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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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Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Davidson River (aka the "D") awaits me early Monday morning. I haven't fished the Davidson in a while. Matter of fact, April was the last time I've been over there. Delayed Harvest waters have prevented me from going insane. Like most other heavily fished waters, the D should have some people, but on a Monday, the crowds won't be bad at all...I'm guessing there will be a handful of guides out guiding (or playing hooky). I still have two dozen flies I'd like to get tied (mostly #26-30 thread midges) before the trip. May tie a few of my Realistic Black Caddis that seem to always catch a few of the educated fish over on the Davidson. To tell you the truth, I'm psyched....Can't wait to rig up and hit the river. So if you happen to see a guy doing the "gimme my fly back" dance with the surrounding rhododendron, stop and say hello...

The next post will likely be late Monday or on Tuesday.

See ya'll on the river...
Monday, October 26, 2009

I was sitting at the tying bench the other day and came up with a new stone pattern...I tried to construct the bug with as much realism as possible...

Hook: any curved shanked hook.
Thread: 6/0 brown (or olive)
Tail: Brown goose biot
Body: Brown vinyl rib (I use a layer of brown dubbing under the vinyl rib to build up the body)
Thorax: Gray ostrich herl
Legs: Brown goose biot (bent to shape)

I add lead and a gold beadhead to aid in siking the fly to the bottom of the river. Stoneflies are found on the bottom, so keeping this fly down deep is a must.
1.) According to the forecasts, rain showers will gradually move into the region, becoming widespread by tomorrow afternoon. The rest of the week consists of highs in the 70's. The month of November looks to be above average for temperatures, then getting colder during the later part of the month into December. If you're like me and you're ready for some cold and snow, you may have to wait just a little while longer. Long range forecasting is nothing more than an educated "guesstimate". You can stab Jell-O to a tree before you can make a 100% accurate long range forecast. If you are anxious to know what may lie ahead during the upcoming Winter here in the state, this is about the best piece of information I know of... http://mattheweast.blogspot.com. Matthew East is one of our meteorologists in Charlotte. The top video is his newly added "2009 Winter Outlook". If you aren't familiar with technical weather maps and charts, don't worry, if you watch the end, he explains each month this winter in detail. (temperatures, snowfall, etc). I had to throw this out there, given that were diving into the colder months (eventually the winter months).

2.) Fishing will be on the good side over the next week or so. Warm temps will keep the fish relatively active (up high, it will be cooler). You can use just about any fly you want right now. For nymphs, Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare's Ear Nymphs, and most stonefly nymphs will catch fish. For dries, #18-24 BWO's should work, along with #16-18 Elk Hair Caddis, #14 Stimulators, and tiny cream midges. Streamers such as Woolly Buggers, Slumpbusters, Clousers, and sculpin patterns are also working very well, with the large browns lurking in deeper pools. In my opinion, this is the best time of the year to go fly fishing. Cooler temperatures combined with large hungry fish and red fall foliage make for great outings.

3.) I've got a 5 day weekend fast approaching, so I am trying to get out to a stream. May head west and hit the Davidson River, may head north to fish the Stone Mtn DH. It's looking like Monday might be best...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
(from NCWRC website) RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 12, 2009)–Trout fishing opportunities provided and managed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have a substantial positive impact to the local economies of western North Carolina and to the state as a whole, according to a recent study conducted by Responsive Management and Southwick Associates.

The study, “The Economic Impacts of Mountain Trout Fishing in North Carolina,” found that nearly 93,000 anglers fishing in North Carolina spent an estimated $146 million on mountain trout fishing trips and equipment in 2008. When the secondary (multiplier) effects of these dollars spent were factored in, the total economic output of the Commission’s trout management program in North Carolina exceeded $174 million.

Money spent on mountain trout fishing in 2008 supported a total of 1,997 jobs and provided an estimated $56 million in income, much of it to workers in western North Carolina.

From late March through early April, Responsive Management, a firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, conducted a telephone survey of 1,232 randomly selected licensed anglers 18 years and older who fished for mountain trout in 2008. Southwick Associates developed the economic models.

The survey was funded by the Commission under the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration program.

Survey respondents answered questions pertaining to fishing trip and equipment expenditures, numbers of days fished and types of streams fished.

An estimated 92,765 resident and non-resident anglers fished for trout 1.42 million days in North Carolina in 2008, with Transylvania, Watauga, Haywood, Cherokee, Henderson, Jackson and Ashe counties seeing the most fishing activity.

