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French Broad River Series: LEARN! Fly Fishing Creeks in WNC

French Broad River Series: LEARN! Fly Fishing Creeks in WNC

Conserving Carolina and the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Transylvania County Center are offering a series of lectures, April – July, to better acquaint the public with the French Broad River, considered one of the oldest rivers in the world. In collaboration with Headwaters Outfitters, a partner for the Upper French Broad Riverfest (a celebration of the French Broad River with education, exhibitors, music, food and free tubing occurring on June 15, 10 am – 3 pm), join Fly Fishing Guide Hannah Overgaard for a “how to” presentation on creek fishing in Western NC. All of the basics will be covered, including pre-trip planning, suggested rigging and flies, reading water and more. The presentation will last around 30-40 minutes with extra time for any questions or conversations on the matter. Pre-registration is required at Headwaters Outfitters eventbright page,... Read More
WNC Cicada Social

WNC Cicada Social

Join us at Ecusta Brewing Company Friday April 5th for a Cicada social! We will have some of the areas best tiers, showcasing their cicada patterns. Enter to win some raffles, including the bugs tied that evening, with all money going to the Pisgah River Rangers program. Bring your vise and material and tie along! Come out and meet some of the Southern Culture on the Fly Crew and just have some fun! Interested in what all the cicada chat is about? This is a great event to come out and learn and chat with the fishing community of... Read More
Come to Your Senses

Come to Your Senses

Come to Your Senses When you venture into the woods to celebrate North Carolina’s Year of the Trail, we want you to have the richest and most rewarding experience possible. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of Torry Nergart, conservation easement manager at Conserving Carolina, to give us some insights on how you can get the most from your time on Transylvania County’s treasured trails. ​ Q&A Q&A: Torry, why is it important to try and engage all five senses when you’re enjoying the outdoors? ​ “When I think about engaging the senses, I think about all five of them working together collectively. You could call that ‘mindfulness,’ and one of the easiest places to do that is in the forest. When we find natural connections, it gives us what we’re missing from modern living.” “Personally, I have to burn off a little energy before I can be more mindful. So, I do a trail run or bike a little bit. Both of these activities have a way of burning off a little of the busy-ness. It kind of rattles out the distractions. Then, I’m prepared to take a deep breath and engage all my senses.” Q&A Q&A: What are some plant and animal smells and scents we should be aware of when in the woods? ​ “It’s interesting.  When you’re trying to disconnect from the real world, you’re not turning anything off – you’re actually turning on your senses. And that’s especially true for the sense of smell.... Read More
Going With The Flow.

Going With The Flow.

Going With The Flow. Often, people think of trails as winding routes across terra firma. Yet the truth is, rivers are the original trails – carved by Mother Nature over eons, they journey across the land following the path of least resistance, resulting in surprises around just about every bend. As we celebrate North Carolina’s Year of the Trail, we want to honor Transylvania County’s first trail: the French Broad River, third oldest river in the world, and its many tributaries. To take us on this journey, we caught up with Jack Henderson, MountainTrue’s French Broad Paddle Trail Manager. Enjoy this Q & A with a passionate advocate for the French Broad River. (Editor’s note: We have paraphrased and edited this interview for brevity.) Q&A Q&A: Tell us a little about yourself, Jack. I’ve been living in western North Carolina since 2010 and have worked for a variety of recreation and conservation groups with focus upon public access and natural resource protection. Prior to joining MountainTrue, I was with RiverLink. Along with Hartwell Carson, who is the Riverkeeper for the French Broad, I help manage the French Broad River Paddle Trail. Q&A Q&A: What makes the French Broad River such a significant, meaningful body of water? It flows from its headwaters within Transylvania County to the confluence with the Holston River where it forms the Tennessee River. It covers a wide variety of ecological, cultural, geological and topographical components in a relatively small physical space. Q&A Q&A: What makes... Read More
Come to Your Senses

