S.C.O.F (Southern Culture On the Fly) is an online fishing magazine filled with informative articles, fishy humor and vivid photography. So when they told us they wanted to do a an overnight trip for Smallmouth Bass on the Nolichucky Gorge and feature the story in S.C.O.F's Fall 2015 issue, the perma-grin set in.
Three rescheduled dates and seven months later, we were packing the boats and checking water levels. For good fishing and easier rowing, we typically run the gorge between 700cfs and 1600cfs. The water level was a boat-dragging 350cfs the morning of the trip. This is an extremely low level, making it hard to navigate anything bigger than a kayak. At this level, the rapids grow teeth, the slots become cracks, broken oars are common and dragging the raft is sure to occur at least once. We were running rafts with fishing frames and oar rigs. Each boat carried one angler, one oarsman/guide, fishing/camping/camera gear and a cooler. Three rafts, eighteen rods and reels, enough food and flies for six adventurists and every smallmouth bass in the gorge, we headed north from Asheville to bring it all down 9 miles of class III-IV water 2,500ft down in the Nolichucky Gorge. The "Noli" gorge is sacred to many, loved by more. If you go, please treat it with respect, play safe, and practice catch and release so that others may enjoy its splendor.
In the end, memories were made, fun was had, many fish were caught, oar blades got broken and lessons were learned. We safely made it out of the gorge wishing we could immediately do it again. Thanks to S.C.O.F for bringing us on board for this one. Thanks to everyone involved for making it an epic trip. That was fun! ~ Galen Kipar
- S.C.O.F Writer - David Grossman
- S.C.O.F Photographer - Rand Harcz
- A.F.F.C Guides - Zach Bassett, Knox Campbell, Galen Kipar
- Crooked Creek Holler
Read the article here... S.C.O.F 2015 FALL Issue #17
Since the article came out, we have received several inquiries about fly patterns and the smallmouth in the Western North Carolina and East Tennessee mountains. If you have questions or are looking for info, contact us anytime!
Asheville Fly Fishing Company / 828-779-9008 / firstname.lastname@example.org