A Roanoke-based fishing charter has set up camp along the New River in Ashe County, providing tourists the option of fishing for smallmouth bass.
Rock on River Charters, which covers the New and James Rivers, is a fully insured and licensed fishing business that expanded to Ashe and Allegheny counties this fishing season.
“I saw huge potential for this area,” Ben Lucas, the river guide for Ashe County, said. “The New River is a big reason people come to Ashe County.”
The charter provides everything the people fishing need to have. The only thing fishers will need to provide is outdoor clothing and a fishing license from North Carolina.
“We provide everything,” Lucas said. “We provide the rods, reels, tackle as well as the experience.”
For those who do not want to go fishing, but still want to travel the New River, options are available for them as well.
“We also offer wildlife scenic trips,” Lucas said. “People who are not into fishing can still take trips and enjoy the New River.”
On those trips, Lucas will talk to travelers about the New River’s history, as well as the wildlife, plants and issues affecting the river.
“I have a good understanding of the wildlife, as well as the issues threatening it,” he said.
Lucas grew up fishing the New River. Alongside fishing the river, he has spent 10 years in the High Country and has worked seven years for the National Committee for the New River.
While fishing in the New River is more plentiful in the downstream waters of Virginia and West Virginia, Lucas said there are still plenty of fish in North Carolina.
“It is not unusual for us to catch 50, 60, 70 bass on a trip down here,” he said.
Rock On Charters will be a year-round operation, but most of the trips take place from March to early November.
“If people are interested in getting out in the river and aren’t afraid to get cold or a little wet, we’ll take them,” Lucas said.
For prices and more information on the tours, visit www.rockoncharters.net.
“There is nobody else in the county that offers fishing tours,” Lucas said. “This is a great way to learn how to fish the New River.”