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Tyler Legg
Charlotte, NC, United States
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Welcome to THFF.com! Kick your wading boots off and stick around for a while. You'll find content ranging from NC fishing reports, videos, pictures, fly fishing news from around the state/country/world, humor, and even some irrelevant, yet interesting posts.
Have a question, comment, fishing report, or a few suggestions regarding THFF or fly fishing in NC? Feel free to e-mail me at wncflyfishing@gmail.com
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just returned from a 20 minute excursion to the local pond. I'm hanging out in Fancy Gap, VA (still thinking it's Barrow, AK) for the week. Like mentioned, I went fishing earlier after the wind died down and temps in the upper 10's rebounded to the upper to mid 20's. The pond was 70% frozen over, which isn't conducive for fly fishing. We did see two ducks that were having a hard time getting across the pond due to the ice. It was a sight to behold. As I came up and over the hill, I spooked them into the pond were they hit the ice with a thud and spooked several nice fish into deeper water.
It's been cold (rivaling Missoula, MT's low and high temps). The problem is, it's going to just get colder. It's clear outside right now, but freezing rain, sleet, and maybe some snow will move into the area late tonight through tomorrow. There's already at least 8 inches of snow on the ground right now from the last snowstorm 11 days ago. I doubt the fishing will improve over the next few days up here.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
It's currently in the low to mid 50's here in Charlotte. The weather has been ideal for fishing. The streams and rivers in the western North Carolina mountains are flowing close or slightly above normal right now. I'm sure that will change tomorrow night into Christmas Day once the next storm rolls through the Carolinas. Fly fisherman here in the southeast are playing the "quick get on the river before it rains again" game. For the past few weeks storms have been rolling up the eastern seaboard on a weekly basis. After each system, we get a break and start drying out. Then, another storm system rolls through. Positive and negative impacts are present with this type of weather pattern. In terms of short range negative impacts, flooding becomes an issue and fishing can become treacherous. Long range impacts are mostly positive, as it insures the water levels are healthy and don't get too low. If your favorite main river is flooded or unfishable, turn to the smaller streams in the mountains. They are usually a bit more manageable.

We have family coming to town over the next few days, so I may or may not have the chance to post for a week or so. Until then, have a safe and very Merry Christmas...

Tyler Legg
Friday, December 18, 2009
1.) It has been a cold day here in the Piedmont of NC. Mixed with the chilly air is sleet and snow, which makes for some interesting weather. I witnessed a moderate snow shower this morning around 10:00. Looks like we'll see more of that later. In the Charlotte area, 1-3" of snow looks plausible with heavier amounts north and west of the city. Here in Kannapolis, we are right on the line (by a mile or two) of the possible 2-6". I'm guessing we'll end up with 2-4", but the nature of this storm makes it nearly impossible to pinpoint exactly who gets what. It's one of those snow events where accumulations vary from neighborhood to neighborhood (in some cases literally...) All we can do is watch the radar and look to the skies. Some folks may not receive snow accumulations at all. Some may wake up to a surprising amount. Albeit this event isn't in a perfect setup to dump snow on Charlotte like the mountains are seeing (don't get me started about the Mtns...), it is an omen of what this winter will be like. I mean, we haven't even reached winter yet and we're tracking a snowstorm?!?! (By the way, Wednesday's the first day of winter).

2.) Just checked the temperature for Kannapolis, which is 33 degrees. The pressure is 29.89 and falling. It's raining with a few sleet pellets and a loose snow flake or two at the moment. That will change come later this evening throughout tonight and into the morning hours tomorrow. The mix will change to primarily all snow for at least a period tonight. This is where the snow accumulations will start. Now, the mountains are about to be (some already are) buried alive. Up to 18" in some spots with possibly locally higher amounts, especially along the Blue Ridge. My grandparents live in Fancy Gap, VA right on the Parkway. I'm sure they already have snow on the ground and are preparing for the 3/4ths of the rest of the event... 20" is not out of the realm of possibility up that way. It blows me away!!

3.) If you are deciding on heading into the mountains to fish, you might want to hold off. I-40 is going to be a mess. I-40 west through the mountains is going to be an absolute nightmare, and the smaller roads up in the mountains are going to be transformed into ski slopes. Fishing will be tough for a while.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
While dodging "potential" winter storms over the past few weekends, I've tried to get behind the tying bench to crank out some bugs. This is one of the results Tuesday evening...

Realistic Cased Caddis

Hook: the TMC3761 is fine for this pattern, but, I tend to use dry fly hooks as they have a wider gape than nymph hooks do which allows better hook sets due to the bulky rocks. Lead wire added for additional weight
Thread: Chartreuse 6/0
Body: Crushed rocks adhered to hook with Hard as Hull (Dave's Flexament also works fine)
Thorax: Caddis green dubbing
Legs: Moose mane crimped to resemble legs
Head: Black dubbing

I haven't tried this bug out yet, but flies that look realistic can sometimes change a day on the water...

The mountains, foothills, and NW Piedmont of North Carolina are preparing for a monster snowstorm. Up to 18 inches in some spots up in the mountains, with 8-12 inches across the foothills and NW Piedmont. Here in Charlotte, looks like a smaller scale event with 1-2" maybe 3" in some places. Christmas Eve looks very interesting as well for potential precip other than liquid...Of course we've been through this before several times already... Still, if we are talking about snow before Christmas (Monday marks the beginning of winter) January, February, and March will definately be interesting.
Monday, December 14, 2009
1.) I got back around 2:00 in the afternoon yesterday. We took a trip down to Myrtle Beach with some friends for the weekend. Given it was 2 days packed with scheduled things to do, I left the "ocean fishing gear" at home. It was a windy, rainy, and cold 2 days down there. There were only a few people on the beach, given the temps were in the upper 40's to low 50's. We didn't see a single ship out in the ocean (we continued looking for the Deadliest Catch crew, it felt like the Bering Sea...). Enjoyable weekend that surprisingly went by slow...

2.) Fishing has been slow as of lately. Fish nymphs on the bottom with plenty of split shot. There are a few fish that are holding in calm and shallow water that may rise to a dry though. Check the hatch chart in the lower left column for flies to try.

3.) I may be able to get out on Saturday. If so, Wilson Creek or Stone Mountain...

4.) The Montana Grizzlies won in a great football game against Appalachian State. Snow started to fall towards the end of the 1st half and by the beginning of the 2nd, the field at Washington-Grizzly Stadium was covered in snow; it was a full fledged blizzard. We play Villanova this Friday in the Nat'l Championship game. I'm ready for it!!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It's that time of year. Yes Christmas, but to us fly fisherman, Winter brings these two reliable aquatic insects: the Blue Wing Olives (Baetis) and midges (Diptera). In fact, these two aquatic insects may be the only consistent bugs hatching throughout the winter in NC. Sure, you may see small Black Stones or even early Quill Gordons sporadically hatching on the river if water temperatures are at 50 degrees of above for a week. If you have lived in North Carolina for a period of time you know that the weather is very unpredictable. We can get a full fledged snowstorm one day and then 3 days later make the transition to 50's and 60's for highs with sunny skies. Always be prepared...

