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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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Friday, January 30, 2009

Nushagak Special

Hook: Mustad SL53UBL signature hook #4

Tail: Guinea Fowl fibers

Body: Awesome Possum nymph dubbing (brushed out for a "buggy look")

Hackles: 1st~ 2 pink hackle feathers, and then 2nd~ 1 Guinea fowl feather wet fly style.

Realistic Black Caddis (Awesome Davidson River fly)

Hook: Mustad 6068 (Caddis/scud hook)
Body: Lead around shank and then black dubbing and a black strip of foam on top for the shell.

Wing: Black Marabou w/ cement to compact fibers together.

Legs: Moose mane crimped to imitate legs.

Soft Hackled Blue Winged Olive

Hook: Any small nymph hook is fine

Tail: 3-4 pheasant tail fibers

Body: Light olive dubbing

Ribbing: Small copper wire

Thorax: Gray ostrich herl

Hackle: Hungarian Partridge

Thursday, January 29, 2009
Fishing Status: Better, but still on the slow side.

1.) I has turned out to be a great day weather wise here in the Carolinas. Much will change over the next few days. Monday night into Tuesday is looking a little interesting. A monster of a storm (I say that now and it turns out to be an insignificant nuisance...but...). This storm system will originate from the Gulf and move up the coast. There are a few scenarios that are possible with this storm. Scenario #1, the storm tracks through and west of the mountains (not looking likely), #2 the storm takes an eastern oriented track through the Piedmont. # 3, the storm stays close to the coast, and continues it's northerly track. If # 3 plays out, we may actually have a pretty hefty snowstorm here in the Carolinas, because the cold air will be able to flood into the region and a dominate snow event would take place. # 2 would most likely be limited to a mostly rain, and #1 would mean a warmer day and rain....

2.) Now that I've got the weather section done (hey, weather is a major factor in fly fishing...) I'll continue with the report. Recent days have allowed for an increase in water temps up on the trout streams, but, cold low temps have brought the temps down. There was solid ice on the truck's windshield this morning, not frost, ICE. So, temps up in the high country were considerably colder. It looks like the low to mid 40's tomorrow up in the high country ('cept for Boone where lower 30's will prevail), so fishing may be okay, but just okay. I'd still layer up and wear those Simms thermal socks and carry a cup of coffee with you down to the stream. The Davidson is fishing well right now, as well as the Tuck and the French Broad. Staying down on the low rivers will be to your advantage as the higher streams will be a lot colder. Use anything from a PT nymph to a small streamer, to a BWO nymph and possibly a BWO adult if the clouds thicken up anytime soon. Chack the hatch chart over on the right for suggested patterns right now.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1.) I'll do my best to get a good post in tomorrow. I have now changed to a new semester, and so far it's busy. Small Business/Entrepreneurship and Agriscience have been hectic, but I'm getting more and more accustomed to the hours day by day. Still, I'd rather be casting #22 BWO's at Davidson River browns right now, but if I'm planning on attending the University of Montana, fishing trips will be sporadic. I'm looking on the bright side....a scholarship to UM at Missoula means school on the workdays and the Clark Fork, Bitteroot, Blackfoot, and weekend trips to Glacier on off days. Again a post should be up by tomorrow. I may even get a short fishing report in by 8:00 in the morning, but don't count on it.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
1.) SIGH...I was trying to upgrade the blog, and somehow, I went into template MADNESS...deleted the template, three column setup, links, and followers......My apologies guys..I'll have the blog as good as new by tomorrow afternoon...most of the stuff will be back tonight, but, everything will be back to normal tomorrow. Again, is it Monday yet? Man, I need to go fishing again SOON for my own sake...
Fished the "D" yesterday, and did well for a cold Winter day. I managed to catch 2, the first one was a 17 inch brown that took a # 22 Parachute BWO...I'm still kicking myself for this, but, the second fish was a MONSTER brown, well, I'd say he was a "brownbow" as he leaped jumped like a rainbow, but halfway through the fight, he peeled 15 feet of line off my reel, and then took off into a bunch of limbs and drowned rhododendron roots which is a charcteristic of a brown trout...once hooked, head down deep and hid under limbs and roots....Anyways, the fish broke my 6x tippet before I was able to bring him in even remotely to my net. The fish had to weigh around 6 pounds, and as long as 25-26 inches...I'm sticking with that idea...Other than breaking off a bohemoth of a fish, the "D" treated me well...can't wait until the next trip.
Friday, January 23, 2009
1.) I'll be Davidson River bound early tomorrow morning...Since it will be on a Saturday, the crowds will be there, but the weather folks say there is a chance of a few showers...nothing heavy, and any rain that does develop will be short lived. I'm definately bringing my BWO's with me...a cloudy, cool, drizzly first half of the day is a good thing. After about noon, the sun will be out and the temps will reach the upper 40's to low 50's.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
1.) It's still a cold one across the Carolinas, minus the snow. Our lawn is sporadically covered with it, but strictly confined to the shady areas. All of the snow that was out in the open has been melted by the sun's rays. All and all, the wind isn't blowing, the cold isn't unbearable, and the sun is out...not a cloud in the sky. In other words...fishing WILL get better later this week.

