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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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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Southeastern Anglers guide Mark Scarborough hooked and landed this behemoth of a brown trout on an NC public water tailrace earlier this month. Mark caught this beast on a day off from guiding.

I won't name the river, just as you wouldn't a secret blueline stream. Although, a lot of you guys probably know the river right off the bat. If you do, please don't name it!

Thanks to Mark Scarborough of Southeastern Anglers for allowing me to post the photo. Check out Southeastern Anglers on Facebook and be sure to visit their website.

Monday, June 27, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011

Pretty decent fishing out there! Almost daily t'storms have kept most rivers and streams at normal levels. Rain has also kept the water temps down. We receive a short hiatus tomorrow from the heavy rain and lightning associated with these frequent afternoon/evening storms. The humidity looks to take a break tomorrow, but it will return. Looking at the forecast, t'storm chances will enter the picture once again on Sunday and stick around throughout next week. Temps look to be pretty comfortable, ranging from the mid 60s tomorrow on Mount Mitchell to the mid 80s in the valleys and lower elevations.

Trout are looking up for terrestrials. Try a foam beetle, Extended Body Inchworm, an ant dry, or a hopper. Cast under overhanging trees, but don't be afraid to work the middle of the river. Terrestrials generally fall out of the trees and vegetation along the bank, but currents will eventually force most into the middle of the river where a lot of times, a trout's stomach is the bug's last stop.

Top 5 fly choices right now would be:

1. An inchworm dry of some sort.
2. A #10-12 Green Weenie (which imitates a drowned inchworm).
3. A #14-22 black ant. A foam ant works well, as it stays afloat.
4. #14-16 Yellow Parachute Adams.
5. A hopper. Whether it be a foam hopper, Dave's Hopper, or one of your own creations.

If you head out the river, have fun! Tell us how you do!
Thursday, June 23, 2011

Over the past few days I've been exploring some of the best fly fishing SW Virginia has to offer. My homewaters of western NC will always be my favorite, but man alive is there some good fishing up here. Whitetop Laurel Creek, which I fished on Tuesday reminded me of a mix between the South Toe and the Davidson. It's the best freestone trout stream in the state of Virginia. Wild trout, some of which were pushing 20", plenty of diversity, and a nutrient-rich stream all combine to make Whitetop Laurel number one on my list of best trout water in Southwest Virginia.

Throughout the week, I've had the camcorder at my side on every fishing trip. Every now and then, I was introduced to some great filming opportunities. The short film below includes those shots.
*If the video is slow, or lags, let it buffer or turn HD off. Click the outward pointing arrows to watch in full screen.

The Blue Ridge | HD from THFF Media on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The winner of the first THFF.com fly giveaway is..... Anonymous, with the comment "Great fishing this weekend. Could use these flies for all the ones I donated to the laurals and trees."

Anon, shoot me an email at wncflyfishing@gmail.com with your mailing address and I'll send 2 Extended Body Inchworms, 2 Vinyl Rib Stones, 2 Nymph Skin Stones, and a couple of "surprise" flies that are proven winners here in the Tar Heel State!

We'll do another giveaway pretty soon.
Monday, June 20, 2011

Frank Smith, owner of Hunter Banks Co. Fly Shop in Asheville, grew tired of continuously seeing graffiti on his shop's exterior. “I was tired of all the graffiti and vandalism,” said Smith. Now, most folks would call the police. Frank took matters into his own hands though and hired 2 artists to create a huge 32-by-61-foot mural of an angler fighting a rainbow trout with the NC mountains in the background. “I started thinking about it and asked Scott and Jeremy to create a mural. It's like a giant billboard sign off I-240. The idea is to cut down on graffiti and be a show stopper.”

I think this is an excellent idea. It's a thing of beauty and will hopefully keep the vandalism at bay. Check out the article at Asheville's Citizen-Times. Looking forward to seeing the finished product, which is scheduled to be completed tomorrow.
Saturday, June 18, 2011

Here's the results from afternoon of fishing, filming, and editing. After 7 years of hunting a particularly large catfish in this pond, today was the day he lost and I won. All on a 6wt and a Bunny Leach. The image of this large cat slowly pursuing my fly and inhaling it is forever burnt into my memory.

Warmwater HD from THFF Media on Vimeo.

Next stop is quite possibly Whitetop Laurel Creek in SW Virginia early next week.
Friday, June 17, 2011
I landed back up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia earlier today for some relaxation, fishing, and some filming with the new camcorder (which has exceeded my expectations). I've been experimenting with it for the bulk of today and "getting to know it" as the manual recommends before attempting to do some serious filming. The camcorder and I are past the acquaintance mark, so I think I'm ready to take it to the next level. The next level is taking it along on a fishing trip to a warmwater pond. Should be a good time tomorrow.

Below is some test footage shot today. I color corrected it (basically adjusted the color to give the footage a more vibrant look).

Canon Vixia HV40 Test from THFF Media on Vimeo.

