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NORTH CAROLINA COUNCIL OF TROUT UNLIMITED — Serving TU members in the Old North State

TheMend VOLUME 1 • NUMBER 3 • MAY 2019

#CLEANMYWATER Chapter Challenge


If you have spent time outside in the southeast, you have faced the frustration of seeing trash and wondering how in the world things get in the places they do. You might have wished that someone would do something about this scourge on our landscape. In 2018, the Upper Chattahoochee Chapter Trout Unlimited, based out of the north Atlanta suburbs, decided to make a difference. They started #CLEANMYWATER (, a social media-based contest that encouraged anglers to pack out trash one netful at a time. Their goals for this contest included encouraging positive conservation behavior, spreading the TU message to a larger community, and connecting to members and potential members they may not have been reaching yet. UCCTU had great success in their first year, getting entries from 10 states and 3 countries and growing their social media presence by hundreds of followers. #CLEANMYWATER is returning for 2019, with UCCTU launching their initiative on April 1. If you haven’t seen what they are doing, make sure to visit the website above to learn more. UCCTU has also partnered with national staff to take #CLEANMYWATER to the entire region. At the Southeast Regional Rendezvous in Dillard, GA, Southeast Volunteer Coordinator Jeff Wright debuted the 2019 #CLEANMYWATER Chapter Challenge. Chapters across the Southeast can create their own #CLEANMYWATER contest, to be conducted in August 2019, using regional contest guidelines. The beauty of the #CLEANMYWATER contest is that it is not set

• Film Tours • Backcountry Blitz • Angler Science Project • Chapter News • Communications Update

for a specific date. Participants can get out on their own time to make a difference and a chapter only needs few people to make it possible. If you don’t have an Instagram presence, this is a great challenge to reach out to your membership and find a member that is already engaged with the platform and get them involved. Two training webinars will be held for chapters leading up to the event, currently scheduled for May 27 and June 27. The first will specifically cover the contest setup and answer questions chapters may have on successfully running the event. The second will be on demystifying Instagram and how to get your chapter members participating. Beyond potentially getting new people involved with the chapter, there will be great prizes for the chapters that get the most engagement that they can use to further fundraise, including 1 TU life membership for the top chapter. If you would like more details on the contest or to get the official rules sheet, contact Jeff Wright (

About “The Mend” “The Mend” is the monthly newsletter and update of the North Carolina Council of Trout Unlimited. It is meant to work in concert with our quarterly feature magazine, “The Drift” to keep our membership informed about and engaged in what’s happening with Trout Unlimited here in the Old North State. Connect with the North Carolina Council of Trout Unlimited On the web: On Facebook: northcarolinatu Via Email: The North Carolina Council of Trout Unlimited P.O. Box 2351 Brevard, NC 28172




Orvis 50/50 FILM TOUR Orvis’ 50/50 On the Water initiative is an effort to grow the number of female anglers and mirrors the important work of TU’s Diversity Initiative to ensure that every person, perspective, and voice is part of our conservation success. Orvis is offering our chapters the first crack at a limited number of showings of their allnew 50/50 On the Water Film Tour! This fun night is sure to help your chapter kickstart or grow your diversity efforts, and is an inspiring, empowering, celebrating women in fly fishing. There’s an ‘event in a box’ to make planning your local event easy, and Orvis staff are there to help you get started in your planning. The film tour launches in August. The cost of the film tour and support package is $200 per event and includes the DVD of family-friendly fishing films, raffle items, swag and stickers, digital marketing and design templates and an online registration system to help you promote your local event and sell tickets. Email questions to May 2019


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Free F3T Showing! Friday Night, May 17 Outside at Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard In what’s fast becoming a yearly tradition, Pisgah TU and Oskar Blues are teaming up to bring a free showing of the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) to the brewery in Brevard. There’s absolutely no cost to get in. Just bring a lawn chair, stake out a primo spot, get yourself some libations and chow and enjoy. The Chubwagon will be on-site, throwing down great dogs, burgers, fries and such — and they usually rustle up a fried trout special plate just for us. Anglers, non-anglers, oldsters and youngsters, all are welcome. Heck, you can even bring your faithful fishing mutt along and make it a family date. It’s happening Friday night, May 17. The brewery doors open at 12 noon, raffle tickets go on sale at 6:00 p.m., films start around 8:00 p.m.





Backcountry Blitz Jeff Wright, TU

Citizen science programs are quickly becoming recognize powerful partnerships that increase the impact an agency Participants in these programs increase data collection ca their work enables groups to make better, more focused d to get conservation work done. Over the past year, Trout staff has worked with the North Carolina Council and Ch put several citizen science programs in place in two specia the state.

