By David Rogers. March 29, 2017. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Athough no longer a craft necessary for frontier survival, fishing for trout is one of the High Country’s oldest outdoor recreational pursuits. With Blowing Rock Trout Derby set for Saturday (April 1st), local anglers young, old — and artistic — will celebrate the big one that didn’t get away for the 38th consecutive season.
All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News from the 2016 Blowing Rock Trout Derby
From the break of dawn when trout fishing season officially opens to 4:00 pm on Saturday, trout fishing enthusiasts are invited to bring their prize catches to the Blowing Rock Clubhouse at 108 Lakeside Drive in Blowing Rock to have their fish measured and categorized. The Clubhouse is just a short walk north of Broyhill Lake, which in the days leading up to Saturday will be stocked with Rainbow, Brown and Speckled trout. Broyhill Lake is the focal point for the Derby’s encouragement of kids (“small fry”) to fish. As in previous years, several fish have been “tagged” with special identifiers. If caught and presented to Derby organizers at the Clubhouse, special prizes will be awarded to the lucky anglers catching the tagged fish.
No entry fees are required to participate in Blowing Rock Trout Derby and it is open to resident and visitor alike. Winners in each age category — Men, Women, Girls (12-14), Boys (12-14) and Small Fry (11 and under) — will receive prizes ranging from rods and reels to an assortment of fishing-related accessories. Special prizes are award to first fish, largest trout in each species, and the aforementioned tagged fish.
The North Carolina Wildlife Commission supports the Blowing Rock Trout Derby by providing free “Fish for Fun” bags that include a tackle box, bumper sticker, regulation book, stringer and bobber.
Eligible fish may have been caught in any area stream or river (no “farm” fish allowed!). For more information about Trout Derby and available overnight accommodations in the Blowing Rock area, please call the Blowing Rock Visitor Center at 828-295-4636 or visit www.blowingrock.com.
In addition to “the fishin’,” kids are invited to submit trout fishing themed artwork, whether created at home, school, or at the Clubhouse on Saturday. Arts and craft materials are available at the Clubhouse for same day Michelangelos.
Each year, the current winner’s artwork is used in the logo for the next year’s promotional materials. Last year, Hardin Park second grader Bryan Chen was the winner.