---Blue Wing Olives---
BWO nymphs are swimmers, which means they can freely swim in the stream by use of their strong tails to propel themselves. Olive's tend to hatch when the water temperature is hovering at or above 40 F. They also tend to hatch when the weather is cloudy and rainy. These bugs are usually small. They can grow to about a #16 (which is large), but #20-24 "ish" are more abundant. Like all members of the Ephemeroptera family or mayfly family, the BWO's life cycle consists of 8 stages. First the eggs hatch into young nymphs that migrate to the underside of a submerged rock. The nymph then matures, while at the same time growing in size. The nymph makes a run to the surface of the stream after hatching from the egg. This time the insect emerges from it's nymphal shuck, and "stands" in the surface film to dry it's wings. This stage is it's Dun or subimago stage. The subimago stage is represented by a dry fly, which "stands" on the water. After this, the BWO will crawl onto streamside vegetation and completely shed it's nymphal shuck. Large groups of BWO's then mate and lay their eggs. At this stage they are called spinners, and are recognized by their transparent wings. The Spinner stage is followed by death, and the dying mayflies lay on the water, with their wings flat across the water's surface. The Emergence stage through the Spinner stage is completed in one day. Sometimes only hours.

Midges are extremely important to trout in the long, cold, lifeless winters of the environment they live in. People often mistaken these bugs with the common mosquito. Both are extremely similar in size shape and life cycle, but midges don't bite; their harmless. Midges will hatch regardless of the temperature, thus giving the trout a constant food source throughout the winter. The life cycle of a midge is a little different than mayflies, as these guys are similar to caddisflies. They have a larval stage, where they bury themselves in the riverbed, usually in a slow, calm section of the stream. After this stage, they transform into a pupae, and swim to the surface. This is the most vulnerable stage where a trout will happily pick them out before the insects make it to the surface. The bugs that make it to the top, will hatch into adults. Most midges are in the 20-28 size range. Although, a few species of midges can grow to a size 16 or 14. But, your common midge is going to be tiny. Griffith's Gnats, midge dries, and midge clusters are ideal flies for the adult stage, while disco midges and Zebra Midges are great for the larval and pupal stages.

I hope this has cleared up two of the most important aquatic insects that you will likely encounter, if you fly fish in the cold and snow.
Monday, December 7, 2009
1.) Except for a few locations in western NC, generally speaking, the rivers and streams weren't effected majorly as a result of the light rain on Saturday. The big weather word this weekend was the cold. It hovered in the mid 40's in the morning, before dropping through the day into the lower 30's. Saturday night into Sunday morning, it was in the upper 20's, with lower readings in the mountains. I'm not complaining at all. I favor cold weather. Especially over the hot, humid, and muggy summers we're known for. I also enjoy fishing in cold weather. The opportunities as an angler are plentiful in the winter months. The crowds are at a standstill, the water levels are usually running where they should be, you don't have to worry about the "big, yellow inner tube hatch", and the trout are glad to eat your fly given you adjust your tactics. Some folks believe trout stock up on food in preparation for the winter. They do, but more so in preparation for the spawning season, usually occurring in late fall for brown trout and brook trout. Trout eat in the dead of winter. They have to eat. They are usually very lethargic as to where they don't expend more energy than they take in though.

Go-to flies right now would be small mayfly nymphs (PT's, Copper John's, Lightning Bugs, Micro Mays, etc). BWO's are hatching (#18-22 "ish") along with Little Black Stones. Keep an eye peeled for these bugs. They can turn an ordinary day on the river into a spectacular day. Streamers are also working (Buggers, Clousers, Sculpins, etc). Midges, of course are working (year round) and will catch fish on most rivers. If you plan on hitting one of the DH streams in NC, Y2K's San Juan Worms, egg patterns, Hise's Hex, Princes, Pheasant Tails (PT's) and similar flies will be fish catchers. Long leaders with 5x-6x tippet are going to be necessary given the clear water.

2.) The weather pattern over the next few weeks looks VERY interesting in terms of snow and ice here in NC (not just the mountains). True Arctic Air (not 30's...more upper teens for lows) is attempting to make a run for the south. This, combined with an active branch of the jet stream makes snow and ice concerns very plausible as we head through the rest of the month. This winter is going to be a wild one. We haven't seen annual snow amounts rise to double digits in a few years. This year may be different in some places. Make sure your neoprenes are in working order!!

3.) My Montana Grizzlies dominated and pulled apart the #1 offense in FCS football. Stephen F. Austin (Texas) lost to the GRIZ 51-0 Saturday afternoon. I'm thrilled with their efforts. It's not over yet, Appalachian State is visiting the Griz in Missoula this Saturday at 4pm. It will be broadcasted on national T.V. via ESPN. App State has a heck of a football team, so Montana will be put to the test.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
If you have recently glanced at the 7 day for Houston, or the forecast for St. Charles, La, the first thing you probably noticed was the word 'snow'. I, myself, could not believe it. It's true folks, snow (accumulating too) in places such as Waco, Houston and Austin, Texas. In Louisiana Alexandria, Lafayette, and Lake Charles, are forecasted to see some snow. Hattiesburg, Mississippi could even see some snow along with Vicksburg. The Lonestar State is blue and purple, indicating either a Winter Weather Watch, warning or advisory. Biloxi, Mississippi is expected to see a few snow showers. These are areas along and close to the Gulf Coast!! It is almost unheard of to see snow this far south in early December. It happened last year in December in the same exact places. Who's next in line? Charlotte?!?! We may see a very cold rain transition to a mix of rain/snow with a short period of all snow possible (especially north and west of the metro) later in the evening/overnight on Saturday. Jeff Crum, chief meteorologist of News 14 Carolina, Charlotte, added that the notorious "gotcha" is not out of the question and we receive light accumulating snow. As of now, unfortunately the cold and moisture can't combine correctly for a major snow event. Oh well...We usually receive our big snowstorms in late January into February and early March.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The western NC rivers and streams have boasted some fantastic fishing conditions as of lately. Nice weather will end abruptly with deteriorating conditions as we head into tomorrow as a storm system will deliver heavy rains and possible thunderstorms into the region. This usually equates to higher flows and tougher than average fishing conditions. When we see heavy rains on area rivers and streams, deep nymphing with large, buggy stoneflies or dead drifting gaudy streamers through deep runs are usually the best bet in terms of catching fish. It does look like a sizable amount of rain will fall tomorrow across the Tennessee Valley and into the Carolinas, so rivers will be nearly guaranteed to rise; rapidly in some cases.

In most rivers 4x-5x tippet is small enough. The Davidson River being the only exception as the D is running crystal clear, so 6x-7x here (that'll change come tomorrow).

All of the area DH streams are fishing very well. Fish are being caught on Y2K's, San Juan Worms, egg patterns, Copper Johns, Princes, Hise's Hex, Woolly Buggers, etc. They shouldn't be too tough to entice. If you notice BWO's hatching, don't hesitate to tie on a para BWO or an emerging BWO. The best set-up right now looks to be a #10 Woolly Bugger as the point fly with a smaller nymph (ie Princes, San Juans, Y2K's, CJ's, etc) as the lead fly. Don't be too surprised if you even catch fish on a #16 Elk Hair Caddis or a Stimulator. Stocked fish tend to tolerate cold weather better than their wild counterparts, thus they tend to become liable to rising to bugs on the surface.

