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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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Monday, May 31, 2010
The NCWRC has amended/created a few regulations (okay a whole list) for 2010-2011. There's some interesting changes for NC anglers. No new DH streams we're created though. You can find the whole list here. Scroll down to page eight in the handbook to find the Trout Fishing Regulations. If you can't access the list (it's a PDF file) shoot me an email and I can copy the list into an email without a problem.

A few of the NCWRC's regulation changes:


F6. Tellico River (Cherokee County) – Reclassify the Wild Trout/Natural Bait section
to Wild Trout Waters.
Justification: Proposal F6 will simplify rules by classifying all waters in this
area as Wild Trout Waters.

F7. South Toe River (Yancey County) – Reclassify the headwaters section from Wild
Trout to Catch-and-Release/Artificial Flies Only Trout Waters.

F8. South Toe River (Yancey County) – Reclassify the Catch-and-Release/Artificial
Flies Only section to Wild Trout Waters.

F9. Upper Creek (Yancey County) – Reclassify from Catch-and-Release/Artificial
Lures Only to Catch-and-Release/Artificial Flies Only Trout Waters.

F2. Yadkin River (Caldwell County) – Classify 2.0 miles of this river as Hatchery-
Supported Trout Waters.

F11. Nantahala River and tributaries (Clay and Macon counties) – Remove the exception
that allows fishing during the closed season on Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters
upstream of Nantahala Lake.
Justification: Proposal F11 will simplify rules by making the fishing season
consistent with other Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters in the area.


F32. Statewide – Establish a 42-inch minimum size limit and one-fish-daily creel
limit for muskellunge.
Justification: Proposal F32 increases the minimum size limit for muskie from
30 to 42 inches and will conserve spawning stock by protecting 4-5-year-old,
sexually mature fish. This will also simplify regulations by standardizing them
across state waters and with regulations for the New River in Virginia.

F33. French Broad River – Eliminate the current 46-inch size limit in favor of a new
statewide regulation (F32).
Justification: Proposal F33 will decrease the size limit for muskie in the French
Broad River from 46 to 42 inches and will standardize regulations statewide,
while protecting sexually mature fish.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Beetles are catching fish throughout the western Carolinas right now. A beetle pattern as simple as a combination of peacock, foam, and rubber legs will entice fish to the surface. With that being said, I want to share with everyone my all time favorite beetle pattern: the Tiger Beetle. Now, some folks may have heard of the Tiger Beetle, or better yet, fished it. If you have fished it, tell me what you think about it. I have been tying a lot of them lately. They have definitely worked for me over the years. The built in indicator is a neat addition to this fantastic bug. I decided to take a few pictures while tying. This isn't really step-by-step instructions, but more of a rough outline of how the Tiger Beetle is tied (really how the shellback is made). Again, an excellent pattern. Try it for yourself this summer.

3 layers of orange and black 2mm foam, super glued together.

 Cut thin strips from the side to create the shellback.

Add some rubber legs. A pretty easy fly to tie.
I received an email from Rapanui Clothing, based out of the Isle of Wight, UK. After doing a little research, I found that everything they produce is environmentally friendly and all organic. Pretty cool, huh? In fact, Rapanui's stuff reminded me of Patagonia. Check out their website and if you can,support this growing company. It's always great to see a company working to save the Earth.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
It is hot outside in the Carolinas, particularly in the Piedmont. A cold front is set to move through the area tomorrow afternoon, bringing with it, like most cold fronts this time of year, thunderstorms. With Memorial Day weekend almost here, this weekend is going to be very busy whether you're fishing in the Smokies or you're taking advantage of the last weekend of DH season (DH ends next Saturday). Then again, it seems as if all of the people are congregating around my neck o' the woods here in Kannapolis/Concord for the race. The fishing this weekend is going to great. With that being said, the water levels on a lot of the WNC streams and rivers are starting to get a little low. Not too bad at all though. We'll get some rain tomorrow which should bump stream levels up. They are at a comfortable temperature, so wet wading is preferred by most right now. Of course, if you have a business meeting at 5 and you can't afford to get wet, breathable waders are still fairly comfortable.

