Archive for April, 2009
With Fontana Lake filling up right on schedule, the season’s first big fishing event gets underway at 7 a.m Saturday May 2 at the Almond Boat and RV Park near Bryson City, NC. The 16th Annual Bass Tournament and Barbecue will feature music, food, raffle prizes, and huge cash prizes for the tournament winners! All proceeds benefit the West Swain Volunteer Fire Department. To register, contact Jim at Almond Boat and RV Park 828-488-6423; Casey at Smoky Mountain Lakes and Marine 828-488-2424; or stop by Clampitt Ace Hardware in downtown Bryson City 828-488-2782.
Fontana Lake boasts one of the most diverse fish populations anywhere in the country, including Large and Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Crappie, Bream, Muskie, Catfish, Steelhead Trout and White Bass. The website GreatSmokies.com has more information about Fontana Lake and fishing in the NC Smokies.
Photo by J.R. vanLienden
Over the past week, the valleys around Bryson City have turned lush green and the Spring color is just beginning to creep up the hillsides, providing stark contrast with the still-wintry mountains above. It will be a few more weeks before the “greening up” of the mountains reaches the highest peaks of the Great Smokies.
This makes the next few weeks a fascinating time to drive in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or along the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can literally watch the seasons change with each change in elevation.
For years, the father-son team of Philip and Ronnie Lindsay have won the Swain County log-sawing championship, hands down. No one else has even come close.
Will this be the year that someone comes forward to challenge them? To find out, be at the Swain County Heritage Festival, Memorial Day weekend May 23, at the Riverfront Park in Bryson City.
The tension mounts!
April signals the beginning of whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River. From now through October, more than 200,000 paddlers will ride the eight mile course that snakes through the scenic Nantahala Gorge just west of Bryson City. With its Class II and III rapids, the “Nanty” is a family river, suitable for just about every generation (children must be at least seven years old or at least 60 pounds). Yet it’s challenging enough for the US Olympic Kayaking Team, which often trains there.
National Geographic Adventure and ABC’s Good Morning America’s “Vacationland” series named the Nantahala River the number one place to spend a wet and wild vacation in the US. Watch GMA video.
Trips can be scheduled with a number of Nantahala outfitters. A variety of trips are offered and each company seems to add its own personal touch. All outfitters provide approved life jackets and most provide a wet suit and/or paddling jackets during the cooler months. And like the family pictured above, all rafters are required to have safety instruction before they are allowed on the river.
Photo by J.R. vanLienden