See ya out on the river,
Tyler Legg
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I Arrived in Fancy Gap, VA around 2:00 this afternoon, of course ready to eat some turkey. I did bring my "emergency fly fishing kit" with me, which includes mostly the basics. A cold northwest wind gusting to 30 mph combined with lower 40's and sleet made for a tough 25 minutes. If the temps were a few degrees less, I would be battling my guides icing. I stayed for 25 minutes before packing it in and heading back to the house, about 2 minutes from the pond. The water temps were in the mid 40's, but there was a small area on the north side of the pond that is fed by a spring. This spring contains warm water (I'm guessing around 54-57 degrees). This was the best place to start scouting for cruising rainbows. I went through 3 flies: a streamer, nymph, and a dry with no takers. Regardless I managed to brush up on my casting.

I just stepped outside and noticed there are flakes flying. We might get some heavier flurries or light snow showers closer to daybreak on through about lunch time tomorrow according to the NWS. If the winds don't get too bad tomorrow my grandad and I may hike down to a small stream close to the house that may or may not contain fish. I've hiked down to it before, but I didn't explore extensively. There is a small waterfall on the stream. Us fly fisherman know that waterfalls equal deeper pools and deeper pools equal prime habitat for fish.

I did take a few pictures of one of the best sunsets I've witnessed in a while. The last time I saw one this colorful was back in Ennis, Montana after a rain shower passed through.

Thanks for reading and hope the remainder of your Thanksgiving is great.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Pretty dreary, cloudy day here in the Tar Heel State. No rain, just gray skies that look as if rain could fall at any moment. For fly fisherman, it's great weather. Blue Winged Olives are known for hatching on days like today. There will be a lot of folks taking time off and traveling this week as Thanksgiving is on Thursday. That usually means you may run into some crowds if you plan on fishing, especially on Saturday.

The area streams in western NC are fishing well as of right now. Delayed Harvest streams such as the Mitchell River, the DH streams at Stone Mtn and South Mtn, Helton Creek, Wilson Creek, etc are fishing exceptional well with recent stockings and good flows. Most of the DH fish can be caught on Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Copper Johns, egg patterns, San Juan Worms, Y2K's, Green Weenies and most bugs in between. Elk Hair Caddis or Stimulator may bring a fish or two up to surface, but don't count on it. Trout are pretty lazy when the water temps get cold.

I may get out to do a little fishing on Thanksgiving day while up in Fancy Gap, VA. Hiking to a private pond that holds rainbows looks to be the best option. Might try it while the bird's in the oven.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
As of now, the fishing can't get much better. Most rivers and streams in the western Carolinas are running above average, but not bad at all. The Davidson River is running at 284 cfs with crystal clear water. If your heading to the hatchery section of the D, bring your midge assortments and 6x-7x tippet. Streams temperatures are chilly right now, but it's nearly December (can't believe it). As we progress into late November and into December, they will only get colder. I noticed some ridiculous air temps for the first week of December on the 15 day.
For Charlotte, NC...

Dec. 1st- Hi 43, Lo 29
Dec 2nd- Hi 39, Lo 29 w/ scattered flurries
Dec 3rd- Hi 34, Lo 23
Dec. 4th- Hi 36, Lo 22
Dec. 5th- Hi 41, Lo 22
Dec. 6th- Hi 41, Lo 34 w/ snow (BIG question mark)

I've watched this forecast change over and over and over again. Almost every new run is suggesting very cold air and possibly some sort of wintry precip on some days. Just a little hype for fellow snow lovers.

Make sure those winter midges and BWO's are ready!! Neoprene wader season is fast approaching.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Upper 60's to low 70's in most areas are making for some excellent fishing in Western North Carolina. The water levels are still on the high side, but compared to what it looked like earlier this week, the water is looking good. The Tennessee tailwaters are full right now. I'm sure wading will be tough on the South Holston, Clinch, Hiwassee and Watauga for a few days until TVA backs down their generating schedule. Floating the tailwaters is best right now. The Davidson River is at 260 cfs as I type. Normal to date for the D is 93 cfs. Despite high waters, fishing hasn't been bad. Most fish, at least for right now, are being caught on nymphs. Girdle Bugs, Yuk Bugs, Pat's Rubber Legs, Kevin's Stones, etc are doing well given the high water. I would use ugly looking bugs with hackle and rubber legs. The added movement is a killer. Behind your point fly, a pink #12-16 San Juan Worm or a #14-16 Prince will double your chances. The brown trout (and brook trout) are still in spawning mode, so make sure you don't target these guys. David Knapp from The Trout Zone snapped some amazing photos of a two brown trout on a redd. To see them click here.

Alright here's the lowdown...

Davidson River~ The D is pretty high, so be prepared to fish streamer and big bugs. Around the hatchery, midges are working as usual, but you may catch fish on a #20 Pheasant Tail Nymph or a BWO nymph.

Tuckasegee River~ As of 6:30, the Tuck is at 854 cfs. Average to date is 368 cfs. The Tuck is full of fish right now as a result of the DH season. Larger fish are being caught out of the Tuck as well. The usual flies used on most DH streams are going to do well on the Tuckasegee.

NC Side of the Smokies~ Fishing in the Smokies has been great. Bluelining for brook trout or trying the new Raven Fork Catch and Release section are great choices. The bull elk in the Cataloochee area are displaying their antlers.

Oconaluftee River C&R waters~ You need an annual C&R permit and a daily fishing permit (total $27) to fish these waters. It's worth it. The fish are huge and the fishing has been great.

Mitchell River, South Mtn, Stone Mtn DH, Green River~ Fishing has been fantastic on the above DH streams. Again the usual DH flies such as Prince Nymphs, San Juan Worms, Elk Hair Caddis, Para Adams, etc will work.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanks to all of the veteran's who have fought to defend our nation. The United States of America would not be the USA without them.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
1.) First off Hurricane Ida... She's a Cat two storm with winds of 105 mph and a pressure of 979 mb. Currently, Ida is located just north of the Yucatan Channel between Mexico and Cuba. The relevant aspect of Ida and fly fishing in North Carolina is the possibility of heavy rains. Ida could track up through the Carolinas. It's still too early to tell where Ida will end up going, but like mentiond above, heavy rains may be a problem, meaning full (and the possibility of flushed out rivers) and poor fishing. If you do plan on fishing this week, keep an eye on the weather. If it happens, tailwaters might be unfishable for a few days. I know, I know....but, but, but, but...

2.) Ken Van Every, owner of USAOnTheFly was asking for any photos related to fly fishing in NC. He is currently designing a North Carolina page for USAOnTheFly. I sent him several pictures that he should be able to use on his site. Now, if he needed pictures from California, I would be of no use. Tom Chandler of the Trout Underground would be of use though...To visit USAOnTheFly click here.

