By Christopher Lawing / Creative Director at Jesse Brown’s Outdoors
I’m sure we can all agree that this summer is the summer to get outside, to breathe fresh air, and to take a refreshing break from life in general. But what is the best way to get outdoors and what should you do once there?
We recently took an in-depth look at 5 favorite places to hike and camp courtesy of our friends over at Jesse Brown’s Outdoors; after all, they are the voice of reason. Why? Because they’ve been outfitting, preparing, and supporting the outdoors enthusiast community since 1970!
While we were there chatting for that article, we also discussed fishing and their recently published guide on the gas shortage’s effect on fly-fishing. So, from the staff at ‘Charlotte’s Original Outfitter,’ here are their 5 top picks for favorite places to fish, no matter your skill level, all of which are in the Queen City’s backyard:
1.) Colonel Francis Beatty Park (30 min. drive from Jesse Brown’s Outdoors):
Located near the intersection of Providence Road and I-485, this park is one of the newest gems in the Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation park system’s crown. Totaling 265 acres, and encompassing a wide variety of things to do, at the center of this park is 20 acre Beatty Lake. In fact, the Division of Natural Resources works in cooperation with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to maintain it as part of the county’s Community Fishing Program. Stocked fish species present include largemouth bass and bluegill, with the creel limit (the legal maximum allowable daily quantity) being 5 bass, 3 of which must be at least 14″ in length. Open from Sunrise until 10:30PM.
2.) Catawba River – Landsford Canal Access (55 min. drive from Jesse Brown’s Outdoors):
The Landsford Canal State Park is a favorite from the South Carolina State Park system, and is enthralling anytime of the year. Hiking is a popular activity here, as is paddling the Catawba River which is a main feature of the park. Because of this water access, you can indeed fish! Anywhere along the Catawba is permissible, however some areas are deeper, shallower, faster, or slower than others which might help determine where you want to fish. Generally, catfish, bream, largemouth bass and other warm water fish species are found in the river. Open daylight until dark, daily.
3.) Latta Nature Preserve (40 min. drive from Jesse Brown’s Outdoors):
Just off of I-485 between Highway 16 and I-77, is the expansive Latta Plantation Nature Preserve. Totaling a whopping 1,460 acres, the preserve is Mecklenburg County’s largest. Attractions within the preserve including the Historic Latta Plantation 19th Century home, the Carolina’s Raptor Center, and so much more. But because the park juts out into Mountain Island Lake, there are a variety of fishing opportunities and even a fishing dock. Some fish species include bluegill, largemouth bass, and catfish. Anglers may obtain loaner tackle at the preserve, and like anywhere else, must have a North Carolina Fishing License (ages 16 or older).
4.) Stone Mountain State Park (1hr. 55min. drive from Jesse Brown’s Outdoors):
Located directly up I-77 near Roaring Gap, N.C., Stone Mountain is home to just that – a ‘mountain’ made of solid granite that rises 600 feet above the valley floor. The park is also home to 20 miles of park streams which are designated trout waters. Brook trout can be found in the higher, cooler stretches of water, while rainbow and brown trout claim the lower parts of the streams. There are 2 accessible fishing piers are located along the East Prong of Roaring River, which is classified as a delayed harvest water. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is a treasure trove of information for season dates and regulations as it relates to each type of trout water. Make sure to read up and do your research on this location, as the better prepared you are, the more fun you will have!
5.) South Mountain State Park (1hr. 30 min. drive from Jesse Brown’s Outdoors):
Not only is this state park just south of Morganton, N.C., located in the beautiful mountainous foothills, but it also is one of North Carolina’s largest, showcasing exciting and easily accessible fly-fishing opportunities! The Jacob Fork and Shinny Creek, offer miles of trout fishing: above their confluence they are classified as Wild trout water, featuring stream bred rainbow and brook trout; below their confluence, the stream is managed under Delayed Harvest regulations. For summertime fly-fishing, the wild-trout portion of the stream is the best place to head. Like Stone Mountain State Park, make sure to read up and do your research on this location, as the better prepared you are, the more fun you will have!
So, with this information, a summer of fishing awaits! Whether you are a younger family looking for educational opportunities surrounding nature and wildlife, or maybe you’re a more experienced angler looking for an excuse to get back out on the water, Jesse Brown’s Outdoors is your home for fishing no matter the destination.
The store’s friendly staff is ready to greet you with a smile and a bouquet of advice while you find the gear to make your adventure unique, memorable, and enjoyable. Need a reel? A rod? Fishing flies, line, or tackle? You’ll want to be sure to visit them online at www.jessebrowns.com and in-store at their flagship location in the Sharon Corners area of SouthPark to pick up these necessities and discuss your plans. It all comes with the ‘Jesse Brown’s Stamp-Of-Approval!’
About Jesse Brown’s Outdoors:
Jesse Brown’s Outdoors is an outdoor, fly-fishing, and travel outfitter located in the Sharon Corners area of SouthPark in Charlotte, N.C. Since 1970, the experienced and knowledgeable staff of the Southeast’s oldest independently run outfitting store, has provided the best in adventure gear to generations of clients. Jesse Brown’s is a flagship store for brands such as Patagonia, Filson, & Barbour, and carries a wide selection of other favorites such as YETI, The North Face, Chaco, Columbia, Simms, Howler Brothers, OluKai, Maui Jim, Costa, and MANY more. Jesse Brown’s Outdoors is also home to Charlotte’s favorite Fly Shop, assisting clients in fly-fishing rod and reel purchases, offering fly casting guided trips and demonstration classes, and by stocking a wide variety of angling flies, accessories, and clothing. Jesse Brown’s is also home to Charlotte’s longest running radio program – the weekly ‘Carolina Outdoors’ WBT Radio Show (1110AM/99.3FM) & Podcast where the ‘Outdoor Guys’ round up stories from across the Carolinas, share outdoor activity ideas, and update listeners on interesting nature-specific happenings from around the nation. So, whether you are simply looking to get across town or campus in comfort and style, or are traveling around the globe or up the Appalachian Trail for a specific adventure, make sure to stop into Jesse Brown’s Outdoors to ensure that you are fully prepared and equipped to truly enjoy your experience.
Jesse Brown’s Outdoors
Sharon Corners at SouthPark
4732 Sharon Road, Suite 2M | Charlotte, N.C.
Store Hours: Mon-Sat 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.- 5 p.m.