moment today to thank a veteran and to remember those who are no longer with us.

What's New: Reilly Rod Crafters’ New A Debbie Hanson Signature Rod

leah kirk

Reilly Rod Crafters, in collaboration with guide Debbie Hanson, has announced a new signature fly rod series. The Debbie Hanson Signature Series is a 7-weight rod, perfect for a diversity of fishing conditions.

 Women’s sport fishing advocate and freshwater fishing guide Debbie Hanson of Shefishes2 is pleased to announce the Debbie Hanson Signature Series fly rod in partnership with Reilly Rod Crafters of Palmyra, VA. The Debbie Hanson Signature Series rod features a flor-grade cork grip, titanium stripping guides, thread wraps at 16″ and 20″ for quick catch measurements, and has a complete lifetime warranty.


“Our goal is to encourage and support anglers at every skill level. This is precisely why we’re excited about the launch of the Debbie Hanson Signature Series,” said RRC President and CEO Chris Reilly. Reilly describes the Hanson Signature Series as, “The only fly rod you’ll need for most of the fishing you’ll do. It’s a 7 weight multi-modulus blank with a medium-fast progressive taper that provides even distribution of energy and offers the utmost versatility.”


Reilly Rod Crafters Signature Series rods include designs by fly fishing legends Stu Apte, Chuck Kraft, and Joe Mahler. Reilly continued, “Adding the Debbie Hanson Signature Series to our line-up made perfect sense. The salt-ready hardware can take this rod from saltwater to freshwater and back again  — it’s a rod that has been crafted with a welcoming and approachable style.”

On her collaboration with Reilly Rod Crafters, Hanson commented, “This rod offers the opportunity for success when pursuing a variety of species, from largemouth bass in a backyard pond to redfish in the backcountry.” She adds, “Fly fishing and rod selection doesn’t need to be confusing or complex. This is why I’m absolutely thrilled to team up with Reilly Rod Crafters to design a fly rod that embodies a philosophy of uncomplicated ease with regard to fly fishing.”

The metallic aqua blue blank carries the Debbie Hanson Signature Series Shefishes2 logo, comes with a lavender cloth rod sock, purple plastic tube for easy transport to your favorite fishing spots. Precisely placed alignment dots ensure that even beginning fly anglers can assemble the 4-piece rod quickly. The Debbie Hanson Signature Series True Seven fly rod retails for $289.

For more information or to order the Debbie Hanson Series visit or check the list of Reilly Rod dealers online. For further information, contact Chris Reilly at (434) 989-8746.

New Hemingway Stories to be Published

leah kirk

A new edition of beloved author and angler Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls will include three new stories rarely seen in print. For Whom the Bell Tolls: The Hemingway Library Edition is scheduled to be published in summer of 2019 and will include “The Monument,” “Indian Country and the White Army,” and “A Room on the Garden Side”. A Room on the Garden Side, written in 1956, is set in the author’s beloved Ritz hotel in Paris, at the end of Nazi occupation

It may sound like many other Ernest Hemingway stories – with themes of Paris, wartime, battle talk over a bottle of wine – but A Room on the Garden Side, a story written by the American novelist in 1956, is set to be published for the first time.

Not seen by many beyond scholars and academics over the last six decades, the story takes place in Paris’s Ritz hotel and is narrated by a character called Robert, who shares the author’s own nickname, Papa. Robert and his entourage of soldiers, who are all due to leave the city the next day, drink, quote Baudelaire and debate “the dirty trade of war”.

“I did it to save the lives of people who had not hired out to fight,” the narrator explains. “There was that and the fact that I had learned to know and love an infantry division and wished to serve it in any useful way I could … I also loved France and Spain next to my own country. I loved other countries too but the debt was paid and I thought that the account was closed, not knowing the accounts are never closed.”

Hemingway had a particular fondness for Paris’s Ritz hotel, which also appears in The Sun Also Rises. In 1944, as the German occupying forces fled Paris, Hemingway, who was working as a war correspondent, with a group of soldiers and announced to the staff that he was there to liberate them – but was informed that the German dignitaries who had been occupying the building had already left. Hemingway then commandeered the bar and ordered champagne for everyone.

 “When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz,” Hemingway would later say. With other Hemingway papers, A Room on the Garden Side has been housed in the Library of Congress and the John F Kennedy library in Massachusetts.

Six decades after it was written, A Room on the Garden Side is set to be published in the summer edition of the Strand magazine, a literary quarterly that has previously published obscure works by the likes of Raymond Chandler, John Steinbeck and HG Wells.

Kentucky Trout Stockings Delayed

leah kirk

There will be a temporary delay in trout stockings for the next few weeks at Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) lakes, streams and the Cumberland River due to poor conditions at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery near Jamestown. The delay is due to the combination of a fish kill at the hatchery last year and reduced growth rates created during the construction of a new aeration system.

“The priority is to get caught back up,” said Jeff Ross, assistant director of Fisheries for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.


Ross said that Kentucky Fish and Wildlife stocking crews will be operating on a week-to-week basis, depending on the availability of trout from the hatchery, which is operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This hatchery supplies all of the trout stocked in Kentucky waters.

“The public should utilize the trout stocking page on our website for updated stocking information,” Ross said. This page appears under the “Fish” tab on the homepage of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at

Because of the fish shortage, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife personnel will stock FINs lakes with 9-inch rainbow trout in November, instead of waiting an extra month for the fish to grow to the 10-inch size released last year.  The department will post updated trout stocking schedules in November as fish become available.

