North Carolina Pig Pickin'

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    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    Had a nice little run up to Asheville with my girlfriend Tracy. We went to a pig pickin’ near Linville, NC, right up against Grandfather Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tracy’s best friend married into a family which owns an old farmhouse there and has this annual get together.

    But first we went to exotic–and I really mean that–Asheville, NC.

    A little bed and breakfast, drinks on the Sky Bar fire escape restaurant…

    I really wish the iPhone panorama mode could do HDR as well so you could see those mountains.

    We ended up having an awesome dinner then listening to a Zydeco band at the Jack of the Wood pub. If you’ve never heard of it but you’re a fan of This American Life, it makes an appearance in this, which might be the best of their shows I have ever heard:

    Utterly amazing episode which I had Tracy listen to on the way back – the only example I can think of of a reporter doing a story and essentially saving a man’s life and reputation in the process. The other Dr. Gilmer ought to win the Nobel Prize for Compassion or something, and I expect this episode to win a Peabody.

    After that we retired to the mountain itself. There were definitely brook trout all around me – I could hear water from my tent (we camped on a logging road on the property), but this was a social event so no fishing. I did teach Tracy to cast on the lawn, however.

    This is her twenty minutes into her first lesson:

    This is not going to be as hard as I thought, obviously. She was throwing 40 feet with a single haul after that lesson, I sh*t you not. We stopped after 20 minutes. Probably top three in terms of picking it up that I have ever seen.

    There were 75 people at this party, which featured a ton of corn hole, a three keg kegerator in a commercial fridge (best example of same I have ever seen), and a legit badminton court.

    The homeowner was a huge hippie and welder and quite the hand at building the BBQ trailer smoker. He wasn’t actually around that much because having that many people on the property understandably freaked him out.

    This is where I woke up this morning. The light blew out the ranges but the view was spectacular.


    PS If the space aliens ever come for us, they should just land at the Asheville Drum Circle – they will be quite at home.


    You better watch out Zach. It would be really embarrassing if your girlfriend could show you up in a casting contest…

    Tell Tracy i am impressed. Looks like a fun weekend.

    Steve K.Steve K.

    Ashvegas is a fun little town for sure….and the mountain setting can’t be beat. I think the mountains (Balsams) are much steeper and taller than those we have in North Georgia. You probably drove right by our little slice of heaven on the Tuckasegee River near Dillsboro.

    You mentioned brook trout….but I’m currently trying to crack the smallmouth/muskie code on the French Broad River.

    Looks like a fun weekend. Thanks for sharing.

    T. WilesT. Wiles

    That’s a mighty fine part of the country. We head over the mountains about twice a month to enjoy Asheville– great food, music, and interesting people watching—never seen so many dreadlocks in my life. Linville gorge and falls is one of my favorite places I remember as a child–I hope you got to enjoy the parkway.

    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    I took a video of Tracy casting after her first twenty minute lesson. I am proud of her – top 3 in terms of people I have taught. This one doesn’t show her hauling but she was getting the hang of a backcast haul by the end too. Twenty minutes!

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