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A River Girl and her Fly Fishing and Outdoor Business in Todd, North Carolina--Kelly McCoy

As told by Kelly McCoy
Todd, North Carolina

Story Narrative:

Interview conducted by Willard Watson at River Girl Outfitters, in Todd, North Carolina, for the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, in conjunction with Smithsonian's "The Way We Worked" exhibition.

What do you do for a living?
"Gosh, that is a good question. Here at River Girl fishing company it started off 11 years ago to teach fly fishing, guide fly fishing, sell fishing licenses and educate about the river. In that 11 years it has turned into a tubing rental company, a kayaking rental company, we do eco-tours where I float with people and we talk about the river the health of the river and how to protect it. We do bicycle rentals for Railroad Grade Road, what else? It has turned into a huge outfitting business, is what it’s turned into because of the need of the community."

So River Girl has been around for 11 years now, were you working in a similar type of industry before that?
"No, so when I lived in Alabama I started out in aquaculture, raising catfish and tilapia, so aquatic creatures for food. I got an internship in Mississippi, so I left Alabama, went to Mississippi did the six-month internship in Mississippi, ended up finishing the internship and saying, 'Where do I go now?' I went with the flow of life and I stayed in Mississippi another six months working there at the Delta Aquaculture station and ended up getting my residency in Mississippi so I ended up going to Mississippi State University to get a fisheries science degree. That’s where I got my nickname River Girl was at Mississippi State, so when I graduated there I was like, 'Where do I go now?' So Florida called me. So I went down to Florida and I worked down there for five years as a marine biologist."

We vacationed up here two years in a row, and I floated this river two years in a row and I fell in love with it. So I made a plan to get up here and on this river. So we sold everything and moved up here. And I didn’t have a job. So I worked for a year looking for a job, couldn’t find one..."

Tags: BHS-Important-Waterways, BHS-water, BHS-work, BHS-Small Town, BHS-Small Town, BHS-water, BHS-Main-Street, BHS-Job-You-Had
Asset #7805

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