On Saturday, Mike and I headed to the Yadkin Valley wine country seeking to catch a few trout. We were headed to this beautiful, rolling hills area of the state just northwest of Winston-Salem. We had decided to stay at the Hampton Inn located near Dobson, NC and just a half mile from the Shelton Vineyards, one of the great winemakers in this evolving wine country. This location would put us close by the Mitchell River, and Stone Mountain State Park's Roaring River, a fine trout stream. These two rivers are part of The NC wildlife's program of delayed harvest stocking, which was done in October, so we were reasonably assured of the trout being there My son and I do not get to share these type outings very often and we always cherish the time together to share, re-bond, and try to explain to each other who is the better fisherman! In this venue, I am at a disadvantage---I grew up in flat country as a bass fisherman with cane poles and spinning gear-and if you follow this journal, you know that I hang out in the flat country of eastern NC and low-country SC where the only trout we see come from the coastal saltwater. Add to that I have NEVER caught a fish on a flyrod and this is my first real fly fishing trip!! I figured though that my superior overall fishing skills and wisdom of age would keep me in the game. :)
We went straight to the Mitchell River and were fishing by 1PM. the temperature was 38 degrees when we started and fell steadily. Mike started fishing first. I wanted to give him a chance so he would not fuss later about having to help his old man get started, etc. Plus it was cold as hell and the bank was steeper than I appreciated! I got out the Camera to record the unlikely possibility that he would hook up. By some miracle, he had a rainbow snared on his second cast--pure luck--- But i got the picture of the rainbow. Before I could get my hand warmer working, he had caught or hooked four.Just a lucky start!! He allowed me to get in his spot, and on my second cast, I snared a rainbow(thank you Lord!). I hooked and lost another, then turned it back to Mike. We had apparently cleaned out the spot or scared the rest away. After trying several more spots, we decided to head back to the Hampton to check in, warm up and catch a little of the Duke-Carolina game. After Duke spanked the Tar Heels, we returned to the river and fished until sunset-- and added another fish--Mike's--- On the way back to the room, we were able to get a great photo of the sunset. We had reservations at the Shelton Vineyards restaurant at 6:30--while we were getting ready, we watched the Alabama-Auburn game on TV--Alabama was ahead when we left. Our dinner was super at this fine restaurant. The Hampton is a great place to stay if you are going to fish the local streams or just visit the wineries in the area. There are 10 close by. At the end of a great dinner, Mike checked his cell phone and we high-fived Auburn's stunning win over Alabama. As an LSU graduate, I am always happy to see Alabama and Saban bite the dust! What a great day! The weather was cold but clear, we caught fish, had a great dinner, saw beautiful country, and our teams won!!
Saturday morning, after a good breakfast at the hotel, we headed the 25 or so miles to Stone Mountain State Park to try the other stream. It was a great clear, blue-sky day. This area is really pretty with rolling hills, many small cattle farms, and the vineyards. The river that flows through the Park is classic trout country with great fast water and slower pools--a gorgeous stream. Our luck was not as good as the previous day, but Mike caught a rainbow and hooked a few more. My only luck was a hookup which threw the hook after a brief fight. Catching fish is always good, but just being there in that beautiful and tranquil place was great! Before we could soak in enough of this environment, the old watch said 1PM, our goal for heading home. We ate lunch at the old country store at the entrance to the Park. While there, we met the owner of the jones von drehle winery, who gave us info and invited us to visit. The winery was on our route, so we stopped by and were graciously given a tour of the facility by the owner after sampling the wines. They had produced their first wine this past year and are still growing.
It was a great trip and much fun with my son. Even though he beat me fishing this time, the overall game isn't over! Just wait 'til I get him on the bass ponds down east------- SEE PICS BELOW