Stories Tenkara Trip Reports Trout & Char

A Mountain Escape

Want We Need

This was a few years ago just after we moved from Boone, North Carolina back to Charlotte, but I remember it clearly. Life was banging on my head pretty hard for a few months. I’m sure we have all gone through periods of constant dragons to fight and this had been one for my family. I desperately needed a real day away from reality. I put out the mayday call.

To The Rescue

Quickly a friend of mine, and fellow Veteran, heard the call and stepped in. My local fishing buddy Mike back in Boone, agreed to meet me at the water’s edge. We made our plan. I had a two hour drive back to my High Country outside of Blowing Rock NC. That is always a nice relaxing drive for me. Heading “back up the mountain” is good for my soul. We went to a fine headwater section of some magical “to remain un-named” stream.

Mountain Escape - Jason Sparks - Tenkara Angler
A perfect tenkara stream with wild fish in the Blue Ridge Mountains. © JL Sparks
Mountain Escape - Jason Sparks - Tenkara Angler - Headwaters
In a secret headwaters in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Such a special place. © JL Sparks

Time On The Water

We fished a really long section of this creek and there were very few fish to be seen. I did manage to scare up a few to strike on my flies. Both of these came off the bottom in 4′ deep runs with riffles bubbling across the surface. These are wild fish, but the rainbow is not native. The other is very likely a Southern Appalachian brook trout as opposed the stocker version, which is the northern strain of speckled char. Oh my it was beautiful. These naturally reproducing fish seem to be holding strong in this watershed.

Mountain Escape - Jason Sparks - Tenkara Angler - Rainbow Trout
A wild brown trout in the Blue Ridge Mountains. © JL Sparks

The water was crisp. The fresh air was 53 degrees. There was a fog bank sitting a few hundred feet below us in elevation and low clouds a few hundred feet higher. We were in a sweet spot at 2300′.

Mountain Escape - Jason Sparks - Tenkara Angler - Brook Trout
A near trophy wild and native brook trout near Blowing Rock, NC. © JL Sparks

The Mission

We did not catch many fish like I said, but I don’t really think that was necessary. What I really wanted, what I really needed… I got. Time away from “taxes and laundry” as I like to say. It was a “Clear The Mechanism” day. I left rejuvenated and ready to head back to the city. Now the dad, husband and workman had taken a short reprieve and found the clarity needed to re-engage. This had been a great escape.

Trout don’t live in ugly places. © JL Sparks

Don’t forget to find your time away doing what you love every once in a while.

This has been a favorite quote for a long time. It has been posted in the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers group description since day one. These words resonate with me, and I feel connected.

“The bedrock in the Appalachians is ancient granite; I like to think of those beautiful Blue Ridge streams as flowing directly over the bones of the Earth.” – Dave Hughes

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  1. Jason,

    I am with you 100%. Mountain streams are where I seem best able to both completely turn off the outside world and also get recharged.

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