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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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Sunday, July 24, 2011

As a fly tyer, both commercially and non-commercially, I've grown a bit worried with this whole hackle extension fashion trend. Metz and Whiting were apparently not prepared for this sudden rise in demand for hackles. The fad started well before Steven Tyler displayed them on American Idol. To my knowledge, Steven did remind people feathers look great when you stick them in your hair.
That's enough hackle to tie at least 3 dozen Para Adams.

If this fashion trend continues, we could be looking at an increase in the price of flies. We all thought gas prices were (and still are) bad enough. Now we may be facing some pricy flies to top it all off. It's a waiting game. A nervous, hoping-for-the-best kind of waiting game.

Microbarbs are apparently the most sought after hackles, so if you tie with them, it may be a good idea to stock up now.

 What do you guys think about all of this?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Blacks from THFF Media on Vimeo.

Looking at the high temperatures from yesterday, I'm glad I decided to hit the high elevation bluelines. 63 degrees when I pulled into the parking area at 10am. Clouds and rain kept the temperatures below 70 up on the first creek. I met a buddy of mine at the trailhead, we rigged up, and started the 30 minute hike in. Clouds were passing through and fog was rolling in, but we didn't think much about it. We had our mind set on reaching this wild and unusual high elevation stream. Acid rain is a huge problem on this stream. I've caught my fair share of fish from this stream in the past, but lately the stream's productivity 
has been lacking. Acid rain is likely contributing to the stream's lack of fish. The bitterly cold winter is another likely culprit. Kevin and I didn't lay eyes on a single fish. Other than a few mayflies, there was very little in the way of aquatic life. I've noticed this the past few trips, but I gambled and suggested we check it out. Albeit the fishing was nonexistent, the scenery and the stream itself was worth it. It's sad the fishing isn't what it used to be, but that's the harsh reality of life at these elevations.

Playing it smart, we hiked back out of the stream as a thunderstorm approached. The entire hike back out of the valley was in the rain. By the time we reached the trailhead, we were drenched. In an attempt to reverse the so far fishless day, we mapped out our next move and jumped to the next few streams. Thunderstorms kept rolling in and rolling out, so we continued to stay drenched. The fishing picked up though, as we began catching many colorful brookies on dries.

Kevin shooting a bow and arrow cast into a likely looking hole

Realized I caught this fish back in April. The details match between
both photos. April photo

You simply cannot beat wild fish on dries. Let alone wild fish that are the only native salmonid to NC, NC's state fish, and as colorful as these guys. For me, the tug is not the drug. Why do we go these extra distances to catch these "minnows?" The adventure, the fact that you are likely the first human being to lay eyes on a stream, the scenery God presents you with, and watching as a fish, so hardy and adaptable as the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout, rise to your offering of foam and feathers. THAT is why we do it. It's addictive. It's adventurous. It will get your heart pumping.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The great and the ugly. No, not brown trout and lampreys, but some great and not so great news from around the state.

I'll start with the great news.

Remember the mural that was being constructed on the side wall of Hunter Banks Fishing Co. in Asheville? They completed it! The 32-by-61-foot mural looks incredible. Behold:

Lastly, the ugly news. About 400 miles due east of the mural in Asheville, a 6 year old girl was attacked by a shark in a foot and a half of water on Ocracoke Island. It happened about an hour and a half ago. If you watch Shark Week every year like I do, you probably know Bull Sharks are commonly seen in very shallow water. They're like huge shallow-water-loving redfish. Except they have rows of razor sharp teeth, require a 14-15wt, and are rarely seen rooting for small crabs in spartina grass.

A lot of folks think the real dangers are farther out in deeper waters. Unfortunately, in this incident, we were reminded that attacks can happen out in the middle of the ocean, or, in this case, a few steps from the shore. The girl is in critical condition. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tropical Depression 2 formed off the coast of east Florida. Upper level winds aloft have allowed for a cluster of storms to develop into a more organized system. Tropical systems can't form when there's too much sheer in the atmosphere. High levels of sheer will tear apart even the strongest hurricane. In this case, the sheer has relaxed enough to give this system time to grow. As of now though, it doesn't appear we'll be looking at a hurricane. Most of the major hurricanes form off the coast of Africa, enter deep, warm water and have a long while to suck up energy as they barrel towards the Americas. We'll see what #2 does. It's a waiting game.

