By David Rogers. April 7, 2018. BLOWING ROCK, NC — At times drizzly rain and a grey, overcast day could hardly dampen the spirits of seasoned and budding fishing folks alike on Saturday. They were all on hand for the 39th annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby.
All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
The Blowing Rock Clubhouse served as headquarters, serving up hot chocolate and appreciative smiles for the elementary school art contest entries as High Country’s most enthusiastic anglers upheld the Trout Derby’s opening day traditions (and fun), come rain or shine.
The art contest winner who will have his artwork on the 2019 Trout Derby t-shirt and promotional posters is Blowing Rock School first grader Cal Reisterer. Also winning a first place blue ribbon for creativity was Hardin Park School second grade student, Marshall Klima. Blowing Rock 1st grade artist Ellis Lile took home a second place ribbon, while third place also went to a Blowing Rock 1st grader (who didn’t put his or her name on the back of the drawing).
This year’s fishing trophies are collector’s items, to be sure, works of art donated by Aaron Bishop of Snake Mountain Iron Works. They are metal sculptures in shape of the State of North Carolina, with a star cutout where Blowing Rock is located, as well as a larger cutout in the shape of a fish.
In handing out the awards and accolades, event coordinators Kim Rogers, Tom Shelley and Mike Calhoun expressed their appreciation for the many sponsors of the event, including the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission of Inland Fisheries, which supports the Trout Derby by stocking Broyhill Lake for the small fry division, including tagged fish for special cash prizes. Calhoun noted to Blowing Rock News afterward that no one caught one of the tagged fish this year.
Other sponsors include 4 Forty Four Construction, Chetola Mountain Resort & Spa, Hollars Construction, M-Prints, Bolick & Traditions Pottery, Blowing Rock Tire, High Country Chapter of Hunters Helping Kids, J.B. Allen Home Solutions, Jenkins Realtors, Mike Calhoun’s Bass Club, Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, and Snake Mountain Iron Works. Trophy sponsors include Labonte Plumbing, Inc., Mountaineer Maintenance, Inc., Foggy Rock and Sunny Rock restaurants.
Blowing Rock Trout Derby was started in the 1970s by Blowing Rock businessmen Jim Marsh, Elmer Jenkins, Earl Trexler and Carl Underwood to encourage kids to learn how to fish, as well as to create some early April outdoor activity in the region.
Winners of each division received cash, a trophy, and fishing-related merchandise
First Fish (7:30 am) — Paisley Cole, 12″ Brook @ Broyhill Lake
Small Fry Division
- Bentley Bolick, 15.5″ Rainbow @ Middle Fork
- Matthew Brown, 14.5″ Rainbow @ Price Lake
- Braxton Woodring, 13.5″ Rainbow @ Middle Fork
Kathryn Presnell, 11″ Rainbow @ Laura Fork
- Devin Reece, 14″ Rainbow @ Watauga River, Roby Green Rd.
- Jackson Reece, 13.5″ Rainbow @ Middle Fork
- Reed Triplett, 12.25″ Brown @ Laur Creek
- Cheri Hodges, 21.5″, Brown @ Middle Fork
- Janey Dancy, 14″ Rainbow @ Price Lake
- Sarah Ramsey, 11″ Rainbow @ Price Lake
- Gene Hodges, 21.25″ Brown @ Middle Fork
- Phillip Woodring, 18″ Brown @ Brookshire Park, New River
- Jason Reid, 16.25″ Brook @ Middle Fork
Smallest Fish — Keri Triplett