Closing of the Western Frontier
As the results from the 1890 U.S. Census data came in, Frederick Jackson Turner declared the Western Frontier closed in 1893. The inherent desire for Americans to keep pushing west across the continent into new lands was after all Gods Will, as was the thought anyway, and now that was complete. This proclamation caused a shift in American Outdoor Culture. From this declaration policy makers realized the importance of preserving what we have, which gave birth to the U.S. Forrest Service and eventually leading to National Parks. Organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America also came to being in this same time period. And we can't forget the traveling show "Buffalo Bills Wild West". Society wanted to make sure boys and men (CCC developed out of New Deal) were able to feel that sense of discovery and adventure and value of being outdoors in the wilderness. A right of passage if you will. However, in the hearts and minds of Americans the west was still closed.
Spring forward 120 something years to now. Oh yeah and bring it back to fly fishing...As anglers we all like to think we have found a secret "honey hole", spot, go-to, that you always catch fish that no one else knows about. At least we think. The truth is, in the Southeastern U.S. our "West", the Southern Appalachians, are closed. There is not a stream anywhere in the South were man has not wet a fly.
For now lets only think of our "west" of the South being only closed in our minds. Our hearts are what keeps us casting. There are nearly 2,000 miles of streams in the GSMNP that hold fish. Not to mention the thousands of miles of rivers and streams in the 828 outside of the park. If there is a stream that you have not fished, it might as well be the wild west for you! Fly Fishing is about adventure, action, comeradery ect... oh yeah catching fish too!
For the last two weeks we have made new friends here at the shop that have spent 10-14 days fishing our waters. One couple came in everyday asking for a new stream to hit that they haven't before. They had a great time! Another fella is basically on a east coast fly fishing sabatical to ring in retirement, and was checking streams of the area off a list kept in a little red notebook in his front shirt pocket. These folks were out to keep finding the "west" as it be, in fly fishing the Southeast. I challenge you to go discover! You might have to work a little bit will payoff with rewards beyond the "tug".
BTW the fishing has been awesome! Park and DH waters are cranking out some insane trip totals on outings.
**Stop into the shop and check out our giant map of the GSMNP! From there we can get you on some really Wild waters!**
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