3.) 'Bout all I have for now. Doesn't look like I'll be on the water for a week or two. Hopefully around Thanksgiving though (then again, might need to rig up some ice fishing gear...).
Friday, November 6, 2009
The weather can not get much better than what we experienced today. Low to mid 60's across the state (cooler up high) have prevailed. It will get chilly tonight, so if you plan on heading out to hit a stream before daybreak, bundle up. Come to think of it, it's best to fish from about lunch time through the afternoon. This time of year, fishing during the later part of the day is more productive than fishing in the morning. This is when the water temps will be at their warmest and the fish will be most active. Water levels have been great over the last few weeks, so don't worry about finding low water. Usually the typical summer droughts that occur here in NC carry on through the fall months. This is not the case this year, as this summer yielded enough rain to prevent extensive long term drought from happening. This is great for us anglers.

With the exception of the "Hatchery Section" of the Davidson River (I swear those fish don't eat), streamers have been, by far, the best choice in terms of fly selection. Woolly Buggers in olive, black, or brown, Zoo Cougars, Zonkers, Slumpbusters, Sheila Sculpins, Matukas, Muddy Buddies, etc are catching fish. You might try a small #14 or 16 pink San Juan Worm behind a streamer. Sometimes big fish will chase down a large streamer and eventually settle for a smaller offering such as the trailing San Juan Worm or Copper John. If you prefer fishing nymphs over chucking heavy #4 streamers and risking losing your ear, try #14-18 Copper Johns in green, copper, chartreuse, and red. Right now, dry flies are being outnumbered by nymphs and streamers, but fish will still rise to a well presented Elk Hair Caddis, or a #18-22 BWO. Take note of the spawning browns. If you see them guarding their redds, try not to fish for them. They are guarding the next generation of fish that we will attempt to fish for.

If you have or will go fishing, let us know how you did...

Monday, November 2, 2009
I left town at 6:30 and arrived at the fly shop at 9:45. The crowds were few and far between around the hatchery section of the D. There were a few anglers, one upstream of me and two downstream. They weren't having any success either. I stopped by Davidson River Outfitters before hitting the water and they told me streamers are a possibility around the hatchery, but everytime one is thrown to the fish, they chase it and then back down and refuse: exactly what happened when I gave a Barr's Slumpbuster a try. The water was unbelievably clear, so it seemed as if 7x was the only size tippet I could use to at least draw some attention to these wily fish. Tough fishing...Great day to be in the mountains though. The fall foliage was at it's peak.

Still narrowing down one of the following:

Top Ten Excuses Used By Fishing Guides When The Fishing Is Lousy by Guy Turck

10. The river is too high/low this time of year
9. The water is too muddy/clear for optimal fishing
8. The water is too fast/slow for your ability level
7. The fish are catatonic today
6. There must have been a full moon last night
5. These trout have lockjaw
4. Too much fishing pressure has the trout running for their lives
3. The barometric pressure must be dropping
2. You're not holding your tongue right

And the number one (MIDI drum roll please) excuse used by fishing guides when the fishing is lousy...

1. You should have been here yesterday.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Davidson River (aka the "D") awaits me early Monday morning. I haven't fished the Davidson in a while. Matter of fact, April was the last time I've been over there. Delayed Harvest waters have prevented me from going insane. Like most other heavily fished waters, the D should have some people, but on a Monday, the crowds won't be bad at all...I'm guessing there will be a handful of guides out guiding (or playing hooky). I still have two dozen flies I'd like to get tied (mostly #26-30 thread midges) before the trip. May tie a few of my Realistic Black Caddis that seem to always catch a few of the educated fish over on the Davidson. To tell you the truth, I'm psyched....Can't wait to rig up and hit the river. So if you happen to see a guy doing the "gimme my fly back" dance with the surrounding rhododendron, stop and say hello...

The next post will likely be late Monday or on Tuesday.

See ya'll on the river...
Monday, October 26, 2009

I was sitting at the tying bench the other day and came up with a new stone pattern...I tried to construct the bug with as much realism as possible...

Hook: any curved shanked hook.
Thread: 6/0 brown (or olive)
Tail: Brown goose biot
Body: Brown vinyl rib (I use a layer of brown dubbing under the vinyl rib to build up the body)
Thorax: Gray ostrich herl
Legs: Brown goose biot (bent to shape)

I add lead and a gold beadhead to aid in siking the fly to the bottom of the river. Stoneflies are found on the bottom, so keeping this fly down deep is a must.
1.) According to the forecasts, rain showers will gradually move into the region, becoming widespread by tomorrow afternoon. The rest of the week consists of highs in the 70's. The month of November looks to be above average for temperatures, then getting colder during the later part of the month into December. If you're like me and you're ready for some cold and snow, you may have to wait just a little while longer. Long range forecasting is nothing more than an educated "guesstimate". You can stab Jell-O to a tree before you can make a 100% accurate long range forecast. If you are anxious to know what may lie ahead during the upcoming Winter here in the state, this is about the best piece of information I know of... http://mattheweast.blogspot.com. Matthew East is one of our meteorologists in Charlotte. The top video is his newly added "2009 Winter Outlook". If you aren't familiar with technical weather maps and charts, don't worry, if you watch the end, he explains each month this winter in detail. (temperatures, snowfall, etc). I had to throw this out there, given that were diving into the colder months (eventually the winter months).

2.) Fishing will be on the good side over the next week or so. Warm temps will keep the fish relatively active (up high, it will be cooler). You can use just about any fly you want right now. For nymphs, Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare's Ear Nymphs, and most stonefly nymphs will catch fish. For dries, #18-24 BWO's should work, along with #16-18 Elk Hair Caddis, #14 Stimulators, and tiny cream midges. Streamers such as Woolly Buggers, Slumpbusters, Clousers, and sculpin patterns are also working very well, with the large browns lurking in deeper pools. In my opinion, this is the best time of the year to go fly fishing. Cooler temperatures combined with large hungry fish and red fall foliage make for great outings.

3.) I've got a 5 day weekend fast approaching, so I am trying to get out to a stream. May head west and hit the Davidson River, may head north to fish the Stone Mtn DH. It's looking like Monday might be best...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
(from NCWRC website) RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 12, 2009)–Trout fishing opportunities provided and managed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have a substantial positive impact to the local economies of western North Carolina and to the state as a whole, according to a recent study conducted by Responsive Management and Southwick Associates.

The study, “The Economic Impacts of Mountain Trout Fishing in North Carolina,” found that nearly 93,000 anglers fishing in North Carolina spent an estimated $146 million on mountain trout fishing trips and equipment in 2008. When the secondary (multiplier) effects of these dollars spent were factored in, the total economic output of the Commission’s trout management program in North Carolina exceeded $174 million.

Money spent on mountain trout fishing in 2008 supported a total of 1,997 jobs and provided an estimated $56 million in income, much of it to workers in western North Carolina.

From late March through early April, Responsive Management, a firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, conducted a telephone survey of 1,232 randomly selected licensed anglers 18 years and older who fished for mountain trout in 2008. Southwick Associates developed the economic models.

The survey was funded by the Commission under the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration program.

Survey respondents answered questions pertaining to fishing trip and equipment expenditures, numbers of days fished and types of streams fished.

An estimated 92,765 resident and non-resident anglers fished for trout 1.42 million days in North Carolina in 2008, with Transylvania, Watauga, Haywood, Cherokee, Henderson, Jackson and Ashe counties seeing the most fishing activity.

