One reason – but far from the only one – that piqued my interest in Brevard is the proximity (next door) to fishable waters in the North Carolina mountains. Without exaggeration, trout can be had within a mile or two of my front door. I like that.
The persistent lousy, cold, wet ‘Spring’ weather here doesn’t phase trout; fish are gonna eat one way or another. And at long last, dreams of sizable fish – big, fat rainbows – finally came true just a hop-skip-and jump from here, courtesy of an excursion engineered by my friend Kurt. We slammed ’em. It sure takes your mind off the more unpleasant issues of clouds and rain while wearing the warmest fleece in the closet.
April 9, 2018
Ellen/Reid: This ‘no sign of spring’ thing is getting really old really fast. My garden seeds have been in for five days and no signs of sprouts. Zilch. A few should be nudging up through the soil by now. 41F and steady rain/drizzle this morning. That stinks. I shouldn’t be whining since St. Paul and Chicago are faring worse than we are in Brevard but c’mon. We can do better than this.
I drive to Florida on Wednesday for tarpon fishing with Dave on Thursday near Naples. We got shut out the last time we tried this since neither of us knew how to make double haul casts with heavy fly rods. It was beyond our skill sets. This time we’ll use conventional gear and lures. I’m excited about tarpon even though our methods won’t be the purity fly fishers might insist upon. Later today my three Penn Battle salt water reels will be lubed up and all the other gear readied for the trip.
Reid, we really got into a mess of gigantic trout last week on a stretch of private river water just south of Sapphire, NC. That was about 25 minutes west of here. My friend Kurt arranged for a guide and there was just no way I was prepared for the volume and sheer size of the fish.
While our guide rigged gear I walked to the river bank and the fish looked like logs. I mean, 6 – 12 fish stacked up like boxcars in big, deep pools. It was utterly mind boggling. I must’ve landed 20 with an average weight of two-four pounds or so with the largest at 7-8 pounds. Every one was bigger than any I’ve landed before. We have so got to do this the next time you’re down here (make that sooner than later, kid). My Scott 4A rod was ready but the guide semi-laughed when he told me it would in no way be adequate – and he was right. He stuffed a 9 foot, five weight in my hand and the fish doubled that rod over. It was incredible. If you join Tim and Ellen and the girls down here for Thanksgiving we will give it a go.
Dave H. saw the pics of a couple of the hawgs and he took no time to announce that he’ll drive back with me to Brevard to give the monsters a whirl. The same guide will show us a thing or two on Tuesday, April 17. We may well make it a full day on the river. Honestly, it is just way beyond incredible.
Finally walked to the French Broad yesterday. It’s only 400 yards away. Not a lot of fishing spots due to heavy underbrush but I found a couple of cast-able locations within view of the house. Looked for muskie but saw none although there are 60 inchers reputed to be swimming around. Outfitters say there are plenty of really fun smallmouth bass along with some big browns but it’s so deep you’d have to put something all the way down to the bottom.
Walked 36 holes on Saturday at a fun little 18 hole, par three mountain course. It was only $20 and it was good to just get out and about and get some honest exercise. I just zipped along, and finished in less than five hours. There was some significant bike race on the adjacent Greenville Highway and there was a steady stream of riders pedaling by the entire time I golfed.
Ellen, I’m in to build your raised bed garden. My assumption is Tim has all the tools so my toolbox will stay home. To keep the black walnut-tainted soil in check, the bottom will be lined with garden cloth to seal the box up. Tim said a sunny spot will have to be found either in the back by the alley or maybe even out front. That’s what some of your neighbors have done and it wouldn’t look half bad. We might even toss in a smaller 4’x4’ box for raspberries. Emma and Georgia shouldn’t be denied those red beauties. We will get it all figured out.
So now it’s off to the local garden store for arugula and spinach seeds. Let’s hope the weather turns and the sun shines so there will be some honest-to-goodness produce down the line.