Every family’s got a good fish story. In Brevard, North Carolina, a town defined by its proximity to a fly-fisher’s paradise of clear, trout-filled rivers and streams occasionally punctuated by over two hundred and fifty waterfalls, the bar is set pretty high.
That doesn’t deter Dana Hawkins, who runs the Pisgah Fish Camp, a beloved local restaurant he co-owns with his sister Jeanne. All four Hawkins siblings, including brothers Mike and Chris have a history of involvement in the restaurant.
Dana points to the marlin (not a native of Transylvania County) hanging by the front door. “The first time it got stolen, a policeman stopped me on the way home to tell me they’d found my fish before I knew it had even been taken.”
Hawkins thanked the officer for his work and went home to bed, only to be awakened by a phone call at about 3 a.m. It was the police again, asking him to come down and identify the stolen Marlin. He agreed and made a show when he got to the station.
“They had the marlin behind the counter, and when I saw it, I said Oh no! Not my fish! That got a real chuckle out of the officers.” Hawkins grins. “Most of them had been regular customers at the Fish Camp for years.”
Out of maybe five total, Pisgah Fish Camp has lost three marlins to thieves over the years. One of them made it as far as South Carolina. “We had to let that one go,” says Hawkins. “Cost too much to extradite him back home.”