A typical resident trout angler fished nearly 10 days in 2008, spending $65 per day on trip expenses while a typical non-resident angler fished five days in 2008 and spent $158 per day on trip expenses. The average resident trout angler spent $502.92 per year on equipment.

Other survey findings included:

•Hatchery supported waters were the most frequently fished waters (625,147 days), followed by wild trout waters (422,671 days); and delayed harvest waters (374,611 days).

•Total economic impact of hatchery supported waters measured $72.7 million; $55.2 million for wild trout waters and $46.5 million for delayed harvest.

According to Doug Besler, the mountain region fisheries supervisor for the Commission, the agency funded the study to help quantify the economic impact of its trout management program on North Carolina’s economy. Survey results from this study, combined with results from an earlier angler opinion study, will be used to develop a comprehensive trout management plan, enhance public fishing opportunities, and market the agency’s angling opportunities to North Carolina residents and tourists alike.

“The economic impact of the trout management program can be a significant contributor to the expanding tourism and green-based economies of western North Carolina,” Besler said. “The Commission looks forward to pursuing collaborative opportunities to expand public fishing opportunities for trout fishing in western North Carolina.”
Monday, October 19, 2009
It seems as if winter is not going to give up without a fight. Low temperatures have been chilly by October standards statewide, as mid 20’s to low 30’s have ensued across the Old North State. Regardless of cold overnight readings, temperatures during the day have been relatively comfortable. Cold air is eroded by mid morning throughout this week, as temperatures rebound into the upper 60’s to low 70’s in most spots.

Putting the weather into the fishing equation…The overnight temps may slow the trout down a bit, but they are still active right now. Big, spawning brown trout reacting to the colder water temps are in search of larger prey items to stock up for the colder months. This means streamer patterns such as the Woolly Bugger, Zonker, Sheila Sculpin, Sculpzilla, or even a Zoo Cougar are taking fish. Drift your streamer of choice through a “fishy” run, giving it a few twitches and short darts. If you are more of a dry fly kinda guy/gal, BWO’s are hatching in sizes of about 18-22 “ish”. Stimulators and Elk Hair Caddis in “smaller than average” sizes are also enticing fish to the surface. Midges in small sizes (24-28) are also working.

Here’s the lowdown…

Delayed Harvest (DH) waters- The DH streams are doing well, following NCWRC’s stocking. These fish are more inclined to take most flies you put in front of them as long as it’s presented properly. They can be a little selective, but nothing compared to Catch & Release waters. Use just about any fly you want on DH waters…Nymphs to dries, streamers to wets…It’s your call.

The “D” (Davidson River)- The hatchery section of the “D” has been fishing well lately. After the flooding rains we experienced a few weeks ago, the “D” looks like it’s been reconstructed on “Exstream Makeover: Riparian Edition (anyone?)… The hatches on the stream haven’t changed much. Midges, midges, midges… Blood midges, olive midges, black midges and cream adult midges are still on the menu for these fish. Try a thread midge in #22-30 or an olive WD 40 (#18-24). Light tippet is a must if you plan on catching fish on the “D” right now…2x isn’t gonna fool these fish around the hatchery.

To sum it all up, everything looks great…water levels, temperatures, fishing, etc. …Have at it!!
Sunday, October 18, 2009

A snapshot at 4:00 from a NPS webcam located on the summit of 5,086 ft Purchase Knob in the Smokies.

1.) Chilly air is making it's way south into the Carolinas overnight tonight. Lows in the Piedmont will be down in the mid 30's with patchy frost likely (bring those plants in). Snow has been falling up in the mountains (mainly above 3,500 ft) during the latter part of last night into this morning. It's a little too early for snow, even on the higher peaks. It will gradually warm up as we progress into this week. By Wednesday, places like Boone will be in the upper 60's, possibly making it to 70. This definitely signals great fishing up in the high country.

2.) The fishing has been pretty good in western NC. If you can get past the cold, you should have a productive day. Look out for BWOs' in #16-22, along with small #20-28 midges. Stonefly nymphs in #8-12 have been working well, along with most generic nymphs (Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare's Ears, Red Fox Squirrel Nymphs). If you are more of a dry fly fisherman, Stimulators in sizes of 12-16 have been catching fish, along with a #14-16 Elk Hair Caddis or a #14-20 Para Adams. Don't hesitate to tie on a Pheasant Tail Nymph or a Copper John behind your dry of choice. Lastly, streamers (Zonkers, Buggers, Sculpins) will entice large spawning browns to eat. With that said, my Go-to fly right now would have to be a #14 pink San Juan Worm. They are highly visible to the fish and the angler and the fish seem to love 'em.

3.) We may hit a stream sometime next weekend or early next week. The Davidson River (The "D") may be the stream of choice, the Tuckaseegee or some DH water are also one of the choices. My Tennessee license/trout stamp expires next year...I need to get over to the South Holston/Watauga sometime during the winter.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
1.) Judging by the forecasts, we're due to get smacked by some chilly, rainy weather tomorrow through Friday. It was around 80 degrees today here in the Charlotte metro area ahead of the cold front. Overnight the rain will slowly creep into the region, while temperatures slowly drop through the 50's. By lunch time tomorrow, the temps will continue to drop down into the upper 40's. By about 4 PM tomorrow, it looks like we'll be sitting in the mid 40's. The high temperature will be recorded early tomorrow morning, so albeit the Weather Channel forecasts a high of 52 or 53, it will be recorded before the temps start the plummet.

The stream restoration project I'm working on may be halted for a few days if heavy rains flood out the stream. If it rains all day tomorrow, all night tomorrow night with a 50 percent chance Friday, it's looking like the creek will be full and dangerously close to the banks. I may be able to uninstall the remainding silt fences, but getting into the water is out of the question...

That's about all I've got for a post, may update tomorrow...
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Well, Stone Mountain was on fire today folks. The temperatures were in the mid 60's most of the day, with overcast skies. My kinda weather!! Water temps were in the mid 50's, which means wader season is here and wet wading can be eliminated until next summer. Most of the folks visiting the park were hiking and searching for wildlife. I did see a handful of other fisherman, but the pressure was low. I was fisihng the East Prong Roaring River, where the recently stocked water gave way to excellent fishing. The fish (I'd say 90% of them were Brookies) were a little cautious about grabbing my fly, but that's what makes fly fishing fun. I ended up catching about a dozen, while missing literally 60-70 fish. They were rising to dries and taking small nymphs. One fish was unusually large. I saw him rising and tailing in calm, shallow water, only 10 inches deep or so. I tossed a #8 olive Slumpbuster streamer over to him and slowly stripped it in. Not too long after the fly hit the water, he swallowed the fly and I set the hook. Apparently he was a pretty smart fish, as he wiggled free and swam back down to his hole before I was able to bring him in. On 6x tippet and the absence of a landing net, I wouldn't have got him in close enough. (I didn't expect to hook up with anything big enough to need a net). My dad and I agreed he was probably 21-22 inches.

Saturday, October 3, 2009
1.) Off to Stone Mountain tomorrow afternoon to take advantage of the recently stocked East Prong Roaring River. The Davidson River (AKA "the D") was another option, the Mitchell River was the next. It's going to be NICE tomorrow...Especially up in the mountains, with lower 70's for highs and mid to upper 40's for lows. The temps are ideal for trout right now. Not to hot, not to cold. I'm tempted to fish some wild trout water such as Garden Creek. Don't know if I will yet. I really don't care where I fish...As long as there's fish and I'm out of the "big city" of Kannapolis.

