When patrons exit RiverGirl Fishing Co.'s historic train depot for their aquatic kayak and tubing lessons, they're placed in the charge of the outfit's founder, Kelly McCoy. During tours of the New River, which runs north through Todd, she educates guests about the area's natural landscape.
During the winter she heads to Florida, where she leads groups out onto the calm, peaceful waters of the Choctawatchee River from access points such as the Port Washington boat ramp near Eden Garden State Park, the scenic 30-acre gulf coast, or the black creek, and then guides the flotilla into the region's untamed natural beauty. As a fisheries biologist, Kelly's passion helps visitors and locals enjoy the surrounding landscape with conservation-conscious activities.
From fly-fishing to kayaking to whitewater rafting, Endless River Adventures keeps aquatic adrenaline junkies fixed with daily river tours, boating equipment rentals, and regularly scheduled international trips. The local staff of multi-talented water buffs coordinate full- and half-day tours down the Nantahala, Ocoee, and Cheoah rivers, allowing clients to opt for guided or unguided expeditions depending on their level of experience and fluency in turtle. Mindful of the growing scarcity of natural splendor, Endless River Adventures participates in a number of eco-friendly efforts that support Nantahala Gorge and endangered waterways overseas.
Hosted at nearby waterways such as the Watauga River or French Broad River, Asheville Anglers' two-hour fly-fishing lessons pair an expert angler with 4–10 sure-handed students. A friendly pole pioneer acquaints students with wader wearing, rod rigging, fly selection, and how to tie the appropriate knot for bow ties worn while fishing. Pupils then tote the provided gear and tackle, including hand-tied flies, and practice casting to gain an understanding of fundamental technique. An entomology lesson sheds light on various key terms, after which groups head into the water for guided practice in the art of fly fishing. Instructors provide cool refreshments for all, but budding line slingers should bring their own sunglasses, sunscreen, and canned story about the fish or gal that got away.
With years and years of experience navigating the river's rapids, the Thomas family has some strong opinions about which watercraft provide the best experience. When they first got started, they weren't able to find any with all the features they wanted, so they decided to design their own. Paddle Inn's signature rafts were created specifically for riding the Nantahala River, and they boast a number of features intended to provide the optimal experience, including urethane undersides, which allow the rafts to easily slide over the occasional rock or kraken.
The rafts transports patrons down the river on guided trips and self-guided excursions aboard rafts in multiple sizes, as well as inflatable kayaks. These vessels can accommodate couples all the way up to groups of eight. After a trip, river trekkers can dry off by perching next to a crackling fire or spinning around in a circle really fast.
At Heritage Outdoors? retail shop and indoor archery range, a team of nature enthusiasts equips visitors for forest exploration and animal tracking with archery lessons and a full stock of attire and gear from BowTech, Browning, and Mossberg. During archery lessons and open practice, the shop?s staff outfits archers with bows and arrows??before they swarm Heritage?s 8 archery lanes to test their accuracy, precision, and ability to withstand Robin Hood?s merry band of hecklers. A collection of brand-name hunting, fishing, and archery equipment abounds within the onsite shop, where guests can find the tools they need to thoroughly reconnect with nature.
Kevin Williams was just a kid when his father taught him how to fly fish. Nearly 20 years later, he puts his skills to use passing on his expansive knowledge to others, taking clients out for guided tenkara or fly fishing trips to show them the best spots to cast their lines. Private lessons are also available.