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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, June 28, 2010
I'm back in Kannapolis after a week up in Hillsville, VA enjoying time with family and fish. It was in the 90's most of the time up there. Hitting 90 degrees is a rare occurrence around those parts. It's hard to believe that 17 "ish"  inches of snow fell back in December and stayed until March. As I was on the way home, the truck gradually crept up to 96° then 97° before leveling off at 98° at 6:30. I'm glad to say that relief is on the way! Asheville's high Thursday is expected to only reach 79°. Upper 50's for lows too. If you go up higher, say above 5,000 ft and above, upper 60's for highs and upper 40's to low 50's for lows are expected Thursday. If you're visiting Mt. Mitchell, it wouldn't hurt to bring a light jacket! Especially in the evening.

The weather is not the only thing that will greatly improve. We'll see much better fishing conditions over the next few days.When temperatures hit the 90's on trout streams and water temps rise into the lower 70's, trout start dying. Upper 60's and they're stressed big time. Water temps will slowly cool off over the next couple of days. The trout need a break for sure.

Terrestrials are working well right now. In my opinion the infamous Green Weenie is all you need in your arsenal of flies. The trout go wild over these bright green inch worm flies. Hoppers, ants, beetles, and inchworms are all working very well. It's a little early for cicadas, but I've heard a few lately. You might do well with a cicada pattern thrown close to the bank under the trees. Regardless of what you use, light tippet is a must. Most streams are running very clear. 6x is perfect. You might get away with 4x or 5x though in some places. Downgrade to 7x if needed. Stealth is the other major component to fishing right now. Drab, earth tone colors will help conceal yourself from spooky fish.
Friday, June 25, 2010

Warmwater Shenanigans Part II from Tyler Legg on Vimeo.

The warmwater journey continue in part two...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Warmwater Shenanigans from Tyler Legg on Vimeo.

Look for Warmwater Shenanigans Part II Friday evening. We'll see if I can get into any more shenanigans...
Brad Sprinkle (teachrtec over on the forum) has created a fantastic website incorporating ingenious ways to tie flies. From homemade tools to substituting dryer sheets for wing materials, Brad has come up with some great ways to save money and tie better flies. Check out the site here.
Monday, June 21, 2010
 It has been downright oppressive outside. Heat and humidity combine to create an unpleasant, sticky, soupy atmosphere. I'm in Hillsville, Virginia for the week, so while it's not as hot as the lowlands, I'll tell you the climate doesn't alter as much as you'd think up here. With heat in mind, we decided to go up high. 3,000 feet ASL is high enough. I fished the small mill pond on the Blue Ridge Parkway I frequent. As is usual this time of the year, it fished exceptionally well today. After a few casts I began my quest to rob the pond of it's booty catch a few fish. After being guided to the pond by the flock of resident white ducks begging for bread and insurance (Aflac!) and I was casting to bass and bluegill as the sun went behind the trees. I had two rods, one rigged with a streamer and one rigged with a small Tiger Beetle. The streamer was the first to get wet, as I watched a pretty good sized bass cruising and obviously on the lookout for potential food items. I intercepted his projected path. Strip, strip, stop...strip, strip, strip, stop...strip, str...bang. He decided to slurp my offering with a little hesitance. I set the hook and he took off in a mad rage. A moment later, he was landed, had his picture taken, and was released (first two pictures). Shortly after releasing him, I was hooked into another fish, roughly the same size as the first one. They tend to be pretty selective and look over what they're about to eat with extreme caution. I watched one large fish slowly turn to meet my streamer, refuse it, and sink back to his lie. Sounds like the Davidson. Pretty typical of these fish. Oddly enough, I'm really the only one pressuring the fish. I saw one person fishing this pond 6 years ago. That's it. My grandparents used to live in the development close to the pond, so they have connections. It's my all-time favorite warmwater destination in the area. I'm fishing it again all day Friday, so more to come! Until then, I'm tying more Foxy Reds and Zonkers.

Caught a plethora of these familiar fish...

The release (I was soaked after this).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tying the Giant Vinyl Rib Stone from Tyler Legg on Vimeo.