Fishing here in western NC has been pretty good. Right now, it's better to get out on the river early and then take a break in the middle of the day, before heading back out to catch the evening hatches. Those evening hatches are mainly consisting of Light Cahills, Yellow Sallies, Green Drakes, Caddis, Sulphurs, and of course midges of all varieties. Terrestrials have been big fish producers as of late. I think it's safe to say fish are starting to look for hoppers. Try a #12 Parachute Hopper or a #10 Club Sandwich. It's also a good idea to drop a small #14 "ish" Pheasant Tail Nymph, Lightning Bug, Prince, etc behind the dry. Beatles, ants, inchworms, crickets, etc are also out. Cast your terrestrial of choice under overhanging vegetation and hang on. Light tippets are going to be a must, as most rivers are running crystal clear. Make sure you are stealthy, try not to let your line drift over your fish, make a decent presentation, and you should do well.

The forum has had several good discussions recently. It does get quiet sometimes, so sign up and join! New members are always welcome, whether you are a beginner or a long time fly fisherman. It's completely free and it's safe. Share your fishing reports, fish pictures, freshly tied flies, questions, etc. We're hoping to start the tying contest up again soon when more members are present. Hope to see you over there.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
 Streamer (no name for now)

 LC Emerger (LC= Light Cahill)

 Legg's Half Drowned Sally

Flying Ant
Friday, May 21, 2010
We're currently trying to figure out if we are living in the Pacific Northwest. Lawns around here haven't had time to dry out in between storms and showers. Or so it seems. Still, I'm not complaining at all. The more rain we see in the ol' rain bucket, the better. So far, water levels haven't reached the usual summertime levels. All of this rain should at least help in the long run. Don't count on it though. I really hope we don't experience the low water years we've seen in past years. Maybe we'll dodge the proverbial bullet. We shall see. Along with decent rainfall amounts, temperatures have been relatively comfortable. Unless you're fishing in higher elevation brook trout streams 3,500 ft plus), or you would rather not get wet, leave those waders in your car and wet wade. Water temps are allowing.

June is right around the corner. If you're an angler, you know what that means. Terrestrial season is inching closer and closer. Well, technically ants and beetles are falling into rivers right now. The list of terrestrials progresses, when trout start looking for hoppers soon. Go ahead and try a hopper right now if you have one in your box. I would tie on a beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymph or a Copper John (or any nymph of your choice) as a dropper right behind a hopper. Make sure you have Light Cahills, Yellow Sallies, March Browns, and Caddis patterns in your dry fly box. Yellow Sallies and Light Cahills are hatching in the evening. You're also bound to see some caddis fluttering around as well.

I'm preparing to hit the tying bench. If I create anything of interest, I'll snap a few pictures and post on the blog.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I apologize for the lack of podcasts lately. Episode 3 of the THFF Podcast is above. You'll receive tips on ways to save money as an angler/fly tyer. There are a few minor problems, (music a little too load towards the end, 1 overlapping  segment, etc). I'll fix them for the next podcast. If you have any suggestions for future podcasts, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Troutfest was absolutely amazing. Everything was different this year. More people, more tents, more cars parked in the parking area, and evidently, more money raised for Great Smoky Mountains Nat'l Park. As I was walking back to the truck to muster up all of the tying stuff before I was scheduled to tie, I overheard one of the parking volunteers say that they already had nearly $1,000 in parking donations. That is incredible. Again a majority of all money raised this weekend is being donated to Great Smoky Mountains Nat'l Park, youth programs, and fishery projects within the Park. Of course a small portion will be saved for Troutfest 2011.