In both the Wilson Creek and Davidson River watersheds teams have been getting together to help collect data on b to aquatic organism passage, sources of sedimentation an monitor stream temperature. Our volunteer teams have h ground running and have bee to cover a lot of ground in the already. These data will be use Brown and agency partners to a watershed action plan to pri future projects in each area. Anyone who has ever blue-lined our area knows our streams can be complex, with plunge pools quickly giving way to an unseen waterfall or cascade. These unique features are part of the reason we spend time ducking through rhododendron, bow-and-arrow casting into fishy spots not much bigger than a coffee table. They may also serve as natural barriers to aquatic organism passage and are often not mapped. Understanding where these natural barriers are compared to man-made barriers is important May 2019


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in deciding which replacements provide the biggest bang for the buck. Knowing this, we have come up with an event fit for those who love small streams that will help identify these natural barriers and identify where fish currently live. Backcountry Blitz — Wilson Creek 2019 will take place June 14 – 15, 2019. On Friday, participants will join together at camp behind the Mortimer Work Station (8405 Edgemont Rd, Collettsville, NC). There will be a short (~1 hr) training to discuss the TroutBlitz and SARP Waterfall survey protocols. After the training, participants will be treated to a dinner around the campfire. We will have a group camping space and access to the Mortimer Campground bathhouse. Bring your tents and gear to spend the night.

For those wanting to bring a camper or who want a private space, the Mortimer Campground is just next door ($15/night) and may have a space available, but it is first-come, first-served. In the morning, we will have breakfast, assemble teams of 2 – 3 people, assign streams and send everyone Backcountry Blitz – out. Teams will spend the day fishing up their ilson Creek 2019 Schedule stream, using the two protocols to document any potential natural barrier and mark the locations Friday, June 14 and identification of any fish they catch. p.m. Participants gather at the campsite



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at Mortimer Work Station Blitz Training Celebration Dinner Lights Out

Saturday, June 15 Breakfast available Team Assignments Teams head out to streams for data collection. Teams are on their own from this point on but must check out at Mortimer Work Station before leaving the area.

Those feeling truly adventurous can spend the night in the backcountry and continue fishing their stream on Sunday. All teams will need to report back by Sunday afternoon. Please bring food to cover your needs from Saturday afternoon on. Anyone wishing to participate must sign up by May 31 by contacting Jeff Wright, Southeast Volunteer Coordinator, at 3




TU’s Angle

We’ve talked before about the angler science program being run by TU’s Andy Brown but it bears repeating here. The program is a unique way to engage in observational science of the conditions around you while you just happen to be outdoors with a long stick and a box or two of sharp things decorated with feathers and thread. The program has essentially three tracks: water temperature monitoring and logging, sedimentation surveys and fish passage (AOP) barrier surveys. Two trainings are on the horizon for those of you interested in the sedimentation survey component. The sedimentation surveys will be done along Forest Service roads and trails to help Trout Unlimited, the US Forest Service and NC Wildlife Commission plan and prioritize our coldwater restoration activities in the coming years. Training takes about a day and includes several apps and guides you’ll want to download to your smartphone or tablet. May 2019

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walk a trail to fish that secret spot or ole, just make note of what you see o along. The information you gather make our streams and watersheds r — and the fishing better, too. It’s way for all of us to make a small ent of time and energy which will add big difference in the future of our

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ut the “TU News” section in the dition of “The Drift” or contact own ( to get signed

up for one of the trainings. Links to the downloadable tools and guides are available in that article. These are all day training events, starting at 9 a.m. and ending around 3 p.m. You will need to bring water and lunch but TU will provide snacks and refreshments for before and after.

May 16 Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River watershed focal area (meet at Gragg Prong Parking Area on Roseboro Road at 9 a.m.)

June 20 Sky Island focal area (meet at parking lot of Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education at 9 a.m.).


CHAPTERNEWS Hickory TIC Release — West Alexander Middle School Friday, April 12 about 9:30 a.m. about 200 students from West Alexander Middle School 6th grade arrived at South Mountains State Park to release the trout they have been raising this past year. For the second time this year we were blessed by the weather. A few weeks ago we released the River Bend Middle School Trout. The forecast was for solid thunderstorms the whole morning, but the rain held off and there were only a few sprinkles near the end of the release. The forecast for this day was the same. When I arrived a little ahead of the students it was pouring rain, but it quit shortly before the buses rolled in. We broke the students into four groups for the release and the rain held off for the first three groups and then only a light rain for the fourth group. Warden Amanda Lasley set up the release by the bridge over the Jacobs Fork