A typical resident trout angler fished nearly 10 days in 2008, spending $65 per day on trip expenses while a typical non-resident angler fished five days in 2008 and spent $158 per day on trip expenses. The average resident trout angler spent $502.92 per year on equipment.

Other survey findings included:

•Hatchery supported waters were the most frequently fished waters (625,147 days), followed by wild trout waters (422,671 days); and delayed harvest waters (374,611 days).

•Total economic impact of hatchery supported waters measured $72.7 million; $55.2 million for wild trout waters and $46.5 million for delayed harvest.

According to Doug Besler, the mountain region fisheries supervisor for the Commission, the agency funded the study to help quantify the economic impact of its trout management program on North Carolina’s economy. Survey results from this study, combined with results from an earlier angler opinion study, will be used to develop a comprehensive trout management plan, enhance public fishing opportunities, and market the agency’s angling opportunities to North Carolina residents and tourists alike.

“The economic impact of the trout management program can be a significant contributor to the expanding tourism and green-based economies of western North Carolina,” Besler said. “The Commission looks forward to pursuing collaborative opportunities to expand public fishing opportunities for trout fishing in western North Carolina.”
Monday, October 19, 2009
It seems as if winter is not going to give up without a fight. Low temperatures have been chilly by October standards statewide, as mid 20’s to low 30’s have ensued across the Old North State. Regardless of cold overnight readings, temperatures during the day have been relatively comfortable. Cold air is eroded by mid morning throughout this week, as temperatures rebound into the upper 60’s to low 70’s in most spots.

Putting the weather into the fishing equation…The overnight temps may slow the trout down a bit, but they are still active right now. Big, spawning brown trout reacting to the colder water temps are in search of larger prey items to stock up for the colder months. This means streamer patterns such as the Woolly Bugger, Zonker, Sheila Sculpin, Sculpzilla, or even a Zoo Cougar are taking fish. Drift your streamer of choice through a “fishy” run, giving it a few twitches and short darts. If you are more of a dry fly kinda guy/gal, BWO’s are hatching in sizes of about 18-22 “ish”. Stimulators and Elk Hair Caddis in “smaller than average” sizes are also enticing fish to the surface. Midges in small sizes (24-28) are also working.

Here’s the lowdown…

Delayed Harvest (DH) waters- The DH streams are doing well, following NCWRC’s stocking. These fish are more inclined to take most flies you put in front of them as long as it’s presented properly. They can be a little selective, but nothing compared to Catch & Release waters. Use just about any fly you want on DH waters…Nymphs to dries, streamers to wets…It’s your call.

The “D” (Davidson River)- The hatchery section of the “D” has been fishing well lately. After the flooding rains we experienced a few weeks ago, the “D” looks like it’s been reconstructed on “Exstream Makeover: Riparian Edition (anyone?)… The hatches on the stream haven’t changed much. Midges, midges, midges… Blood midges, olive midges, black midges and cream adult midges are still on the menu for these fish. Try a thread midge in #22-30 or an olive WD 40 (#18-24). Light tippet is a must if you plan on catching fish on the “D” right now…2x isn’t gonna fool these fish around the hatchery.

To sum it all up, everything looks great…water levels, temperatures, fishing, etc. …Have at it!!
Sunday, October 18, 2009

A snapshot at 4:00 from a NPS webcam located on the summit of 5,086 ft Purchase Knob in the Smokies.

1.) Chilly air is making it's way south into the Carolinas overnight tonight. Lows in the Piedmont will be down in the mid 30's with patchy frost likely (bring those plants in). Snow has been falling up in the mountains (mainly above 3,500 ft) during the latter part of last night into this morning. It's a little too early for snow, even on the higher peaks. It will gradually warm up as we progress into this week. By Wednesday, places like Boone will be in the upper 60's, possibly making it to 70. This definitely signals great fishing up in the high country.

2.) The fishing has been pretty good in western NC. If you can get past the cold, you should have a productive day. Look out for BWOs' in #16-22, along with small #20-28 midges. Stonefly nymphs in #8-12 have been working well, along with most generic nymphs (Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare's Ears, Red Fox Squirrel Nymphs). If you are more of a dry fly fisherman, Stimulators in sizes of 12-16 have been catching fish, along with a #14-16 Elk Hair Caddis or a #14-20 Para Adams. Don't hesitate to tie on a Pheasant Tail Nymph or a Copper John behind your dry of choice. Lastly, streamers (Zonkers, Buggers, Sculpins) will entice large spawning browns to eat. With that said, my Go-to fly right now would have to be a #14 pink San Juan Worm. They are highly visible to the fish and the angler and the fish seem to love 'em.

