- Tyler Legg
- Charlotte, NC, United States
Above is a picture of the famed Madison Range in Montana. Right in the center of the picture, you can see a distinct treeline bordering the Madison River. I took this one right after a storm blew through.
1.) September is coming to a close, as today is the last day of September, and tomorrow is the beginning of October. Colder temperatures are giving it away. Right now the temperature is 79 as of 3:30, but Friday morning breaks the warm spell, with a forecasted low of 46 here in the Charlotte area. The mountains will be exceptionally cooler. Mt. Mitchell will make it down to only 37 early Friday morning. Folks, it is cold enough to snow at 37. It won't stick to the ground, but the atmosphere is cold enough for snow to fall. If I'm not mistaken the atmosphere must be at the maximum, 41 degrees to support the formation of ice crystals. To bad it will be clear and dry that morning.
2.) Like I said yesterday, I will give a detailed fishing report today. Fishing has still been on the good side. Other than lower than normal flows in many streams, the fish still go after a well presented dry or small nymph. Trying small #16-18 BH PT nymphs will produce fish, as well as a Green Weenie in sizes of 12-16. BWO nymphs will also work, especially in sizes of 16-22. Really any general nymph in sizes 14-18 will get you a few fish.
With the temps sitting in the mid to upper 70's up in the high country, go ahead and try a #12-14 hopper. Most grasshoppers will be out of the grass and gone in about 2-3 weeks due to frost. Also, for some reason, beetles are working. I am going to update the fly chart to the right for the month of October, either today or tomorrow.
Here are a few selected river flows for the USGS water survey.
- Davidson River (the "D") @ Brevard.....30 cfs
- Watauga River at Sugar Grove.....52 cfs
- Oconoluftee River (the 'Luftee) @ Birdtown.....94 cfs
- Nantahala River @ Rainbow Springs.....45 cfs
- Cataloochee Creek @ Cataloochee.....17 cfs
- Tuckassegee River @ Bryson City.....248 cfs
- South Toe River @ Celo.....111 cfs
Here are a few out of state, but not to far from, river flows.
- South Fork Holston River @ Damascus, VA.....108 cfs
- Clinch River @ Tazewell, TN.....132 cfs
- Tellico River @ Tellico Plains, TN......22 cfs...way below average of 129 cfs.
If you are thinking about taking a trip out to Montana, then here are some water flows.
- Madison River below Ennis Lake....1,310 cfs
- Gallatin River @ Gallatin Gateway.....440 cfs
- Bighorn River @ St. Xavier.....2,740 cfs
- Big Hole River @ Melrose.....357 cfs
- Flathead River @ Polson.....7,560 cfs
- Ruby River @ Alder......157 cfs
3.) From what I've heard the Madison River from the confluence of the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers in Yellowstone, all the way to Three Forks, Montana, are on fire. The Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson are all fishing very well right now. 1,310 cfs on the Madison vs. 17 cfs on Cataloochee, I think I would rather be out west this time of year. The folks at Madison River Fly Fishing Co. said that the leaves are red and orange, and the nights are starting to get chilly. Montana has had a superb fly fishing season, due to all of the snow melt. They had a record year for stream flows this year, which means it is not very good fishing early, say in May-July, but come October, the fishing is absolutely wonderful. I also would recommend fishing the alpine lakes high up in the mountains. We fished these extensively, and I loved going up to Axolotl Lake every evening and watching the cutthroats rise (more like fly out of the water and land with a big splash) to chironimid adults. Man, was that a fun trip out there.
4.) I have been tying some BWO patterns for the next couple of months. I usually tie them on a #14-18 TMC2457 (scud hook). I use fibers from a pheasant tail as the tail, and then a peacock quill stripped of all the "fuzz". The fly doesn't have a wingcase, but instead a wet fly profile, with Indian Partridge hackle for the legs.
5.) Might post later today...if not then manana.
2.) I will have a detailed fishing report posted tomorrow afternoon, but until then here is the makeshift report. I have not been up on the trout stream for about 3 weeks, but I have heard great things when it comes to fishing in the high country. Water levels aren't terrible, water temps are excellent, and the cold, turbulent water is aiding in the development of dissolved oxygen, which trout need to survive. As for flies, check Sunday's report for a list of go-to flies for the state right now. Again, I will post a detailed report tomorrow afternoon.
- Fly Fishing in the Winter -In this article, fly fishing in the winter is discussed. Tips, techniques, and info are included, all of which aid in an angler's success during the cold, winter months.
- Fly Fishing in the Spring -In this article, fly fishing in the spring is discussed. Tips, techniques, and info are included about fishing in the warmer, more pleasant days of spring.
