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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.

A Guide to 15 of the South’s Best Places to Paddle

Southern author Eugene F. Walter once wrote, “summer in the deep South is not only a season, a climate, it’s a dimension. Floating in it, one must be either proud or submerged.” Perhaps this explains why the waters here are so well-explored and appreciated by paddlers from all over the United States. Despite the fact that proud locals would likely prefer their rivers uncrowded, the word is out: the South has epic rivers.

The rivers and creeks of this region have a very distinctive character. Most of the waterways originate from the Southernmost reaches of the old Appalachian Mountains and plateaus, moving towards the east or the west with rushing speed. Starting off as small streams beneath a canopy of lush deciduous forests, round boulders and well-worn bedrock shape their rapids and hidden waterfalls. They join together and course through gorges, until the gradient subsides as they drop closer to sea level, flattening their waters and encouraging a variety of paddle sports.

With so many options, mild year-round temperatures, and generous annual rainfall, the South is a coveted destination for paddlers of all abilities and passions. In this guide, we’ll work our way through the absolute best Southern rivers for paddling, from beginner to expert level.

The Easiest: Flatwater to Beginner Whitewater (Class I-II+)

Great day on the river with quality people. Highly recommend taking a two man kayak! #GoPro

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1.Chipola River, Florida

Starting down in Florida, a novice paddler can find many opportunities to explore freshwater springs and riverside caves while viewing swamp wildlife and historical artifacts. The enchanting Chipola River in Western Florida is a great way to see the best of what the area has to offer. As part of the Dead Lakes State Recreation Area, there are two sections: the 51-mile Chipola River Designated Paddling Trail and the 4.5-mile Upper Chipola River Designated Paddling Trail, separated where the river disappears underground. Fed by 63 springs, the Chipola has a set of small rapids and is also home to the unique shoal bass.

2. Wateree River Blue Trail, North and South Carolina

Weaving 75 miles through the Carolina countryside, the Wateree River Blue Trail has several sections of gentle rapids and flatwater that are both accessible and worthy of interest. Draining a natural wooded floodplain, the waterway is a haven for wildlife such as bald eagles, otters, and kingfishers. This river basin is one of the few precious places that remain in the Southeast where populations of white shoals spider-lily thrive in decent numbers.

3. Hiwassee River Blueway, Tennessee

Heading West to Tennessee’s Hiwassee River Blueway** **gives you the option to step up to class II if desired. The upper section of the river in the mountains of the Cherokee National Forest is where you’ll find these rapids, and while they appear steep, they are not overwhelmingly difficult. Once you get past the town of Reliance, the river mellows, and floating peacefully past the trees can be a serene experience. The cool water flows year round, downstream of the TVA Apalachia powerhouse.

4. Nantahala River, North Carolina

The Nantahala Gorge is nestled between the North Carolina mountains just outside Bryson City. The walls are so steep here that the sunlight can only make it to the valley floor at high noon, hence the name Nantahala, which is Cherokee for “land of the noonday sun.” At the bottom of the gorge, you’ll find eight miles of mostly class II (+) rapids, with a finale of the class III Nantahala Falls, an optional portage. Cold, reliable water flows year round from a nearby powerhouse, making this a very popular and accessible river.

5. Clear Creek, Tennessee

From a solid perch high on the Cumberland Plateau, the upper stretches of Clear Creek meander downhill through numerous shoals and class II rapids that require precise maneuvering. Adventurous, overnight paddlers will pass caves and unique rock formations along the 20-mile waterway before encountering a class III rapid towards the end. Portage is certainly an easy option for those who aren’t up for the challenge.

