We Lived “On The Mountain”
Flashback: Many of you know I lived in the Boone, North Carolina for many years. Actually, I lived in Foscoe and worked in Banner Elk. The area is referred to as the “High Country” or “Up The Mountain” to the locals. We lived up in a holler right at the edge of the Blue Ridge Parkway boundary. It was very secluded and simply, amazing.
The road that came off the state highway and up onto our gravel climb up the hill had a single bridge at the bottom. This crossed over the lower section of headwaters for the mighty Watauga River. That structure is a demarcation for NC Wildlife trout stream management, and upstream from there it is a wild trout zone. I spent many mornings standing on that bridge with coffee. A quick stop to watch the fish was very much a part of my morning routine on the way to work.
Down By The River
One warm day I had been fishing high in the watershed, wet wading my way through the really skinny water near the county line. It finally got to that point where it was time to head home. When I turned off that state road and headed for the bridge, I saw a red Volkswagen Van parked on the side of the road. I knew who that was, since there aren’t many on the road still, much less belonging to a friend.
It was Amber & Mike ‘down by the river’. I pulled off the road to say hi to them and see how things were going. Mike was upstream a few hundred feet whipping a fiberglass rod/reel at water in front of him. Amber, a very new angler, was under the bridge slinging a Tenkara USA Ito from the waterline and was not fully committed to getting wet. It’s a good thing she had that long rod then right?
She was having a hard time getting her olive bugger out into the slender channel. Learning to cast a long 17′ rod and 20′ of line can have it’s own learning curve. Doing so horizontally under a bridge is an added twist. I offered my assistance in a tandem deal for her. I’d get wet and wade out for a cast to the fish under the current, but she would have to need to land it. That sounded like a win-win to her. I took slow deliberate step out to about mid-thigh deep and tossed the #10 bugger a couple of times. With a pulse retrieve on the 4/5 cast I hooked up.
I walked shallow and passed the rod off to her. She knew exactly what to do at the point. Smile! Everybody knows it is impossible to catch an fish and not be smiling with excitement. Even novice anglers master this skill quickly. We each took a part in the plan and by working together, we landed the fish.
Tag Team Tenkara for the WIN !!
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