Anglers of all ages and levels are invited to compete for cash and prizes at the 44th Blowing Rock Trout Derby! The Derby will take place in Blowing Rock on Saturday, April 6, from sunrise to 4:00pm.  No entry fees or pre-registration are required. This event has celebrated the opening of trout season for four decades now, encouraging families to get out together to enjoy the great outdoors. From Price Lake to the Middle Fork River, there are lots of places in Watauga County to fish for eligible entries.

The casual nature of the Derby makes participation fun! Simply catch a trout in Watauga County on April 6, and bring it to Derby Headquarters in Blowing Rock to have it measured to enter it into the tournament. Trout Derby Headquarters are the Picnic Shelter at Robbins Pool, 173 Lakeside Dr. Blowing Rock, NC 28605, and will open at 7am on April 6.  All entries must be recorded by 4:00pm.

Also at Headquarters, kids can pick up free “Fish for Fun” bags, which include a tackle box, regulation book, and basic tackle. Free Trout Derby T-shirts will be available as well. Bags and T-shirts are limited, so come early in the day before they run out! Kids are invited to participate in the Art Contest; the winner’s art is featured on the next Derby poster and t-shirt. Art may be made in advance and submitted at Derby Headquarters before 3pm.

Winners and prizes are announced at Derby Headquarters at 4:30pm. First-place winners will receive unique, locally-crafted trophies in five divisions: Adults (16+), Adolescents (12-16), and Small Fries (11 and under). Cash prizes will be awarded to largest trout in each species- brown, speckled, and rainbow- and for tagged fish, which are stocked in the lake at Broyhill Park.

“The Trout Derby is a fun, safe outdoor event for families, and we hope that people will join us to celebrate trout fishing this year,” says Kim Rogers, longtime coordinator of the Trout Derby. “Everyone is welcome, from first-time anglers to seasoned fishermen, and we love to hear all about everyone’s fishing adventures! We can’t wait to see your catch!”

There is plenty of free parking available at Broyhill Park, where the lake will be stocked with hundreds of fish in the days leading up to the Derby. Broyhill Park is reserved for fishing by children and people with disabilities. Fishing licenses are not required at Broyhill Park, but anglers will need to have a current fishing license and obey posted fishing regulations in all other locations.

Additional details on the Blowing Rock Trout Derby, including the Broyhill Park reservation link, can be found at BlowingRock.com/TroutDerby .

For more information on local shopping, attractions, and overnight accommodations in Blowing Rock, check out the above menus or contact the Visitor Center at 828.295.4636.

(Updated March 5, 2024)