- Bluelining for Brookies -Bluelining for native southern Appalachian brook trout is a fun, but sometimes daunting task to accomplish. In this article, topics include where to find brookies, where they live, and how they can be caught.
- Terrestrial Season in the Smokies -Summer brings with it heat, low water, and terrestrials. They're effective!
- Fishing in Cold Weather -Whether it be during a cold spell in October, or a bone chilling period in mid January, cold weather requires a switch to some different tactics. In this article, you will discover these tactics.
1.) The Panthers continue to stay strong as they won against the Falcons 24-9. Great game, Muhsin Muhammad and Steve Smith played very well, and Jake Delhomme was ready to get another win. Carolina moves to 3-1, and hopefully they will move to 4-1 next week, when they play the Kansas City Chiefs.
2.) The weather has been fantastic today. A few showers have developed, but spotty in nature. Try your best to get out on the water and wet a line.
Sunny skies combined with 75 degree temperatures, it just doesn't get any better.
Nymphs have been the winner lately, but, since the temperatures are warm, BWO's may hatch, as well as cream midges, so have some of those ready. 6x and 7x tippets are good, as well as 9-12 foot leaders due to the clear water.
Here are a few good nymph patterns to try.
#16 BH Pheasant Tail Nymph
#14-18 Hares Ear Nymph
#16 Lightning Bug
#12-16 Prince Nymphs
#8-10 Black Stonefly Nymphs
#16 Green Weenie
#16-20 Copper John
#16-22 Green Caddis Larvae
#20-28 Midges (red, black cream, blue)
Here are a few dries to try.
#14-16 Royal Wulff
#16 Tan Elk Hair Caddis
#20-26 cream midges
1.) Well the mountains (especially the southern half of the NC mountains) didn't get enough rain to really make the water go up substantially. I guess that goes to show you that fly fisherman aren't exactly always truthful. Anywho, here in Kannapolis we received about an inch of rain according to the CoCoRaHS website. The Davidson River area over near Brevard received only approximately 0.03 inches. Still, streams aren't stagnant by any means, but they will be if rain doesn't regularly come. Boone on the other hand received plenty of rain. According to CoCoRaHS, they accumulated up to 3.12 inches. This is more than enough to bring the Watauga back up. Currently 'tauga is at 200 cfs. This is 95 cfs above average. Hit the Watauga if you can instead of the Davidson. I think the trout on the"D" need to get a break from us fisherman, until the water reaches 40 cfs or more.
2.) Not much has changed from yesterday's report. The exception would be the Watauga, South/North Toe, Linville, and New River, which all received hefty amounts of rain from this low pressure, so using big streamers, and large black stonefly nymphs will catch the most fish.
2.) It has been raining ever since about 9 PM last night. Forecasters are saying the rain will be out of here by at the latest noon of tomorrow. Here in Kannapolis, the temperature is sitting at 65 as of 4:00. The wind has died down, and the rain isn't heavy, but a steady rain nonetheless. This low pressure that is bringing all of this rain, looks more like a tropical storm, or a weak hurricane, due to it's spin and defined "eye". Things shape up and look much better by late Saturday and the rest of the weekend.
3.) Water levels are rising; although some mountain rivers and streams aren't high and have not increased their water flow, it will change over the next couple of hours or so. Here are some current water levels from the USGS.
- Davidson River at Brevard, 27 cfs...average is 97 cfs (33 cfs below normal)
- Watauga River near Sugar Grove, 33 cfs...average is 77 cfs (44 cfs below normal)
- Nantahala River near Rainbow Springs, 47 cfs...average is 107 cfs (60 cfs below normal)
- South Toe River near Celo, 111 cfs...average is 100 cfs (11 cfs above normal)
- Oconaluftee River at Birdtown, 96 cfs...average is 259 cfs (163 cfs below normal)
- Cataloochee Creek near Cataloochee, 17 cfs...average is 52 (35 below normal)
4.) If you decide to wet a line today or the first half of tomorrow, expect BWO's to be hatching, due to the cooler weather, and cloudy dreary conditions. As you can see above, the trout streams are on their way back up, and when they get full, fish will tackle a big Zonker or streamer. Dredging the bottom with a #8 black stonefly nymph may also get some fish on the board. With all of this rain, some streams may be muddy, and if so, use this opportunity to fish with 3x and 4x tippet. If your stream is still low and flowing clear, stick with small nymphs and dries, as well as light tippets(6x-8x). BWO nymphs in sizes 16-20 would be perfect. Also carry some Copper Johns, Hare's Ears, and PT Nymphs in sizes of 14-20). Try a Green Weenie, they seem to work this time of year. If you plan on heading out to the river, bringing your waders and wading boots, are equally as important as bringing your fly rod, because of the cold water temps.
