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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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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...
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I'm watching a nasty line of severe storms that have made their way over the mighty Mississippi, now located just west of Nashville. They are moving east as a cold front is doing the same. Here in Etowah, TN we have a 50% chance of t'storms and a 60% chance tomorrow. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is probably going to be cranking the generators as heavy rain falls tonight and tomorrow. The Hiwassee will probably have to wait a few days. I don't have a drift boat just yet, and with 2 generators running, wading is very questionable. I took my chances last Thursday evening with 2 generators running. Color me crazy, but I was able to wade out a considerable distance. Of course a wading belt tightened to the point were I couldn't feel my legs, along with felt soles were used. I didn't have any problems wading and fighting the current... (as long as I could see where my foot was soon to land). I felt like I was back on the Madison River in Montana. As far as I could see, the Hiwassee was just a continuous riffle. The fish were really hugging the bank with all the swift water and lack of diversity (ie pools, tailouts, runs)...just deep, fast, riffles. Still, the water was very cold (50's), so the trout weren't complaining by any means.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I just finished reading Little River Outfitter's Fishing Report written daily by Byron Begley. Byron began discussing about the new Brook Trout restoration project on Lynn Camp Prong in the Smokies. This definitely got my attention. He says fish biologists and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Commission will all work together to release thousands of wild Brook Trout into Lynn Camp. Biologists will use electroshocking equipment to catch the Brookies out of adjacent park streams. A hatchery truck will then take them to Lynn Camp Prong, where they will be released. Byron mentioned that even though Lynn Camp is a very small stream, 3,000 fish per mile is a real possibility. Of course, the trout being put into the stream are small, so more room is available.

There aren't any strongholds of Specs here in NC. As a matter of fact, the only strongholds of the Brook Trout are way up in the upstate of New York and up into Maine. Here in the Tar Heel State, there are a few streams that have a moderate to healthy population of Southern Appalachian Brook Trout, but again, strongholds are not immanent.

All and all this is a great project for anglers in the park. As long as the overly competitive Rainbow Trout and/or the Cannibalistic Brown Trout are absent from the stream, the Brook Trout will likely survive. All other fish were taken out of the stream above the falls on Lynn Camp last Fall. Hopefully the stream will be posted as Catch and Release Fly Fish Only, as to where the fishery will last. Lynn Camp Prong should be open again for anglers in a few years (as much as 5).

Click here to read the full post at Little River Outfitters.com
Monday, July 13, 2009

Pretty foggy starting out...

Eventually the fog cleared up...

Working a deep run adjacent to Appalachia Powerhouse.

**I noticed the dates on the pictures are off by 4 years....**

An average Hiwassee Rainbow~11 inches

To read the full post/report for this trip click here
Sunday, July 12, 2009
1.) A surprise trip arose late Thursday, and we all toke off to Cherokee, NC for 2 days of fishing. We stayed at Harrah's (An ABSOLUTE ZOO!!). First I stopped at the Nantahala River for a few hours to fish. The Nanty was stained and pretty full. Regardless I tied on a Green Weenie on 5x and started fishing. The trout were surprisingly striking with subtle hits. The fish here usually hit flies with reckless abandon. There was a small caddis hatch, which brought with it a few risers. I tied on a #16 Elk Hair Caddis and drifted it through a slow, shallow run. A few fish hit the fly, but not hard enough to allow me to set the hook. I packed it in when my tippet snapped.

Off to the Qualla Boundary/Cherokee. The summertime crowds were, like always, in full swing. We arrived at the hotel, put our bags in the room and went our separate ways. My Grandad tried his luck on the gaming floor of the Casino and I left the tourists and crowds behind to try my luck on the Catch and Release Trophy Section of the Cherokee. I pulled up to a spot were I've always managed a few fish. I rigged my fly rod up, put my waders on and headed down. I saw another angler working a pool upstream, so I walked downstream a little ways and got in. Upon starting my first cast, I noticed a small Trico hatch. Most of the bugs were a size 18-20. I didn't see any risers, so I figured nymphs would be most productive...An hour passed...Nothing. I did get a few short hits though.

The angler fishing upstream was leaving, so I slowly made my way upstream, fishing every deep pool and run on the way. As I was drifting a #10 Green Weenie through a deep run, I saw a flash from a feeding fish. I set the hook and felt the 'bow on the end of my line. 2 seconds later he was off and I moved on. Around 6:00 PM, I switched to an olive PMX #12. This obviously was the ticket. A BOHEMOTH of a rainbow nailed my offering and like a freight train ran upstream as fast as I could say "fish on". He took me into my backing and then without any warning he decided to race downstream. This is were I got into trouble. All of the slack line from him making his lunge back downstream was too much for me to quickly reel in. Eventually the fly popped out of his jaws and I was left shaking, awed and dumbfounded. I sat there for a few minutes. I had to remind myself to breath...I estimated the fish to be anywhere from 23-25 inches and weighing approximately 6-8 pounds. I thought to myself, I just lost one of the, if not the largest rainbow I've had on the end of my line in a while. I wrapped the day up after realizing any remanding trout in the pool were now spooked.

An example of a Palomino (Golden Trout). Not to be confused with the western Golden Trout of AZ.
With unfinished business with a certain 'bow I tried again the next day (yesterday). I hook into another HUGE rainbow, this time a Palomino. Again he got off too albeit I set the hook. Oh well, the 'Luftee got me...I didn't get skunked though. Talk about the ONES that got away. I was hoping I would have a few that didn't get away.... Catching the little buggers is one thing...Landing them is another.

