Trout Still Around for Fourth Wounded Warriors/Military Appreciation Day
4/3/2013 12:37 PM
By Al Kittredge
The trout,which are cold water species, have completed their fly-fishing clinic mission at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center. With the onset of warmer weather, they are available for harvest at events coordinated with church groups, assisted living homes and veterans groups. We scheduled an extra Wounded Warriors / Military Appreciation Day the afternoon of March 27 for some "fish and keep." Any legal method of fishing, i.e., fly, spinner or bait fishing, is allowed at these end-of-season events. Per North Carolina regulation, there is a limit of seven fish per participant.
By 12:30 p.m., the lower parking lot was full and 100+ soldiers and retired veterans were waiting for the signal to head to the ponds.
The number of fishermen beating the water soon drove the fish to the bottom but just about everyone who stuck it out at the trout ponds came away with a few fish.
We have a variety of fish in the other ponds, which are available on a"catch-and-release" basis. They are easier to catch and drew a crowd of folks who decided the trout were not going to cooperate.
Our ponds hold some nice catfish. They are a hardy species that endure very well in"catch-and-release" events. Catfish also are fairly easy to fool with a "woolly bugger" or large nymph. They will definitely put a bend in a fly rod.
If the weather does not suddenly go from a cool spring to hot summer, the water temperature of the ponds will remain cool enough for the trout to be available for another "catch-and-keep" Wounded Warrior / Military Appreciation event on April 10. Even if the trout are no longer available we have a variety of warm water fish ready to put a bend in your rod and a smile on your face.
All fishing, other than a limited harvest of trout, is on a catch-and-release basis. We also offer basic fly-tying instruction for those who would like to try their hand at that aspect of the sport. The Pechmann Center provides all equipment; however, participants are encouraged to bring and use their own gear. If you're not into fly fishing, we have spin cast outfits and bait for use on the catfish ponds. If you really want to catch a bunch of catfish you should bring a few hot dogs to cut up for bait– they work very well.
A North Carolina fishing license is not required for these events. For your safety we require a hat and glasses (any type of eye glasses, including sunglasses, are permissible).