The river did call me while I was in the Smokies. I couldn't resist rigging up and fishing Little River yesterday morning. Friday evening I fished Big Creek, beautiful area, but I was forced off of the water with the storms that closed in. The Yellow Sallies started to hatch as I began to exit the river. Figures. The next morning I was on Little River by 8:00 in the morning. I started fishing just below Metcalf Bottoms on Little River. Not too long after throwing my fly into the water, I hooked up with a decent brown. He got off. Trout = 1, Tyler = 0. About 20 minutes later, another brown of decent proportions had my #12 Green Weenie for breakfast (you have to remember, a "decent fish" in the Smokies is in the 10-14" range... Nothing too terribly big). He threw the hook too. Bad hook sets? Maybe. Hooks not sharp enough? Possible. Still, it was fun. Packed it in when things got slow around 10:30 in the morning. Took off to Townsend to take in the 'Fest. As said before, everything was bigger and better. An obvious upgrade from last year. I met a lot great folks while there and had a lot of interesting conversations about fishing and tying. Here's a few pictures from Troutfest...

Today was characterized by another short fishing trip. I was going to fish in the Smokies with a friend of mine, but mom wanted us to get home. We drove halfway home and broke up the long trip back to Kannapolis by fishing the Davidson River. The Big D treated me pretty well. I caught several fish and lost a lot more. I hooked into one large rainbow, probably 20" or so, that upon being hooked, leaped out of the water, landed on a log that laid over river, snapped off of my 6x, and flopped back into the Davidson. I laughed and re-rigged. Next came several more fish, most of which came to the net. I had a 26-28" brown trout with a tail that looked like a fan, lunge at my streamer. He sat right under that log and would chase the fish I hooked. A particularly aggressive fish for sure!! With 6x on, the fight would have been as short as the take....

Here's a short video of the first rainbow. Albeit he was on the small size, he fought like one of his larger Davidson River counterparts. I managed to grab the camera right before he leaped into the air.

 All and all one of the best weekends I've had in a while. I'm flat out exhausted though, but that's a good thing in my book, as it means this weekend was productive.

Friday, May 14, 2010
Wading upstream... I walked another couple of yards before turning back to avoid the impending storm.
We left town at about 2:00 this afternoon bound for the Smokies. I swung by the fly shop in Concord and in a mad dash, grabbed a few last minute fly tying stuff. We dodged a line of nasty severe thunderstorms, some producing hail up to the size of golf balls and limes. Dad drove while I had the laptop in my lap with weather radars and storm reports streaming across the screen (aside from being a fly fishing fanatic, I'm a weather geek as well... I looked like Reed Timmer from Storm Chasers). I did my best in preventing us from driving through the hail core in one of the storms. We did find a break between the weather and decided to hit Big Creek, located on the northern fringes of Great Smoky Mountains Nat'l Park. I tied on a Green Weenie, added 3 split shot, and started to work the pool seen in the picture right under the bridge. I was expecting to switch to a Yellow Sally soon. Then, distant thunder started to echo around the valley. Blinding rain and unbelievably loud claps of thunder drove me off the river in about a half an hour. I did get several very quick hits from a few wild fish, but they were obviously not in the mood. Maybe they knew full well a storm was brewing. Of course I wasn't concentrating soley on fishing. Golf ball size hail was not far away and I was ready to sprint to the truck (or under the bridge that in a way, looks like the one from the movie Deliverance).

