Entries by Mark Todd Engler

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Big Fun on Small Town’s Barren Fork

Cool respite from stuffy summer doldrums; Backwoods-style river adventures inside McMinnville city limits Set amidst a remarkable panorama of thickset woods, rolling pasturelands, rugged mountain slopes and soaring yonder plateau scarps, McMinnville has for two centuries served as a regional hub of commerce, culture and active leisure. Writing for the intro to the 2009 “Images […]


Design for New Inn at Fall Creek Falls Unveiled

State aiming for August demolition The public has gotten a first glance at what the proposed new hotel at Fall Creek Falls State Park is supposed to look like when it’s completed. Architectural renderings of the new facility were released this summer by the agency that oversees state parks management. The new inn is intended […]

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Something Special About Small-Stream Smallies

Big lakes and large rivers aren’t the only habitat for brawny bronzebacks Anglers are notoriously tight-lipped about where they go to rip fish lips. And that’s especially true among those serious about stalking skinny waters in search of fat bass. But one of the great things about Middle Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland is that […]

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New Statewide ‘Trout Management Plan’ in Draft Form

Anglers’ suggestions for improving fisheries welcome The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency is updating and revising the state’s comprehensive trout-management plan. As part of the process, the agency is seeking public comments on a new draft blueprint that’s available for inspection on the department’s website. The deadline for submitting commentary, criticisms and suggestions for agency officials […]

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Windows of Recreation Opportunities

Officials hope new state natural area will attract more tourist dollars to region The Window Cliffs Natural Area in Putnam County is now open for the business of public recreation. State park officials, local politicians, conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts gathered for a commencement celebration and an inaugural round of guided hikes at the 275-acre scenic […]


New State Natural Area Opening in April

Window Cliffs area offers yet another scenic attraction to region Outdoor enthusiasts will soon have another remarkable Upper Cumberland landform to behold and appreciate. Located in Putnam County — southwest of Cookeville and a bit north-northwest of Burgess Falls — the newly designated Window Cliffs State Natural Area is scheduled to open to the public […]

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York Loves His Crappie Job

Customers biting on Carthage angler’s hand-tied fishing jigs If you happen unannounced by Darryl York’s little backyard workshop just west of Carthage, don’t be surprised if you encounter a “Gone Fishing” sign. York, who turns 50 this spring, doesn’t just dream about going fishing a lot. He lives that dream a majority of the time. […]


Military Chopper Accidentally Cuts Through TVA Cables

LANCASTER, TENN. — A U.S. Marine helicopter may have narrowly averted disaster here last weekend after severing a pair of static lines along a high-voltage TVA transmission system in the vicinity of Center Hill Dam. The system was in fact out of service at the time and therefore not carrying a charge, according to TVA officials. The incident […]

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Tough Row to Hoe So Far for TN Hemp

It’ll take time to overcome technological stagnation resulting from prohibition Harvest time has come and gone for the second year of legal industrial hemp cultivation in Tennessee. The non-psychoactive cousin of marijuana is billed as a potential boom crop in the 21st Century. It has numerous uses and applications as food, fiber, fuel and health […]

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Bass on the Fly Well Worth a Try

Think fly angling is just for trout? Think again. The classic fly fishing scene that usually comes to people’s mind is a big wily trout slurping up bushy little insect imitations looped onto the surface of a cold rushing stream or chilly mountain lake. But despite the Caney Fork’s prime reputation as a superior Southern […]