Patton Fly Fishing School Enrolling

leah kirk

Enrollment is underway for the Illinois River Fly Fishing School. The 2019 session will be Feb. 22-23 at Tenkiller State Park and on the banks of the Illinois River. This will be the 31st year that Patton Fly Fishing has conducted the course, which is always a great holiday gift for any angler. Early registration is suggested.


This basic course includes sessions on tackle and gear, knots, flies, fly selection and casting techniques. On Saturday afternoon, participants receive on-stream instruction. Fly rods will be available for loan Saturday. A state fishing license is not required for students during course instruction. Instructors will be Mark Patton, Tom Adams, Blake Patton and Tre Dupuy. Course fee is $175, with a $50 deposit due at enrollment. Saturday meals at $35, if desired. For more information, click here or call (405) 613-6520.

Oklahoma Trout Stocking Begins

leah kirk

The weather might be getting colder, but the fishing action is getting ready to heat up at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s seasonal trout fishing areas across the state. Each year, by Nov. 1 and continuing into March or April, the Wildlife Department stocks trout in six public fishing areas: Perry CCC/Lake Perry Park, Robbers Cave, Blue River, Lake Watonga, Medicine Creek and Lake Carl Etling. For more information, go to

In addition to these “cold weather” trout fisheries, the Department also operates two year-round trout fisheries in the Lower Mountain Fork River below Broken Bow dam and in the Lower Illinois River below Tenkiller Ferry Dam. Trout are normally stocked in these areas every week or two, as long as water conditions allow for trout survival.

Trout stocking is on schedule for all areas except the catch-and-release portion of the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area, which won't receive fish until Nov. 8. Trout fishing is also available from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 at two Close to Home Fishing locations in major urban areas: Oklahoma City's Dolese Youth Park Pond and Jenks' Veterans Park Pond.

Trout Unlimited Return to Middle Tennessee

leah kirk

Trout Unlimited has returned to Middle Tennessee. We're proud to announce the formation of the Music City Chapter of Trout Unlimited, newly chartered to continue the work and legacy of the former Cumberland Chapter. TU has a long history in the area, advocating for the health of the cold water fisheries in the mid-state. Now, via Music City Trout Unlimited, that important work will carry on.   


To kick start this new phase, the group is looking forward to hosting you for dinner, and an update on Trout Unlimited efforts, at the Peg Leg Porker in Nashville, November 13th from 5:30-7:30. Please join them to hear from the Nashville District of the Army Corps of Engineers, on the status of dam repair projects at Center Hill, and an overview of the USACE's water quality monitoring in the Caney Fork River. They're pleased to host the district's leadership, and look forward to an on-going partnership in supporting the trout habitat in the Caney Fork.

In addition to an update from the USACE, we'll have Tennessee Wildlife Federation CEO Mike Butler join us, to provide an update from the TWF. The TWF has been in conversation with TWRA regarding the management of canoe liveries and commercial operation on rivers state wide. The organizers look forward to hearing from Mike, and partnering with the TWF on these efforts.

Georgia Delayed Harvest Trout Streams

leah kirk

Anglers fishing delayed harvest streams must release all trout immediately and use and possess only artificial lures with one single hook per lure from Nov. 1–May 14 annually. The use of additional “dropper” lures on one line is permitted as long as each lure contains one single hook. These restrictions do not apply from May 15–Oct. 31 of each year. The following streams are delayed harvest streams:

Amicalola Creek from County Road 192 (Steele Bridge Road) downstream to GA Hwy 53.

Chattahoochee River from Sope Creek (off Columns Drive) downstream to US Hwy 41 (Cobb Parkway).

Chattooga River from GA Hwy 28 bridge upstream to the mouth of Reed Creek.


Smith Creek on Unicoi State Park from Unicoi Dam downstream to the Unicoi State Park property boundary.

Toccoa River on U.S. Forest Service land from 0.4 miles above the Shallowford Bridge upstream to a point 450 feet upstream of the Sandy Bottom Canoe Access.

Visit to see maps of Delayed Harvest Streams and learn more about this program.


Artificial Lures Only

In streams listed here only artificial lures may be used. It is unlawful to possess any other type bait on an “artificial lures only” stream.

Chattahoochee River from GA Hwy 20 to the boat ramp at the National Park Service Medlock Bridge Park immediately upstream of GA Hwy 141.

Coleman River and its tributaries from its junction with the Tallulah River upstream to Forest Service Bridge No. 54.

Conasauga River and its tributaries (except Jacks River watershed) upstream of the Georgia-Tennessee state line are restricted to using only artificial lures from Nov. 1 through the last Saturday in March of each year.

Hoods Creek and its tributaries on the Warwoman WMA.

Jones Creek and its tributaries on US Forest Service property.

Mountaintown Creek and its tributaries upstream of Mountaintown Creek Watershed Structure No. 2 (Hills Lake).

Noontootla Creek and its tributaries on Blue Ridge WMA. Note: All trout less than 16 inches in length caught from this section of Noontootla Creek must be released immediately.

Stanley Creek and its tributaries on the Rich Mountain WMA.

Walnut Fork Creek and its tributaries on the Warwoman WMA.