After Troutfest tomorrow, a buddy and I may hit a Smokies stream. I'll have the camera charged and ready. Hopefully the fish will cooperate. If you are coming out to Troutfest, enjoy the festivities. It's going to be amazing. You will NOT be disappointed. Joe Humpreys, Bob Clouser, and Lefty Kreh are in Townsend right now. They'll be putting on a great show along with a whole list of others. See you there tomorrow!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I can't begin to express how great the fishing is here in the Old North State. Bugs are hatching everywhere, water temperatures and air temperatures alike are perfect, water levels, for the most part, are at a normal level, and trout are actively plucking adult insects off of the water's surface. If you enjoy fishing dries, virtually every evening from here on out hosts a decent aquatic insect hatch of some sort. Green Drakes, Light Cahills, a myriad of Caddis, Yellow Sallies, Sulphurs, March Browns, Hendricksons, endless midges, and on cloudy, rainy, cool days, Blue Winged Olives. Terrestrials such as beetles, ants, and crickets are out and the trout know it. We'll start to see more and more grasshoppers/inchworms the closer we get to June, adding to the list of terrestrials. Hopefully the water levels will stay where they should as we progress into the Summertime months. By June, July, August, and September, afternoon pop-up thunderstorms and infrequent tropical systems will be our best hope for rain. 9 times out of 10, the amount of rain you receive from both are too much for some streams to handle. We saw that 2 years ago with a very moisture laden tropical storm. The creek adjacent to our house rose way above flood stage as a result. 12"+ of rain fell here with that storm in a span of only a few days. The field bordering the stream was formed into a lake. The stream still displays major stream degradation.

Troutfest 2010 is set to occur in 72 hours. I'm ready. Sorta. Still need to cram all of the tying gear into a box or two. Then I'll be set to go. Looking forward to it. Joe, Lefty, and Bob will be flying into Knoxville Friday. Joe's plane lands Friday morning while Lefty and Bob arrive Friday afternoon. Check it out if your anywhere near Townsend, TN.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Troutfest is almost here. This Friday evening marks the beginning of one of the largest venues for fly fisherman in the Southeast. The banquet/auction is Friday evening and the expo is all weekend from 9AM until 5PM. I won't be there in time for the banquet, but I'll be there all day Saturday. Looking forward to it for sure Troutfest is an annual event that takes place in May. It's not just an expo. It's a fundraiser, aimed towards raising money for 
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department, Friends of the Smokies Fisheries Scholarship Endowment, or other youth educational conservation projects. Here is the new schedule of events for Troutfest. It's going to be a blast. Troutfest is held at the Townsend Visitors Center in Townsend, TN.

Oh yeah, don't leave your fly rod behind, enjoy one of the best times to fish in the Smokies after Troutfest.
Friday, May 7, 2010
It is scorching outside! Temperatures in the Piedmont are pushing the 90° mark. The high for Asheville today is 85°. Boone is forecasted to reach 79° by later this afternoon. Not too bad temperature wise in the high country. The smallmouth bass fishing is really starting to pick up. They're mainly hitting subsurface flies such as crayfish patterns, Clousers, Zonkers, and Leeches. That doesn't necessarily mean they won't grab a popper or a frog pattern on the surface though. The New River, French Broad, Nolichucky, and lower elevation rivers in western North Carolina should be fishing well.

Early next week, waders are going to be needed again. Wet wading may have to go on hold for only a couple of days as colder temperatures are heading this way. In Asheville tomorrow night, temps are forecasted to dip into the lower 40's. Then, high temperatures on Sunday will be in the low 60's. A HUGE drop in temperatures for sure. The summit of Mt. Mitchell will likely see highs, yes highs, only in the mid to low 40's on Sunday!! Bring a coat and your waders if you plan on fishing Upper or Lower Creeks for brookies, both originating at 6,000ft on Mt. Mitchell. It's going to be chilly. The Quill Gordons are going to be confused. They hatch out in the early Spring when temps in the lower 60's occur. Still, don't worry, temperatures are going to rebound nicely throughout next week. Just in time for Troutfest next weekend. I'm glad we're not buried under 1-2 feet of snow like the higher elevations of Montana right now. Big snowstorm out there in some places. If we don't see any frosts soon, use terrestrials. In fact, I'd use a beetle or an ant pattern right now. They're everywhere. Inchworms should also work well too. Tie on a Green Weenie and watch your indicator stop and drop. Hoppers will become increasingly active soon as well.