The In-Between: Intermediate to Advanced (Class III-IV)

6. Obed Wild and Scenic River, Tennessee

Following Clear Creek downstream will eventually lead to the unspoiled, rugged terrain of the Obed Wild and Scenic River near Wartburg, Tennessee. The longest free-flowing, roadless river in Tennessee looks mostly the same today as it did to settlers in the 1700s. The bottom 10 miles from Obed Junction to Nemo are cradled between 500-foot tall canyon walls and are full of class II-III, with some light class IV rapids. Both the Obed and Clear Creek are remote and will be flowing mostly in the winter and spring, so be sure to dress accordingly.

7. Big South Fork, Tennessee

The northeastern edge of the Cumberland Plateau opens up to the towering cliffs and massive boulders of the Big South Fork, yet another remote Tennessee classic. In the vicinity of O’Neida, this river is the centerpiece of a national recreation area, with class III & IV rapids that significantly step up in difficulty with rising water levels. The waters here are elusive to summer, so cold weather gear is again required.

8. Chattanooga River, Georgia

Known as the filming site of the movie Deliverance, the Chattooga River is located near the Georgia town of Clayton, near the Georgia/South Carolina border. Whether paddling the Narrows (class III) or the Five Falls (class IV), the Chattooga is a Deep South Appalachian wilderness classic with year-round water. Summer on the Chattooga is a welcome introduction to running tight lines and slots with precision, a pool/drop contrast to the fluffy, continuous higher flows of winter and spring. Beware of the dangerous siphons that exist within the pot-hole strewn rocks native to this wild and scenic river.

9. Tellico River, Tennessee

The place where the Cherokee once gathered in great numbers is known today as the Tellico River. Just off the Cherohala Skyway in southeastern Tennessee, a small, paved road to a trout hatchery follows the river closely and offers easy access to the scattered waterfalls (from 5-14 feet tall) and continuous rapids along the way. After any decent rainfall, the Tellico will be teeming with paddlers boofing (and plopping) their way down the class III and IV drops. It’s by far the most popular and appropriate place to run a waterfall for the first time.

Getting Tougher: Advanced to Expert (Class IV-V)

Fall Rafting

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10. Watauga River, North Carolina

Most of the solid class IV rapids and drops of the Watauga River lie in North Carolina, but the class V Stateline Falls marks the border of Tennessee. While once regarded as some of the most difficult whitewater in the South, the Watauga remains a classic due to the quality of it’s distinctive rapids. For five glorious miles, paddlers will boof and punch their way downstream, finding clean vertical lines and honing their skills to move forward in creek boating expertise.

11. Little River Canyon, Alabama

You might not expect to find a massive canyon in the corner of Alabama, yet high atop Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne is exactly what skilled paddlers descend into the depths of. At Little River Canyon, the put in is aesthetically marked with a wide cascade of 33 feet, most commonly run on the left, where it is divided into two tiers. It is also common to put in below, where the river begins a complicated route through boulder sieves and sluices known as the ‘Suicide Section.’ The scenery from the bottom is top-notch as Little River gains the volume of many side creeks that appear suddenly from both steep sides.

12. Tallulah Gorge, Georgia

The mighty Tallulah Gorge in Georgia was dry for a very long time before, in the 1990s, Georgia Power began releasing water every spring and fall from the upstream dam. Packing a big punch of 20 class IV-V rapids and no less than six waterfalls in a single mile, the Tallulah’s signature drop is a monster slide called Oceana. Set within an impressive gorge with limited access, the put in requires descending almost 600 steps with your boat while viewing (and bypassing) several large unrunnable waterfalls. Taking out requires paddling across Lake Tugaloo.

For Extreme Experts Only (Class V+)

13. Raven Fork, North Carolina

Once quietly hidden at the southern tip of the Smoky Mountains on the border of the Cherokee Reservation, a little stream called the Raven Fork demands attention. This creek, within its notorious gorge, yields no forgiveness to the ambitious experts who penetrate and plunge the numerous steep descending drops. Rapid names like ‘Mike Tyson’s Punchout’ should clarify this point. Dropping nearly 600 feet per mile, it’s a scary, mysterious place for paddling for most, but for the experienced paddlers out there, it’s a challenging favorite destination when the rain hits.