TD #2 doesn't appear to impact land in the future, but increased rip tides and waves are possible, especially along the east coast of Florida, Georgia, SC, and Southeast NC. If you're out deep sea fishing, look for higher waves and choppy water. Here in WNC, we look to be about 1,000 miles too far to the west. A tropical depression would be very beneficial to our rivers and streams. We'll continue to rely on afternoon thunderstorms to keep the streams in check.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Rain amounts over the past 7 days (Radar estimates).

So far, extremely low water hasn't been a prolonged issue this summer. We'll see periods where rain is scarce, but before streams get too low, thunderstorms save the day. Along with decent water levels, drought isn't a concern as of now in WNC. These storms have really helped us out. There's always a catch though, it seems. That "catch" is the heat. The mercury will rise to the highest temperatures we've seen thus far this year. In the Piedmont, heat index values are expected to climb to 105-109 degrees. High humidity as well. It will be cooler in the mountains though, especially the higher you go. The highest peak in eastern North America, Mt. Mitchell, will of course be much cooler than the lowlands. It looks like lower 70s for highs around the summit tomorrow. Relief is on the horizon though, as temps will back off a bit later this week.

Fishing is not too bad in WNC. Higher elevation streams are by far fishing the best. They are providing both trout and anglers more comfortable temps. As is the case in the warmer months, fishing is best in the morning and again in the evening when temperatures are cooler. Nymphs in the morning and dries in the afternoon is the way to go. Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Copper Johns, Lightning Bugs, Green Weenies, an Inch Caddis, Prince Nymph, and most generic nymphs should work well. Don't be afraid to throw a terrestrial in the morning, as fish are keying onto them no matter what time of the day. Try a foam hopper, Turk's Tarantula, ant, beetle, or Extended Body Inchworm. Look for caddis, yellow/green stones, and Light Cahills in the evening.

Stay cool!
Thursday, July 7, 2011

 What your profile will look like.

Facebook is about to be shoved into the dirt. What could possibly put Facebook out of business? Well, Google is at it again. Their most recent project, Google Plus, is only available to those with invites, so it's not open to the public just yet. Rumors have been spreading regarding an end-of-the-month "opening of the admission gates" at Google Plus. Once that happens, you can sign in just like you would with Facebook, without an invite. Like said, it's limited to those who have invites. Yesterday evening Jason Puris over at The Fin hooked me up with an invite and I was able to join Plus. As a longtime Facebook user, I was able to detect the differences between Google Plus and the largest social networking site in the world, Facebook. So far, the angling community is extremely small. I've only found 7 anglers. With some time, 7 will grow to 700 anglers pretty soon.

Everything about Google Plus is incredible. The ability to share posts with certain "circles" or groups of people is ingenious. For instance, if you want to share a fishing related post and don't want to share it with everyone, just create a circle entitled "Fisherpeople" or "Fishing Buddies" add all of the anglers who you're following and check it off when you're posting. If you have a family reunion, click "Family" and your post will only be visible to everyone in your "Family Circle." It sounds overwhelming, but once you've delved into it, you'll start to get the hang of it.

Kyle Perkins, who is a writer, blogger, and angler, told me we're all going to put together a "Fly Tying Hangout" on Plus in the future. Basically you have a webcam, a microphone, and your vise and have a "fly tying hangout." Sounds pretty cool.

All in all, I'm stoked about using it. Hopefully more and more anglers join. With that being said, if you would like to try it out, leave a comment below with your Gmail address. Only Gmail is allowed, as it's all Google oriented. Once the gates are opened back up for more users to join I'll invite those that want in. Google is allowing groups of folks to join before closing the gates again. It's a small window of time (only 4-5 hours last night) for new members to join.
Sunday, July 3, 2011

The dog days of summer are upon us and people are searching long and hard for any possible way to stay cool. Like humans, trout seek cooler refugees away from the heat when the temperatures soar. Have you ever wondered why the fishing was great in the spring, but is downright horrible in July? In this article, you'll discover tips to not only stay cool out on the river, but catch fish as well.

