Word on the river is that more and more people are getting into fly fishing, spurring a push for fly-focused tourism and marketing – and the opening of a pair of new fly shops.
“‘A River Runs Through It’ with Brad Pitt brought a lot of attention to the sport,” said Bob Bennett, who co-owns Tuckaseegee Fly Shop in Bryson City with Dale Collins. “Just in the recent five years or so, things have just really taken off, and I think part of it is bringing awareness to access. This is not a sport that you have to go to Montana for, or Alaska. You can bring it right here in Western North Carolina in the thousands of miles of stream we have.”
Work on a new National Park Service Collections Preservation Center is underway following a Nov. 13 groundbreaking at the site in Townsend, Tenn.
Once finished, the facility will house 418,000 artifacts and 1.3 million archival records documenting history of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and four other NPS areas in East Tennessee.
After nearly 20 years of existence, Blackrock Outdoor Company has a new owner. Kelly Custer, who also owns Sylva’s Sheds Hunting Supply, purchased the store from owners Holly Hooper and Heather Ferguson after an August fire in downtown Sylva caused extensive damage to the store and its inventory.
Custer doesn’t necessarily see the fire’s effects as a liability, however.