Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weekends on the Fly

Micah Groeber hikes in to a favorite fishing hole - North Carolina
A wild trout stream is the one thing that competes for attention with my camera. When the fishing is good it's impossible to pry a fly rod out of my hands. I won't eat, I forget to drink water; I'm like a labrador chasing a tennis ball. While working as a fishing guide in Wyoming along the North Platte River I once watched a bear cross the river twenty feet in front of me and climb atop a rock, dripping wet and backlit in golden light and my camera sat idly in its bag all because a trico hatch had brown trout slamming my fly after every cast. Fly fishing is the ultimate vacation. Sometimes I can't even force myself to take pictures because I hate the idea of missing even a few moments of good water.

Micah fishing a favorite stretch of stream - Photo © Mac Stone
Recently I've gotten better at balancing the two and it's mostly by force. In the smaller streams of North Carolina there's simply not enough room for two people to fish side by side. So when I head out for a day on the water with good friend Micah Groeber, I get to be both angler and photographer. Plus, he gladly helps carry my underwater housing so long as I get photos of the action.

Colorful brown trout - Photo © Mac Stone
Lately, we've been getting into some really good streams. While most serious anglers head west for big fish, Micah and I have been finding some of the heartiest and most colorful native browns I've ever seen in the Blue Ridge. When you're pulling 20'' browns out of three feet of Appalachian mountain water, what's not to photograph? 

Brown trout - Photo © Mac Stone
Micah with his prized brown - Photo © Mac Stone
20'' wild brown trout - Photo © Mac Stone 


  1. Catch them while you can. has the sequester caused fish hatcheries to release fewer fish? The System of fish hatcheries in the USA is the unsung hero in your story. Having visited Hatcheries in South Carolina near Clemson ValHalla I think it is called, the location in Erwin Tennessee they are all different in set up. perhaps out west the style is seen one seen them all -- but not for me I thought it fascinating Our tax dollars at work.

    1. I haven't seen too much of a decline in restocking fisheries, but then again I'm not really fishing the stocked rivers, I like em wild! Interesting point though. I would imagine that the Department of Natural Resources, or whoever is stocking the fish is paying for it from selling fishing licenses primarily.