Fly Fishing the
Blue Ridge Parkway A “First of Class” book by outdoorsman, fly fisher and author, Sam R. Johnson - Forward by Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway (Retired), Mark H. Woods - Published by Mountain Arbor Press Order
Table of Contents
Trout Don't Live In Ugly Places... Lifelong trout angler and Blue Ridge Parkway aficionado Sam R. Johnson's much anticipated book about the trout waters along the 252 miles of the North Carolina Section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is now available. For the first time in one publication, the Author has captured in a 308 page full color book with more than 130 images, an incredible “bucket list” of over 200 of the most productive places to chase trout along the Parkway in NC. His attention to detail and clarity, presented with his tongue-in-cheek writing style, makes the book informative as well as entertaining to read. “A lifetime of living with my safety clicked off – boots on the ground – and lines in the water experiences, offer anglers “almost accurate” descriptions and insights to some of the best rivers, streams and creeks along the NC Section - with just enough history and lore to keep it interesting” said the Author. He goes on to say: “And if I live long enough, I’ll get my thoughts down about the 217 miles in the Virginia Section too.”
Sam groups the 200 plus watersheds into four – sixty-three mile sections. He provides descriptions of the flows in each watershed including first hand observations and “At a Glance” insights such as: Sam’s ranking, fishing pressure, mouth & source GPS fixes, size of flow, trout species, gradients and best access points. Then, each flow is summarized in a source to mouth overview, and finally with a highly detailed mouth to source description. Descriptions are also provided for each flow’s fishable tributaries and feeders. Some of these watersheds include as many as ten or more flows. “This guide to some of the best Parkway watersheds is an invaluable resource for any fly angler. Sam’s ability to organize and describe each watershed’s key characteristics will help you find streams some only dream about,” asserted Monte Seehorn, Regional Fisheries Biologist / US Forest Service Region 8 (retired). Additionally, Sam offers a fascinating overview of the Parkway’s history, construction, flora and fauna, climate, macro-hydrology, basic fishing regulations, Parkway management and contact information. Other chapters offer insight into the origins, physical attributes and habits of all three trout found along the Parkway, as well as some of the cautions / dangers associated with fishing Parkway waters. Mark Woods, Superintendent, Blue Ridge Parkway (retired) put it this way, “I’m confident you‘ll find Fly Fishing the Blue Ridge Parkway an invaluable resource as you explore the Parkway and spend time fly fishing the many spectacular places Sam has identified along its path.”
There’s plenty of water for every angling style and experience level. There are “assisted living” waters that are easy to find, access and fish. Then there’s the heart pounding, remote and sometimes downright dangerous waters that are a thrill just to get to, fish and live to tell about. “Those who cast fly rods understand the majesty of the sport. Fly Fishing the Blue Ridge Parkway will elevate your appreciation of the craft viewed through the lens of Sam Johnson and some of the most beautiful places on earth,” commented Carlton Wing - Outdoors TV Producer, including “American Fly Guide” / Arkansas State Representative.
Ted Parrish, Co-Owner, Lake Fork Trophy Lures is taken with the book and added, “Sam embraces the best qualities of Gary Borger, Roderick Haig-Brown and Norman MacLean into a great fly fishing guide and a great read. If you are seeking MacLean’s place where …all things merge into one and a river runs through it, this guide is a great place to begin.”
Custom Made Bamboo Fly Rods
Why fish with a rod made in a factory, when you could fish with a piece of hand crafted fly fishing artistry? In an economy where time is money and the quest to produce things more cheaply is the rule, there’s still a place for things made one at a time. My rods are hand make one at a time - not mass produced by computer guided machines. Each is a one of a kind creation with a spirit and heritage proven to perform flawlessly for a lifetime.
I learned bamboo rod making years ago from Gary Lacey, one of the top bamboo makers. Since that time I’ve been part of two bamboo rod companies, during which we made hundreds of rods for L.L.Bean, Wright & McGill, and scores of anglers and collectors around the world.
My rods are 100% hand crafted using traditional materials and methods that can take 35 to 60 hours to build. Each one starts with top grade Tonkin bamboo, split into strips, straightened, planed to within 1/1000”, glued, bound, dried and sanded. The result is a near flawless rod blank made to the client's exact specifications.
Based on client preference the handle, snake guides, tip top, stripper, winding check and reel seat are hand built and fitted to the blank. Antique silk thread wrap patterns are applied, and finally 4 - 6 coats of marine spar varnish is applied to form a tough, yet mirror like finish. All hardware is shop made on my equipment.
If you’d like to discuss me making a custom bamboo rod for you, or to give to someone else as a gift, reach out and lets discuss it.
Outdoorsman, Author, Bagpiper & Do Gooder....
The Wild Bearings logo personifies my numerous, but related “multi-directional” outdoor passions. The most obvious being fly fishing, and writing about the remote streams and creeks in watersheds of the Appalachians in the east, to the Rockies and Sierras in the west – and most everything in between. Since my rod of choice is bamboo, another passion is making, collecting, selling and fishing them. My third passion is playing the bagpipes. As a member of the John Mohr MacKintosh Pipes & Drums in Atlanta, I spend a lot of time performing in events around the country.
I still work for a living as an equity partner in the Atlanta practice of the Newport, LLC. Newport is a national CEO and Board advisory group with offices in many major cities across the US. We offer advisory services to late stage emerging growth, and lower mid-market companies, as well as venture capital and private equity firms and their portfolio companies. In short we help companies make more money by getting out of the ditch, or prepare for a buy / sell transaction.
In the end I’ve been described as a red-blooded, flag waving American, performer, traveler, kilted fly fisherman, talker, loyal friend, gentleman, do-gooder, mountain man, Christian and occasional prevaricator. I’ve also been described using slightly stronger adjectives. Fortunately they’re in a slight minority!