2.) Most streams in NC have been in the mid to lower 30's. Fly fishing for trout right now is no where near it's best, but as I said earlier, the weather will get better. Temps this Friday on one of the most sought after trout rivers in the Tar Heel State, the Davidson River in Brevard, will reach the mid to upper 50's. The water temps will have a small window of opportunity to warm a little, and maybe enough to provoke the trout into eating, but not in a habitual and consistent manner. Look on the bright side, we only have about 7 1/2 to 8 weeks before the Quill Gordons and Blue Quills start hatching in the afternoon. It's always a lot of fun to fish in a Quill Gordon Mayfly hatch. The trout will feed in a frenzy that most likely hasn't been displayed since fall. I remember the first brook trout I caught on a fly about 6 years ago at Stone Mountain State Park. That particular fish was enticed into hitting a #14 Quill Gordon during a light QG hatch. All 11 inches of this male brookie was released safely. Frankly, I can't wait until May, as the streams come ALIVE with hatching caddis, mayflies, and stoneflies. Hendricksons, March Browns, Lt. Cahills, Gray Caddis, Sulphurs, Black Caddis, Gray Foxes, and my favorite the Green Drake hatches all occur in the month of May. Also the Giant Stonefly Nymphs (Pteronarcys), basically an eastern giant salmonfly in a way, abound in many of the streams and rivers of the high country. This is exactly why us fly tiers tye ALL Winter long... in anticipation of the Spring bugs.

3.) Montana's Madison River has been fluctuating between frozen and thawed. I found this picture on Madison River Fishing Co's site...so what flies are working in this picture?...I remember fishing this section during heavy runoff last June.. Runoff and a frozen solid river are two things against an angler in MT...but, that's about it...It must have been pretty cold to stop a raging river's flow in it's tracks...The salmonflies will hatch in June and people from all 50 states will be in the river...for now, everyone is in Florida...
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
1.) That 6 inches did not happen, I really wasn't expecting the higher amounts anyway, the storm just simply did not track enough east to give us the 6". Here in Kannapolis, we received about 1-3 inches on the ground, while Albemarle, Asheboro, and Wadesboro had 2-4 and locally 5". The BIG accumulations are occurring over in the Triangle and over towards the coast. Raleigh has 6 inches already, Fayetteville has 4 inches, and one of the heaviest spots...Pittsboro w/ 7". In general, if you are along and east of I85, you probably saw 1-3". West of I85 and a dusting at most. NC snowstorms are EXTREMELY tough to nail...I still have a feeling we'll get a decent snow event soon for the entire Piedmont.
Monday, January 19, 2009
1.) Well, well, well, snow is looking very likely tonight in to Tuesday here in the Charlotte area/southern Piedmont. Looks like 2-5" w/ locally higher amounts of 6'' look probable. If you live in the Carolinas, check out the Wx-or-Not blog, as well as the East's Weather Blog link...both of them are meteorologists in Charlotte....best I've EVER seen by the way. A Winter Weather Watch has been hoisted across much of NC and a Winter Storm Warning will be established later on today. This looks like a bread and milk run.....
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Slow: Chilly and snowy in the mountains

1.) Surprise, surprise...some folks in the Carolina Piedmont saw a little snow earlier today. No accumulations, but a lot better than wasting all of the cold air. We may repeat the snow shower activity tomorrow evening, but like today, not a big deal. We will be up and down in terms of the temperatures. The high country will be cold and then "warmer", and then colder. Folks along the TN/NC border are expecting 3-5 inches of snow overnight through early Tuesday.

