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State Park Offers Fly Fishing Instruction
Attending the Fly Fishing 101 Course are (l to r) Brandon Rudisill, Kurt Cornett, Drew Carter, Brandon Powell, Brian Dotson, Ron Cooke, Sarah Smith, Denise Smith and Instructor Jeff Newton.
South Mountains State Park  is currently offering free fly fishing instruction every Sunday, 2 p.m. at their Visitor Center, except Father’s Day, June 15th. What started as a four week course, “Fly Fishing 101”, has evolved into a continuing program of instruction and has become very popular. Jeff Newton and Bob Tupper, two committed and very knowledgeable anglers, teach the courses. They offer instruction on fly rods, how to fly fish, and the equipment needed. They are currently teaching “101” and later will offer “Fly Fishing 102”. Jeff and Bob are also instructors with Project Healing Waters, an national non-profit organization that works with men and women with all types of disabilities, especially veterans and are members of Trout Unlimited.
 On Sunday, May 18th, we attended the two hour session at the South Mountains Visitor Center. Attending were students eager to learn more and those who’d never fly fished before. There was also a discussion about the latest craze, Japanese ancient Tenkara fly fishing, which has become popular in the United States and is the traditional Japanese method of fly fishing and is an ideal technique for N.C. mountain streams. South Mountains State Park stocks three different types of trout. They include: Brook (the only native North Carolina trout), Brown and Rainbow Trout. Suffice to say, the course is “well stocked” with information and instruction and well worth your time.
South Mountains State Park is located south of Morganton off of old Highway 18. They welcome the community to join them for their monthly educational interpretive programs.  Call the park office at (828) 433-4772 for more information.
–M. A. Andrews

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