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Blowing Rock Celebrates Opening of Trout Season with 40th Annual Trout Derby, April 6

Kolton Shatley of Lenoir, NC and his dad, Danny, by Broyhill Lake in 2017. Photo by Amanda Lugenbell

The 40th annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby will take place in Blowing Rock on Saturday, April 6, from sunrise to 4 p.m. No entry fees are required and no pre-registration is necessary.

This event has celebrated the opening of trout season for four decades now, encouraging families to get out together to enjoy the outdoors and friendly competition. The casual nature of the Derby makes participation fun- simply catch a trout in Watauga County on April 6, and bring it to Blowing Rock to enter it into the contest. Kids are invited to fish right in town at Broyhill Park. Derby headquarters, where participants’ fish are measured and registered, is at the Blowing Rock Clubhouse at 108 Lakeside Drive. First-place winners will receive trophies in five divisions: Men, Women, Girls and Boys (12-15), and Small Fries (11 and under). Special prizes will be awarded to the first fish, the largest trout in each species, and for tagged fish, which are stocked in the lake at Broyhill Park. Winners and prizes are announced at Headquarters at 4:30 p.m.

The North Carolina Wildlife Commission supports the Trout Derby with free “Fish for Fun” bags, including a tackle box, regulation book, bumper sticker, stringer, and bobber. There will also be free Trout Derby T-shirts. Kids should come by the Derby Headquarters early in the day to grab their bag and t-shirt before they run out. While they are there, they can participate in the Art Contest; all supplies are provided, and the winner’s art is featured on the next Derby poster and t-shirt.

The Trout Derby encourages families to get out and enjoy the outdoors together! Photo by Amanda Lugenbell.

New this year, Chetola Resort will present an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Demonstration at Broyhill Park, next to Derby Headquarters, from 1 p.m to 1:45 p.m. This demo is free! Stick around for the Fly Fishing Clinic that starts at 2 p.m, and a Fly Fishing Casting Contest for kids at 3:00 pm! Anyone aged 16 and under can try their hand at landing their fly in the targets- and get Orvis prizes.

“We love to meet first timers and hear all about everyone’s fishing adventures,” says Kim Rogers, a longtime coordinator of the Trout Derby. “If you’re a seasoned fisherman, come by and help some of the younger anglers with your stories, bait suggestions, or just friendly support. We can’t wait to see your catch!”

There is plenty of free parking available at Broyhill Park, where the lake will be stocked with hundreds of fish in the days leading up to the Derby, with some fish tagged for special prizes. Fish include brown, speckled and rainbow trout. Broyhill Park is reserved for fishing by children and persons with disabilities. Fishing licenses are not required at Broyhill Park, but anglers will need to have a current fishing license and obey posted fishing regulations in all other locations.

Additional details on the Blowing Rock Trout Derby can be found at BlowingRock.com/TroutDerby .

For more information on local shopping, attractions, and overnight accommodations in Blowing Rock, visit blowingrock.com or contact the Visitor Center at 828.295.4636.