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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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Saturday, December 25, 2010
I'm a weather geek, so I've been tracking this storm for the past week and a half. 5 days ago, it looked like we could get slammed with historic snowfall. Then, things turned around and it looked like the low pressure would track off shore. Come yesterday, things changed. In a big way. The low is now going to hug the Carolina coastline. That means a hefty snowstorm is moving in to the Tar Heel State. Areas up along I-40 have been sitting under an intense band of snow this morning. Mt. Mitchell has 6", Robbinsville has 6" and Bryson City has 6" on the ground. More to come. That heavy snow is slowly pivoting into the Charlotte region as we head closer to this evening. 4-8" in Charlotte is possible. Locally higher. Conditions will rapidly deteriorate once the evening progresses.

Here's a few webcams up in the mountains/foothills of NC.

Fishing and traveling will be extremely treacherous today and tomorrow. A possible foot of snow and meandering mountain roads don't mix too well. Take it easy this weekend folks! Lastly, hope everyone is having a great Christmas!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Yesterday was one of the best days we've seen all month. We hit 61. It was a bit weird though, as I've become more accustomed to 30s for highs and lower teens for lows. More 30s for highs and teens for lows coming up though. The temps have not been the headlines though. The potential snowstorm here in the Carolinas on Christmas Day/Night has been watched closely by all. In the end, it looks like we won't see a big storm. Most areas will see 1-2" (maybe). .2" is all we need though to be counted as the third snowiest Christmas on record. Would be cool to see some snow. We'll see what happens. As Panther's head coach John Fox frequently says, "it is what it is." The mountains will likely see some hefty totals though, as upslope snows crank up. That should make for some fun fishing. Take it easy if you decide to fish around the NC/TN border. Conditions will deteriorate quickly once the snow starts to fall. The cold temps will definitely make fishing tough, but you should be able to find some fish. Nymphs are outfishing dries and will likely do so until we see a more prolonged warm spell (which could be next month). January might yield some decent BWO hatches, as the month looks to be warmer (or at least not as cold as this month). Until then, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Prince Nymphs, Hares Ear Nymphs, and most other generic nymphs should catch fish. Make sure you get that fly on the bottom, as the fish will be down deep. They won't move very much in order to grab your fly. Lighter tippet is best, given how clear the streams are right now.

I may not post here on the main blog until the new year. I should update every now and then over at my tying blog, as I'm hoping to get some much needed tying done.

Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Friday, December 17, 2010
1. Lower 50s here in the Piedmont of NC. Believe it or not, the last time Charlotte reached 50 was back on the 3rd. Pretty impressive. We dropped to 10 (some reports of 9) here in the Charlotte area the other morning. These cold temperatures, combined with decent amounts of snow (some places saw upwards of 16"+ from the last storm) have really hampered the fishing. It's not impossible at all to catch fish, but it's much harder as opposed to spring. Asheville is sitting at 39 right now, so it's warmer, but not exactly shorts and flip flop weather. Brad Sprinkle (teachrtec over on the forum) shared some cold looking pictures of ice forming on one of the rivers he frequents. Hopefully the snow will give the folks up in the mountains a break. Last year was bad enough. While snow is good, we don't need too much snow.

2. Expect the fishing to be a little on the slow side. Nymphs are outfishing dries by a wide margin. Still, a few BWOs may be seen, but it's not a given. A small #18-24 BWO nymph should be the ticket. Also, #18-22 Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Copper Johns, Micro Mays, and the such should interest lethargic trout. The key to success is getting that nymph down to the bottom of the stream. Use enough slit shot to do so. If you're not receiving any strikes, or you're not hanging up on the bottom every now and then, add some more split shot. Another tough obstacle to work around is the clear water. Light tippet is a must in most places. DH trout shouldn't shy away from 5x or 6x, but fish on the Davidson will. 7x or lighter is best on the D. If you head out, good luck!

3. I should be posting more over on Carolina Fly Tying now that it's winter. Look for more posts soon.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Small wild fish are more appealing to me, but I do enjoy fishing trophy waters and sections of rivers that run through towns. I'll be marking one of those trophy waters off of my list though. Back on December 1st, the cost of an annual Catch & Release license for Cherokee was increased. Big time. Either the economy is pushing them to spike the price, or they're in the planning stages of another huge casino that demands millions. Let's hope it's not the latter. Anyways, the spike was huge. The reasonable $20 annual permit is now $75, not to mention the daily permit, which to my knowledge increased from $7 to $10. The first trip of the year would cost $85. Way over the top if you ask me. A lot of folks have already made the promise that they won't be fishing Cherokee anytime soon. Now, some say it's still a deal given the price of private trophy waters. The Davidson, Tuck, Nantahala, or even Wilson Creek hold similar fishing opportunities though. The crowds are usually the only difference, but minor crowds and free fishing sounds better than $85. What do you guys think? Over the top?