2.) Yesterday afternoon, I met with the Public Works Director, the Storm Water Manager, and two guys who work in the Public Works department in Kannapolis. We discussed my plan, layout, and what could be done on Roger's Lake Branch over deer jerky. Man alive, one of the guys, Henry, can make some pretty mean deer jerky. I'm a big fan of deer and elk meat, so I jumped when he offered me some. Anyways, the storm water manager was able to tell me where all of the major water lines were, so I wouldn't have to worry about rupturing one of them and creating another Mississippi River. They told me that the silt fences surrounding the stream could be removed, so I told them I would take them out. It's all falling in line!! Nothing looks to be holding us back...

3.) I've noticed that there are more and more folks using and switching to Wordpress. I decided to start another blog over on Wordpress. It's still called Tar Heel Fly Fishing, but it looks a little different. There's a lot of helpful stuff and extra things Wordpress developers have created. Check the other blog out here. If you have any concerns, questions, or comments shot me an email. I'm experimenting more than actually transitioning...

So, off too the river tomorrow afternoon, might begin the project later tomorrow when back, might hold off until Monday. If you see a silver Nissan Pathfinder with a GTNP (Grand Teton Nat'l Park) decal on the back, stop and say hello...More tomorrow when back
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
1.) I'm getting deeper and deeper into the planning of the upcoming stream restoration project for one of my classes (read the previous post for specifics). I'm meeting with our Director of Public Works and the Storm Water Manager of Kannapolis Friday afternoon, to discuss the plan, the possibilities and the limitations that could stop certain jobs (such as extending the section of the stream into private property) from being carried out.

Here's some before pictures I snapped a few days ago of Roger's Lake Branch...

As you can see in these pictures there's a good amount of trash that needs to be picked up.

With it being fall, we are transitioning from warm temps to cold temps. This means that I just have to slide my waders on when it gets into the lower 20's in November. If I would have chosen a fall garden, it would have been very risky, since the class started after the preferred date to start a garden. Roger's Lake Branch, usually freezes over night when temps get into the teens during the winter, so this may be the only problem. Last year, I was fishing Roger's Lake in early January with 13 degree temps early in the morning. Between navigating through sheets of ice and deep pools, I managed to catch several half frozen bluegill.

Anyways, hope everything falls into place with the project and nothing turns for the worst...
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Found a thread/fishing report here on the Southeast Fly Fishing Forum that illustrates what the Davidson River looks like during 2,500 cfs flows...This is amazing...High water does make for some excellent streamer fishing. Leave the 6x in the car!! I need to get over there to try for a big one on 2x and a #4 streamer!!
1.) I can't for the life of me remember what the sun is. It's been cloudy and dreary for the past week or so. There was some sun on Sunday (Sun on Sunday...what a coincidence). I'm looking out the window now and all I see is gray skies. It hasn't been raining in the Charlotte Metro area, most of the rain has stayed west of us. It's like were living in the Pacific Northwest. We need rain...Not cloudy skies without precipitation!! It looks like the sun will dominate the day next Monday, but until then, cloudy and dreary skies will prevail. On the positive side of things, today is the first day of Fall. 10:34 AM marked the turnover from Summer to Fall. Next week looks cooler, according to the 15 day forecast. upper 30's for lows and 60's for highs. The best time to fly fish here in the state (especially for streamer enthusiasts) is in the Autumn months.

2.) I was able to fix the blog difficulties yesterday. I needed to renew the domain which only last annually. Lance Milks (his blog is here) emailed me yesterday because the blog was down. I checked and sure enough, "Tar Heel Fly Fishing" was now a random webpage/advertisement. It came to me that the domain has probably expired. I renewed it and an hour later the blog was back up and running smoothly. It scared me for a second, as I didn't know if it could be fixed our not. Sorry for the hold up, I'm sure some folks are thinking Tar Heel Fly Fishing is gone...It's not!!

3.) I checked the water levels which are VERY high in Western NC. The Davidson River is blown out. Currently it has receded back down to 1,010 cfs (I know what you're thinking...Receded?!?! To 1,010?!?!). Folks, average for the "D" is a mere 83 cfs. The water levels spiked to nearly 6,000 cfs yesterday evening. For a brief hour or two, the NWS Flood Stage was reached on the Davidson. Has anyone ventured over that way during all of the heavy rain?
Monday, September 14, 2009
1.) It's been pretty warm in the Carolina's today. Mid 80's prevailed across the Tar Heel State. It really wasn't bad weather wise, with relatively low humidity levels thanks to a dry air mass. The ten day suggests a pretty steady trend in the upper 70's and into the 80's. A wedge or two (cold air damming event) may disrupt consecutive 80's. If you're venturing out to the stream, river, or lake, low water will be a major problem. The Davidson River is flowing at 32 cfs, average to date is 89 cfs. 6x-7x tippet is almost a must in these conditions, so unfortunately 2x ain't gonna fly. Given the first frost hasn't "frosted" yet, terrestrials are still on the menu for most fish up in the high country.

2.) DH is starting back soon (October 1st). I'm ready for some delayed harvest fishing. A friend of mine said he went up to Stone Mountain to fish one of the wild streams (Forgot which one he told me). He said he caught several smallish wild rainbows on dries. He and I agreed DH needs to start soon!!

3.) It's almost the 1 year anniversary of Tar Heel Fly Fishing. I posted the first post on September 20th of last year. It's been a fun ride in the Blogging world. I hope to keep the blog up and running for years to come. I signed up with Sitemeter back in roughly early January. Sitemeter tracks and records visits from folks. 4,612 visits and 7,496 page views, with a combined 12,108 visits/views since January. It's all because of the support and my readers, who keep coming back. Thanks again folks for a great first year...I've received countless emails from folks that really enjoy reading the blog. These emails keep the drive going. Thanks again folks!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
1.) I've been on my toes the past few weeks. School has been taking away from the blogging world. Haven't had much of a chance to get away from it all. Projects and major assignments are now being assigned, which will take away even more blogging time. I've got an SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) project that's being planned out. I'm still not sure what to do, but, I'm thinking it will relate to fishing in some way, shape, or form. I've thought about heading back to the Smokies to help with the brook trout restoration project on Lynn Camp Prong. As long as the project pertains to wildlife, conservation or general agriculture it's accepted. Stream restoration on Irish Buffalo Creek which runs behind my house is another project. It's a real possibility, and would not be "just another science project". I would have to obtain permission through the county and the Soil and Water Department. I'll probably contact our local Trout Unlimited chapter here in Cabarrus County. If this becomes reality, I'll concentrate on restoring a section of Irish Buffalo, making it more suitable for the native bluegill and bass that inhabit it, and making not only the stream better, but the surrounding riverbanks and adjacent areas more suitable for other folks and for wildlife. Before and after pictures are a necessity for this project, which shows progress. So, I've got some work to begin in the coming days/weeks/months.

2.) College football's here!! I've seen/heard of some major blow-outs today. Here's a few final blow-out scores...

