By Paul T. Choate
April 4, 2013. With the arrival of April that means it is time for some fishing again in the High Country. There are two fishing tournaments coming up this weekend in Blowing Rock and Vilas for anglers of all ages with some great prizes.
The 34th annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby hours begin at sunrise on Saturday. There is no entry fee required and no pre-registration is necessary. Trophies will be awarded for first place winners in five divisions: men, women, girls (ages 12-14) boys (ages 12-14) and “Small Fries” (ages 11 and under).
“Trout Derby day means that spring has arrived in Blowing Rock. It’s a beautiful time of the year and we have some of the best trout fishing anywhere in the Southeast, so the Derby is a great reason to visit. It’s a family-oriented event and a great way to teach kids a sport they can enjoy for a lifetime,” said Tracy Brown, executive director of the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority.
Any trout caught in Watauga County public waters will be eligible during the Blowing Rock Trout Derby. Catches should be taken to the official derby headquarters at the Blowing Rock American Legion Building on Wallingford Street, where cash and prizes will be awarded at 4:30 p.m.
Broyhill Lake will be heavily stocked leading up to the derby. Kids and anglers without licenses, as well as anglers with disabilities, can fish at Broyhill Lake, where licenses are not required. Fishing in all other waters requires a fishing license and anglers must obey posted regulations.
Some great places to fish in Watauga County near Blowing Rock include Price Lake, Bass Lake, Trout Lake and the Middle Fork River along U.S. 321.
For more information about the 34th annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby, call 828-295-4636.
Also on Saturday, the big fish will take the prizes at the sixth annual fishing tournament that the Henson Chapel United Methodist Church is holding at Cove Creek.
Fishing begins at 7:30 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. 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.
The cub scouts of Pack 199 will also be on hand serving up hot dogs for lunch to all entrants free of charge.
For more information about the fishing tournament at the Henson Chapel UMC, call Sonny Sweet at 828-773-5622.
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