Reach Five – Chattooga River in Autumn
Photograph of North Carolina’s Chattooga River in autumn, one of the nation’s designated “wild and scenic rivers.”
I captured this beautiful scene in Western North Carolina, near Cashiers and Highlands. The Chattooga River in autumn, a designated “wild and scenic” river, meanders through the Appalachian forest. The stretch belongs to a group of devout trout fisherman who want to keep the river pristine and wild to preserve natural, unstocked trout fishing. Every now and then, they host fly-fishing tournaments. For that sake, they have divided the river into five “reaches.” Each competing fisherman gets a certain amount of time on each reach, in order to ensure equal footing. This photograph shows reach five, the furthest and most difficult reach to get to. Getting here requires quite a lot of bush-whacking and slip-sliding down the river banks. Frankly, the trail is so unused that I imagine the fishermen simply walk down the river in waders. But the payoff was worth it: stunning color, untouched wilderness, and complete solitude.
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