14. Bear Creek, Georgia

Among the very best of Chattanooga’s steep creek offerings is the dramatic Bear Creek of Cloudland Canyon. ‘The Hair of the Bear’ flings itself from atop Lookout Mountain in Georgia, over many tall, distinctive bedrock drops—the most remarkable being a 50-foot, three-tiered hit called ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Towards the bottom, after merging with Daniel Creek, the ‘Boulder Garden’ begins it’s relentless and powerful tumble to the take out. Eddies and scouting are possible, but the best lines through this maze are behind those who already know the way. Being good enough to run this means you’ll be in the loop when it rains hard enough.

15. Horsepasture and Toxaway Rivers, North Carolina

The finale of this list is shared by the breathtaking Horsepasture and Toxaway Rivers, which could be called the Southern cousins of the Sierra Nevada. The incessant, plummeting gradient of the California-esque Toxaway is unmatched by any other Southern river, while the Horsepasture follows closely behind it. Both rivers are equally inviting, with a sizable picturesque drop starting off the day.

Toxaway is characterized by clean lines over fast slides cradled in smooth bedrock, while Horsepasture is all about linking clean waterfalls in succession. On both of these streams, there are sizable drops that result in nerve-wracking moments. In addition to maximizing the limits of runnable whitewater, paddlers must expect strenuous hike out access, persistent scouting on sketchy terrain, and steep portage routes. For a dose of adventure with quality paddling that demands fitness, experience, and confident class V skills, these rivers are the best practice platform for whitewater expedition paddling in more remote areas around the globe.

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Originally written by RootsRated for Outdoor Sports Marketing.

Featured image provided by Angela Greenwell

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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Ways to Explore the Outdoors in Asheville in March

March equinox brings spring to the mountains on March 20. The month is named for Mars, the Roman god of war who was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare, and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October, when the season for these came to a close. As winter comes to an end, March is seen by many as a month to celebrate rebirth, rejuvenations, and regrowth.

Here are some picks for getting outside during the first month of springtime. Visit the experts at Diamond Brand Outdoors to make sure you’ve got all the right gear and outdoor clothing before heading out!

Kolo Bike Park
Opens for the season on March 4, Prices vary
Part of the Adventure Center of Asheville, this experience includes miles of purpose-built mountain bike trails and features — including wooden and dirt jumps, 180 degree wood berm, and wooden bridges — in a wooded, rolling terrain. It’s adult and kid’s pump track make it a sort of mountain bike sampler pack. There are multiple ways to ride Kolo’s trails depending on your skill level whether you’re just learning, taking it easy, or looking to push your edge a bit. Bring your own bike or rent one on site.
1 Resort Drive in Asheville

Spring Hiking 101
6pm-7pm on March 9, Free
With the arrival of spring, the ground thaws, flowers begin to blossom, and nature is jumps back to life. With trails that weave through multiple waterfalls, provide ample bird-watching opportunities, and lead to epic vistas, there’s no better time to explore WNC’s terrain than the temperate days of spring. Frugal Backpacker‘s experts will review essential items you should take with you while hiking in the Asheville area and share their favorite spring hikes.
52 Westgate Parkway in Asheville

Campapalooza
10am-4pm on March 18, Free
Spring camping season gets an early start with a preview of 2017’s best reviewed gear from international innovators like Kelty, Marmot, and Oboz, as well as locally based makers like ENO, Astral, and LiquidLogic. Free hourly workshops on topics from festival camping to choosing the right backpack for a thru hike to getting started to hiking are joined by giveaways and the presentation of grants to local environmental nonprofits. It’s our way of celebrating Diamond Brand Outdoors’ history as WNC’s first and oldest outdoor store — and thanking our customers for their support!
1378 Hendersonville Road in Asheville