2.) Regarding the report, I would say that the same old, same old, small nymphs and midges are just fine. When the rain starts falling, and the rivers start going up, try big #4 Zonkers, and streamers. Also, big, black stonefly nymphs will work. If the water gets stained or muddy, don't waste your casting for the result of breaking off one of the large browns, go with 4x and even 2x and 3x if the water is muddy enough.
2.) On with the report. Fishing is still great right now, due to cooler water temps and a little bit of a boost in stream levels. I should add that Blue Wing Olive mayflies may make their appearance on the cool, damp, and cloudy days. Terrestrials should be coming to a close in within about 2 weeks, with the upcoming first frost. With the cooler days and exceptionally cooler nights, they are slow, and not as active without the heat of the day. Really, BH BWO nymphs in sizes ranging from #18-22 will work great. The key this time of year is to use small nymphs and small tippet sizes. Midges may also be prevalent, especially on the Davidson River, so be ready. Experiment with your favorite nymph patterns, and have at it.
2.) The trout streams are still around the levels they were holding at yesterday. Small nymphs, small terrestrials and #14-18 Adams have been the ticket lately. Better yet pick your favorite dry fly and your favorite small nymph and try that as a dry/dropper. The big, male brown trout are starting to get fatter and now you can see that classic, distinct, deep hooked jaw all spawning male brown trout get. If this tropical system (what could eventually become Kyle) comes up and into NC, streams may drastically go up, in return giving us fly fisherman the chance to try big, meaty Zonkers and # 6 wooly buggers.
3.) Well, the Chargers stomped the Jets last night, 48-29. Good game, both teams worked hard. Brett Favre wasn't half bad either. More later.
2.) First day of Fall, and here in my hometown of Kannapolis, NC it is 79 degrees at 3:30. If fly fishing had a specific season I think it would be Fall. Cool temps, beautiful scenery, and great fishing add up to make this a wonderful couple of months. More later enjoy the first afternoon of Fall.
Green Weenie Fly
Popular sizes: 12, 14, 16
Hook Type: 2X long nymph
Thread: Chartreuse 6/0
Body: Chartreuse Vernille or Ultra Chenille looped at bend and then wound over shank.
Head: Tying thread built up and epoxied.
The Green Weenie fly has dual imitation purposes, meaning this fly can look like a caddis larvae or a drowned inch worm.
2.) As of right now, it doesn't look like much rain is on the way for at least the next week or so. The streams and rivers are dropping rapidly once more, but like I said in the last post, the temperatures are on their way down. So until we get a lot more rain, I would stick with flies on the smaller side. 7x tippet wouldn't hurt either.
3.) Panthers play today at 1:00 PM. I can't wait to see what Steve Smith has in store for us. I think it is going to be a great game, as long as the defense can stop the Viking's Adrian Peterson.
More on the game later.
- A Guide to Fly Fishing NC
- Alen Baker's Top 40 NC Trout Streams
- AM Fly Fishing
- Blue Ridge TU
- Casters Online Fly Shop
- Fishy Kid.org
- Fly Fishing Entomology.com
- Guide to Fishing WNC
- Land O' Sky TU
- The Examiner: Michael Darmes Fly Fishing Articles
- Fly Fish SC
- Pisgah TU
- Tar Heel Fly Fishing Forum
- The Fly Fishing Community
- Troutfest 2010 site
- Tyler Befus.com
- TroutU.com | Trout University
- Zach Yak Fishing Adventures Blog
- Hunter Banks Co.- Asheville, NC
- Madison River Fly Fishing Outfitters (Carolina Fly Fishing) - Cornelius, NC
- Casters Fly Shop- Hickory, NC
- Curtis Wright Outfitters- Weaverville, NC
- Davidson River Outfitters- Pisgah Forest, NC
- Appalachian Angler- Boone, NC
- One Fly Outfitters (Brand new shop)- Black Mountain, NC
- Table Rock Angler- Morganton, NC
- Rivers Edge Outfitters- Spruce Pine, NC
- Rivers Edge Outfitters Cherokee- Cherokee, NC
- Little River Outfitters- Townsend, TN
- Lowcountry Fly Shop- Mt. Pleasant, SC
Carolina (and a few great out-of-state) Guides:
- Jeff Wilkins
- Capt. Paul Rose
- Capt. Gordon Churchill
- The guys at Altamont Anglers
- Dave Hise
- Derek Young - Yakima River, Washington State
- Joe Demalderis- Delaware River
- Bo Cash
- Starr Nolan
- Sean McKay- East TN/Smokies
- Clay Aalders- East TN/Smokies
- Randy Ratliff
- Brown Hobson - Brown Trout Fly Fishing
- Ian and Charity Rutter (R & R Fly Fishing) - Townsend, TN
- FlyFishn Outfitters
Other links worth checking out:
- R.L. Winston
- Scientific Anglers
- Rapanui Clothing
- American Towns.com/Charlotte
- Stillwater Fishing Online
- Boater Exam.com
If you have any questions about THFF, whether it be a question about fly fishing or a question about the blog, feel free to email me. I'd love to hear from you.
