First up is an Introduction to Fly Fishing class on May 7 or 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will learn the basics of fly fishing including equipment, knots and casting. You will then spend a couple of hours on the nearby Davidson River. All materials are provided and participants should provide their own lunch. If you are looking for something for the kids, try Nature Nuts: Life Cycles on May 9 or 28. This two hour program will help kids 4 – 7 learn about the interesting life cycles of various critters that call the mountains home. It includes a hike through the forest.
Once you have completed the Introduction course you may want to check out On the Water: Davidson River on May 23. Here you will get to practice your newly learned fly-fishing skills under the supervision of experienced instructors. Participants will learn about wading, reading the waters, fly selection, presentation, casting, knots and stream entomology. This one is limited to six anglers ages 12 and up.
There are other offerings to include other fishing courses and one on outdoor photography. The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is located near Brevard, just south of Asheville, by the Davidson River in Transylvania County. The center features nature trails and five large aquariums representing aquatic mountain habitats. The center is adjacent to the Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery, where trout are raised in 54 raceways. The center is open Monday through Saturday from April through November and Monday through Friday from December through March. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Another popular activity as weather warms is sporting clays shooting. We have noticed increased traffic at the store the last couple of weeks as people are looking at and buying shotguns as they get into the sport. Occasionally a novice clay target shooter will ask about reloading their shotgun shells. I started reloading shotgun shells nearly thirty years ago as a way to save money while shooting. As with many things there has been a change in the market. My advice to anyone getting into sporting clays is to buy commercially produced shells if shooting 12 or 20 gauge.
Why? Because of the rise in cost of components, particularly powder and lead shot, it is just as inexpensive to buy standard target loads as it is to reload them; especially if you can get them on sale. There are a couple of exceptions. If you shoot much sub –gauge like 28 and .410 then there is a definite cost savings so load all you can. What are the exceptions? First if you shoot a lot, and I mean several hundred rounds a week, you can buy bulk components at a reduced price and save some money. The other exception is if you want to develop a specific load to fit your gun and the game you are shooting.
Here’s an example from my own experience. We took in an old Damascus twist side by side shotgun at the store that is in excellent condition. I want to shoot clays and hunt with it. Since it can’t handle the chamber pressure of modern shot shells, I’ve can purchase vintage shells, load and shoot black powder which are very dirty, or find a low pressure load using smokeless powder and reload my own. I chose the latter. At the same price per round for standard target loads, I’ll be using Alliant Extra-Lite powder pushing a 7/8 ounce load from a Federal paper hull at standard velocity of 1200 fps. The chamber pressure is only 6,100 psi, about half that of a regular target load. So if you are wanting a special load for your target shooting or hunting, shot shell reloading may be the ticket.