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4 Tips for Fishing in the Dark

Summer’s arrived in western North Carolina and a very wet spring means mountain rivers and streams are higher and faster than they were last year. While that’s a welcome change, the longer days and higher temperatures of July and August bring challenges for anglers.

Warmer water and bright sunshine drive fish into deeper cover, making for a longer and hotter day on the water. That’s what makes this a great time to explore evening-into-the night fishing! A kayak is the perfect vessel for taking advantage of this opportunity as it’s more mobile than standing on the shore and bounces off rocks much better than a fiberglass hull. You’ll also find just about as many fish biting as an early morning outing.

Night fishing isn’t for everyone and introduces new elements of risk such as loss of visual cues and predators that like to hunt in the darkness. It can be a welcome change for those with busy schedules and allows a fresh perspective on trips you may have taken dozens of time under the sun. Before you head into the night, take these tips into consideration.

Plan Ahead

When picking your night spots, stick to familiar areas. Any body of water will look brand new at night, even if you’ve paddled it many times before. Make note of landmarks and bring a buddy, if possible. Two anglers can cover more water and watch out for each other.

Grab the Right Gear

You’ll need a few basic tools, most of which you already have. Essentials include a PFD, a GPS to steer clear of rocks and pinpoint fishy water, a radio to communicate with fishing partners in case you get separated, highly reflective flag, and a good light. Light will keep you visible to other anglers, recreational paddlers, and boaters. A 360-degree light elevated from the deck of your kayak, headlamp, and floating flashlight are all good recommendations. A hand-crank flashlight or lantern isn’t a bad idea, either. You should always wear a PFD when you’re on the water, but going without isn’t even an option for night excursions. Even if you don’t plan to be out after sunset, prepare for it.

Turn on Your Lights Before It Gets Dark

Always check your gear before getting on the water to make sure it’s charged. Turning on your lights early means less scrambling as the sun goes down and less chance of finding yourself night swimming instead of night paddling!

Have Fun!

The best fishing usually occurs at least an hour after the sun goes down, so don’t get discouraged if you find it dying down. The fish will be biting again soon! Of course, this advice can only go so far. You’ve got to get on the water and try yourself.

Be sure to check local regulations about operating watercraft between dusk and dawn as they vary across the region. If you want to give several models of fishing kayaks a test drive (during the day), join Diamond Brand Outdoors on Lake Julian on July 16 and July 30 for free demo days from 10am-2pm.

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7 Days of Summer Sale

We’re celebrating summer’s arrival with seven days of of our best deals of the season. There’s no better place to be than under a mountain summer sky or on a western North Carolina river during the season that’s all about enjoying the outdoors. Enjoy the preview below, but check daily for additional offers!

  • June 21 – $100 gift card with the purchase of any stand up paddleboard (SUP)
  • June 22 – 30% OFF select Osprey packs
  • June 23 – 30% OFF entire stock of Western Mountaineering
  • June 24 – 15% OFF all fishing kayaks
  • June 25 – Spin the Wheel of Deals to save up to 30% OFF
  • June 26 – BOGO 50% OFF all camping furniture
  • June 27 – 20% OFF entire stock of Kelty and the Wander Lost Tour

June 23 – Made in the USA, Made for Camping

The Deal: Western Mountaineering has never faltered from its founders’ vision of uncompromised excellence. A dedicated search for the finest raw materials, meticulous design, and unsurpassed workmanship provide sleeping bags for any event, outing, or expedition. Save 30% on these awesome sleeping bags from a small independent factory in San Jose, California.

Bonus Deal: We had such a good time with our Osprey promotion yesterday, we’ve extended it through Monday!

June 22 – Backpack for Less

The Deal: Osprey makes very comfortable packs with the Aether AG 70 and Ariel AG 65 named Outside magazine’s 2017 Gear of the Year. Shop several of our favorite modes from this innovative brand for 30% off, a great deal for seasoned adventurers and beginners alike.

Bonus Deal: Make the hike to the waterfall even better with 30% off select outdoor shoes from Columbia and Adidas.

June 21 – What SUP?