2.) If your thinking about taking a trip up into the mountains for a little fishing, this Thursday and Friday look as good as most other days. Highs for both of those days in Boone will be in the mid 40's. Still, at 40 degrees, the water is dangerously cold, and hypothermia should be of concern. Make sure you have the basics in your fly box (pheasant tails, hare's ears, small stoneflies, etc) Don't be afraid of using your favorite streamers, as they will work right now. Of course, always have those small midges, and small BWO's at hand.

Water levels across the state...
  1. Davidson River @ Brevard...88 cfs
  2. Watauga River @ Sugar Grove...123 cfs
  3. Nantahala River @ Rainbow Springs...232 cfs
  4. Jacob Fork River @ Ramsey...19 cfs
  5. Cataloochee Creek @ Cataloochee...93
  6. South Toe River @ Celo...115 cfs
  7. Linville River @ Nebo...114
  8. Tuckasegee River @ Bryson City...1,250 cfs
  9. Oconaluftee River @ Birdtown...500 cfs
Friday, January 16, 2009
Slow: Frigid temps...inactive trout...fly tying's the better option...

1.) First of all, if you live in the eastern tier of the country, you are probably aware of the dangerously cold weather that has established itself into the region. Highs today have been in the upper 20's here in Kannapolis, and lows tonight are forecasted to reach 5 degrees. Now, I've seen forecasted temps from different sources land us anywhere from 4 to 9, still, when it's this cold, there isn't a big deviation between the two... Kind of reminds me of the Pink Floyd song, Comfortably Numb...my hands and feet are numb for sure. The cold airmass has also brought with it EXTREMELY dry air...humidity levels hovering around 15%, and dew points 15 below. With all of this cold, snow will be possible...outside of the mountains too...Sunday night into early Monday. Accumulations look very light...a light dusting to maybe an inch...locally 2 in some spots. It would be a nice thing to see...gives us something to anticipate prior to.

Here is a few lows for selected Carolina mountain communities...Amazing stuff...(from NWS)
  1. Asheville...6
  2. Boone...4
  3. Brevard...8
  4. Mt. Mitchell...0
  5. Hot Springs...5
  6. Thunderhead Mountain (TN/NC border-GSMNP)...-1
  7. Grandfather Mtn...2
  8. Mount Airy...7
2.) You can not find many other situations more dangerous than this when fishing. I would disregard fishing for a few days until the weather warms a little. I'm concentrating on tying flies right now...trying to tie upwards of 5,000 by mid Spring. It won't be long..a week or so...until the weather warms up enough to consider taking a trip to the stream.

3.) Everyone have a good evening...stay warm....
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Fishing Status: Slow (brutally cold air will slow angling down a lot)

1.) This week has flown somewhat. Don't have any clue as to how...Haven't fished this week, so suprised. For all of you fly fisherman out there who are itching to get on the stream (I know, I'm with ya), well, you will have to dodge some BRUTALLY cold weather late this week. Friday, temps will "recover" into the upper 20's. Temps early Saturday morning will range from 7-13 in the soutern Piedmont of NC. The mountains will be MUCH colder...negatives in a few spots. Mt Mitchell...HA..don't even want to see the temp for the highest peak east of the Mississippi here in NC. Sunday may be a flyfisherman's best chance to catch a few fish. Highs will be relatively warm...low 40's in the Piedmont...mid 30's in the mnts, but it beats 5 degrees for sure.

2.) Fishing will definately be slow, and will only get slower as we progress into Thursday and Friday. If you do venture out, bring small midge patterns (adult and larvae) with you. Midges are an anglers best friend in the cold Winter months. You probably won't come across any hatching Blue Winged Olives, but fishing BWO nymphs may bring success in the usual sizes of #18-22. If you do go out to the river, I can't stress enough how important it is to be careful when around water this time of year...fall in and hypothermia will give you NO mercy.

3.) I contacted the president of the Carolina Fly Fishing Club, and I'll be down in Charlotte tying at the Lyin' and Tyin' 2009 event on January 30th-31st. Looking forward to it...It's during the Fly tying Show, so there will be an adequate amount of fly tyers and fly fisherman in Charlotte.

