Congratulations Rivercourse 2017!








Once again TU volunteers from throughout North Carolina gathered to host Rivercourse 2017.  This one-week conservation and fly fishing camp for 13-15 year-olds continues to be an immensely popular and important link in our youth education continuum.  2017 was a huge success due to the hard work of a great team and the energy and enthusiasm of a great bunch of campers.  Many thank to all who helped with this and our many other youth oriented activities and programs.   We will continue our efforts to nurture the next generation of cold-water conservationists.  Look for an opportunity to get involved!

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Kids’ Fishing Day 2017


Every year Land O’Sky TU supports the National Forest Service’s Kids’ Fishing Day at Lake Powhatan.  This year a team of hard working LOSTU volunteers once again turned out to prepare and serve a much appreciated lunch to the hundreds of participants, parents and other volunteers who turned up on a sunny Saturday.  Nurturing (and in this case, nourishing) the next generation of anglers and future advocates for our cold water fisheries is a huge part of what we do.  Many thanks to Ed Heeg and his hearty band of chefs for their outstanding volunteerism and hard work.  Thanks also for our corporate partner, Hunter Banks Outfitters for their much appreciated support.  Well done to all!

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A Great (Smoky Mountain) Volunteer Opportunity

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is continuing their years-long effort to restore native Brook Trout to their natural habitat within the park’s many miles of trout streams.   You can help this effort continue by volunteering this summer with two projects on the NC side of the park:


Little Cataloochee Creek:   July 24-27th will have population sampling and September 6-8 preparation and treatment.
Anthony Creek:  Stream work on 10-13 July

If you would like to help with either of these projects please contact our own Jay Hawthorne at


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Tax Relief Outing

If you wait until April 15 to do your taxes it probably means you’re having to pay…and we know how that hurts.   How about a little hydro therapy to make you feel better?  We’re going to get together this upcoming Saturday, 15 April to do some fishing and pick up some litter on the Laurel River.  We will meet up at 8am at the Laurel River Store, fish the morning and those who are interested will meet back up at the Store at noon to head over to Hot Springs for lunch.  The Laurel is a roadside fishery so it suffers from litter that comes from passing traffic.  Please bring a garbage bag and try to fill it while you’re fishing.  No need to RSVP, just come if you can and get there on time.  Time, tide and eager fisher-people wait for no one.

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Big Creek Lodge Property added to Pisgah National Forest

After years of effort, 78 acres of the “Big Creek Lodge Property” have now been incorporated into the Pisgah National Forest.  This property was once envisioned for commercial development.  It is located just upstream of the North Mills River Recreation Area and will now be preserved for public use.  TU has been a part of the effort, which was led by the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy,  to make this happen.   We could not be more pleased that this beautiful watershed (pictured at the top of this page  in our “banner”) will now be conserved for future generations.

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Our LOSTU President Featured in the Asheville Citizen Times!

John Miko, our very own Chapter President,  was featured in the Asheville Citizen Times “Living Portrait” section on Friday, 31 March.  The article focused on tenkara fishing (as John does) but also featured a mention of Land O’Sky TU and John’s work with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.  Check out the article here.  

It’s great to see one of our own make the “big” time (or even the “medium” time!)

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And the Winner is…..not La La Land!

The winner at the 2017 F3T was definitely Land O’Sky TU!  We brought in over $2500 with our highly-anticipated raffle, signed up new members, made new friends, spread the good word of Cold Water Conservation and had an awesome time doing it.  Many thanks to all the hard working volunteers who made the evening possible.  Our team was working at capacity all night long and things couldn’t have gone better.   Thank you, thank you, thank you to Nathan Capron and the whole Hunter Banks Outfitters team for putting on the event and teaming with us to make it a TU fundraiser.  HBO has made this event bigger and better every year and we couldn’t ask for a better industry partner.  If you missed it, you missed it but there are always more fun LOSTU happenings on the horizon.  We hope to see you at one soon!

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Don’t Miss the 2017 Fly Fishing Film Tour!

Join Land O’ Sky TU and Hunter Banks Fly Fishing Saturday, March 4 at Highland Brewing Company as we once again bring the F3T to Western North Carolina. The doors open at 6:00 PM and the show will start promptly at 7:00 PM.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online through Hunter Banks, or at either Hunter Banks location. We expect this event to sell out so get your tickets now!

Land O’Sky TU will be raffling off lots of great prizes from YETI, Fishpond, Simms, and more.  Join us for an evening of cool films, fun and friends.  Trust me, you want to be there!

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Lauren Miko Wins 2017 Icebreaker Challenge


Nor rain nor snow nor a late night before could stop Lauren Miko from getting out and landing  a nice Rainbow Trout to claim the 2017 Icebreaker Challenge title at 8:08am on New Year’s Day.    Lauren said she caught the winning fish on the Laurel River using a Sucker Spawn pattern on a tenkara rod.    She will be presented her prize at the 10 January Chapter meeting.  Many congratulations!

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2017 Icebreaker Challenge….How Tough (Crazy) Are You?








Sixteen degrees in mid-December may signal trouble, but nobody said it would be easy.  That’s why winning the Icebreaker Challenge remains one of the most coveted titles in all of LOSTU.  It’s simple, but not for the faint of heart (or thin of blood).  Just be the first LOSTU member to land a trout, on the fly, once the new year begins.  In years past, the competition has been won before 8:00 am on New Year’s Day, or as late as almost midday.  What 2017 will bring is anybody’s guess.   A handsome (and warm) merino wool cap from Icebreaker clothing…plus 12 months of bragging rights are waiting!

Here are the rules:

1. You must be a member in good standing of LOSTU.
2. You must catch and release a trout by legally fly fishing after the new year begins.
3. You must send an email to reporting the time, location & fly used for your entry.
4. A photo is not required but is highly desirable.

Good luck and happy New Year to all!

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