Our March Speaker
Our speaker will be Jack Cummings so it promises to be entertaining. What follows is Jack’s journey into fly casting and fishing in his own words.
Over 50 years ago when I was a kid a fly rod was just another way to catch fish. The Paul Young’s were always there along with the spinning and bait rods right along with the old long cane poles with the red and white bobbers.
In the early 1980’s I chose the long rod over cocktails when I hit the road as a sales person. I didn’t want to become a sodden lounge lizard and instead became a trout junky. I soon found that wool suits don’t wrinkle too badly from the pressure of Red Ball bootfoot waders and left me semi-presentable for the next sales call!
The job allowed me many hours and days to follow runs and hatches all over Michigan and surrounding areas. It also took me occasionally to salt water destinations and to other states for trade shows or sales meetings. I never went anywhere without a fly rod along.
I spent a long vacation for 12 years running out west to fish famous rivers like the Madison, Henrys Fork and the like. If you haven’t yet you MUST got out there even if you don’t fish. The scenery along would make for a fine, memorable vacation.
In all of my fly fishing I always seemed to gravitate towards the graceful and talented casters and picked their brains to pieces to know how it is done. Between that and a few casting competitions I was hooked on the pure art of fly casting in all of its shapes and forms. This led to a too-big library of books and videos and to going to any casting class that I could find.
All of this led to my becoming an FFF Certified Casting Instructor about 10 years ago. Getting my CCI didn’t quench my thirst for learning more about casting nor didn’t lessen the passion I have for trying to help make marginal or new casters good and good caters better. The journey continues and grows as I share as I can my love of fly fishing and fly casting and help people become more proficient at both. I’m fond of saying that there’s no downside to casting well. You will lose fewer flies and catch more fish, it’s that simple!
Posted by Busta Brown on February 26, 2015.
Don Kirk will be our speaker for this month’s meeting which will be held on Thursday February 5th instead of our usual first Tuesday of the month date. Don will be up for the fly show in Winston Friday and Saturday and has agreed to come up Thursday for us. Please take the time to read Don’s bio below and be sure to attend the Thursday meeting.
Called the “Guru of Smoky Mountains trout fishing,” Don Kirk grew up casting flies on the streams of the national park. In 1981 Don authored the first comprehensive trout fishing guide to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Revised four times since then (now titled Ultimate Fly Fishing Guide to the Great Smokies). Over 100,000 copies of his guide books have been sold. He is also the author of Flies and Fly Patterns of the Great Smoky Mountains (2014, Stackpole Books) and Fly Fisher’s Guide to Tennessee (2013; Wilderness Adventure Press).
A native of Morristown, Tennessee, Don is the publisher of Southern Trout Magazine as well as Southern Kayak Fishing Magazine, and a new title that will launch in June, Southern Saltwater Fly Fishing Magazine. Southern Trout (http://www.southerntrout.com) is a bi-monthly publication devoted exclusively to fly fishing for trout in mountain streams and tailwater rivers of the region. Don and his wife Leah currently reside in Montevallo, Alabama. He is the father of five children, has four grandchildren, and is the human companion of Labrador named Blackwing Olive. He is known for his humorous, straight forth style and perspective.
Posted by Busta Brown on January 29, 2015.
Simons Welter grew up in Statesville, NC and is currently living in Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from Clemson University in 1988, and married her husband, Hank, that same year. They have been married for 26 years and have two grown children. Simons spends all of her spare time on the rivers of NC and upstate SC, with a special love of fishing small streams for native brook trout. She has been guiding, mentoring and teaching fly fishing for the past 10 years, including working with Becoming an Outdoors Woman, Casting for Recovery and the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. For the past 4 years she has been a guide with Brookings’ Anglers in Cashiers, NC. She has fished in 12 states, 5 foreign countries and is currently president of Mountain Bridge Trout Unlimited.
Her presentation will focus on techniques of nymph fishing, offering some common-sense tips to help you get more hook-ups.
Posted by Busta Brown on August 2, 2014.
