Gears and Gills
Double your fun by combining two favorite outdoor activities.
The public lands in Transylvania County serve as the backdrop for myriad outdoor activities. For many, it means an opportunity to combine their favorite hobbies. Here are three great starter tips.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Brevard resident Christian McLauchlin is a passionate mountain biker. But he also enjoys wetting a line from time to time. He likes nothing better than to combine his two passions, especially in the summer.
“In the summer you don’t need boots and waders,” McLauchlin says. “So, all you really need is your flies, rod and reel and a pair of good sandals.”
The minimal gear can easily be carried in a small backpack. What McLauchlin likes most about using his mountain bike is that it can take him to places he wouldn’t fly fish otherwise.
“It allows you to get into places that people can’t get to from their car or that would require a long hike,” McLauchlin says.
The appeal is obvious: fewer people, more fish and a more enjoyable experience.
If you want to go super minimalist on fly fishing gear, Kevin Howell at Davidson River Outfitters suggests looking into the art of tenkara. Originating in Japan, this ancient form of fly fishing relies on very simple equipment that can easily be broken down or telescoped to fit in a small backpack. In Japanese, the word “tenkara” translates into “fishing from the skies.” Tenkara rods are longer than standard fly fishing rods. Their extended reach eliminates the need for a reel. As a result, all you need is a rod, tenkara line, and a fly.
If this minimalist version of fly fishing appeals to you, Davidson River Outfitters offers a full line of Tenkara USA and Tenkara Rod Company products. In addition to the gear, they have two instructors who teach classes on Tenkara fishing and tying Tenkara flies throughout the year.
Of course, a traditional fly fishing set-up can also be efficiently carried into the woods by bike, it just requires a thoughtful approach to consolidating your equipment and only bringing in the essentials.
Trust the Experts
Headwaters Outfitters and Davidson River Outfitters offer a broad array of fly-fishing equipment. Best of all, their staff have been fishing Transylvania County’s waters for years and are happy to offer tips and suggestions, not just on gear, but on hidden honey holes that can be reached on your mountain bike.
As for his preferred spots, McLauchlin suggests the Trace Ridge Trailhead, in Pisgah National Forest. “There is great riding up there and it has several good places to try your fishing luck.”
Try your luck in the North and South Mills River areas, both of which are in Pisgah National Forest. Or the Little River in DuPont State Recreational Forest.
For official tributary designations, fishing regulations and licenses check out the North Carolina Wildlife Commission’s website.
Happy riding – and happy fishing!