Explore Boone sat down with Kelly McCoy of RiverGirl Fishing Company to find out how she practices the 7 Leave No Trace principles in her daily life as a fly fishing, kayak, canoe, and tubing outfitter. She also offers helpful tips for getting on the river in the High Country, the best time of year to visit, and how she makes picking up trash a fun and exciting adventure.
The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
- Planning & Prep for a Day Outdoors
- Gear Essentials
- Leave No Trace in Practice
- More Great Things to Do in Boone
- Volunteering Made Fun
Best places in the Boone area to spend outdoors?
My No. 1 spot is at the South Fork of the New River.
What is the best season to spend in the area?
I love spring because you’re waking up from the dead winter. I absolutely love fall, even better than spring! We work so hard during the summer, so fall is our respite. It’s our time to rest and get ready to wake back up in the spring.
What attracted you to North Carolina or the Boone area?
Believe it or not, my ex-partner and I came up following a spiritual guru who did channeling, and you would leave with this peaceful feeling. He was living in Florida, where we were at the time, and he said, “Oh, I’m doing a retreat up in Boone,” so we came up. There was an outfitter called Appalachian Adventures at the time, and whenever I went anywhere, I wanted to go float a river and get out and do something recreational and fun, so we came and floated this river and I just fell in love with it. I’m originally from Alabama and I spent my summers in Georgia, so this reminded me of Rome, Georgia, just a little colder. There were a lot of the same species of plants; it reminded me of my grandmother and just felt like home.