The Deal: Score a bonus $100 gift card when you purchase any stand up paddleboard (SUP). Choose from NRS’ Thrive and Mayra (inflates/deflates in under 10 minutes for easy transport and storage), Perception’s Jetty (great for beginners), and Liquidlogic’s Versaboard (functions superbly as a SUP and fluidly as a sit-on-top kayak). Use the gift card on a paddle, PFD, water-ready shoes, or anything else in the store – or save for your next visit. Plus, you always get 20% off boat accessories when you purchase a kayak or SUP at Diamond Brand Outdoors.

Bonus Deal: For every women’s clothing or clothing accessory item you purchase, you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card.

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In-stock items only; no rainchecks. Not valid on previous purchases. Some exclusions may apply. All items not available at all locations. See any team member for details.

Kayak Fishing: Paddle vs. Pedal

Many of us got into kayak fishing because of its affordability, ease of entry, and overall simplicity. It’s also an eco-friendly way to have fun and get exercise. With the addition of pedal drives becoming more prevalent, choosing your next kayak is more complicated than it used to be. However, the innovation in design provides anglers with a better selection if they know what they’re looking for.

Pedal drives look like bike pedals and provide a lot of water propulsion and speed, welcome allies on a lake, river, or stream. You might remember paddleboats from family vacations at state parks. Kayaks have been incorporating a similar technology for the last 20 years for anglers and recreational paddlers. However, pedal drives really came into their own when Native Watercraft introduced their version with the Propel in 2008.

The Propel uses rotational pedals combined with a propeller rather than push pedals with fins. Pedal kayaks come with a higher price tag, one that might not be worth it to everyone. So, should you go with a pedal or a paddle when kayak fishing?

Pedal Drive Kayaks

Pros

  • Speed – If getting to your honey hole quickly on the weekend or after work is important, you’ll be able to cut across a lot more distance in less time than paddling.
  • Hands-Free Control – Managing the position of your kayak is one of the most difficult parts of fishing from a kayak. Pedal systems give an insane amount of control with your legs and one handed steering leaves a hand free at all times. You’re also using your legs, saving arm strength for fishing.

Cons

  • Underwater Clearance – This isn’t as much of an issue with larger bodies of water like lakes, but mountain rivers like the French Broad change depth quickly and often. If you’re familiar with your path, you can flip your fins or pull your drive up.
  • Cargo Space – The center deck of your kayak will be basically disappear, though many models have found new spaces to stash what you need for a day on the water.

Paddling Kayaks

Pros

  • Tradition – Paddling means less steps to get your boat on the water, less maintenance, and a general sense of simplicity. A pedal may also be less disruptive than a propeller, which is a major plus for kayak fishing over motorize boats in the first place.
  • Affordability – Pedal kayaks start around $2,000, while a traditional kayak starts closer to $500. A pedal system is probably something most anglers will invest in after spending at least a couple of seasons with the sport.

Paddle Cons

  • The Paddle – Juggling your fishing gear and your paddle is tricky, especially on a windy day or in a strong current. You’ll sacrifice full kayak control for your rod and reel and tire your arms quicker.
  • Speed – This might not be much of a factor if you’re already fishing with a traditional kayak. However, if you’re an angler short on time, you’ll spend more time getting to your destination with a paddle.

Like other kayak equipment, the decision to peddle or paddle is connected to your style and preference. You can’t go wrong either way, as they’re both more affordable and healthier alternatives to motor-powered boats. They also both offer access to water otherwise off-limits to powerboats.

If you’re ready to give kayak fishing a spin, Diamond Brand Outdoors on 1378 Hendersonville Road in Asheville rents pedal and paddle kayaks for just $25 per day.

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Resolve to Get Outdoors in 2017

New Years Asheville OutdoorsThe turn of the year means 2016 is in the books—and for many of us, it can’t come a moment too soon. The end of a year usually brings a time of self-reflection, a time to get our priorities in line and make a plan for improvement. That seems especially important this year.

The top New Year’s resolutions remain largely unchanged year after year: stay fit and healthy, lose weight, and enjoy life to the fullest. If the goals on your list look similar, scratch them out and replace them with one enjoyable item: get outdoors!