Trout and Heat

Trout and heat don't mix. Trout are coldwater fish and are incapable of thriving in warmwater. When the heat rises, the dissolved oxygen in rivers and streams plummets. Without a deeper, cooler refugee that holds more dissolved oxygen, trout become very stressed. Dissolved oxygen is essentially microscopic oxygen gas bubbles in the water. As water moves moves past a their gills, those microscopic bubbles are circulated into the bloodstream. The colder the water, the more O2 gas bubbles for the trout to soak in. Just like all terrestrial animals on earth, without oxygen, life can't go on.

Locating Trout When the Heat Prevails

Just because the "temperature tolerance range" extends to the low 70s for brown trout, doesn't mean it's healthy for them. They can withstand water temperatures this high, given they can seek shady, slightly cooler areas of the river. A lot of times in the summer, you'll find more fish closer to the banks, where thick overhanging trees and vegetation provides them with shade and cover from predators above. Along with shade, trout will seek more turbulent water, where dissolved oxygen levels are more plentiful. A plunge pool is a perfect example. Zero out these areas and work them over. When the sun begins its descent behind the mountains, fish will usually spread out as evening hatches begin.

What Flies Do I Use?

Here in the southeast, it's rare to find wild trout that are extremely selective. Nine times out of ten, fish will rise to a fly randomly picked from your box. As long as it looks like food and acts like food, most fish won't be fickle. The better question would be "how would I go about presenting my fly?" It depends on the fly of choice. A small Parachute Adams is designed to land on the water softly. The Adams dry fly imitates dark bodied mayflies and mayflies land on the water's surface softly, so your fly should land on the water softly. On the other hand, a big hopper is a bit heavier, thus landing on the water with a "plop" sound. Your hopper pattern can be "smacked" onto the water. Don't overdo it, but a quick smack on the surface usually sends the trout into attack mode. Aside from mayflies and hoppers, yellow and green stoneflies, ants, beetles, inchworms, cicadas, a list of caddis species, and much more are usually readily available throughout the summer months. This time of the year, the trees have plenty of leaves and new growth to snag your flies. Make sure you have enough to share with the trees and still have some remaining flies to fish!

Playing Trout in the Heat

Aside from keeping yourself safe in the heat, this is the second most important thing an angler should know and properly carry out. Playing trout in the heat is extremely important. If the water temps are just too high (upper 60s on into the 70s) it's in your best interest to hit a higher elevation wild stream or make your way to a tailwater. Playing trout in the heat can be both stressful and life threatening to the fish. Remember to play them as quick as possible, keep them in the water, lifting out of the water for a brief moment when the cameraman is ready, and taking your time in reviving the fish to ensure he swims away on his own. If you can, revive the fish in faster water (where the dissolved oxygen is more plentiful) and release him in slower water.

What to Wear

Long days out in the heat, humidity, and sun require special clothing. A t-shirt is OK, but an SPF, breathable, and lightweight fishing shirt is much better. Long sleeve is also a good idea, believe it or not, as long as the sleeves have an effective way of releasing heat. I've been wearing Simm's popular long sleeve Solarflex shirt for a good while now. Not only does it keep the sun off of your arms and neck, it allows heat to exit effectively, allowing for protected arms. Lather up the sunscreen as well. As for hats, it's a personal preference. Personally, I've grown to love trucker caps. A lot of anglers have grown to love them. Along with wearing the proper clothing, drink plenty of water and if you're doing some hiking to reach that wild stream, take breaks as needed. Last, but not least, leave the waders behind. If you would prefer not to get wet, wear lightweight, breathable waders. Neoprene waders are way too thick. Wet wading is the way to go. Wading wet will keep you cool and comfortable. Pick up some comfortable wet wading shoes, or grab some wet wading gravel guards and wear your wading boots.

Don't let a little heat stop you from sitting inside all day! With some quick planning and a willingness to relocate to a different stream, fishing can be spectacular this time of the year.

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