May 2019

Creek and we brought over the first group of 50. Ms. Lasley gave a welcoming talk to the group, giving them a little information about the park and thanking them for their efforts raising the trout. With 73 fish and 200 students it was arranged for them to come in groups of three. One of the three would be assigned to carry the fish down to the river in a plastic cup and the other two would be there to observe. The release area was laid out that two groups at a time could do a release. When they got down to the creek, they were instructed to get a little creek water into the cup to help acclimate the fish to its new surroundings, wait five seconds, and then release the fish into the water. This worked for most releases, but a few of the fish seemed to anticipate freedom and leapt out of the cup as soon as it was near the water. After the last group had completed its release the plan was to take a hike up to the falls like the previous year, but the rain continued so they had lunch on the buses and when it didn’t let up, headed back to the school. The teacher in charge of the Trout In the Classroom for West Alexander Middle School is Ryan Rowe. If you’ve kept up on the newsletters, you probably remember another story about his efforts with this program to add a hydroponics tank into Hickory continued ➜



the water cycle for the fish to help clean and balance the chemicals from the fish waste. Special thanks go to of course Mr. Rowe for the extraordinary effort he put in this past year and also to Warden Amanda Lasley for her great coordination of the release. Additional thanks to Wes Starnes and Chick Woodward for assisting with the release and photo-graphing the event. And a final thank-you to Cathy Starnes who is the TIC Chairman for Hickory Trout Unlimited. Cathy’s efforts began the year with lining up the schools, obtaining the eggs, assisting as the schools needed help, and at the end obtaining permission with both the Wildlife Resources and South Mountains State Park for the release. A video of the release is at More information is available at


May 2019

Land O’ Sky Speaker chosen for Land O’ Sky’s May meeting Brown Hobson will be the featured speaker at the Land O’ Sky chapter’s last meeting of the 2018-2019 “chapter year.” His topic will be “Wade Fishing the Watauga and South Holston Rivers in Summer.” These fisheries are easily accessible from Asheville and home to some monster trout, and Brown is an expert in fishing them. Brown is the owner and head guide of ORVIS Endorsed, Brown Trout Fly Fishing LLC. He has guided the Western North Carolina and East Tennessee for the last 10 years. He now primarily guides the Watauga and South Holston tailwaters. He looks forward to sharing his decade of experience on the Watauga and South Holston with the chapter.

Land O’ Sky conservation program in full swing This summer, Land O’ Sky is stepping up its conservation activities and offering three great great opportunities for volunteer service in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our members get to make a real difference conserving, protecting and restoring our coldwater streams right here in western North Carolina. Conservation chair Jay Hawthorne is in the lead for recruiting and managing chapter volunteers in activities that range from a one day IBI sampling on Cataloochee Creek to, two days of high-elevation population sampling, and four days of population on a watershed that’s been restored for brook trout. If you want to learn more and sign up, contact chapter conservation chair Jay Hawthorne at as soon as possible to get committed to the activity that strikes your fancy.


CHAPTERNEWS Pisgah 2019 Pisgah TU Fly Fishing School is Saturday, May 1 1 — Students Needed! For about 40 years, The Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited, our sister chapter, has hosted a terrific fly fishing school. It‘s a whole day of learning about fly fishing — equipment basics, knots, casting essentials, stream tactics — everything a beginning angler needs to know to experience success out on the water. If you fit that category, or you‘re looking for a unique gift for Father‘s or Mother‘s day, a graduation present or birthday gift or just want to give somebody a gift that literally keeps on giving for a lifetime, we hope you‘ll check it out. Just $150 for a whole day of classroom instruction from great volunteers, an awesome take-home guide, and a half-day of mentored fishing on the water — some from professional guides, but all from experienced anglers who love our sport and will help you enjoy it more. Even if you‘ve been to a 101 or 201 class somewhere, you‘ll learn a lot — and that half day of mentored fishing is worth the price of admission all by itself. Registration is open, and several spots are available. If you’re new to our sport, need to brush up on your basics or want to give someone a wonderful gift — check out the 2019 Pisgah TU Fly Fishing School today. You can sign up using the form at the back of this newsletter, or email school director Carole Deddy for more information.


May 2019


Saturday, May 11, 2019 8:30 AM to 4:45 PM Harmon Field, Tryon, NC on the Pacolet River A complete class on fly fishing for beginners including: - Equipment used for fly fishing

- Casting, including overhead, side arm and roll casts

- Entomology, what trout eat and fly selection

- On the water demonstrations and techniques - Line Management and Knots

- Fly Tying - materials provided

- On River Safety and Etiquette 
 Plus a separate half day of on-stream fishing with a mentor! Adults: $150 Youth 12 to 18: $100 5-Rivers Students: $125 Bring your own bag lunch or add $15 for a Mediterranean wrap from the Purple Onion. Lunch is only 30 minutes thus you will need to stay on site. Registration form can be found at or below. Mail registration and make check payable to:

Pisgah Trout Unlimited PO Box 2439 Brevard, NC. 28712 Name





Our Mission

Conserve, protect and restore coldwater fisheries and their watersheds in the Western North Carolina region.