Florida/Charleston Southern....62-3. ~Florida

Notre Dame/Nevada.....35-0. ~ND

North Carolina/Citadel.....40-6. ~UNC

Vanderbilt/Western Carolina....45-0 ~Vanderbilt

Kentucky/Miami (OH).....42-0 ~Kentucky

Tennessee/W Kentucky....63-7 ~Tennessee

Boston College/Northeastern.....54-0 ~BC

Montana (GO GRIZ!!)/Western State....38-0 ~Montana

My grandad who is a graduate of Baylor University down in Waco, TX, had tickets to the Baylor-Wake Forest game, so we all were up in Winston Salem for that game. 24-21, Baylor...It started out gruesome if you're a Deacs fan, but eventually winded down to a 3 point difference, which is not bad at all. If it would have been 65-3 it would have been pretty horrible.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Just walked in the door from a 3 night camping trip at Elkmont in the Smokies. The first day and night (Tuesday) was not bad weather-wise. There was off and on showers, with a lot of low lying fog, but it was a good opening day for the trip. Wednesday was overcast and intermittently rainy, which is perfect for fly fishing. Wednesday night was pretty miserable, as a severe t'storm caused rain to pond under the tent. I've never heard thunder that loud before. It echoed across the valley and mountains. Scared the mess outta me... Anyways, the condensation from the heavy rain caused the inside of the tent to become soaking wet. We woke up to water all over the floors and the sleeping bags. Tents are usually able to withstand rain, but not rain falling at 2" an hour. Last night was a lot better, without rain and thunderstorms.

Dinner...and gosh was it good!!!

I took off to fish Little River under the bridge at the campground. Caught several small rainbows all on dries, all in the late evening around 7:45.

Right on the river!! I had to be careful where I stepped if I got out of the tent in the dark... 5 ft and I would be in the river...
The Light Cahills were an abundance...No really, they were everywhere...

Don't exactly know what this mayfly was. Looks like either a Brown Drake or a Mahogany Dun. Any aquatic entomologists with answers?

Tying up one of my newest creations: The Foam n' Hair Caddis

The premier fish of the entire trip (heck the whole Summer!) I caught this guy between Metcalf Bottoms Picnic area and "The Sinks" on Little River. He fell for one of my #6 bright green caterpillar flies made solely of Furry Foam. The first cast was all it took. I saw a large white mouth open as my fly drifted through a deep run. I knew he had my fly so I set the hook and he let some rage out. I initially thought it was a large rainbow, because of the jumping this fish did. I've never seen a brown trout jump as high as this fella did. He cleared the water several times. I had to remind myself that this was trout on Little River, not tarpon at Boca Grande. Now, the size of this fish is nothing special on the South Holston River in TN or the Davidson River in NC. By Smokies standards it's a good fish.

Mt. Leconte shrouded with low lying clouds

Newfound Gap

Summary: Counting down the days until the next trip to the park...
Monday, August 17, 2009
I've been glued to the Weather Channel and Jim Cantore's coverage on Tropical Storm Claudette (If you've been a blog reader here, you know that I'm into weather).

I'll start closest to home...TS Claudette

As of 10 PM, Claudette is a tropical storm. It's upon landfall as I type, so, not much room for this storm to intensify. It'll start the weakening process very soon. Albeit the storm is going to considerably weaken as friction from dry land wears the TS down, the heavy rain being thrown from the center of circulation will be a problem. Especially in mountainous areas.

TD Ana..

Not much to talk about w/ this one. Just a windy, rainy, dreary day out in the Leeward Island area.

Now, TS (soon to be Hurricane) Bill...

What really has grabbed my attention was Hurricane Bill. This mean, grumpy 'ol fella is really starting to churn out in the distant Atlantic. As of 9 PM (only 4 hours ago) Bill was at some 60 mph when I left for church around 6 PM. I just checked a few minutes ago and he's now up to 70 mph and dropped from 994 mb to 990 mb. Forecasters are expecting this angry storm to become a Cat 3 between Tuesday at 8 PM and Wednesday 8 PM. A Category 3 storm is considered a major hurricane. It's still uncertain (impossible to be sure) where Bill will head. Taken verbatim, the current storm track shows Bill hitting the east coast of the states, but where? Northern FL to New England are fair game as of now. I'm not thinking too far ahead.

What does this mean for fly fishing/trout fishing in NC?

With heavy rain possible over the next few days, fishing might not be a safe thing to do. If waters start to rise and become extremely swift, the fishing may be put into jeopardy. A stranded fisherman stuck in rising and swift water is putting the angler's life in jeopardy. If the water is extremely high and treacherous, don't feel like you have to fish that particular river. Go to a small headwater stream. Here, conditions will be much better. Still, you have to watch where you are walking and watch for swifter water, but overall, small stream fishing during a lot of heavy rain and blown out main rivers equals good fishing and a better chance of survival; a MUCH better chance. No one wants to see a rescue squad trying relentlessly to rescue a person caught in a dilemma. The fishing will be very productive on the big waters when the water starts receding, but is still cloudy and muddy. The advantages of fishing after heavy rain include the chances to use heavy tippet (0x-3x) and large streamers. Hopefully the bulk of the heavy, flooding rains will miss the Carolinas, but it's not certain right now...
Saturday, August 15, 2009
We left Etowah, TN at 6:00 AM, bound for "Brookie Land". It was a pretty productive day, as we went to 2 rivers, each in seperate states. First, as mentioned above, we went to a Brook Trout enthusiast's dream stream.This place is packed with small 5-7" specs. I caught several, before packing it in around 10:00, now bound for the Nantahala River in NC. The Nantahala treated me fairly today... caught several. I missed a 14" brown, who chased after my streamer and rejected it at the last minute.

Pretty good day over all...

Looks like a painting doesn't it? I did a double take when I saw the pictures. (with flash (higher light settings)

Without flash....Thinking about getting these blown up and framed...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Like planned yesterday, I ventured out to my all-time favorite blueline: IAin'tTellin' Creek. Chock full of smallish wild Southern Appalachian Specs, this stream is not necessarily untouched, but it is still in the wild; away from the "big city lights" of Etowah, TN, away from major roads; it's away from people and it's a great place to spend the afternoon (or day) relaxing and unwinding. I rigged up my 4wt 6' fly rod, took a small fly box full of small dries and a few Green Weenies with me. I set off into the jungle of Mountain Laurel and what can be an angler's worst nightmare, or best friend for the native fish, the rhododendron. In some places I had to "swim" through the tangle of these pesky shrubs. Throughout the short hike to the stream, I could here the mountain stream gurgling and rushing over stream rocks. Upon seeing the stream, I stopped and scouted for any liking looking hiding places for the fish. In short time, I located a likely looking pool. I positioned myself for a decent cast, while staying hidden behind a large boulder. The first cast of the day enticed a Spec to the surface, meeting my dry in a splashy outcome. I brought him close to my hand and while getting my camera out, he was gone. Perfect release in my book. I moved upstream to the next pool, where I caught several more. I managed to take a few pictures of a couple of fish, but instead of taking pictures of every single one, I sporadically took a picture throughout the day.

The gravel road leading up to the trailhead and the Cherohala Skyway.

The stream as seen a top an old bridge.

