Recently, the seventh annual North Carolina Trout Unlimited Rivercourse Camp was held from June 14-19 at Lake Logan near Canton, NC. Rivercourse is a cold water conservation fly fishing camp for children 13-15 years of age, and this year 14 kids participated. Trout Unlimited chapters from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee participate in the camp by donating funds, volunteers, and equipment. Two local chapters that put considerable time and effort into Rivercourse are Land O’ Sky and Pisgah. Jeff Curtis of our own Curtis Wright Outfitters is the president of the Land O’ Sky Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the camp director of Rivercourse.
In addition to learning about cold water conservation, the kids fly fish every morning and evening and learn to tie flies. At Rivercourse, the campers learn the important skills of patience, safety and a certain respect and appreciation for nature.
During the week, some of the waters that are explored include the West Fork of the Pigeon River and the Davidson River. Students learn about cold water conservation, indicator species, pollution, wetlands, entomology, and all aspects of fly fishing. One of the interesting things they do is study macro invertebrates – where kids collect and examine the bugs found in local rivers. They learn about the health of the river and also determine what flies to use based on the bugs they find. One of the days is spent at The Pisgah Center of Wildlife Education where the campers tour the fish hatchery and listen to North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission personnel teach about trout anatomy and the restoration of the Appalachian Brook Trout. They also participate in the planting of native bushes that help to restore riparian buffers.
TU chapters and members throughout the state contribute flies, tools, materials, on stream guides, volunteer staff positions, and financial support to help make the camp a success. If you are interested in helping out with this great cause or know of a camper who might want to attend please visit the Rivercouse website.