Don’t forget to come to the meeting tonight at the Foothills Arts Council Building in Elkin, starting at 7:00 PM. Things to be discussed include the TIC release this Friday at Stone Mountain State Park and the one next Friday at Linville. We will also be talking about the purchase of hats and shirt with our logo on it and try to get up a Spring/Summer trout trip to the Smokies. See you there.
Posted by Busta Brown on May 6, 2014.
Kid’s Fishing Day
Don’t forget the kid’s Fishing day this Saturday. We will be helping Kevin Hining, our local wildlife biologist, with handing out kids fishing kits, stickers, and pens. He will also need help with providing the rods and bait that he brings to those who don’t have any. It’s always a great time for everyone.
Posted by Busta Brown on April 8, 2014.
April’s Guest Speaker
Marty Shaffner has been guiding with Tri-State Angler Guide Service for several years now, realizing, with the help of his patient and understanding wife Sandra, a dream of turning his passion for fishing into a career. He does float trips on the New River in both Virginia and North Carolina and the Yadkin River for smallmouth bass as well as wade trips in every state we serve. Marty not only “puts you on fish” and teaches the skills necessary to become a better fisherman, but makes you feel at ease while instructing, and after a day on the water with him you feel like he is an old friend. Marty will be tying up some of the flies he uses on the tail water in Tennessee.
Posted by Busta Brown on March 25, 2014.
Volunteer Opportunities at Stone Mountain State Park
We are partnering up with SMSP and NC Wildlife Commission to offer volunteer opportunities for our members, their families and friends. Along with the possibilities listed below we are trying to pull together “Troutacular!” fishing day which will involve kid’s on the opening day of the Delayed Harvest section on the East Prong of Roaring River in the park so please check back for details. Below will be listed opportunities presented to us by Janet Pearson the park superintendent and also be sure to check under fish management by Kevin Hining for stream survey opportunities.
March 11th- Beaver damage cleanup on the East Prong of Roaring River close to Garden Creek.
-Need volunteers to bring waders, work gloves, safety glasses and lunch/beverages.
March 25th, April 26th, May 7th, May 17th- Invasive Species Workday-Hemlock Wooly Adelgid*
-Need volunteers to bring work gloves, safety glasses and lunch/beverages.
April 5th- Spring Sweep-Litter cleanup along all the streams in the park.
-Need volunteers to bring work gloves, safety glasses and lunch/beverages.
May 3rd- Beginners Fly Fishing Program.
Bring your own fly rod or SMTU will have loaners.
*Treatment depends on temperature. The focus may change to invasive species taking over the stream banks in the park.
Each work day will begin at 8:30 am at the visitors center on the paved part of the park road toward Alleghany end. Volunteers will need to coordinate with the park to volunteer or participate. They can email the park or call at
336-957-8185 ask for Janet Pearson
Posted by Busta Brown on February 28, 2014.
February’s Guest Speaker
Jacob Rash will be the guest speaker for the SMTU February 4th meeting at the Foothills Arts Council. Jacob serves as Coldwater Research Coordinator for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. He received a B.S. in Zoology from NC State University and a M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from Virginia Tech. He enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, and keeping up with NC State athletics. He will be speaking about the Commission’s recently updated Trout Management Plan, Trout Fishing webpage, and interactive map.
Posted by Busta Brown on January 26, 2014.
Wilkes TIC Release Day
SMTU would like to thank those who helped with the recent TIC release at Stone Mtn. State Park. Shelly Somers, Russell Sparks EWMS Teachers, Janet Pearson-Park Superintendent, Lynette Hicks-Park Events Coordinator, Kevin Hining-NCWRC Biologist, Jamie Moore-NC School of the Arts Botanist, Jeff Payne-TIC Coordinator, Scoot Frye-SMTU Special Events Representative. Thanks to everyone who made it a successful day!
Posted by Busta Brown on May 20, 2013.