These days, the average American spends 93% of their life inside, 87% in buildings and 6% in vehicles. Spending just 20 more minutes outside each day is long enough to provide a cleaning of the mental windshield to recover from everyday life.

You might be thinking, “This sounds great, but I went camping once and hated it.” Luckily, there are countless ways to get outdoors that don’t include pitching a tent—although that can be pretty great, too! If you’re already an outdoors maestro, introduce newbie friends and family to your favorite outdoor activities.

Take a Hike

Asheville Hiking Outdoors Western North Carolina MountainsOn a tree-lined street, your closest park or greenway, or one of the many trails a few minutes outside of town, hiking is great because it doesn’t require a lot of special equipment. A good pair of hiking shoes from your local outdoors store is good enough to start. As you graduate to more moderate trails, trekking poles can come in handy. The North Carolina Arboretum is a beautiful choice this time of year with lots of parking and trails of all levels.

Train for a Big Event

Running Asheville Big Event Western North Carolina OutdoorsWhether you’re a runner, biker, or hiker (or want to be one), having a specific challenge in mind will give you structure and motivation. If you’re already running a few times a week, but want to warm up your winter right away, the Asheville Hot Chocolate 10K is January 21. For beginners and those just getting back into the game, the Race to the Taps series kicks off on March 18. Followed by three additional races in April, September, and October, you’ll be able to trace your improvement through the year.

Find Inspiration

Outdoors Volunteering Asheville Mountains WNCShare your skills, meet new people, and make a difference by volunteering with organizations like MountainTrue, The North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville Greenworks, Carolina Mountain Club, The Pisgah Conservancy, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Muddy Sneakers, Friends of the Smokies, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, North Carolina Outward Bound School, RiverLink, and…you get the idea?!? There are many ways to volunteer with great local organizations. With the amount of projects available, you can volunteer when your schedule permits, create a custom outing, or join a group event. Local stores like Diamond Brand Outdoors often host information sessions with these groups, making getting involved even easier.

These are a few ways you get outdoors more in 2017 right away. You can also simply visit a new neck of the woods or take a date night outside. As it warms up, maybe join an outdoor sports league or try your hand at kayak fishing. Making time for yourself to do what you love in the places you love to do them will reconnect you with the world and make you happy.

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30% Off Kayaks

Our 2017 fleet of kayaks and SUPs are starting to show up. To make room, we’ve taken 30% off of some of our boats from the previous year. These are great boats and offer a fantastic chance for anyone wanting to upgrade, start the sport, or get a gift for someone special. Get them quick, though, because they won’t last long.

Jackson Karma Medium, Large, and Traverse 9 — NOW $839.30
Reg. $1,119
The Karma is fast, stable, and easily boofs over anything in its way. The planing hull makes it impervious to boils and cross-currents while the narrow bow-shape softens the landings. This fast yet friendly design gives paddlers of every skill level the confidence to push the clock or just your limits. With the No Holes construction for a dry ride and a Uni-Shock bulkhead to protect your ankles and your investment. Available in three sizes, limited colors.

asheville-boats-jackson-karma-red

Jackson Zen Medium and Large — NOW $839.30
Reg. $1,119
The Zen bridges the gap between river runner and creek boat and offers a new tier in speed and performance. The sidewalls are higher than the previous model giving it much improved stability. The added volume and bow rocker keep you higher on the surface. The Zen has held onto its fast, light maneuverability but now allows you to fly up and over rocks, holes and waves better than ever. Whether you are looking for a forgiving. Available in two new sizes, limited colors.

asheville-boats-jackson-zen-kayak

Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K. 140 — NOW $1,259.30
Reg. $1,799
The Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 – Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak – features an open design that can be customized to meet the needs of almost any angler. The deck is highly walkable and stable – a feature that was achieved without needing to add more width to the boat, allowing for sustained speed and glide. The deck is low-profile and intentionally designed to shed wind. Storage opportunities are abundant and are thoughtfully located throughout. It will also feature the new AirPro MAX seat which becomes even more versatile with the ability to travel the majority of the length of the deck. The ATAK is highly adaptive boat that can fish any environment and target species. Limited colors.