3.) We may hit a stream sometime next weekend or early next week. The Davidson River (The "D") may be the stream of choice, the Tuckaseegee or some DH water are also one of the choices. My Tennessee license/trout stamp expires next year...I need to get over to the South Holston/Watauga sometime during the winter.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
1.) Judging by the forecasts, we're due to get smacked by some chilly, rainy weather tomorrow through Friday. It was around 80 degrees today here in the Charlotte metro area ahead of the cold front. Overnight the rain will slowly creep into the region, while temperatures slowly drop through the 50's. By lunch time tomorrow, the temps will continue to drop down into the upper 40's. By about 4 PM tomorrow, it looks like we'll be sitting in the mid 40's. The high temperature will be recorded early tomorrow morning, so albeit the Weather Channel forecasts a high of 52 or 53, it will be recorded before the temps start the plummet.

The stream restoration project I'm working on may be halted for a few days if heavy rains flood out the stream. If it rains all day tomorrow, all night tomorrow night with a 50 percent chance Friday, it's looking like the creek will be full and dangerously close to the banks. I may be able to uninstall the remainding silt fences, but getting into the water is out of the question...

That's about all I've got for a post, may update tomorrow...
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Well, Stone Mountain was on fire today folks. The temperatures were in the mid 60's most of the day, with overcast skies. My kinda weather!! Water temps were in the mid 50's, which means wader season is here and wet wading can be eliminated until next summer. Most of the folks visiting the park were hiking and searching for wildlife. I did see a handful of other fisherman, but the pressure was low. I was fisihng the East Prong Roaring River, where the recently stocked water gave way to excellent fishing. The fish (I'd say 90% of them were Brookies) were a little cautious about grabbing my fly, but that's what makes fly fishing fun. I ended up catching about a dozen, while missing literally 60-70 fish. They were rising to dries and taking small nymphs. One fish was unusually large. I saw him rising and tailing in calm, shallow water, only 10 inches deep or so. I tossed a #8 olive Slumpbuster streamer over to him and slowly stripped it in. Not too long after the fly hit the water, he swallowed the fly and I set the hook. Apparently he was a pretty smart fish, as he wiggled free and swam back down to his hole before I was able to bring him in. On 6x tippet and the absence of a landing net, I wouldn't have got him in close enough. (I didn't expect to hook up with anything big enough to need a net). My dad and I agreed he was probably 21-22 inches.

Saturday, October 3, 2009
1.) Off to Stone Mountain tomorrow afternoon to take advantage of the recently stocked East Prong Roaring River. The Davidson River (AKA "the D") was another option, the Mitchell River was the next. It's going to be NICE tomorrow...Especially up in the mountains, with lower 70's for highs and mid to upper 40's for lows. The temps are ideal for trout right now. Not to hot, not to cold. I'm tempted to fish some wild trout water such as Garden Creek. Don't know if I will yet. I really don't care where I fish...As long as there's fish and I'm out of the "big city" of Kannapolis.

2.) Yesterday afternoon, I met with the Public Works Director, the Storm Water Manager, and two guys who work in the Public Works department in Kannapolis. We discussed my plan, layout, and what could be done on Roger's Lake Branch over deer jerky. Man alive, one of the guys, Henry, can make some pretty mean deer jerky. I'm a big fan of deer and elk meat, so I jumped when he offered me some. Anyways, the storm water manager was able to tell me where all of the major water lines were, so I wouldn't have to worry about rupturing one of them and creating another Mississippi River. They told me that the silt fences surrounding the stream could be removed, so I told them I would take them out. It's all falling in line!! Nothing looks to be holding us back...

3.) I've noticed that there are more and more folks using and switching to Wordpress. I decided to start another blog over on Wordpress. It's still called Tar Heel Fly Fishing, but it looks a little different. There's a lot of helpful stuff and extra things Wordpress developers have created. Check the other blog out here. If you have any concerns, questions, or comments shot me an email. I'm experimenting more than actually transitioning...

So, off too the river tomorrow afternoon, might begin the project later tomorrow when back, might hold off until Monday. If you see a silver Nissan Pathfinder with a GTNP (Grand Teton Nat'l Park) decal on the back, stop and say hello...More tomorrow when back

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