Get in Gear Fest
Noon-5pm on March 18, Free
26 WNC Gear Builders will be demoing their newest equipment on the banks of the French Broad River at Salvage Station. From a slingshot shooting range and 1:1 guided outdoor experiences to unique events to test outdoor skills and outdoor gear collaboration beers and ciders, it’s no joke that this festival is called Get in Gear. Diamond Brand Outdoors’ paddle experts will be hosting paddlesports demos on the river at 1:00, 2:15, and 3:30 in the afternoon.
468 Riverside Drive in Asheville

Mountains-to-Sea Trail Bird Walk
8am-10am on March 25, Free
Have you ever wanted to get to know the birds that you see and hear around you? Join international birdwatching guide Kevin Burke for an moderate hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. You’ll look for typical winter species, such as Carolina Chickadee, Hermit Thrush, Golden, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, as well as early spring migrants like Northern Parula, Blue-headed Vireo, Hooded Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler, and Wood Thrush.
1378 Hendersonville Road in Asheville

Asheville Orchid Festival
9am-5pm on March 25 & 26
$5 per person, Free ages 12 and under (standard parking fees apply)
The Western North Carolina Orchid Society hosts its 19th annual ode to the excitement and joy of cultivating orchids inside The North Carolina Arboretum’s Education Center. World-class orchid growers and breeders, along with regional orchid societies, will exhibit hundreds of orchids presented in carefully crafted displays. Orchids will be for sale by vendors from Taiwan, Ecuador, and across the United States.

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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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Fall Kayak Fishing Basics

The sun is setting on the summer of 2016. September is here and brings with it the start of the fall kayak fishing season. With the exception of a few weeks in from the latter half of June to the start of August, western North Carolina anglers don’t see the brutal heat of others in the South. However, the cooler temperatures and quieter waterways are a welcome change and provide the last chance for some great fishing before the kayaks go into winter hibernation.

The very best fall fishing is in October. While you might see fewer and smaller fish in early September, kayak fishing can change day-by-day and the sport offers relaxing exercise after work or in the dark of an early morning.

Expect to see lots of smallmouths on the river. Fall is time for your faster boat. Move fast enough to keep off rocks, but slow enough not to spook them. It’s a great season to explore new spots to fish that you might disregard in the summer. If you use a sit-on-top kayak, make sure you’ve got scupper plugs to keep cool water from entering your cockpit.

During fall, there are tips to remember to make your day on the water more enjoyable.

Light the Night (and Early Morning)

There’s no getting around the shorter days that come the closer to the end of Daylight Saving Time on November 6. If you like to hit the water after work, you’ll be lucky to get an hour or two in before the sun goes down. Thankfully, headlamps and lanterns can extend your time. We love the waterproof Spot Headlamp from Black Diamond for hands free lighting. Be sure to check for any specific rules about lighting after dark at your planned fishing hole. However, the experience of fishing after sunset is something every angler should experience.

Explore Your Layers

Fall is the season for layering. We still experience four distinct seasons in the North Carolina mountains, but the drop in temperature after about 3:00 p.m. becomes pretty noticeable. You can stick with your summer fishing shirt, but start with a base layer. The same rule goes for covering your legs. As temperatures drop even more in late September, you’ll need a bit more insulation and a dry suit is a great idea for colder nights. Wearing your PFD will keep you safe on the water, but use your common sense, too. If the weather is uncertain, just stay home.

The Exception Proves the Rule…

Just because it’s cooler doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to the sun. Yes, this goes against the first tip, but if you’re hitting the water for a full day of fishing on the weekend, sun protection is important (along with plenty of water). Apparel with UV protection can provide another base layer of warmth and protect your arms and legs. There are many options to keep your hands and face covered, too. Check out fantastic options from Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Buff, and more.

Keep Fishing

Many anglers see autumn’s arrival as beginning of a few months off, but October and November offer some of the best time to get on the water. It’s a fun time to try new techniques and explore spots with fewer tubers and paddleboarders.

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