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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, April 24, 2009
1.) It's hot enough to cook an egg on the road...Downright hot across the southern US. Temps have hit the lower 90's here in Charlotte, and the lower to mid 80's in the high country. At 4:oo, the temperature read 92 degrees. Average this time of year ranges from 74-76. Tomorrow will be another hot day, all thanks to a pre-summer heat wave. The dog days of summer are fast approaching. I am leaving Kannapolis at 5:30 in the morning..(AGGHH) and heading over to Goldsboro, NC; about a 3 1/2 hour trip. There is a huge airshow over there, including the Blue Angels at Seymour AFB. The south winds will be kicking up, allowing the smoke from the Myrtle Beach wildfires to drift over towards Goldsboro. In fact, folks living in Richmond county, over to Fayetville, and on up to the Triangle will likely smell/see smoke. Devastating and MASSIVE wildfires occuring in Horry County, SC.

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.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
1.) It has been for the most part, a half way decent day weather wise across the Piedmont and mountains, albeit a few low level clouds and extremely short lived showers. The majority of the day has comprised of a mostly cloudy skies. Tomorrow will be cool and partly cloudy; or partly sunny; (Never have figured out the difference between the two.) Despite cooler temps for tomorrow, the weekend is shaping up to be EXCELLENT for a weekend of fishing. Temps will be just where they should be for a trout's liking-(upper 50's at night, lower to mid 70's during the day). Don't be shocked if you come across a Light Cahill, Yellow Sally, or something that is usually hatching in the middle of May. If you are fishing in high elevation backcountry streams, say, higher than approximately 3,500 ft, take the Quill Gordons and Blue Quills, just simply because the higher elevations usually can't support hatching Quills prior to April due to the unpredictable weather in March (sometimes into early April.) If you're a smallie fanatic, the water temps should start to warm and the bronzebacks will start chasing streamers and bass bugs. For now, a crayfish imitaion, a Woolly Bugger, or even a Zonker fished relatively slow should catch them. Smallmouth bass spawn in the Spring when the water temps reaches the 60 degree mark. When the water temp reaches a constant reading of 58-72, the smallies will become increasingly active. To sum it all up, dust your favorite smallie rod off, and tie up a few smallmouth flies...The season is FAST approaching.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
1.) We left VA yesterday morning and headed south to fish the Mitchell River in Surry County, NC just outside of Dobson. The crowds weren't bad and the fishing wasn't either. All of the fish I caught out of the Mitchell were Brook Trout (mostly stockers). The largest fish on the Mitchell was a 12 inch Brook Trout that took a #10 gray/natural colored Slumpbuster streamer. All of the fish were safely released to catch another day. Combined with both the Mitchell and Stone Mtn. I managed to catch 12 fish (most of them were small) and I lost literally dozens. Oddly enough, I noticed a few small Light Cahills (#16-18)...Although the fish weren't feeding exclusively on them, it was weird to see the light bodied mayflies out this early (Usual time is in May.) Just goes to show what warm weather (upper 70's) can bring on a trout stream.

Grover Cockerham Rd. (follows the Mitchell for a few miles.)

Friday, April 17, 2009
Fishing Status: Good to Excellent (Warm temps are prevalent across the state...even the mountains...Bugs are hatching too.)

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.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
1.) Currently I'm up in the clouds as I type. No, not in an airplane, but up on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Fancy Gap, VA waiting for the fog (or low clouds) to recede and eventually erode. It's been on the cool side from the time we arrived until now, but not exactly cold. With all of the rain and chilly water temps, the fish have been put down, so for the most part fishing has eluded me, so I am confined to the tying bench until tomorrow. With Troutfest 2009 coming up, I'm trying to decide on which pattern would be the best to demonstrate. I just completed a few brand new patterns that I'll try out tomorrow....

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

Hackle: Grizzly

Friday, April 10, 2009
1.) If there are any visitors from the Tennessee, N. Alabama, North Carolina region, storms are really cranking right now. There is currently a massive outbreak of tornadoes in middle and eastern TN. 30 people are injured and 2 are now dead from a large tornado that plowed through the town. If you're residing in western NC like I am, the storms and possible twisters are slowly progressing across the mountains. We've had numerous severe storms roll through the So. Piedmont over the last few hours, basically all taking the usual I-85 route. A decent size stoem just exited our county, and is now producing golf ball size hail...The storms will likely continue on through 2 am or so, and eventually stable air will start pouring into the region. If you have a NOAA weather radio, it's always a good idea to keep it on..Especially when storms are imminent at night.
2.) After all of this rain, stream levels will rise across the south. Water temps will also rise due to the warm rain. If you plan on wetting a line over the next few days, take some Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Black Caddis, and small BWO's. If all is calm and the bugs aren't hatching, tie on a Royal Wulff, Trude, or any other attractor dry. Nymphs will likely out fish dries, so make sure you have March Brown Nymphs, small Caddis larvae patterns, PT nymph, Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns and attractor nymph patterns such as a Lightning Bugs, Bloody Marys and San Juan Worms. With the stream levels rising and becoming stained, try a Woolly Bugger, Zonker, Slumpbuster, or your favrite sculpin pattern.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
1.) I have been very busy with an upcoming essay for school dealing with the physics, terminology and basics of fly fishing and tying. I could write continously about the topic.

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...
Friday, April 3, 2009
Fly Fishing in the Spring
by Tyler Legg
Fly fishing during the Spring time months can be spectacular. Still, it has it's challenges. With gradual warming temperatures, trout begin to move around. After a long and cold winter, trout are ready to start filling up on larger insects usually not available in the winter months. Here in the southeast, particularly North Carolina/Virginia/Tennessee/and N. Georgia, early March marks the emergence of the first major hatches of the year. The quill gordon's and the blue quills being the major hatches. Generically speaking, a trout stream needs to reach 50 degrees for at least 3 or more consecutive days before the quill gordon's start to really make a move to the surface. During a hatch, the insects are swimming from the bottom of the stream, riding with the current, while propelling themselves to the surface. Trout will take these helpless bugs with reckless abandon. When you start seeing quill gordon's on the water, tie on a quill gordon wet, let it sink to the bottom, and slowly inch it up to the surface when it nears your intended fish. This sometimes results in vicious strikes, so hang on.

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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