For four decades, we’ve been celebrating the opening of Trout Season with friendly competition and prizes! The Blowing Rock Trout Derby is a much-anticipated early springtime event in the village. We have some of the best trout fishing anywhere in the Southeast, so the combination of the Derby and our lovely springtime makes for a great reason to visit. Fishing is a fun outdoor sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime and the Derby is a great way to be together as a family!


2024 brings the 44th Blowing Rock Trout Derby on Saturday, April 6!

Derby Headquarters: The Picnic Shelter at Robbins Pool, 173 Lakeside Dr. Blowing Rock, NC 28605



This year there are two ways to participate:


Classic Tournament:

  • Begins at sunrise on April 6, 2024 and ends at 4:00 PM.
  • Catches should be taken to the Official Derby Headquarters by 4:00 PM for measuring.
  • Trout caught in any PUBLIC Watauga County body of water on April 6th are eligible to be entered for measuring.
  • Mayview Lake at Broyhill Park in Blowing Rock is restricted to fishing by children 11 and under and persons with disabilities. No fishing license is required for Mayview Lake. There is a limit of three fish per person from Mayview Lake.
  •  All Fishing and Wildlife laws should be followed for Watauga County public waters, including possession of valid fishing license and following all posted regulations.
  • No entry fees are required and no pre-registration is necessary for participation in the Trout Derby.
  • Prizes are awarded at 4:30pm at The Speckled Trout Outfitters. Scroll down for the prize lists!

Catch & Release:

  • Catch & Release participants must register at the Official Derby Headquarters starting at 7:00am on Saturday, April 6, 2024.
  • Each participant will be given a measuring tape to measure their catches.
  • Each participant MUST take a timestamped photo measuring their catch in order for it to be considered for judging.
  • All timestamped photos must be entered to Headquarters by 4:00 pm for judging.
  • All public water in Watauga, Ashe, and Avery county will be permitted with single hook artificial lures only.
  • All other state regulations must be followed.
  • Prizes are awarded at 4:30pm at The Speckled Trout Outfitters. Scroll down for the prize lists!

At the Derby:

7:30am Official Headquarters and Catch and Release Registration Opens. Event t-shirts and gifts available while supplies last!
7:30am-2pm Art Contest for Kids at The Speckled Trout Restaurant & Bottle Shop – bring completed artwork to submit or create art on site with supplies provided.
4pm Deadline for entries
4:30pm Awards Ceremony at The Speckled Trout Outfitters.

Mayview Lake at Broyhill Park in downtown Blowing Rock will be stocked with hundreds of fish in the days leading up to the derby, and other local bodies of water are stocked for the season as well. Kids are invited to fish at Mayview Lake, where some of the stocked fish are tagged for special prizes!

The North Carolina Wildlife Commission supports the Blowing Rock Trout Derby with free “Fish for Fun” bags complete with a tackle box, regulation book, bumper sticker, stringer and bobber. Be sure to bring the kids by the Derby Headquarters early for their bags, and to collect an official Derby T-shirt, free!

Kids are also invited to participate in the Art Contest, where the winning art will be featured on next year’s Event Poster and T-Shirt. Kids may create their art in advance or on-site at The Speckled Trout Outfitters & Bottle Shop and submit it at Derby Headquarters on April 6th before 2pm; entries should be no larger than standard 8.5 by 11 inch paper. The art should depict a fishing scene with detail showcasing one of the three trout- Rainbow, Brook or Brown. Can use watercolor, colored pencil, or crayons. Print the artist name, grade, school and phone number on the back of the artwork.  All art submissions are hung on the walls inside Derby Headquarters, where local judges select the winner at the end of the Derby.

Where to Fish

Classic Tournament

  • Trout caught in any Watauga County public waters on derby day are eligible for measurement and prizes.

Catch & Release

  • All public water in Watauga, Ashe, and Avery county will be permitted with single hook artificial lures only.


On the day of the Derby grab your fishing license and your fishing gear and hit local waters for brown, speckled, or rainbow trout. Favorite nearby spots include Price Lake, Bass Lake, and the Middle Fork River along Highway 321.
**Follow this link and select Watauga County on this map of NC fishing waters to see public fishing areas. Note that Blue Ridge Parkway waters are not included, but fishing is allowed on the Parkway- just obey posted signage.
If you want the easiest-to-find public fishing areas, see this High Country Host Guide for addresses of popular Watauga spots!
Make sure you have a current NC Fishing License! Find out more, and even get your license online at TakeMeFishing.org

Entries and Prizes

Classic Tournament

  • Once you’ve caught your prize-winning trout, take it to the Derby Headquarters at the The Blowing Rock Clubhouse (before 4pm). There, derby staff will measure your catch and record the length. 

Catch & Release

  • Catch & Release participants will be provided a measuring tape to track each trout caught and time stamped pictures measuring each fish MUST be documented to be recorded towards your final score.

Trophies & Prizes

Classic Tournament
Unique, handcrafted plaques by Snake Mountain Iron Works are awarded as trophies for the largest trout in several divisions:
16+: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

12-15: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

small fry (11 and under): 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

Catch & Release Categories

16+: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

12-15: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

small fry (11 and under): 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

Prizes accompany each Trophy, and include outdoor and fishing gear like new rods and reels, sporting vests, tackle boxes, and more.

Species Prizes
Largest Brown, Brook, and Rainbow Trout each awarded $100 cash.

Tagged Trout
At least 10 tagged trout will be released into Broyhill Lake- each awarded $25 cash.

We love our sponsors!

444 Construction, A1 Pest Control, Blowing Rock Chamber, Chetola, Edmisten, Hollars Construction, JB Allen Home Solutions, Mountaineer Maintenance, Jenkins Realtors, The Speckled Trout Outfitters and Restaurant, Stickboy, Booneshine, Free Fly, Grundens, Thomas & Thomas, Riversmith, Scientific Anglers, Cheeky, Wingo Outdoors, Lamson, Trout Hunter, First Citizens Bank, Food Lion of Blowing Rock, Town Tavern, Snake Mountain Iron Works, and The Village Foundation.

For more information

on the Trout Derby and overnight accommodations in the Blowing Rock area, contact the Blowing Rock Visitor Center at 828-295-4636 or info@visitblowingrock.com.