The Cobia is one of the most sought-after of saltwater gamefish, for its willingness to take a fly, for its spectacular fighting spirit, and for its gastronomic rewards. Usually found travelling with rays, eating the abundant morsels fanned up from the bottom by the ray's wings, they provide a wonderful shallow-water fly fishing experience.
But they're extremely rare on trout streams, where it takes an intrepid and persistant explorer, a veritable Vasco Da Gama of anglers to endure the hours of casting and drifting, casting and drifting in the hunt for the elusive prize.
Such an angler/adventurer is Ray Heimbuch, pictured on the left with what we believe to be the first photographic proof of the Cobia's presence on the Watauga River.
This trophy was but one of many landed during the expedition of Team Tootleman in March, 2009 (more here) .
We've added a few additional photos at the end of the array below, featuring Ray and Howard (with the reddest rainbow ever caught).
(Altamont Anglers operates on Pisgah National Forest Rivers under USDA Forest Service Permit #PIS6560)