Once I finish editing the footage, look for a short film soon. Might be tomorrow evening, could be early next week.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Get out and fish if you can. The higher elevations are offering a cool escape!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A non-native fish called the Pacu (related to the piranha) has been caught in a NC lake. Don't be alarmed though, they're not thriving. Read the article at Asheville's Citizen-Times.com

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's been awhile since I've shot and edited any videos for THFF Media. I miss it. After a lengthy period of research and sifting through reviews, sample videos, recommendations, etc, I'm now preparing to buy a new full HD camcorder. With that new HD camcorder, I'm aiming to raise THFF Media from the dead. The Canon Vixia HV40 has been at the top of my list for quite some time and I'm going to fulfill my plans of purchasing one.

Photography and videography has been a passion of mine for quite some time. Getting my hands on decent equipment has hindered any prospects of putting out some decent films (cell phone video doesn't work nearly as well as a full HD camcorder!) Definitely looking forward to seeing what this thing can do (according to reviews, it can do a lot).

If you're looking to buy camera equipment, whether it be a DSLR, a camcorder, production equipment, etc, I highly recommend looking at B&H Photo. A lot of folks (anglers who tote a camera around on the trips too) have said nothing but good things about B&H. I'll be making the purchase with them. Free shipping within the constraints of the US, excellent shipping times, and great service has made them very popular amongst photography and filmography enthusiast.

I'm leaving for a long vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia this Friday. Next Saturday, I'll have the bulk of the day to experiment with the HV40 at the warmwater pond on the Parkway. The last 2 videos, Warmwater Shenanigans and Warmwater Shenanigans Part II were shot on a standard definition point and shoot. As you can see in both videos, crisp video quality is nonexistent. The shots came out pretty well, but the quality was lacking. With the HV40, I'll have full HD quality at my fingertips, blowing away the previous video quality seen in previous videos.

Oh yeah... More tying videos will be on the way for sure.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

You've probably seen his blog. You probably read it on a daily basis. Who wouldn't? Owl Jones has some downright hilarious, interesting, and engaging articles, videos, and stories over on his blog. If it's not on your daily "blogs to read" list, I'd strongly advise you change that!

Owl and the Tailing Loop both traveled north from NE GA and fished the Davidson River. Owl put together an excellent video. Check it out! If the video is slow, click "HD" to disable HD quality.

One Shot. from Owl Jones on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's 95 and hazy. No, not Dick Cheney, but the weather here in the Piedmont. Hot has been the weather word for the past few weeks. Bad news is, the heat doesn't look to let up anytime soon. Summer has arrived and it's here to stay for awhile.

Typical afternoon t'storms are popping up as I type and they're offering limited relief from the hot and dry conditions. If you're caught under one, the rivers and streams will likely rise, given they're pretty much stationary to very slow moving storms. We need the rain though, as streams are getting lower and lower every day. Check out the levels here.

Delayed Harvest ended Saturday here in NC, so you're best bet in terms of trout will be wild waters and catch and release waters. Some DH waters will still contain trout for a while, some streams will be cleaned out. I'm sure many are already troutless. Unless you're fishing the wild waters, I wouldn't bother heading to Stone Mountain, South Mountain, North Mills, Watauga, and so on. The farther you hike out of the way from easy access (ie a parking area) the better the chances of finding some remaining DH fish. Don't count on it though. Grab the wet wading shoes and head to a wild stream or head to the catch and release waters such as the upper Davidson. You'll find some much better fishing. With that being said, mornings and evenings are fishing the best. When the weather is this hot, trout tend to disappear into a deep pool and wait until the evening and morning hours to become active. In the morning, stick with nymphs. A Pheasant Tail, Hare's Ear, Lighting Bug, Hise's Hetero-Genius, Green Weenie, Micro May, or Inch Caddis. In the afternoon, try some terrestrials. An Extended Body Inchworm, Foam Beetle, Foam Back Ant, or even a small hopper pattern should provide for an excellent afternoon. Cast them closer to the bank and set them down on the water with a "pop" to entice fish. Once evening rolls around, tie on a yellow Stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis, Para Adams, Yellow Para Adams, or Light Cahill. If you are fishing during a decent hatch, you're in for a treat.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sadly, DH (Delayed Harvest) ends tomorrow. Remember, from 6am to 11:59am anglers 15 years old or younger are only allowed to fish. Once noon rolls around, Bloody Saturday commences. Even if you're a strict catch and release angler, go ahead and catch your share of 7 trout (no size limit). You won't be scolded. You're actually helping the fish out. Trout being coldwater fish, most won't make it much longer in the majority of DH waters. Way too hot. They'll slowly be poached (by heat, not illegal fishing).
As fly anglers, wild waters and catch and release waters are going to be our best bet until DH picks back up on October 1st. DH waters (soon to be Hatchery Supported) will be troutless pretty soon.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It was a late July day. The heat and humidity so prevalent in the Carolinas was briefly left behind for a cool escape into western NC's high mountains. Wading in this tiny, yet refreshing high elevation stream has never felt so good.