Avery TIC Release Day
SMTU would like to thank April Cheuvront-Avery Middle School, Tanya Poole-Regional Education Specialist/NCWRC, Mark Forbes-Avery SWCO District Tech., Ken Dayton-USDA-NRCS, Kelly Mccoy (and Fin Mccoy)-Rivergirl Fishing Co., Mathew Hundley-Avery County Journal-Times, Jeff Payne-SMTU TIC Coordinator, Rick Parish-SMTU President, Keith Cockerham-SMTU Vice-President, Bob Pearson-SMTU Treasurer, and all the others who made it a successful day up on the Linville River. We are looking forward to next year and to continue to grow the TIC Program.
Posted by Busta Brown on May 18, 2013.
Check It Out
Kevin has an informative article on “Fish Management New”. Be sure to check it out.
Posted by Busta Brown on April 22, 2013.
Kid’s Fishing Day 2013
Stone Mountain TU, along with North Carolina Wildlife Resouce Commision and the Town of Wilkesboro put on the 7th annual “Kid’s Fishing Day’ at Cub Creek Park April the 13th. Over 100 hundred kids attended and enjoyed a morning of trying to catch almost 400 trout stocked by Kevin Hinning form NCWRC. Due to some dingy water and cooler temperatures the fishing was slow but the event was still a success because the fact the kids and parents got out to spend quality time together. Fishing rods were alsogiven away by our chapter to few lucky children. We are already looking forward to next year.
Posted by Busta Brown on April 21, 2013.
Stone Mountain Conservation Effort
Good meeting today at Stone Mountain State Park with park staff, TU volunteers and Wildlife Resources staff. We have identified 2 projects to assist with over the next few months. This email provides dates to assist Kevin Hining with trout surveys in and around the park. This survey work will focus on updating genetic information for brook trout in northwest NC. Please pass this on to interested volunteers. Any interested in helping can email Kevin and cc me so I can track volunteer efforts.
We also want to line up volunteers to assist the park with their efforts to protect hemlocks along the stream corridors in the park. This work will be scheduled in April and May. I will pass along dates and more details as soon as I have them along with a volunteer form to fill out and bring with you.
Finally, we have scheduled our next meeting for June 13 at 10 AM. We meet at the park office. This meeting will focus on identifying projects and setting priorities with SMSP and NCWRC staff.
Below are the dates I currently have planned to do trout surveys, from now through July. I can send you dates for later in the summer and fall as we get further along.
March 18, 19
April 10, 15, 24
May 7, 15, 29
June 10, 11
July 1, 2, 15, 16
For most dates, if someone wants to assist me, I can change the survey around to fit a location they might be interested in (Stone Mt. State Park, Ashe County, Watauga, etc.,), as well as the intensity (close to a road, 2-3 mile hike, etc.). Definitely love to have anyone out that is interested. Also, feel free to have folks call or email me if they have any questions.
District 7 Fisheries Biologist I
NC Wildlife Resources Commission
AFS Certified Fisheries Professional
Fleetwood, NC 28626
Posted by Busta Brown on March 14, 2013.
Kin Hodges-North Carolina Wildlife Biologist
Kin will be presenting some early results of a region-wide research project designed to assess the survival and migration patterns of trout stocked into Delayed Harvest streams. This study is being conducted in conjunction with fisheries researchers at N.C. State University and will hopefully provide information that can be used to improve the management of Delayed Harvest trout fisheries in North Carolina.
Posted by Busta Brown on March 3, 2013.
TIC Starts A New Year
Our schools have received there eggs and at last check all of them have baby trout but one. We now have seven schools and we are in the process of adding another. I hope to have some pictures to add to this blog soon but wanted to pass along the good news. Our schools again include, East Wilkes Middle School, Mount Airy Middles School, Central Wilkes Middle School, Avery Middle School, Ashe High School, Watauga High School, Avery High School and Cranberry Middle School if we can squeeze them in this year. Our chapters is proud to have these fine schools in our program and want to thank them for participating..
Posted by Busta Brown on October 30, 2012.