IAin'tTellin' Creek

The stream as seen below the old bridge

The trailhead

Bald River Falls (At the confluence of the Tellico River)

No fish were harmed and all were released. The one above darted off to his rock after I let him out of my hand.
Very enjoyable and productive day on the stream. Not once was I stung by africanized bees, yellow jackets, or bitten by a copperhead or rattlesnake. It was definitely a good day...
Monday, August 10, 2009
IAin'tTellin' Creek awaits me tomorrow afternoon. Leaving around lunchtime tomorrow. The last post from IAin'tTellin' Creek is below the last few posts. An over abundance of smallish, but colorful and very eager Brookies makes this particular mountain stream one of my favorites. Last time I was there, I didn't see another soul, car, 18 wheeler whizzing around the roads, heck, didn't even see or hear any planes overhead. Peaceful's the word up there. The flora and fauna is unique and the air is cool, regardless of the 91 degree high temps down in the low country. Oh yeah, 100 fish days aren't remotely out of the ordinary on this stream. It's only 4 ft across, but it's definately filled to the brim with wild brookies. Time to tie up a few additional small dries, de-barb the hooks, and dust off my 4 wt 6 ft fly rod. I'll have pictures tomorrow.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
The 'luftee won this time. It's the first time I've been skunked on the Oconoluftee. Extremely short strikes by obviously unhungry fish lead to a bad day of catching. The water was flowing strong and at normal levels, so the fish weren't spooky by any means. Fortunately for me, the non-venomous, and non-stinging fauna was out instead... I was fishing on the side closest to the river, working a deep pool in front of me, when I saw a mink winding his way across the riverside rocks with ease. I realized I now had a competing fisherman. Couldn't get a picture, he was in a hurry...

All and all, a good trip...I had several larger fish bump my fly, but no hook ups. Oh well, maybe next time... It was a good trip to unwind and enjoy being out on the river. Still looking forward to a camping trip to the Smokies next week. Then, fishing will stop to a standstill with school starting back up.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Heading out the door tomorrow at roughly 8:30 in the morning bound to Canton, NC. We've got a family reunion at noon. After that, I'll work my way over to Cherokee to fish the catch and release waters. I'll see what I can't get into over there tomorrow PM. Maybe I'll hook the last fish that got away from me last time I was there. As always when on the Cherokee C&R waters, I'm targeting Palominos. The camera's charged and ready to go tomorrow morning. Will post the results and a report tomorrow or Sunday afternoon.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's been nearly 2 weeks since I've been on the river. Part of the reason is I'm back in Kannapolis until Thursday, then back to the Volunteer State for another 2 weeks. I then have a 3 night/4 day camping trip planned in the Smokies the week of the 17th. We've reserved a site adjacent to the river, so I'll be eating a quick dinner around 6:00, then catching the evening Yellow Sally hatches through dusk for those 3 nights. During the day, we'll try and get up to the Walker Camp Prong/West Prong Pigeon River to scout for some wild Brookies. Alum Cave Creek also looks to be in the cards, water levels permitting. Since we're in the middle of the summer and as I found out the hard way 2 weeks ago, the yellow jackets are out in full force. So, finding a way to deter them is a question I can't answer. Sometimes they are hidden, sometimes they are buzzing around the nest and it's obvious they're there. From what I've heard DEET has no affect on them whatsoever. DEET contains a strong odor which makes them increasingly aggressive. I've heard of wearing a pair of pantyhose when surfing in waters where Box Jellyfish and Portuguese Man 'o War (Was stung by one of these before...You talk about pain!!) reside. Talking about critters that sting and bite, Timber Rattlesnakes are more abundant this year. Copperheads too... Gotta watch for these as well... If you were to be bitten by a rattlesnake on the App Trail away from civilazation and medical facilities, it's a given, you'd be lucky to make it due to the potent neurotoxin venom.

Enough rambling...Hey, I didn't put the heading entitled "The Viewpoints, Ramblings and Adventures, of an addicted NC Trout Bum up there for no reason... The next post will be posted from Vols Country.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
We left town at 6:00 this morning, bound to the North River area. We grabbed some breakfast and drove on past Tellico Plains and Telliquah. Albeit it's Saturday, there weren't mounds of people on the Tellico this morning. We keep driving east towards the NC state line (roughly 3,200 ft or so in elevation). We followed the North River, which is fairly wide (15-20 ft in most places) but as you climb in elevation, the "river" turns to a small, rushing mountain stream. I actually fished one of the feeder streams to the North (IAin'tTellin' Creek). Very tight cover, but beautiful to say the least. It's been a while since I've been in such a pristine, untamed area such as IAin'tTellin' Creek. The first couple of casts yielded several wild So. App strain Brookies. All where released unharmed.

This particular pool was full of eager Brookies. Some took a #12 Green Weenie, but most jumped at a #14 Yellow Sally dry

(Above) I caught this guy just after sunrise. With it being this early and given the dense brush and overhanging trees, it's hard to see the picture... The Green Weenie in his jaws sticks out like a sore thumb...

Good size Spec from this particular stream. I caught him a few minutes after I caught the one above. Notice the oval-like parr marks on his side...

Experimented with the camera on views and vantage points to take a short video...

I got into a nest of yellow jackets while on the water...I honestly had no earlthly idea they were there until they started swarming around me, every one of them stinging me; on the face. Those little buggers are good at stinging the intruder in the face. They don't target the hands, legs, arms...but the FACE... Of all places... I'm now preoccupied for a while digging and removing stingers from my face. Luckily, I didn't have an allergic reaction, or I wouldn't be typing this post right now.

All in all, it was a great trip. I'll be back soon... Winter time probably, when the yellow jackets are at their slowest...

Off to the North River in the morning. I haven't been on the river in over 2 weeks. Part of the reason has been VBS at church. I was asked to portray Skeeter, the Louisiana born, Cajun, "Bayouian". It was a lot of fun...tiring though, especially after everyone decided to play chase and tackle Skeeter outside. Anyways, I'm ready to be back on the river. I'm taking pictures tomorrow, so check back either tomorrow evening or Sunday. I've gotta get to bed, so I don't wake up at noon wondering where the day went. Early bird gets the worm...
Sunday, July 19, 2009
My grandad has been an associate pastor for years. He has worked mostly in Texas, but North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee have also been home to them. They lived in Middlesboro, KY 30 years ago. He worked as Associate Pastor at a church there in Middleboro. So, when he/we received an invite to see a play organized by the church on Friday, we jumped in the car and made the 2 1/2 hour trip north. I've never made it to Kentucky until now, so I was able to mark another visited state off of my list. I've been to NC, SC, GA, FL, VA, TN, MN, WY, ID, MT, but a state as close as KY is to NC/VA, I don't know why I've never jumped from VA to KY and back. Now, AR, PA, WV, MD, etc are on my list.
(above) The buildings here on Main St. were severely damaged after an EF 3 Tornado swept through town on May 9th 1988 causing $5,000,000 and $50,000,000 in damages. There was 1 fatality and 15 injuries.

One of many coal mines in KY...

(Above and Below) Hamilton County, TN sunset

Yesterday Evening on the Hiwassee...

"The fishing was great, it was the catching that was bad..." Good evening to take pictures and to enjoy being out on the river...

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