Countless folks venture to the western parts of the Tar Heel State in search of adventures, flora, fauna, a day of hiking, or a day of sightseeing. All of which are plentiful around here. As an angler, fishing opportunities are nothing short of plentiful.  If you're looking for an escape from the ambient sounds of cars zooming across roads, people enjoying a refreshing swim, or rafters meandering their way across chutes and whitewater, fishing the countless miles of wild streams WNC has to offer might just be what you're looking for.

Here in western North Carolina, there's no shortage of wild streams; they're everywhere. Not to mention the unclassified streams that the NCWRC doesn't manage. I'll be honest though. Don't be surprised if you leave a stream that was perceived to be an excellent one, empty-handed. Some anglers swear up and down the fish have either been poached out or are simply not present. On some streams, this is the case. There are streams that don't hold trout, but there are plenty that do.

Wild trout will test you. In most cases, they're easy to catch, only after you've done everything right before the first cast and continue to do everything right when the fly hits the water. Big water, such as the Tuckasegee River, boasts plenty of deeper water, masked by adjacent faster water, in which trout can comfortably hold without a worry in the world. At the bottom of a deep pool, a fat, happy trout is too deep for an osprey to swoop down and claim them as lunch. Sure these fish can be spooky at times, but compared to their wild counterparts they're nowhere near spooky most of the time. Wild trout don't remain self sustainable from being lazy and unaware of their surroundings.

Here are some tips aimed to increase you catch rate on the small streams:

1) Wear drab colored clothing. A bright orange t-shirt will almost always spook the fish entirely. Given trout are equipped with color vision, they can see differences in colors within their environment. They don't see bright orange figures (the angler) roaming around on a daily basis, so their first instinct upon laying eyes on such bright colors is to bolt for cover. Wearing natural colored clothing (ie green, brown, tan, etc) blends in with the surroundings, thus keeping their minds on food and not quickly searching for a hiding place.

2) Clothing isn't the only thing an angler must pay attention to on the wild waters. Stealth is a must. Have you ever seen a heron wading on the flats along the coast? While hunting for shrimp, fish, and other small creatures, they wade with extreme caution. As anglers, we must wade with extreme caution. Splashing, creating wakes, and bumping rocks with your feet almost always results in spooked fish. Trout are very sensitive and will usually respond to noises we think are insignificant (such as a bit of splashing). Anglers fishing a wild trout stream for the first time are sometimes baffled at the "lack" of fish in the stream. The fish are more than likely present, but have been spooked by a bright shirt or clumsy wading.

3) Approach pools and fishy looking water carefully. Immediately upon laying eyes on some good looking water, plan out your approach. Make note of any ways to avoid spooking the fish. A downed tree to hide behind, a large boulder just downstream of the pool, or even some overhanging brush are examples of such. Use them to hide yourself from the trout.

4) Make delicate casts and pick your line up off of the water smoothly and quietly. Smacking your line on the water and ripping it off won't do you any good. If you can, allow your leader and fly to remain in the water while keeping your fly line off of the water. Doing so will decrease the chances of a spooked fish. As far as leaders and tippet sizes go, 8x isn't necessary. The smallest I would go is 6x. 4x and 5x is usually a perfect size. Wild fish are rarely leader so you can up the size of your tippet.

5) Don't kill yourself over fly patterns. Wild fish are rarely, if ever, picky. They're solely opportunistic feeders and will eat anything that remotely looks like food. In their swift environment, taking too long to decide will leave them without a meal. As long as it acts like food, they take it as food. For wild waters, choose your dry flies based on buoyancy, visibility, and attraction. A fly that stays afloat and is highly visible will almost always be a fish catcher. A bright Green Weenie or flashy Lightning Bug is an ideal selection for your nymph. An attractor pattern is not intended to imitate a specific insect (such as a March Brown or Isonychia). Basically, the trout don't recognize them as a familiar food source, but see them as food nonetheless. Perfect flies that are bouyant, highly visible, and are attractors include, but are not limited to, the Royal Wulff, Tennessee Wulff, Parachute Madam X, Chernobyl Ant, Humpy, Trude, Turk's Tarantula, and the Stimulator.

6) Don't fish a pool or run for an extended period of time. Move to the next one after you've made a few casts. On these streams, if you're going to hook up with a fish, it's more likely to be on your first cast. Especially with dries.

7) Don't be afraid to use a longer rod. A lot of small stream anglers use short rods. 6' rods being pretty common. Don't hesitate to use a 7 foot or even an 8 foot rod. Doing so will allow you to mend and control your line easier.

8) When fishing a pool or run, first cast to the tailout or end of the pool/run closest to you. Cast your fly upstream in increments until you finally cast the fly to the head of the pool. If you were to cast the fly to the head of the pool first, you run the risk of spooking the pool out. This way, the chances of you catching more fish out of one pool drastically increase.

Lastly, have fun! Wild waters can offer anglers with plenty of solitude, adventure, beautiful scenery, and if you play your cards right, plenty of wild, extremely colorful trout.

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