Derby reels 'em in
When you hold an annual event on the first weekend of April each year, you learn that the weather that time of the season can vary wildly. Some years, we have snow in the air for the Trout Derby, some years you have to wear shorts.
Saturday’s 34th annual Trout Derby had perfect weather for the official beginning of the trout season in North Carolina. It was a little nippy in the morning, but afternoon temperatures climbed to the high 50s.
The trout sure seemed to like it.
“We’ve been coming here for three years in a row from Asheboro and this is the most trout we’ve ever caught,” Gracie Leonard said.
She and her sister, Mattie, both caught their limit at Broyhill Lake by 2 p.m.
Trout fishing at Broyhill Lake was limited to anglers 11 years old and younger during the derby. Older kids and adults fished at Price Lake, the Middle Fork of the New River and other favorite spots around Blowing Rock.
The Trout Derby took place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., with awards handed out beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Blowing Rock American Legion Hall. About a dozen businesses sponsored the Trout Derby this year, including the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, which also stocked Blowing Rock waterways with fish prior to the event.
Emma Grace Hamilton won the “First Fish” award when she landed a trout at Broyhill Lake just after 7 a.m.
In the small fry division, Dustin Hicks came in first in the “Biggest Fish” category after catching a 16 and 7/8-inch brook trout. Jacob Hicks came in second and Leah Parsons came in third.
In the girls’ division, Lisandra Mejia came in first, Paris Bolick came in second and Paige Bolick came in third.
Brandon Coffey landed the largest trout in the boys’ division.
In the women’s division, Janey Hicks came in first after landing an 18-inch trout at Price Lake.
Jennifer Brian came in second and Robin Triplett came in third.
In the men’s division, Norman Locke came in first after catching a 19 and 7/8-inch brown trout. Tim Bolick came in second with a 17-inch rainbow trout and Jack Triplett came in third.
Winners won trophies and fishing supplies, while second and third place finishers won fishing supplies.
Winners of the largest catch by species won $50. Norman Locke caught the largest brown trout, Tim Bolick caught the largest rainbow trout and Dustin Hicks caught the largest brook trout.
The official artwork for the official 2014 Blowing Rock Trout Derby poster and T-shirt was titled “Peace, Love and Trout” and was created by Daisy Whittington, a fifth-grader at Blowing Rock School.