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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, 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.

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