Alright guys, I'm letting the cat out of the bag (or the trout out of the net...however you want to word it). I've received a lot of requests on how to tie the GVRS. I developed this fly back in November of 2009. I first tied it with biots for the tail/legs, but eventually I upgraded to the material all fly fisherman have come to love: round rubber legs. The killer movement of the ostrich herl and the long rubber legs, makes this fly dance in the water. The GVRS serves as an excellent representation of a giant stonefly nymph. Fish it alone or tie on a dropper. Stonefly nymphs are found on the bottom of the river, so make sure you put a heap of weight on this fly. Also, a lot of folks have commented on the foam. While it does seem counterintuitive to use highly buoyant 2mm, close-celled foam on a nymph, I'll tell you that it doesn't really affect the way this bug fishes. Foam forms tiny air bubbles when submerged, which in turn imitate the small bubbles you sometimes see on stonefly nymphs. The amount of weight you add to this fly, drops it look a rock. The faster you get a stonefly nymph to the bottom of the river, the better. Modify the colors/size to imitate a certain species of m in your nymphs in my opinion.  stonefly (ie add a little orange for a Pteronarcys Salmonfly, or, on add a little yellow for a Golden). Fun to tie and fun to fish!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It has been downright hot outside folks! Summer is here to stay judging by the forecast. Thankfully, stormy relief has arrived almost every afternoon (don't know why we're not getting much today though). We're in a "hot day gives way to evening storms" routine right now. Typical summertime pattern. As a result of the numerous thunderstorms we're seeing, water levels are looking great. Usually by this time of the year, water levels are low and warm. Rain isn't in shortage right now. The same can be said about terrestrials- they are everywhere. Ants, hoppers, inchworms, beetles, the whole shebang. Morning seems to be the most productive part of the day. The fish are hungry and the water temps are at the coolest. By about midday, most streams warm to the low to mid 60's. Once the water temperatures hit the low 70's trout start to die- especially if they don't have deeper, cooler water to take refuge. A good idea is to fish for trout in the morning and then wrap it up around noon. Then, head to your favorite warmwater spot and fish until 5 "ish" before hitting the evening hatches back on the trout stream until dusk. You'll likely enter periods of hot fishing, while other times the fishing is not so hot. Speaking of fishing that's not so hot, Delayed Harvest season ended as most of you know back on Saturday, June 5th. Wilson Creek, Stone Mountain, South Mountain, Helton Creek, and most other DH waters are unfortunately, by now, almost fishless. A lot of the fish on the upper Nantahala River seem to avoid "Bloody Saturday" though. I've always caught fish throughout the summer, well after DH season ended. I don't know how these fish do it, given the heavy pressure, but they do. Wild trout streams and C&R waters are your best bet until October ushers in the 2010-2011 DH season.

If you do head out to the stream, longer leaders (9ft+) with 4x-7x tippet is the best setup. Tie on a terrestrial pattern and swing it under an overhanging tree. Nymphs are working best in the early morning. The land bugs start to move around towards mid-morning.

I've been adding to the terrestrial/summer bug box daily. Green Weenies, foam ants, hoppers, Sallies... they're all taking trout.
Friday, June 11, 2010

The Lynn Camp Prong brook trout restoration program in the Smokies is one of the best examples of native brook trout restoration here in the Southeast. Park biologist, and leader of the project, Steve Moore and countless others who care about bringing Appalachia's only native trout (well, char) back from near extinction are working hard. They electro-shocked Lynn Camp Prong in order to eliminate the non-native rainbow trout several months ago. When they returned to electro-shock a few days ago, they hoped to only capture good numbers of healthy brook trout. What they shockingly found was several good sized rainbow trout, obviously intentionally stocked into the stream by careless and selfish fisherman who wanted rainbow trout to dominate Lynn Camp. A good portion of the proceeds from Troutfest went to the Lynn Camp Prong restoration project. Thanks to the idiotic choices of these careless fisherman, the Lynn Camp project has now went awry. Let's hope the Park service can get back on track. Oh yeah, it would likely be a $250,000-$300,000 fine...
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Just looking at the 10 day makes you cringe. A pre-summer heat wave is on the way, just in time for the weekend. Mid 90's in the Piedmont with high humidity is flat out miserable. Heat and humidity is a common occurrence here in the Tar Heel State though. Thankfully it will only last a few days. If you want to escape the heat, go up high. The highest peak in the eastern US, Mt. Mitchell, is a refugee for cool weather seekers. Mt. Mitchell is sitting at 58.8° right now (with stiff 27 mph winds). The summit will see low temperatures in the mid to upper 50's, with low to mid 70's this weekend with a breeze. Stand on the summit and watch the Piedmont sizzle!

The trout are not going to be too happy about the forecasted hot temperatures, but they'll make it. This is exactly why the state makes the transition from DH (release all fish) to Hatchery Supported (keep fish) each year in early June. Most DH fish would not make it through the summer. Wild fish are another story. They'll be fine.