boats-asheville-atak-140-flint

Jackson Coosa HD — NOW $1,224.30 SOLD OUT!
Reg. $1,749
Jackson Kayak’s design team once again teamed up with pro kayak angler Drew Gregory to put an “HD” twist to the already popular Coosa model. This ‘heavy duty’ fishing craft boasts amped up specs/features and is slightly longer and wider than the original Coosa; this makes it even more stable and a perfect fit for anglers of all sizes or those who are really looking for a stand up fishing kayak. The hull is still river friendly, but the HD will track truer on the flat waters of lakes or inshore saltwater. Packed with features, the Coosa HD is ready for any type of fish on almost any type of water!  Limited colors.

asheville-boats-jackson-coosa-hd-new-dorado

In-stock items only. Color and selection may vary by location. Select styles may apply to some items. Promotional pricing ends on December 31, 2016.
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Ways to Explore the Outdoors in Asheville November 14-20

Choose and Cut Your Own Christmas Tree near Asheville
Pick the perfect Christmas tree for you home and have a great holiday outing at one of the “choose and cut” Christmas Tree Farms near Asheville. You select the tree…they cut it, bale it and tie it on your vehicle or you can use their bowsaws and cut it yourself! Check out the great list of local tree farms provided by RomanticAsheville!

Step Out + Shop for Diana Wortham Theatre at Diamond Brand Outdoors
November 17 at 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. on 1378 Hendersonville Road
In its sixth year, Step Out & Shop is a way to support Asheville’s finest theatre in a very easy way. Get started on your holiday shopping (or grab some things for yourself) with a storewide 20% discount! At the end of the night, we’ll donate 10% of all store sales to the Diana Wortham Theatre to support live performances of music, theatre, and dance throughout the year. There will also be lots of fun giveaways and prizes, as well as live music and light bites.
Fee: Free

Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum
November 18 – January 1, Nightly at 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way
The North Carolina Arboretum’s elaborate Winter Lights show returns, transforming the gardens into a nighttime wonderland with 500,000 lights! Stroll through spectacular lighted displays and see the gardens in a completely new way. Designed with an artistic aesthetic, The Winter Lights show enhances the natural beauty of the gardens as you celebrate the holidays.
Fee: Prices Vary

Asheville Holiday Parade
November 19 at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm in Downtown Asheville
This year’s theme is Light Up the Holidays: Celebrating 70 Years. The parade features nearly 100 entries including marching bands, dance and cheer squads, nonprofits and businesses. Parade entries include a little something for everyone with decorated floats, adoptable pets from area rescue organizations, the Honored Veterans float, live music, performances, and Santa Claus.
Fee: Free

Native Watercraft + Liquidlogic Factory Warehouse Sale at Diamond Brand (Part of Big Super Saturday)
November 19 at 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on 1378 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville
Locally made, international boat companies, Native and Liquid Logic are also hosting their first ever factory warehouse sale that day at Diamond Brand Outdoors. Current and previous season boats are going to be priced below wholesale including some models which have never been available in our area. DBO’s also offering special packages and discounts on boating accessories for the day to make sure you’re ready to hit the water. Now is the time to get the deal of a lifetime on a kayak made right here in your backyard!

Birds of Prey Demonstration at Dimond Brand Outdoors (Part of Big Super Saturday)
November 19 at 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. on 1378 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville
Steve Longenecker of Falconers of Falling Creek Camp will host his popular Birds of Prey presentation with live raptors including a Peregrine, male and female American Kestrel, Red-Tailed Haw, Great-Horned Owl, and an Eastern Screech Owl. This is always a popular event so plan to arrive early for the best seats.
Fee: Free

