Calling all anglers…trout stocking begins March 6!
If you love to fish for trout – whether experienced or a beginner – Todd Island Park, a little ½-mile long island in the South Fork of the New River, is a great place to do it.
The Todd Community Preservation Organization (TCPO) owns and maintains the park. TCPO and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) have partnered for several years to make TIP a Delayed Harvest trout location. This means NCWRC stocks the River around the island with about 1,000 brook, brown and rainbow trout five times a year in early March, April, May, October and November. During the stocking months of October-early June, anglers have to follow NCWRC Delayed Harvest fishing regulations. These include but are not limited to having a valid fishing license and adhering to catch and release only rules. The exact stocking dates can be found here. The full set of Delayed Harvest regulations are here.
The TCPO is excited about TIP recently being designated by NCWRC as one of 15 Mountain Heritage Trout Waters. This program is a cooperative effort with TCPO to encourage trout fishing as a heritage tourism activity in western North Carolina. A great benefit of this designation is that visitors who don’t already have a NC trout fishing license may get a 3-day license for $5 to fish these specific locations. You can learn more about the program here.
The South Fork of the New River for several miles above and below TIP are also good fishing waters for trout during the Oct-early June season. During the summer it’s good fishing for small-mouth bass or “smallies”.
Todd Island Park is located 2 1/2 miles south of “downtown” Todd, and 4 1/2 miles north of Hwy 421 in Ashe county. Its southern tip is at the intersection of Todd Railroad Grade Rd and Castle Ford Rd. There is a one-mile walking path around the island and easy access parking.
Todd also has a great fishing resource in RiverGirl Fishing Co. In addition to good fishing information about the area, you may get your fishing license there, guide services, lessons, equipment rental and supplies. RiverGirl is open May – October/November each year. Check out their website for more information.
While in the area, there’s a lot more trout water to check out. Within 45 minutes you can fish Helton Creek, Big Horse Creek, Elk Creek and others. NCWRC is a good place to start to learn more. Or, talk to one of the other anglers at the park to learn about their favorite fishing holes.
Sore lip ’em all!
Written by Rick Weavil
Rick is a Todd resident and a very frequent fisherman at Todd Island Park and other area trout waters. As a TCPO board member, Rick was instrumental in helping TIP receive Mountain Heritage Trout Waters designation. He also coordinates efforts with the NCWRC to support fishing in the Todd area.