I've fished this river from its trickling, falling, private headwaters, all the way through town, through miles of countryside, and all the way to its mouth where it grows into the much larger Yadkin River.
I've caught native brook trout, stocker trout of every brand, and many bass of various types here. It's never been my fave.
Wild/native trout are where my heart is. Nowadays, however, I find it increasingly difficult to drive an hour or even close to an hour to hike into new waters. Appointments and responsibilities keep me close to home.
I cannot look over stocked water when I drive over it six times a day. The fact that I can pull the boots on, string the rod up, catch a hand full of trout, drive to my boy's school for lunch with him, and creep back into the water to catch more fish all within just a couple hours' time is tough for me to overlook.
Casting practice and rod bendage. If I can do these things without a rush or stress crawling into my nerve system, I'll take it when it's there for the taking.
Stockers are mostly dumb. And ugly. I will say though that after a few months of dodging anglers, flies, kayaks, and lures that they can be quiet the snobby assholes that will gladly give you the finger with the best of them.
A few years ago I fought the biggest trout of my life here and lost it once it got under a log and broke me off. My net wasn't nearly big enough. The fish was a massive brown and would have been 25"-27" easy, and heavy. The stamina and power of that trout wasn't of normal stocker display. Maybe it had been there in that deep bend for a year or two, or few. It knew what it was doing and had done it who knows how many times.
I got out yesterday and caught several rainbows and browns. Grabbed lunch with Finn at the schoolhouse. Then took him to a pond where he caught forty-some bluegills, shellcrackers, and a nice bass.
I'll not complain as long as I'm fishing and I'm outdoors chasing something in the water.
Much of my entertainment at an urban stocked stream is derived from some of the fisherpeople that I cross paths with. Huge spinning rods, musky-sized lures, and unbelievable tactics always puts a smile on my face.