The Green Weenie
Make sure you have a box full of terrestrials. Grasshoppers, inchworms, beetles, and ants are falling into a river near you. Tie on a #10 BLT Hopper or a Dave's Hopper (any hopper pattern will work). Pitch one under the trees and watch the fish fly to the surface. They're listening for the "plop" hoppers make when they clumsily land on the water. Don't worry about delicately placing that hopper on the water's surface like you would with a Parachute Adams. Slap it on the water.
Hise's Hetero-Genius
That's what drives the trout crazy. Just make sure your line doesn't slap the surface though! Fishing is going to the best in the morning, likely slowing down by midday, before cranking back up in the evening. I would fish nymphs in the morning, then switch to terrestrials from 10AM until the evening hatches. Drop a smallish #14-16 Pheasant Tail Nymph, Prince, Copper John, Lightning Bug (or whatever floats your drift boat) behind a hopper to double your chances. Try a Hise's Hetero-Genius. Dave Hise, owner of Caster's Fly Shop created this trout magnet. I told Dave he needs to issue a "license to fish the Hetero" to anyone who fishes it. They're trout-tastic. Another fly that should be in any fly fisherman's box is the Green Weenie. You'll catch fish on GW's all day. Toss one into a river and hang on! With that being said, unless you are fishing the hatchery section of the Davidson, fish a likely looking hole over, if nothing bends your rod, move on to the next hole. If stonefly nymphs are crawling up your legs to emerge if you're not catching anything, move on to the next hole.

Stay cool over the next few days! Share your fishing reports with us!
Monday, June 7, 2010

It has been all over the news. Miles upon miles of the Gulf coast has been affected along with millions of people (worldwide if you count all of those people who buy shrimp, oysters, crabs, fish etc). The oil disaster down in the Gulf is far from over. Until BP creates a relief well, oil is going to continue to spew from the leak. It's definitely going to take more than a few ShamWows to clean the oil laden waters, coasts, and wildlife. It's pretty bad. With that being said, I came across the projection above. The computer model you see shows the oil stream zipping up the eastern coast and out to sea. Remember, it's a computer model, so it's an educated guess and just shows a suggested a scenario. Still, it is a little alarming knowing that sooner or later, the North Carolina coast may see oil washing up on it's shore. I know several NC redfishing guides that are especially worried about what's possibly on the horizon.
Sunday, June 6, 2010

Eastern Green Drake Nymph- it's a wiggle nymph, so it has some killer movement when in the water.

 BLT Hopper- A great go-to hopper pattern. Like all good hoppers, it rides low, but is highly visible.

 Legg's BWO Emerger- A pinch of Zelon and 3 Microfibett tails creates the trailing nymphal shuck, imitating an emerging BWO.

 Legg's Foam Inchworm- Inchworms are out across the state. It floats like a cork and remains upright thanks to the elimination of all of the bottom hackle fibers. Take a Prismacolor marker and add some black dots to the green foam for added detail.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The continuous, but oh so familiar evening thunderstorms and muggy atmosphere has given it away. It seems as if spring went on vacation and summer has taken the proverbial baton a little too early. Lack of rain hasn't been a problem around here. In fact, lawns haven't had time to dry out completely between rain. Localized flash flooding has been confined mainly to Piedmont locations. Looking at the USGS stream  flows, most rivers and streams are hovering right around normal. The mountains have not received nearly as much rain as areas to the east. With that being said, most rivers across WNC have seen enough rain to keep the water levels at a decent level: not too high, not to low. Evening thunderstorms are going to be your biggest concern. Lately, they have been extremely slow movers, dumping inches of rain in only a few hours. Most of these storms are forming and dissipating generally in the same spot. Not very good if you're on a river fishing. If you get caught in a storm, water levels may rise rapidly. A thunderstorm miles upstream in the same watershed will eventually send water downstream.

With water levels right where they should be, fishing is fantastic. Water temperatures are mainly in the 60's, which isn't bad at all. Wet wading is going to be comfortable and a refreshing way to beat the heat and humidity. As usual, mornings and evenings are the prime periods to fish (mid day is still not bad, but usually relatively slow). In the morning, try a nymph. A Pheasant Tail, Prince, Lightning Bug, Copper John, Hare's Ear, or your favorite go-to nymph will work. Drop that nymph below a big dry fly to double your chances. Then, by about lunch time try a terrestrial pattern. Tie on an inchworm, caterpillar, ant, beetle, or hopper and toss it under overhanging rhododendron. Hungry trout are looking for them! Then, as the day progresses, you'll start to see the evening hatches. The bulk of the bugs hatching from 6 "ish" until dusk. Yellow Sallies, Light Cahills, a few remaining Green Drakes, Caddis, Sulphurs, and a few surprises are showing up. A prime example of a six-legged surprise (rare, but a surprise nonetheless), is a Salmonfly. The same huge Pteronarcys stoneflies that are about to cause a ruckus amongst trout and anglers alike out in Montana over the next few weeks. Here's a few pictures of a definite salmonfly in the Cherokee Nat'l Forest over on the Little River Outfitters Forum. Scroll down a bit to see them. Again pretty rare to see these guys around here due to pollution and depleting oxygen levels.

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