Paddling and Fishing Eastern North Carolina

I love to fly fish for trout, and I love the mountains. Unfortunately, I also have to eat, so I live in eastern North Carolina where the jobs are. I do travel as much as possible to scratch my backpacking and fly fishing itch, but I also enjoy fishing some of my local lakes and streams for warm water species. A canoe is a perfect vehicle for getting into these backwater areas where the fish love to hang out. I briefly tried kayaks, but for what I enjoy, the canoe is the better choice.  I stay drier, I can carry more gear, and because of the open-top, and construction materials canoes are lighter.

Currently, I have two canoes, a sixteen-foot Wenonah Prospector made from Royalex and a twelve-foot Old Town Guide made from polyethylene. The Wenonah is great when my wife is with me, and the Old Town is my solo rig. Both of these canoes are easy to paddle and light enough for me to load and unload by myself. For the most part, the streams here are flat and slow-moving. One of my favorite tactics is to paddle as far as possible up a stream then fish as I drift back down to where I put in. This way, I don't have to have a shuttle vehicle to pick me up at the end of a trip.

The predominant species of fish that I target and catch are largemouth bass and various species of sunfish.  In these small, out of the way streams, the fish usually don't get as big as they do in bigger water. On lightweight or even ultralight gear, they are still a ton of fun to catch.

I prefer roaming the backcountry searching bluelines for trout, but canoeing small out of the way streams for creek bass on light tackle is a very close second!


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