- #12-16 Hot Wire Prince
- #12-16 Prince Nymph
- #12-16 San Juan Worms (A chartreuse San Juan will imitate an inchworm very well).
- #12-18 Hise's Hetero-Genius
- #14-18 Copper Johns
- #20-30 Thread midges (red, black, olive, tan)#14-20 Pheasant Tail Nymph (BH or no BH)
- BH Lightning Bug #14-18
- #12-16 Stimulator (Yellow Stimis are working the best)
- #12-14 Turk's Turantula
- #12-18 Royal Wulff
- #12-18 Adams/Para Adams
- #14-20 Elk Hair Caddis
- #18-22 BWO
- #18-26 Griffith's Gnat
- #20-30 Thread midges (red, black, olive, tan)
- #8-10 Woolly Buggers (black, olive, white, etc)
- #14 Hendrickson
- #14 Female Adams
- #12 Isonychias
Streamers (best during high, stained to muddy water)
- #4-6 Zonker
- #6 Zoo Cougar
- #8-10 Woolly Buggers
- #8-10 Slumpbuster
- #6-10 Foxee Red Minnow
Terrestrials are everywhere and the fish know it!
- #12-18 Beetle
- #14-22 Ant (dry or wet)
- #8-14 Hoppers
- #12-16 Inchworm (foam, deer, etc)
- #12-14 Green Weenie (In my opinion, the best fly an angler can fish right now. It's a fish magnet.)
2.) Regarding the trout streams in Western NC, the water levels are still on their way down, but in return the temperatures are cooling off and the trout are much happier. At this time the Davidson River at Brevard, NC is running at 31 cfs and the normal is about 62 cfs. The Nantahala River is at 52 cfs with a normal flow being at 77 cfs. Most fly fisherman are using a dry and dropper combination, for example a #12 hopper or #14 beetle with a #16 copper John or greenie weenie. The trout are currently stocking up for the Winter, and most fish will at least look at a properly presented fly. It won't be long before the big male browns start spawning and protecting their Redd's.
3.) Fall is almost here, and officially starts late Monday morning. Up in Boone the temperatures are already dropping down to the upper to mid 40's at night, and warming only to the 60's! This is absolutely classic fly fishing weather and the fish are a lot more comfortable feeding even in the middle of the day. All I can say is bring it on.
Welcome to the THFF.com Fish Wall! If you have an NC related fishing photo and you'd like to share it, feel free to send it to me at email@example.com, via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or over on the forum. I'll post it to the wall. Please include where you caught the fish (only if it's a well known stream/lake, never want to give away those secret locations) and specify whether or not you would like your name under the photo (if not, anonymous will be used).
Can you say P.I.G? Behemoth of a largemouth caught in eastern NC by angler Clark Harris.
- #12-16 Hot Wire Prince
- #12-16 Prince Nymph
- #12-16 San Juan Worms
- #12-18 Hise's Hetero-Genius
- #14-18 Copper Johns
- #20-30 Thread midges (red, black, olive, tan)
- #18-24 WD-40
- #14-20 Pheasant Tail Nymph (BH or no BH)
- BH Lightning Bug #14-18
- #18-24 BWO Nymph or emerger
- #14-20 Lightning Bug
- #16-22 Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Nymph
- #16-22 Pheasant Tail Nymph
- Giant Vinyl Rib Stone
- #16 Sly and the Family Stone
- Squirmy Wormie
- Green Weenie
- #1-18 Para Adams/Yellow Para Adams
- #18-22 BWO (standard, parachute, and Thorax dun)
- #18-24 Griffith's Gnat
- #12-14 Quill Gordon
- #18-20 Blue Quill
- #16-18 Black Elk Hair Caddis
- #16-18 black Stimulator
- #8-10 Green Drake
- #16-18 Light Cahill
- #14 Hendrickson
- #12 March Brown
- #16-18 Sulphur
- Zoo Cougar
- Woolly Buggers (black, olive, white, etc)
- Foxee Red Minnow
- Sheila Sculpin
- Muddler Minnow
Stocking Schedule Changes!
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