The major point of this camping trip to North Carolina was to let our son, D, have some fly fishing time. It was B’s first attempt and he did well. To anyone going, you will need a license and a trout permit that conveniently are available on-line.
We learned that there are different size limits in different places. Also some are catch-and-keep and some are catch-and-release---all on the same river. We found the idea of keeping a seven-inch trout a little hard to fathom. There would be more meat in a can of tuna.
Here’s some of how it seems to work---to a newbie like me.
You gotta scope it out. You gotta find the right spot. It is especially encouraging if you actually SEE a fish.
Now, the fish hatchery is a good place to see trout.
Here is a raceway with food pellets piled up at one end. There was no feeding frenzy going on. Perhaps they had overdone it just a tad.
These trout are in the Davidson River just down from the hatchery. Those white spots are some of this fish food that is coming from the hatchery and into the river.
While there were fish to be seen in the river there, and many fisherman in the water, we saw only one caught. I think the trout were just so used to the pellets being available. However, we did hear about a lure that looks very much like those pellets.
B and D had already fished elsewhere before we got to the hatchery, so B decided to tour the little nature center there with me while D tried his luck in the river.
B had taken off his fishing sneakers and walked in his wet sox to the back of the truck to put on dry shoes. The air is so dry there, those footprints were drying faster than I could snap a picture. The rocks and gravel are fairly hard on your feet, so the sox and shoes or waders are necessary.
This car was in the hatchery parking lot and struck me as funny; reminiscent of a Chevy Chase movie---or perhaps a VW Chase?
But back to the process. There are lines and hooks to tie and re-tie.
And goodness knows, there is tackle! We visited a fly shop/guide shop in Pisgah Forest where we saw case after case of different possibilities for catching the prize. D picked up some new terrestrials that were supposed to be what trout wanted on their daily menu at this time. “Terrestrial” was a new term to me, as far as tackle is concerned. It means little critters that usually crawl on land, such as ants, caterpillars, worms, beetles, etc. D was lucky enough to find an old abandoned fly box on the river bank and rescued some of the flies and terrestrials. It had been out in the weather a while and some of the stuff was ruined, but some was salvageable.
So then after all the preparation, there is the actual fishing. Throwing out a line with trees all around and rocks in the bottom appears to take some finesse and practice and lots of patience for when it doesn’t catch what you were after, but something else entirely.
D fished nine different times, usually twice a day, while we were there. He was not thrilled that he caught seven trout. Sadly, not one of those got photographed. They were all rainbows that are not native. B caught one fish, but it was the largest and the only brook trout, the native one. B did not keep this one.
Nice prizes for a week of fun in a beautiful environment.