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Tyler Legg
Charlotte, NC, United States
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I hate to say it, but when you combine very little rain, low water, and temperatures that can fry an egg in 5 seconds, the fishing isn't so hot. Yellow dots that represent below normal water levels on the USGS charts are on the upswing. We want to see all green dots and very few yellow and red dots. The Davidson River is amongst the lowest in western NC. The D is flowing at 44cfs. Average is 82cfs. Nearly half of what it should be. With that being said, some watersheds have seen some heavy t'storms. Cataloochee Creek is known for being dangerously low this time of the year. It's above normal as I type. Cataloochee is sitting at 98cfs. Average is 66cfs. It's been spiking up and down for the past few days. The forecast calls for more widespread showers and storms over the next few days, so more and more watersheds should improve. The cold front to the west is on the move. I'm thinking most rivers and streams will receive some much needed precip. The tropical system down in the Gulf is expected to track close to western NC, which will of course bring some rain. Overall, conditions should improve here in North Carolina. Still, we usually don't start seeing widespread normal flows and happy trout until December when the snow and cold returns.

Wild streams and catch and release waters are your best bet. October 1st is the beginning of Delayed Harvest. Stone Mountain State Park, Mitchell River, Wilson Creek, South Mountains, and many more will be teeming with fish once again. Hang in there! DH is right around the corner!

Wild fish are hitting just about thing you put in front of them. A #14 yellow Stimulator, Foam Back Ant, or Extended Body Inchworm will take fish all day. Now, if you plan on fishing the Davidson, you'll have to get technical. 6x and 7x leaders are a must. I would fish 12-15 ft leaders, given how low and clear the water is. If you can, fish upstream of the Hatchery. The farther you go upstream the better the fishing will be. Trout are extremely stressed right now. Especially from the Hatchery on downstream. Leave the 3 wt rod at home if you're fishing the Davidson. A 5wt/6wt allows you to play fish quickly. Playing a large fish on a 3wt for 10 minutes is a death sentence for overly stressed trout. It's fun to play fish on a light rod, but Fall/Winter/Spring are the best times to do so. I've watched fish float downstream belly up because of poor catch and release tactics during hot weather. It's been so bad, trout are dying on their own. Keep your fingers crossed for some widespread rain!

2 comments:

Bill Trussell said...

Hi Tyler
I totally agree with everything you have said especially playing the fish in this kind of weather. I watched a guy the other day at the Caney play a trout until it finally turned up on its side floating. He released it but it was to late, the fish was near death. That is a shame when an individual is not responsible enough to care about the welfare of the fish he is pursuing. By the way I am doing a post on the nymph you mail me in a couple of days. I had a great trip on the lake the other day fishing it with a small shot and letting it sink 20 ft.or so. That is where the big bulls hang out this time of the year and they were jumping on your nymph. I broke off on one take and never saw the fish but I am sure it was a big spot. Thanks again for mailing those to me. I am headed to the Caney Saturday with my son and son-in-law and will surely encounter large crowds, but that is the only time they can get away. Enjoyed the post

Tar Heel Fly Fishing said...

Bill,

It is a shame. I've yet to see anyone actually blatantly use poor catch and release tactics, but it's definitely an issue anglers need to learn!

Good to hear those wiggle nymphs are still appealing to the fish! Good luck on the Caney this weekend. Hope you guys can find a less crowded area. Looking forward to the report!

Tyler

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