CHAPTERNEWS Rocky River Rocky River TU Dedicates Trout in the Classroom Tank to John Riley Rocky River TU honored John Riley, a teacher at Cannon School, for his leadership and dedication over ten years with the Trout In the Classroom program. John has been an amazing advocate and participant in the program, and through his efforts we have always had fish to release in each of our area schools. John is such a prolific ‚grower of trout‘ that his tanks have enabled us to reseed tanks that suffered the typical disasters throughout the school year. As we all know, the TIC release can be one of the biggest events for the children, and John has enabled that for his school and many others over the last decade. Rocky River and Trout Unlimited are lucky to have him as a partner in this program.

Chapter Sponsors Wine, Women, and Waders Events at Two Charlotte Locations Wine, Women, and Waders events, organized by Ronnie Vagnone, the Rocky River TU Diversity Chair and Women on the Fly Representative were held ata two local shops over the last month or so. Rocky River provided basic sponsorship, but our friends at Madison River Flyfishing Outfitters in Cornelius and Jesse Brown‘s Outdoors in Charlotte provided the heavy lifting. The events were well attended and provided basic introduction to the sport for new anglers as well as information for the advanced fly fishers. More of these events are in the making.

Streamside on the Ararat It was spectacular weather and good fishing on the Ararat in late March. 14 members and guests enjoyed a great day on the water and it seems we were just about the only people on the stream. At least 2 of our beginners caught their very first trout on the fly at this event! This is a great place for beginners to get a feel for fly fishing, and offers ease of access and great facilities for a day trip.


May 2019

Trout In the Classroom Program Continues to Excel One of the most successful programs our chapter is the TIC (Trout inthe Classroom) and it is one of the most most enjoyable for participants. Students participate in preparing the tanks, raising small fish from eggs and releasing them in a trout stream involves a for nearly the entire school year. Learning why trout environments are critical to their success is knowledge and hands on experience will last a lifetime. The year‘s work culminates in a wonderful day for the children, teachers, parents and RRTU releasing the fledgling trout into a trout stream in a NC state park. The smiles are priceless. Releases are at South Mountains State Park in Connelly Springs NC and at Stone Mountain State Park and begin at 9:00 a.m. and run until approximately 11:30 a.m.

Upcoming Releases: SOUTH MOUNTAINS STATE PARK May 10

Quail Hollow Middle School

May 15

St Patrick Catholic School

May 17

Whitewater Middle School

May 22

Charlotte Country Day School

May 31

Pleasant Knoll Middle School

Upcoming Releases: STONE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK May 9

Davidson Day School

May 10

Carolina International School

May 11

Woodland Heights Middle School (plus family streamside event)






Charles What a terrific year it’s been — and it’s gone by like a shot! Thanks to all of you for your support in getting our program off the ground and running, and I know we can count on your help and readership this fall. Over the summer months, we’ll be taking a break from our regular monthly newsletters, so this is the last edition of “The Mend” until September. We will publish another “The Drift” sometime around the first of July, probably the 7th to give you all something to read while recovering from your Independence Day weekend shenanigans. If you haven’t picked up your copy of the spring edition of “The Drift” yet, I hope you will. It’s available in the online-flip magazine format and as a downloadable standard .PDF. One of the things we learned from you all this year is how much you like the .PDF version. Meantime, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes this summer. Here are just a couple of the things we’re working on. NCTU Conservation Workshop: We’re working with TU and agency partners to develop a conservation workshop for the fall. It’ll be a great way for you to learn more about identifying, planning, funding and completing conservation projects from folks who do the work regularly and others who’ve enjoyed success getting them done. More on that in either our summer edition of “The

May 2019

il Communications Update

s Crolley, NCTU Communications Chair Drift” or an upcoming “The Mend”, as the picture becomes clearer. A TIC Online Toolkit for Chapters and Schools: Using our G-Suite subscription, we’re planning to roll out a set of online tools for our Trout in the Classroom Schools, teachers and chapter volunteer leaders. Video conferencing, photo libraries, document libraries, chat rooms, private mailing lists and convenient messaging are all in the works. Thanks to you, TIC is an absolute gem and star of the show here in North Carolina, and we want to give you the tools you need to help you keep up the good work. Have a great summer and be on the lookout for “The Drift” in early July. If you go out exploring, be sure to take pictures and jot down a story or two to share with us — I’d love to do a fall collection of member trip reports and news, but that will happen only with your help. Just send them to me via email at Thank you again for your terrific support and the many contributions you’ve made to TU, our council and your chapters. I sincerely believe our members are the finest people anywhere.


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The Mend - May 2019  

The May 2019 newsletter of the North Carolina Council of Trout Unlimited.

The Mend - May 2019  

The May 2019 newsletter of the North Carolina Council of Trout Unlimited.