Take A Walk On The Wild Side

Take A Walk On The Wild Side ​Headwaters State Forest: A Conservation Laboratory North Carolina’s newest state forest was founded in 2018 and represents another iconic destination in Transylvania County. In terms of beauty and features, it’s on par with Pisgah, DuPont and Gorges. However, its remote location and limited access make it a more appropriate destination for adventurers with good wilderness and map-reading skills. We caught up with Assistant Regional Forester Michael Cheek, who oversees this 6,730 acre mountain wonderland for the North Carolina Forest Service to help us understand the importance of Headwaters and the opportunities for visitors to enjoy its unique topography and features — especially as we celebrate North Carolina’s “Year of the Trail.” Q&A Q&A: Michael, what’s distinctive about Headwaters? “Headwaters is located right along the edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment and the South Carolina border.  It’s very remote and has a very “back country” feel to it. You’ll find plenty of trails and lots of solitude.” Q&A Q&A: What’s the key mission of Headwaters State Forest? “Certainly, recreation is a part of it, but our primary focus is on the conservation of the headwater streams that feed into the East Fork of the French Broad River. There are over a dozen named streams feeding into the East Fork, totaling some 50 miles. That’s where our clean drinking water comes from, and these headwater streams are key to that. Part of our mission is also to demonstrate good forestry practices – to show... Read More
Come to Your Senses

Headwaters State Forest: Go Wild

Headwaters State Forest: Go Wild ​Headwaters State Forest A Conservation Laboratory North Carolina’s newest state forest was founded in 2018 and represents another iconic destination in Transylvania County. In terms of beauty and features, it’s on par with Pisgah, DuPont and Gorges. However, its remote location and limited access make it a more appropriate destination for adventurers with good wilderness and map-reading skills. We caught up with Assistant Regional Forester Michael Cheek, who oversees this 6,730 acre mountain wonderland for the North Carolina Forest Service to help us understand the importance of Headwaters and the opportunities for visitors to enjoy its unique topography and features. Q&A Q&A: Michael, what’s distinctive about Headwaters? “Headwaters is located right along the edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment and the South Carolina border.  It’s very remote and has a very “back country” feel to it. You’ll find plenty of trails and lots of solitude.” Q&A Q&A: What’s the key mission of Headwaters State Forest? “Certainly, recreation is a part of it, but our primary focus is on the conservation of the headwater streams that feed into the East Fork of the French Broad River. There are over a dozen named streams feeding into the East Fork, totaling some 50 miles. That’s where our clean drinking water comes from, and these headwater streams are key to that. Part of our mission is also to demonstrate good forestry practices – to show the public the best way to manage this important resource. This land has... Read More
Gears and Gills

Gears and Gills

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. ​ 1 1 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. 2 2 DISCOVER TENKARA 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... Read More
4 Tips From A Fly Fishing Champ: Get Hooked

4 Tips From A Fly Fishing Champ: Get Hooked

4 Tips From A Fly Fishing Champ: Get Hooked There are 500 miles of fishable trout waters within a one-hour drive of Brevard. No wonder avid anglers come from every point on the compass to test their skills here. We sought out Kevin Howell, past National Fly Fishing Masters Champion, to offer some tips on the best places to test your fly fishing prowess. A Transylvania County native, Kevin knows most of the fish on a first name basis. 1.)  “To fly fish in North Carolina, purchase a North Carolina State Fishing license and a Trout Stamp. Both can be bought here. For more detailed advice, instruction and gear, check out Headwaters Outfitters and Davidson River Outfitters.” 2.)  “If you’re a beginner, I would recommend heading over to the East Fork of the French Broad just outside of Rosman or to the Little River in DuPont State Recreational Forest. Both of these are delayed harvest streams. From October to June, the state of North Carolina stocks these waters, so if you can get a good drift, you’re gonna catch a fish. Both streams are catch and release, artificial lure only.” Directions to East Fork: From downtown Brevard, go 7.8 miles on US-64 West and take a left on US-178 South/Pickens Highway. Go approximately 2 miles, then take a left on East Fork Road. After less than a mile, the road and the stream will converge and run roughly parallel for several miles, with several pull-offs along the way. A... Read More