With terrestrial season right around the corner, I wrote an article for the Little River Journal. Check it out here. While you're there, sign up for the monthly newsletter at the bottom of the page. There are some excellent articles that are put into the LRJ. Lefty Kreh, David Knapp, Jim Casada, David Perry and many others are just a few of the contributors.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
 Photo courtesy of Troutnut.com

The largest mayflies we've seen all year are starting to make their appearance. They're going to be sporadic right now, but they are being seen. The month of May marks the occurrence of the Green Drake hatch. Try a Green Drake Nymph in the morning and then switch to dries in the afternoon. You'll probably start seeing Light Cahills as well, mainly in the evenings. Next up, terrestrials and Isonychias.

**A quick reminder... Troutfest 2010 is next weekend. The banquet is held next Friday evening and the exposition is held on Saturday and Sunday from 9AM-5PM. Joe, Lefty, and Bob are coming again this year. If you missed it last year, you want to make this year! It's going to be bigger and better. **

Here's the line-up for the tying tent...

Saturday Morning 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Cassie Sulzby, Walter Babb, Anthony Hipps, Joe Humphreys, David Perry, Bill Boyd Jr, Dave Hise, Ray Ball

Saturday Afternoon 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Jeff Barrett, Kent Edmonds, Bill Boyd Sr., Bill Boyd Jr., Allen McGee, Kevin Howell, Dean Campbell, Tyler Legg

Sunday Morning 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Steve Yates, Walker Parrott, Josh Almond, Bryson Storie, Randy Hamilton, Clayton Gist, Buzz Buffington

Sunday Afternoon 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sam Barbee, Lee Whitehead, David Carson, Bob Clouser, Tim Doyle, Steve Brown, Calvin O'Hern

Judging by the CoCoRaHS rain totals map, western North Carolina received much needed rain without flooding issues. Good. In fact, you probably won't notice much of a change in most places in terms of water levels. The farther southwest you trek in North Carolina the heavier the rains were. Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Swain, and Jackson Counties received the higher totals, ranging from around 1.20"-2.96". Those were the totals for yesterday. We'll see what the grand total was for today, probably by tomorrow. That's definitely enough to cause streams and rivers to rise.

A lot of the stream flow charts and data on the USGS website are not accurate right now, as "Instantaneous Values" for most rivers and streams are "Unavailable".It looks like the USGS is updating, as most, if not all of the gauges in the country are displaying "Unavailable Instantaneous Values"

With that being said, fishing will be fine for most locations in western North Carolina. Still, use extra caution when around rivers and streams. They're still pretty high. Once you get over into Tennessee, things change. Little River on the Tennessee side of the Smokies is full. The gauge is out over there too, but yesterday morning's flow was 4,200 cfs. The median to date is 260 cfs. Little River is receding, but wade fishing will be dangerous until flows recede some more. Take it easy!! Fishing from the bank is your best option if the water is too high. Give a streamer a try if the water is high and stained. If it is stained or muddy, don't bother tying on 6x tippet. Use slightly heavier tippet, such as 3x and 4x.

It's hard to think the low water of Summer is just right around the corner. Hopefully this year won't be as bad as past years.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
While not nearly as catastrophic as the flooding wreaking havoc in middle and eastern Tennessee, it looks like heavy rain is heading towards the Carolinas. The slow moving cold front advancing eastward has produced tornadoes, severe storms, very large hail, and major flooding. Fortunately, it's losing it's punch as it nears western North Carolina. While severe weather is possible, it won't be anything like the Arkansas storms last night, where virtually every storm was tornadic. The flooding will more than likely, be a problem though. In fact, the NC mountain counties are currently under a Flash Flood Watch.

From the NWS...

2-4" of rain is enough to transform crystal clear mountain streams into  raging rivers of chocolate milk. Check the water levels before you head  out to go fishing. If it's safe enough to go fishing, this is an excellent opportunity to hook into a large brown trout with 2x tippet and big streamers.

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