By Paul T. Choate
April 5, 2012. On Saturday, April 7, trout season will officially begin in the High Country. Two different trout tournaments will be held Saturday, one in Blowing Rock and one in Vilas, to kick off the start of the season.
The 33rd annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby will run from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., while the Henson Chapel United Methodist Church (UMC) in Vilas will host a tournament from 7 a.m. to noon.
According to Kim Rogers, of Jenkins Rentals, there is no entry fee and registration is not required at the Blowing Rock Trout Derby. Trophies will be awarded at 4:30 p.m. in five categories for the largest trout: Men, Women, Girls (12-14), Boys (12-14) and Small Fries (11 and under). Second and third place prizes will also be awarded in the five categories, consisting of fishing accessories and donated prizes from sponsors. Any trout caught in Watauga County public waters on derby day is eligible for prizes.
Rogers also said there will be three $100 cash prizes for the largest rainbow, brook and brown trouts caught.
Kids can fish at Broyhill Lake and licenses are not required there. There is a limit of three fish per day at Broyhill Lake.
Other nearby fishing spots for the derby include Bass Lake, Trout Lake and the Middle Fork River along Highway 321. Fishing licenses are required to fish in these areas and NC Wildlife fishing regulations apply. Any anglers 16 years old or older must have a fishing license for public waters.
The Blowing Rock Trout Derby has become a local High Country tradition. Rogers said her father, Elmer Jenkins, along with Carl Underwood, Earl Trexler and Jim Marsh, started the event because they were all avid anglers.
“It’s all about teaching [the kids] how to fish,” said Rogers.
The derby is sponsored by Jenkins Rentals, in partnership with several local businesses and organizations, including the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, Chetola Resort, M-Prints and others.
For more information about the Blowing Rock Trout Derby, contact Kim Rogers at (828) 295-9888.
The big fish will also take the prizes at the fifth annual fishing tournament that the Henson Chapel UMC is holding at Cove Creek.
According to church member Sonny Sweet, fishing begins at 7 a.m., and entrants must register in the picnic shelter behind the chapel. Each pole will cost $2 to participate, and there are three age categories: 2 to 8 years old, 9 to 15 years old and 16+ years old. Sweet said anglers 16 years old and older must have a fishing license and a trout stamp.
Whoever catches the largest fish in each category will be awarded $100. Also, whoever catches the largest fish of the day from any of the three age groups will be awarded an additional $100.
For more information about the fishing tournament at the Henson Chapel UMC, call Sonny Sweet at (828) 733-5622.
Want to fish?
Here are fishing outfitters, guide services and fly fishing schools in Watauga, Avery and Ashe counties:
Foscoe Fishing Company and Outfitters
8857 Highway 105 South, Boone
174 Old Shull’s Mill Rd., Boone
Rivergirl Fishing Co.
4041 Railroad Grade Rd., Todd
Grandfather Trout Farm
10767 Highway 105 South, Banner Elk
Elk Creek Outfitters
1560 Highway 105, Boone
Watauga River Anglers
5712 Highway 105 South, Boone
Trophy Water Guide Service
130 Morningside Dr., Boone
312 Green St., Blowing Rock