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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.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The ongoing need for rain prevails. Red, orange, and burgundy colored dots on the USGS WaterWatch maps are continuing to overcome the green dots we briefly saw with the last bout of rain a few weeks ago.      

We've seen far worse in past years. Still, abnormally dry to moderate on the drought scale is not helping the rivers and streams. Kevin Howell, owner of Davidson River Outfitters, said that the Davidson is 16" below normal levels. The Big D is currently running at 28 cfs. Average is 100 cfs. Relief may be on the way though. According to the long range forecasts, storm tracks may start to crank back up again, throwing drought-busting storm systems at us. Cross your fingers. It won't be too long before more and more mountain communities begin to see snow. Usually by early-mid November the higher peaks (mainly facing the NW) will start to see increasing snow chances with the many northwest flow events we see. That will definitely help bring the water levels back up. Snow up high will eventually melt, seep into the small headwaters, and sooner or later the water will make its way to the rivers. Still, early snowfall usually doesn't amount too much here in North Carolina. Until then, stealth, long leaders, and light tippet are going to be a must.

Fishing here in the Carolinas is not too bad. Despite the low water, the temperatures are lower thus the trout are relatively happy. Fly selection is the last thing an angler should worry about right now. Long leaders, stealth, and light tippets are far more important. Stick with a 9ft or a 12ft leader and the lightest tippet you feel comfortable fishing. 6x should be fine in most situations. DH trout won't mind 5x. On waters that are a little more technical, such as the Davidson, 7x (dare I say 8x?) might be a better option. Especially if you're fishing the slow, long, gin clear pools up at the hatchery. If trees and fly nabbing rhododendron allow, false casting to the side will maintain a low profile and keep your shadow from hitting the fish. DH waters excluded, smaller flies are going to be better than larger flies. Heavy flies will splash upon hitting the water. 9 times out of 10 the fish will scatter in all directions. Unless you can lay the fly down in choppy water and then drift it into slower water, large beadhead nymphs won't be too productive. A standard nymph or a soft hackle should be the ticket. Try a #16-18 Pheasant Tail Nymph or a Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Nymph. If you prefer to fish with a small indicator or even without one, you're in luck. While large Thingamabobbers are probably one of the best strike indicators invented to date, they won't do much good when fishing slow or shallow water, because of their tendency to 'plop' on the water's surface. Even if it's a light 'plop', trout can hear it even though the angler might not. Yarn indicators are probably your best bet. They land softly and cast well. As far as dries go, a small #16-20 Parachute Adams should entice fish. Streamers will also work, given the large browns are moving away from their daytime hiding spots and into the shallows. Cast a #10 Woolly Bugger 5 ft or so upstream of your targeted fish and allow it to drift close to him. If he wants it, he'll chase it down in an attempt to oust any intruders.

Wild waters are fishing well. Like all other waters, they're low and the fish are extremely spooky. You'll have to crawl, crouch, hide, and wade carefully. A yellow Stimulator or a small Green Weenie will catch fish all day. Stealth is much more important than fly selection.

If you do decide to head out, have fun!


Ryan said...

This is a great update, but I gotta say NO! There is NO WAY I tossing 8x! Nope, not gonna due it. =)

The Average Joe Fisherman

Tar Heel Fly Fishing said...

You know there's some daredevils out there! How about 12x? Pretty insane... http://anglersportgroup.com/products_detail.asp?ID=520&CatID=14&SubCatID=71&SubCat2ID=213

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