Birds of Prey Asheville Raptor Presentation

Marmot + RootsRated Fall in Love with the Outside Road Tour at Diamond Brand Outdoors (Part of Big Super Saturday)
November 19 at Diamond Brand Outdoors on 1378 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville
Marmot and RootsRated have traveled to 30 different cities around the country on their tour, but together with Diamond Brand Outdoors, are planning something very special for Asheville. Diamond Brand Outdoors is teaming up with these popular brands to celebrate everything great about the outdoors with a day of live music, tent pitching contests, Marmot gear raffles, s’mores, apple cider, outdoor trivia, a photo booth, and good ole’ conversations about where to go outdoors, with 100% of donations benefiting the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. 
Fee: A suggested $5 donation will get you hot cider, a Ball® mason jar, and entry into the awesome raffles

 

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Big Super Saturday Brings Big Names Together for a Good Cause

Join us for Big Super Saturday, a full day celebrating the simple things we can do with family and friends to enjoy the outdoors. The free event features live music, giveaways, apple cider, outdoor treats, contests, and more. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, local nonprofits Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Eblen Charities, and Diana Wortham Theatre benefit from events during the week. Big Super Saturday takes place on November 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., at our flagship store in the Parkway Center on 1378 Hendersonville Road in South Asheville.

The day kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with Native Watercraft and Liquidlogic’s Factory Warehouse Sale. Current and previous season boats will be on-site and priced below wholesale, including models that have never been available in Western North Carolina region. Native Watercraft and Liquidlogic are international companies headquartered in the area with their factory located in Fletcher, North Carolina. Thule specialists will be on hand to answer questions, talk about products that best fit your needs, and show off some of the coolest accessories for 2017.

The fun continues and takes a turn to the kid-friendly side at 3:00 p.m. Steve Longenecker of Falconers of Falling Creek Camp will host his popular Birds of Prey presentation with live raptors including a Peregrine, male and female American Kestrel, Red-Tailed Haw, Great-Horned Owl, and an Eastern Screech Owl.

At 4:30 p.m., the Fall In Love With The Outside Road Tour touches down in North Carolina. Marmot and RootsRated have traveled to 30 different cities around the country, but Diamond Brand Outdoors has something special in mind for its Asheville stop. The family-friendly (and dog-friendly) event celebrates with live music, tent pitching contests, Marmot gear raffles, s’mores, apple cider, outdoor trivia, a photo booth, and good ole’ conversations about where to go outdoors. A suggested $5 donation includes hot cider, a Ball® mason jar pint glass, and entry into Marmot’s awesome raffles. 100% of donations benefit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy

November 19 is also the kickoff for Diamond Brand Outdoors’ annual coat drive for Eblen Charities. Anyone who brings a gently used coat will receive 20% off one item from Diamond Brand Outdoors (with some limited exclusions). This continues through December 24.

Earlier in the week, Diamond Brand Outdoors hosts the sixth annual Step Out & Shop, a benefit for Diana Wortham Theatre on Thursday, November 17 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The free event offers a 20% storewide discount to shoppers and 10% of the sales benefit the programs of the downtown performing arts venue.

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Events

Asheville Outdoor Show 2017

The Asheville Outdoor Show brings the finest outdoor brands and latest trends in recreation directly to our friends and neighbors who live in the outdoor playground of the mountains of North Carolina. We’ll showcase innovators known for quality, variety, and uniqueness. Enjoy music and outdoor games throughout the day — and pick up lots of discounts from your favorite brands for your outdoor lifestyle.

This kick-ass event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public!

RSVP on Facebook

 

Lake Julian Demo Day

We’re hitting Shelter #1 at Lake Julian Park once again with our entire fleet of fishing, whitewater, and recreational kayaks and stand up paddlebaords. Bring your friends for some time on the water as you test drive 2017’s best of the best. You’ll also have a chance to chat with our experts about paddles, boating accessories, and the best spots in the region to get on the water this year.

RSVP on Facebook

We’ll have PFDs for kids and adults, but you’ll move through the line much quicker if you show up with your own. Same goes with liability waivers. Our lawyers say you’ve got to sign one, so why not print it before arrival? Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/2oJqd6s

Expect boats from Confluence Kayaks, Hurricane Kayaks, Liquidlogic Kayaks, Native Watercraft, NRS, and Wilderness Systems Kayaks.

This free event is made possible by a partnership with our friends at Buncombe County Recreation Services. Kids and well-behaved pets with owner on leash are welcome. #AdventureIsLocal