Southern Trout Magazine 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. Insofar as Southern Trout Magazine is a bimonthly publication, the plan is for Southern Trout Ozark Edition to publish the first of each month that Southern Trout Magazine does not publish. Southern Trout Ozark Edition will pretty much be a look-alike cousin of Southern Trout Magazine, but will exclusively cover the Ozarks. Hopefully, it will not be a 200+ page monster like Southern Trout Magazine, but rather be a 150+ page welterweight. At least that is the plan.
Everyone receiving Southern Trout Magazine will receive Southern Trout Ozark Edition. 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 Southern Trout Ozark Edition’s editor. He has already lined up a stable of writer and decided on the direction of Southern Trout Ozark Edition’s content.
Southern Trout Ozark Edition will launch November 1st.