It's those wild places that capture your heart. Those streams you have to set out to reach in the early hours of the morning. Laurels and Rhododendrons that grow in such a way you've got but a tunnel to pass through. There are rocks and waterfalls to climb up and slide down the other side. The trickles and pools that house trout no bigger than the palm of your hand.
This is not a fishing venture for the faint of heart, but it is wild.
There are stocked streams all over Western North Carolina. They are easy to access rivers with easy to catch fish. You can escape for a few hours and not dedicate yourself to a full day. Those who may not be able to reach the way back places are still given an opportunity to practice an art that they love. Our rivers are not particularly equipped to house a self-sustaining trout population. Ultimately, stocked rivers are a good thing, but they are not the wild places.
The wild places capture you completely. They are not just a place to go, but a place that calls you back time and time again. It's the place you go to rediscover, to find your wild, in a world that has all but snuffed it out completely.
The wild trout are there to learn from, not just admire. Learning the value of something small, but powerful. Living free and wild, born of the stream you are standing in, persevering through unsurmountable odds. This is the lesson to learn from the wild trout. This is the cleansing that transpires in the wild places.
In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, - no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Where do you find your wild?
Jacob is a fly fishing guide with a passion for conservation and brook trout. He is an accomplished rod builder and restorationist.
Jillian is an outdoor photographer and blogger, using her voice for Public Lands and Cold Water Conservation. She specializes in trying to out fish jacob whenever she puts the camera down.