4.) Everyone have a good one...more tomorrow.
Monday, January 12, 2009

1.) Here in the Charlotte area it has been on the chilly side. Not exactly what we'll see by the end of the week though, but still not warm. Rain doesn't look likely for at least the next 10 days here in the Piedmont. The high country will see a few snow showers tomorrow and then again on Thursday. The cold will be sticking around for a while, so if your an angler that doesn't mind the cold and snow, you should have a good day on the water. Trout have to eat throughout the Winter, although if the water temp gets below 40 F, the fish start to terminate their feeding for the most part and slow down. mid to upper 50's into the low 60's equals good dry fly action, as the fish tend to look up more than they would w/ lower temps. 60 F temps don't look plausible for awhile, BWO's and small midges are your best bet if you're a dry fly fisherman. Woolly Buggers, sculpin patterns, Clouser's, and various small streamers will work for the next few days. Also, using a red San Juan Worm will most likely catch a few fish. Don't forget those PT nymphs, BWO nymphs, and small black stonefly nymphs.

2.) I completely forgot about the Fly Fishing Show here in the QC. I was going to sign up as a fly tyer, but it's too late...Will do so next year. A lot of innovative fly tyers and fly casters will be there. The list includes Dick Talleur, Bob Clouser, Joe Humphreys, George Daniels, Jay "Fishy" Fullum, Steve Yates, and Dave Brandt, just to name a few. Joe Humphreys, Steve Yates, Bob Clouser, and Lefty Kreh will be at Troutfest in May. Trust me, you don't want to miss either one of these great shows.
Just discovered this site...http://www.rockyrivertu.org/AlenBakersTop40.htm This is a list of some of NC's best trout streams w/ the type of fish in the stream, location, how to get there, county, and much more. Great reference site, it will definately help beginning anglers in their search for good trout waters. This site was a link from my local Trout Unlimited Chapter here in Kannapolis. I'll add it to my link page...Give it a look.
Sunday, January 11, 2009

This is my latest creation, the Loch Leven Salmonfly. I use basic materials that most fly tyers have at hand.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Fishing Status: Good ( A little Rain, cool, but all in all good fishing)

I DID NOT take the photo above, it's from Fish Swami.com

1.) I'm done watching the Carolina Panthers. It is simply just too depressing to watch. These guys have worked so hard and had such high aspirations of going all the way, and this ONE game stopped the cats in their tracks. Am I disappointed this Saturday? Yup. Am I still a HUGE Carolina fan? You better believe it. Maybe next year.... long sigh.

2.) On other notes, rain has started to spread into the Carolinas as an approaching cold front is inching closer. Not a complete washout, a tenth of an inch to a possible fourth of an inch is in the cards. A few showers, some clouds, cool temps...I say BWO's and fly fishing. The REAL weather story in the next few days will be the extreme cold coming down from up north. Alaska has been 55 to 70 below, which indicates that the cold air is bottled up and ready to charge south. Of course we won't see 70 below readings down here, as the cold air tends to moderate as it draws south, but late next week is going to be FRIGID. Most of Western NC will experience temperatures in the SINGLE DIGITS for lows late next week. Upper 20's to low 30's will be the case for highs Thursday and Friday. Tuesday of next week will bring a clipper system throught the area, and a few snow showers may materialize as the clipper rolls on through, but not a big event, no accumulations as of now. Thursday and Friday brings yet another chance at a little snow, and a light dusting MAY be possible. Again not another big event, and these clipper systems are usually moisture starved. We need a Gulf storm to meet up with the cold air to have a big now event, but it has eluded us for now.

3.) If you venture out to fish, you will find that fishing in the smaller streams will be best, so pick a small tributary until the main rivers start to go down. Bead Head Pheasant Tails will work as well as those small Winter black stoneflies in sizes of 16 and 18. It's a good time of year to try out some new flies and experiment a little.

4.) If any of you guys fish in the coming days, report your trip on the comments section below the post. State where you fished (or relative location of if you don't want to give away the spot), weather conditions, flies used, and how you did....
Friday, January 9, 2009

I know this blog is for NC, but all eyes are on the movement of Yellowstone National Park. Heres a map of the recent swarm of Yellowstone Earthquakes. The map also shows quakes from 1973 to today. Notice that virtually every quake happened on the northern half of Yellowstone Lake. The caldera, or crater of the supervolcano is represented by the solid black circle.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
1.) I apologize for the lack of posting over the last few days. Essays and book reports have kept me preoccupied. I tell you what, I'm ready for a long Summer break out of school which equals fishing, fishing, fishing. I've got to get over to the Little River in Townsend, TN sometime before the Summer drought brings the water levels down to a trickle. I guess I'll bring my fly rod with me when I go to Troutfest. The Little River was BLOWN OUT Tuesday and yesterday. The river reached a height of 6,000 cfs. Average is 444, and right now the river has drastically decreased it's water level....1,120 cfs. I would say streams that aren't on a generation schedule will be "fishable" by Sunday or Monday. Still, be VERY careful when around the rivers, as they have a mind of their own, and can knock you off your feet before you say...Fish on. If you go, use a girdle bug or a black Pat's Rubber Legs in #6-10. Streamers will be very effective for a while with all of the high water. Stop by a fly shop and ask about the stream/river and get some guidance and tips.

