Two Exciting Days for Young Fishers at the 2018 Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby | Cherokee, NC

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Two Exciting Days for Young Fishers at the 2018 Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby

*UPDATE* Due to inclement weather and for the safety of the children, visitors, and staff, the Talking Tree Children’s Trout Fishing Derby on August 4 has been postponed. The Friday, August 3 activities will take place as scheduled at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds. There will be registration activities, clowns, music, stickball, food, and door prizes. This decision as made after organizers consulted with EBCI Principal Chief Richard Sneed, Vice Chief Alan B Ensley, Emergency Management officials, the Water Department, and Risk Management. The tentative rescheduled dates for the event will be August 10 and 11, weather permitting. Principal Chief Sneed had this message for Trout Derby participants. “We apologize for the inconvenience, however, we feel that rescheduling the Derby is the best option to ensure the safety of the children, parents, and staff.” Additional information about the rescheduled fishing dates of August 10 and 11 will also be provided today at the Fairground. Thank you!

Free fishing and family fun in beautiful Cherokee, NC? Sounds like a blast! It’s no wonder thousands of people from around the country come to these mountains for the annual Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby, a free fishing event for children. This year’s two-day event takes place Friday, August 3 through Saturday, August 4.

Pre-registration takes place on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and again on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. or until registration hits the 2,000 children max. Friday’s lineup of events includes door prizes (winners announced after 6 p.m.), a bouncy house, and special demonstrations by area groups, including Fly Fishing Team USA.

Michael Bradley is currently serving his second two-year cycle on the USA Fly Fishing Team. On Friday, he will have a small casting target set up to help teach kids basic casting techniques. This is his fourth year helping out with the event. “I never got to participate due to being one year over the age limit at the very first one,” says Michael. “I always look forward to seeing some of the same local kids who come through and always stop by where we’re at and are always super excited to cast fly rods with us. Some of them are rather good.”

On Saturday, children ages 3 to 11 can fish for four hours. Prizes (worth up to $20,000) will be awarded on the second day. Door prize drawings take place every hour, so children have lots of opportunities to bring home something fun. A free breakfast and lunch will be provided for registered children and a DJ will provide a fun soundtrack throughout the day.

A Memorable Event for Kids & Adults

This is Lisa Frady’s third year as event coordinator. Her oldest son, who is 16, is super excited to return to the event and help his youngest sister fish. “From the time he was little, he’s always loved to fish,” she says. “He still loves it!” This kind of family bonding is exactly what this event is all about.

“I just love this event,” says Lisa. “Every year I’ve done it, and I’ve always had a kid—or two, or three! I don’t do it for just them. I enjoy seeing all the different kids and their families. I am a family-oriented person. The more we can get our kids off their phones and technology and get them outside doing stuff and communicating, it can really help the family. That’s why I look forward to it. You won’t see kids stuck to their phones, you see them interacting with each other and having a good time fishing, running around, and splashing.”

Lisa says that the farthest folks came last year was from California, adding that she met people from Albuquerque, New Mexico as well.

Important Lessons Learned

We’re excited Michael is able to help inspire other young fishermen at this event. He is attending his first world championship this September in Trentino, Italy.

Michael thinks this event is great in many ways. “I feel like it is important for children to learn how to fish for several reasons. My favorite lesson learned from it is patience. Fishing can also teach you respect because if you do not respect and take care of the waterways, there will eventually be no more fish to be caught. I feel like the event is good for the community because it brings a ton of business to all of Cherokee and even surrounding towns and also keeps the families coming back for years to come.”

Want to Come?

Who: Children ages 3-11 and their parents or guardians.

What: The 17th annual Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby

Where: Cherokee Fair Grounds, 545 Tsali Blvd. in Cherokee, NC

NEW date: Friday and Saturday, August 10–11. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Cost: Free!

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