I may head over to the Hiwassee either tomorrow or Tuesday. Hopefully results are better.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
While I was searching for a detailed description of the Isonychia Bicolor (Slate Drake Mayfly), I came across this very informative site that can narrow down an unidentified aquatic insect that may be encountered while on the stream. If you have a mayfly, it asks how many tails it has, body length, geographical occurance, emergence water type, etc. If you happen to come across an unidentified bug on the river that the trout appear to be eating, take the bug home or try and remember how it acted/emerged. This could really help, especially if you are fishing for extremely selective fish. Beware, not all hatch charts list every single insect that is liable to hatch.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
1.) The Hiwassee awaits me early tomorrow. I usually get out there shortly after sunrise and fish until about 10:15 or so (up until TVA starts generating to unwadeable levels, which is usually by 10 AM). I have tied a dozen or so large #10-12 Isonychia dries. I tie them comparadun style (Comparanychia is what I call them...). The Clinch is famous for it's Sulphurs, the freestone streams in NC and TN are known for their extraordinary evening Yellow Sallies and Light Cahills, and here, the Hiwassee is famous for it's Isonychias. Albeit the "Slate Drake" hatches aren't spectacular, the bugs are large enough to make up for the sporadic hatches and small numbers during a single hatch. The 'nychias are almost the equivalent to the famed Salmonfly hatch out in Montana. Anyways, I found my spot on the Hiwassee and I'm going to thoroughly fish it...I'll be on the hunt tomorrow morning. If the water isn't high and swift, I'll try and use dries exclusively. I love the thrill of watching a trout (small or large) meeting a well presented dry at the surface.

2.) I need to buy another USB cord for the computer for uploading fish pictures...It's been awhile you say?!!
Friday, July 3, 2009
The Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited (LRCTU) has put together yet another great slideshow displaying just how successful Troutfest was this year. If you didn't attend the last Troutfest back in May, go ahead and mark it in your calenders...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009
1.) With my 6 wt in hand, I hit the Hiwassee River early this morning. It was a somewhat cool morning, the dew had yet to evaporate and the intensity of the sun was low. I pulled up just downstream of Appalachia or just a mile or so upstream of Big Bend. I got out of the car and watched the mighty Hiwassee for any rises. About 25 ft from shore, I saw a small rainbow feeding on emerging olives. I wanted to see if the fish would take a small # 18 Mr. Rapidan, so I rigged up, suited up into my Simms and half walked/half crouched down to the water's edge. The wild Hiwassee bow was still sipping small olives from the surface film. I waited for him to rise again, then once he made a subtle rise, I gently made 2 false casts and a very light presentation. Since the water the fish was holding in was slack and calm, drag was not a problem; ...stealth was the problem. I new the fish that I was targeting was on the small size, so 6x tippet was more than enough. I let the fly drift to the rising rainbow. Eventually the fly was on top of him, so his first reaction was to investigate the potential morsel. He slowly drifted towards the fly and with a light sip he plucked it from the surface. I set the hook, but instead the fly flew back in my direction. I had evidently pulled the fly away from him. I shrugged it off and quickly made another gentle cast back to his immediate area. With one strike on this fish, my second try was successful. He grabbed the fly with reckless abandon. Instead of a gentle rise, it was more like a very aggressive and frustrated rise. I saw his white mouth engulf my dry and I waited 2 seconds and then set the hook. The fight was on! A small rainbow can sure fight pretty hard for it's size. I brought the fish to my net and released the 11 inch rainbow unharmed. Soon after I heard a loud splash ahead of me, so I figured the BWO hatch was really starting to crank. A waded to the middle of the river and made a few casts to a rising brown. I had to pack it in a little earlier than planned, as TVA decided to generate a little bit earlier than scheduled (TVA's on THEIR schedule...They don't always follow the exact generation times.) I looked upstream and saw a wall of water building up, so I had to run to the bank before it made it down to my position. I noticed that rocks previously out of the water, where now entirely under the surface. I really started running now. Once I crawled onto the bank, the water started to rise rapidly and I knew wading in this section wouldn't be very wise. So, from then on out, I've been tying and stocking up on Isonychias, which are plentiful here on the Hiwassee. In short, I believe I've found a pretty fair spot. I'll be back on the Hiwassee most likely early next week. Maybe earlier....

2.) I swung by Hiwassee Anglers to buy leader, a few tippet spools, and a few flies. The guy that rung me up, asked if I was from NC, I said yes sir, visiting family here in TN for the Summer. He replied "I read your blog while I'm here at work." I thought the rainbow I caught earlier made my day up until now....I told him, "well, I've had the blog since September". Over the past few months, I've had a few people stop me and ask if I am "Tar Heel Fly Fishing". There was a couple of folks at Troutfest that asked if I was from NC and if I had a blog called Tar Heel Fly Fishing. It's mind boggling how many people I'm reaching through Blogger. I have a feeling THFF will be around for a long time. Every time I look at the latest Feedjit data, I notice the same people, or people from the same town coming back frequently (sometimes daily) to see what mayhem arises on my fishing trips. I enjoy receiving feedback from readers. It's a sure way of connecting with my readers and noticing any problems or suggestions. So, any comments, questions, suggestions, rants or reports feel free to share.

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