2.) Yellowstone has calmed down in terms of earthquakes, but I can't tell whether or not it's a good thing or a bad thing. It's just unusual that the swarm of quakes under Yellowstone Lake stopped abruptly. I hope Yellowstone won't erupt for a long time. I would like to move out there and open up a fly shop close to the park.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Well, I have failed to post all of my pictures from out west back in June, so here they are....Amazing that if Yellowstone erupts, the mountains, rivers and the entire area will be annihilated.

Tetons near the Jackson Hole airport...not too far from the famed Snake River of Idaho.

Hebgen Lake on the Madison river in West Yellowstone MT. Great trout fishery, a lot of fisherman target Hebgen.

Result of the destructive forest fires in Yellowstone that wiped the vegetation out.

Fishing the Madison River between Hebgen and Quake Lakes.

Madison River Valley while we were on the way to Axolotl Lake high up in the Gallitan Range.
You can see towards the left-center part of the picture Ennis Lake and the town of Ennis, MT.

$3 Dollar Bridge on the Madison River. The roads in SW MT are mostly dirt like this one,
Interstate 90 and highway 287 were the one of the only paved roads we came across.

Sunday, January 4, 2009
Fishing Status: Good (Nothing really holding you back other than a few showers tomorrow.)

1.) Like the fishing status implies, if you are out fishing tomorrow you will probably run into a few scattered showers, not a washout, but more of an overcast day. You know what that means, ...BWO's. #18-22 are about right. When I was on the Davidson yesterday I used a small red San Juan Worm. Man alive, the trout attacked this thing. Like I said in my previous post, they probably thought it was a midge larvae on steroids. This is just an example that in heavily pressured streams, trying a fly the trout aren't seeing frequently is a good way of hooking up with more fish. When fly fisherman think of the "D" on a Winter day, they think of TINY BWO's and even smaller midges. Sometimes trout will be interested in a different bug. Anywho, can't wait until it warms up and camping season starts back. Camping and fly fishing...really brings back the memories from 7 years ago. I tell ya what, I honestly can't wait to start up a campfire and do a little fly tying.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Fishing Status: Good (some rain tomorrow, but fishing is still great.)

1.) I think I have cured my case of trout fever...strictly temporarily though. The Davidson River was great this afternoon. I arrived at about 1:45, and fished until about 5:00. While traveling along US 276, I noticed the cars coming and going like usual...which meant there was probably a lot of anglers on the stream. Surprisingly enough, the fishing wasn't elbow to elbow like it usually is. Fishing was slow at first, and after overcast skies started to roll on through, light rain started falling. More and more fisherman started leaving the stream as a result to the dreary weather. I pulled out my #20 BWO dries, as overcast and cool weather prompts BWO's to start hatching out. Sure enough a few small Olives were starting to come off of the water, so I switched to a BWO dry and fished it for a few minutes. The trout were simply not interested in the BWO adults, as during the hatch, very little fish came up to the surface to grab lunch. Due to the chilly water temps, most of the fish were on the bottom of a pool or near the banks and out of the current. So, with that being said, I switched to a trusty San Juan Worm in a red color. After rain, earthworms come up to the surface, so SJW's are a good bet. The San Juan I was using was about a size 16. Looked more like a midge on steroids than an earthworm....I pinched a split shot on about 8 inches above the fly and performed a roll cast to a promising looking seam. About 15 seconds through the drift, I felt a slight twitch on the end of my line, so my first instinct was to set the hook. I netted and safely released a 14 inch brown trout. Not a HUGE trout at all by Davidson River standards, but still a lot of fun. At the end of the day I managed to catch 2, mostly because I was crunched on time, and the cold slowed the fish down a bit. Without a doubt, I'm glad I was able to get on the river again. Great first trip of 2009!!

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