November Newsletter

On The Fly South November 2020

On The Fly South’s Line Up for November Angling around the South!

Fly casting Lake Taneycomo. Photo by Jimmy Jacobs.

As this newsletter is going online, the crew from On The Fly South is on the road researching new fishing destinations to bring you more adventures in the November edition. Among those we are venturing into the Ozark Mountain region of southern Missouri to chase trout, as well as heading to the saltwater of Pine Island Sound around the quirky fishing village/artist colony of Matlacha, Florida. In the Uni Products Fly Tier Corner, you’ll meet South Carolina tier Peter Marra, plus we’ve got new products, resorts and more. 

To keep from missing miss out on any of the stories, be sure to sign up for your FREE SUBSCRIPTION through the link on our home page.

Fly Fishing the South

FLY FISH BLACK CREEK

Indian River Water Quality Project

The city of Cocoa Beach has completed improvements to its water reclamation facility, thanks in part to the St. Johns River Water Management District’s 2019 cost-share program. The improvements will reduce the amount of nutrients flowing to the Indian River Lagoon. Nutrient reductions help to improve water quality and fisheries in the lagoon by reducing the potential for algal blooms.

“The District’s cost-share program continues to help communities decrease impacts on the Indian River Lagoon,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “We’re proud to work with the city of Cocoa Beach on this project in support of Governor DeSantis’ executive order targeting water quality improvements.”

The city’s water reclamation facility is located on the eastern shore of the Indian River Lagoon, a 156-mile-long estuary challenged by water quality issues. Through this partnership with the district, Cocoa Beach has upgraded equipment that filters and treats wastewater sludge. By improving the facility’s efficiency and filtration capabilities, city officials anticipate annual nutrient-load reductions to the Indian River Lagoon of 3,603 pounds of nitrogen and 1,201 pounds of phosphorus.

The District awarded $1.5 million in cost-share funds to Cocoa Beach toward its $6.6 million project.

“It has been an easy process working with the district,” said Brad Kalsow, director of the city’s water reclamation department. “Receiving the support and funding from the district is extremely helpful on a project of this magnitude.”

The District is currently accepting submissions for 2020 cost-share funding for projects to improve water quality or water flow in the Indian River Lagoon through 5 p.m., Aug. 21, 2020. For information, visit www.sjrwmd.com/funding.

UNI PRODUCTS

Oklahoma Fall Trout Fishing

Oklahoma State Parks

The Lower Mountain Fork River in east Oklahoma offers year-round trout fishing throughout a 12-mile portion of lower river, as well as its tributaries from the Broken Bow dam downstream to U.S. Highway 70 bridge. About five miles of the Lower Mountain Fork River is within Beavers Bend State Park. Below the park area, there are public access points at the dam and near the rapids of Presbyterian Falls.

The river is stocked with rainbow and brown trout throughout the year.

Camping and cabin rentals are available at Beavers Bend State Park.

Mayfly Project Mentors Foster Kids

Courtesy of Loon Outdoors

Their mission is to support children in foster care through fly fishing and introduce them to their local water ecosystems, with the hope that connecting them to a rewarding hobby will provide an opportunity for foster children to have fun, feel supported, and develop a meaningful connection with the outdoors.

At Loon Outdoors we believe that sharing the outdoors with young people is a critical part of conserving and protecting the outdoors. People protect what they love and find enjoyment in. Organizations like The Mayfly Project use fly fishing as a catalyst to mentor children in foster care. Their mission is to support children in foster care through fly fishing and introduce them to their local water ecosystems, with the hope that connecting them to a rewarding hobby will provide an opportunity for foster children to have fun, feel supported, and develop a meaningful connection with the outdoors. Brett Zundel, Co-Owner of Loon Outdoors, had the opportunity to chat with Jess Westbrook from The Mayfly Project about their program.

Brett: You guys are all about building relationships with kids. What is it about fly fishing that helps you guys build these relationships?

Jess: We’ve found that children that have experienced trauma often have a difficult time opening up, so fly fishing is a perfect avenue to keep the pressure off of the conversations, and to just have fun without big expectations.

In regard to TMP, what are you most proud of?

We are most proud of not just the number of kids we are able to reach, but the quality of their experiences with our mentors. Our mentors are so great at meeting these kids where they are at and truly passing on the gift of fly fishing and conservation to the next generation.

What is something that has surprised you in establishing TMP?

We have been surprised and honored to see how quickly the fly fishing community has stepped up to the plate—to mentor, give, and care about our projects and about foster children!

Why are you passionate about kids in foster care in particular?

Foster children are a population that is often overlooked, but one that needs a connection with the outdoors more than most–if we don’t take time to lead them there, they may not have anyone in their lives to teach them. Often, these kids have PTSD and other disorders that require coping mechanisms to manage their lives. Fly fishing is a coping mechanism that can help them succeed.

What is the biggest misconception people have about foster care?

The biggest misconception is these kids are really difficult to work with and may cause big problems for their mentors. We actually have found the opposite effect—caseworkers and group home staff call us after the project outings and say they have never seen their kids so engaged and happy at once. The majority of the kids we work with are typical kids, they are just in a crummy situation and need us to get them out for some fun!

When relationships are the goal it can be hard to define “success”, but what do you think of as a “win” in the work that you do?

The win for us isn’t a step in a relationship, it’s a smile, it’s a kid forgetting to worry for a little while, it’s a kid that says they are amazing for catching a big fish. It’s all about building those positive memories in a world of mostly difficult memories.

Can you tell a single story that helps capture the heart of TMP?

The win for us isn’t a step in a relationship, it’s a smile, it’s a kid forgetting to worry for a little while, it’s a kid that says they are amazing for catching a big fish. It’s all about building those positive memories in a world of mostly difficult memories.

What makes an ideal mentor?

The ideal mentor does not have to be a professional fly fishing guide!! Someone who has a heart for foster children enjoys teaching fly fishing and is reliable!

What advice do you have for someone who wants to take kids fishing?

HAVE FUN – Do not let tailing loops, drifts full of drag or slapping the water with their fly rod ruin the trip!! Simply have fun focus on what the kids want (even if it means putting on a pink bugger because it’s their favorite color)!! Learn more about The Mayfly Project at themayflyproject.com or on Instagram.

Georgia & South Carolina Delayed-Harvest Trout Seasons Opened

The delayed-harvest trout season opened in Georgia and South Carolina on November 1. In both states the season continues through May 14, 2021. In the Peach State portions of five streams are managed using these rules. Those are Amicalola and Smith creekx, plus the Chattahoochee, Chattooga and Toccoa rivers. In the Palmetto State the DH waters are the Chattooga and Chauga rivers, along with Cheohee, Corbin, Devils Fork and Eastatoe creeks.

Only single hook, artificial lures may be used during the DH season and all trout must be immediately release. After May 14, general trout regulations apply.

New From Free Fly

The Lowcountry is finally cooling down and Charleston-based Free Fly is bringing out the layers. Just in time, their Men’s Bamboo Fleece Pullover Hoody has dropped in their best-selling camo pattern. This match made in heaven is the perfect combo of buttery-soft bamboo and warmth in a fresh new pattern.

Our Fleece Pullover Hoody offers the perfect transitional weight for cooler temps in an athletic fit, along with their odor resistant fabric.

The pullover hoody features a front kangaroo pocket and adjustable drawstring hood. The Bamboo Insulate 235 material is 48 percent Viscose from bamboo, 48 percent polyester and 4 percent Spandex. That offers 50 UPF sun protection

This camo pattern is a limited release so pull the trigger before it’s gone! While you’re at it, check out all of their new Men’s and Women’s fall arrivals.

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