When I drove up to Cashiers last April, it was the first time I'd made it to the North Carolina mountains in maybe three years. Too long. It'd been before I spent some time in Wyoming at A Bar A in 2016. To make things worse, I hadn't even trout fished since I visited some friends back in Wyoming in 2017.
Both in April and September, I drove up with my girlfriend, Mary Ann, staying at her grandmother's cabin in Cashiers. Of course, I dragged Mary Ann along fishing... driving to the "Tuck," and Panthertown. The Tuck is heavily stocked but fished fairly hard as it winds along the road. It's wide for a Carolina trout river, and its flows are affected by Duke Energy releases. The future calls for finding a friend with a drift boat or raft or hiring a guide to throw streamers and get after the big boys in the deep holes. The creeks in Panthertown valley are a totally different experience---narrow and rhododendron-lined, though the pools below the falls give easy casting, holding eager wild brook trout. You'll get your steps in at Panthertown, too.
Mary Ann managed to catch a few fish, even with me pestering her about casting and all the intricacies and overload of fly fishing that too often are swirling around my brain.
We ate well, enjoyed the views and smoky fires in the morning cool, and survived a strong spring storm that knocked out power... as I frantically scrambled to finish an assignment without Wifi. Thankfully, no trees found their way onto the cabin or the truck...
We went back to Cashiers for Labor Day weekend. We fished some more and hiked and explored. Mary Ann even let me drag her along on a 12 mile truck ride on a dirt mountain road.
Soon, I hope, I'll be back.