- Tyler Legg
- Charlotte, NC, United States
2.) As of lately, I have seen tons of inchworms, ants, beetles, and a few grasshoppers. It's about safe to say, the fish will be willing to grab a terrestrial fly pattern right now. Warm daytime temps along with cool-warm nights brings out the land bugs. It's still a bit too early for the hoppers, but we are about to undergo the transistion into May, so at least make sure your terrestrial selection is broad and ready to go. The heat makes waders seem impossible to wear, wet wading? Err....maybe, the water has only been exposed to warm temps for a few days. Backcountry "bluelining" for wild Appalachian Brook Trout is going to be SPECTACULAR for the next few days. Most fish up high on the wild streams will nail a small attractor fly, beetle, inchworm pattern, or any other dry.
Grover Cockerham Rd. (follows the Mitchell for a few miles.)
1.) Fishing Report~ Fishing over the first half of the weekend will be great if you plan on heading to a trout stream. Sunday will usher in cooler temps and more rain, but Saturday looks fantastic. March Browns in sizes of 12 and 14 have been starting to hatch out along with a few remainding Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, and of course tons of tiny cream midges. Anglers have been catching fish on PT Nymphs, San Juan Worms, March Brown nymphs and dries, along with QG's and BQ's. Work the deeper runs and pools in the morning with nymphs and eventually start fishing pockets, seams, and shallow runs and riffles with dries or dry/dropper by midday. Water levels are probably going to be up in a few spots so be careful when wading.
2.) I'm making the 30 minute trek to the Mitchell River Delayed Harvest tomorrow and then eventually wandering back up to Stone Mountain to fish the DH before "Bloody Saturday" arrives in June...I'll report back w/ pictures.
Legg's Golden Stonefly (Basically a Stimulator tweaked to match a golden stonefly.)
Hook: Any curved shank hook for Stimulators and stoneflies.
Thread: Tan 6/0
Tail: Elk hair
Body: Any golden colored dubbing
Rib: Black thread (Copper wire can be substituted)
Wing: Elk hair
Legs: Chartreuse barred rubber legs
Thorax: Golden colored dubbing
2.) Weather wise, across the state has been out of the ordinary. It's been only 48-50 most of the day, while snow and sub-freezing temps are in full gear up in the high country. Folks along the NC/TN line could pick up 4-7" of snow. Just goes to show that winter isn't always over, regardless of if it was 80 degrees Sunday and 3 weeks into Spring.
3.) If your fishing over the next few days, the water will be cold and the trout will be slow and lethargic. It will improve over the next few days, but it will take some time. Make sure you have the usual Quill Gordon (wet, dry and nymph) in your box, along with Blue Quills, BWO's, Black Caddis, and small brown Stonefly patterns. 5-6X is probably the best size for tippet...
by Tyler Legg
As Spring rolls on, May brings with it a plethora of insect hatches. Hatches during the month of May include the Ephemerella Subvaria (Hendricksons), the Stenonema Vicarium or March Brown, and the Stenonema Ithaca (Lt. Cahill). Other hatches worth mentioning include the Gray Caddis, Gray Fox, Yellow Midges, Sulphurs, Black Caddis, Green Drakes, Giant Stone Flies (Pteronarcys), and the BWO's (which never seem to rest). If you look at a NC hatch chart, you will notice that May is the outlier in terms of how many insects hatch. Straying from aquatic insects, late Spring marks the beginning of terrestrial season. Hoppers, ants, beetles and eventually inchworms make their appearance in western North Carolina.
If there isn't a hatch occurring, the best thing to do is tie on a nymph such as a Pheasant Tail or a March Brown Nymph. The absence of a hatch doesn't necessarily mean that a hungry trout won't tackle a lone dry fly, it just means that you will have more consistency catching fish nymphing.
This winter has been exceptionally wet and snowy. I don't foresee extensive drought problems this year. Water levels should continue to flow fine throughout spring. This means less stressed trout due to low water and less spooky fish.
A few helpful tips for Spring-time fly fishing
- Be aware of water levels. This time of year yields more rain, thus more water. Spring time in NC means severe thunderstorms. If you hear thunder or see lightning, stop fishing and wait for it the storm to pass. Often, thunderstorms that occur well upstream will send water downstream.
- Fish the seams (where moving water meets slack water.) Trout wait in seams for passing food.
- If the water is stained or muddy, use heavier tippet (2-5x depending on clarity of water).
- 90% of a trout's diet consists of nymphs, so you are more likely to catch a trout on a nymph vs. a dry in most situations.
- Try a new fly that the fish have not likely seen yet.
- In high, stained water during and after spring rains, use big #4 Zonkers, Woolly Buggers, and Zoo Cougars.
- Most rainbow trout spawn in the early Spring, so try using an egg pattern.
Spring in NC can be spectacular to say the least. Fishing is usually excellent with abundant hatches, warm temperatures, and plenty of hungry fish. Take advantage of the optimum weather conditions spring commonly offers.
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