*Once I find the article, if there ever is one, I'll post it. I'm receiving this info via a credible forum and credible folks.*
Thursday, December 9, 2010
1. It has been downright cold here in NC! Charlotte shattered the previous record low of 14°, dropping to 12° Tuesday morning. The mountains were much colder. We are finally "warming up" though. Instead of low to mid 30s for highs, we have now rebounded into the lower 40s. The good news is, most areas are forecasted to reach the lower 50s this weekend, which will feel like spring. Temperatures here in NC have rivaled temperatures in Missoula, MT. Yeah, it's been that cold. Bad news is the cold is returning next week. Looks like it could be colder than what we saw this week. Snow cover from the Great Lakes region and possibly the Ohio Valley should help towards shooting some seriously cold air into the southeast.

2. I know a lot of you are trying to figure out why I talk about weather in a lot of my posts. It does seem irrelevant, given this is a fly fishing blog. Weather has so many contributing factors and always has an effect on fishing. For instance, during hot weather, trout, which are coldwater fish and need oxygenated water to survive, will seek out more favorable locations on the stream such as highly oxygenated riffles and plunge pools. Conversely, during the cold months trout will slow down, hang close to the bottom, and do their best to conserve energy. Trout and anglers alike have to adapt to such extremes. As anglers, we have to change our techniques if we want to have a successful day. Those changes might be as subtle as downgrading to a slightly smaller fly or as much as fishing lower waters instead of the colder, higher water. So, in the end, checking the weather before you head out the door to go fishing is always a good thing!

3. Fishing will slightly improve as temperatures rebound into the mid 40s to lower 50s, depending on where you are. Tomorrow looks like it will be the best day out of the week, with highs in the 40's and sunny skies.  The water will still be very cold and the fish will be lethargic and secretive. By Sunday, the weather goes downhill again. If you plan on fishing anywhere near the NC/TN border later Saturday afternoon through Tuesday of next week, keep a close eye on the weather. According to the weather guy, it looks like the mountains are in for a heck of an upslope snow event. A winter storm watch will likely be issued in the near future. 8-10" with localized totals of up to a foot are possible on favored northwest facing slopes. Much colder air will flood into the region as well. If you like fishing in cold and snowy conditions, this weekend will be perfect! Just don't forget to pack the snowshoes and the snow chains!

4. Nymphs have been the dominant patterns as of late. Not much hatching out there. You may see a few small BWOs or a few midges, but the fish likely won't key onto them as the hatches will likely be sparse. Keep those nymphs small (#16-24 "ish") and use enough splitshot to get them down to the bottom. With it being so cold, trout are not going to move much in order to grab a meal. You'll have to get the fly right in front of them. Good luck!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
It's been snowing in WNC for the bulk of the day. I noticed that areas around Greensboro received 2.4" of snow from the clipper system passing through. Not a big deal, but it will make the fishing interesting though. There's a larger story on the horizon: someone is about to leave the freezer door open for a good while. If you think the temperatures right now are cold, just wait until next week. The 7 day will make you shiver. Asheville's highs probably won't make it past the freezing mark until Wednesday. Lows will be in the teens for several nights. 14° Tuesday night. Nearby Mt. Mitchell (highest peak east of the Rockies) might make it above freezing on Friday. 18° is the high tomorrow. 6° is the low Monday night. You'll lose a leg if you wet wade. If you're from Montana and you're reading this, I know you're probably laughing by now! We don't see the magnitude of cold the intermountain west experiences, but it does get downright cold here in the Tar Heel State.

I would get used to the cold and snowy weather. Especially if you're in the mountains. December will be, well, cold and snowy. Being the weather geek I am, I think we still run the risk of seeing a decent snowstorm or icestorm outside of the mountains before December is over. Mid December (11-13 or so) looks interesting. A good snowstorm is what we need. They really help in terms of replenishing the water table and getting the rivers back up to normal for a prolonged period of time.

Dave Hise said he has been guiding all day. This is what they've been fishing in. They caught some nice fish though!

 If you plan on fishing this week, you'll definitely have to change your tactics. Fish slowly and do your best to get the fly as close to the fish as possible. With the water temps being cold (they'll continue to drop throughout the week) you'll have to get the fly on the bottom as well. Nymphs will outfish dries almost entirely. Of course you may entice a fish to eat a small Para BWO, but you'll have far more hookups with a nymph. I would try a heavily weighted stonefly nymph. Behind the stone, add a small dropper (a #16-20 Pheasant Tail Nymph should do the trick). Small streamers should also work. Retrieve them slowly to allow the lethargic fish to catch it. To read an in depth article about fishing in the cold, click here.

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