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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, August 30, 2011

A lot of "skinny water" here in WNC. Although it's not unusual to have low water in August/September, a prolonged period can have plenty of negative effects. Last year, a lot of streams dwindled to just a trickle by late September. I hope this won't be the case this upcoming September, but without enough rain, I'm afraid it will.

A cold front set to sweep through the Carolinas next Monday may give numerous streams a much needed boost. Storms will likely fire ahead of the front, dropping plenty of rain in areas that see the storms. Keep your fingers crossed.

Until we see the water levels rise, your typical summertime techniques should be used. Long leaders, light tippets, and drab clothing are crucial. Your presentation is much more important than your fly selection. Wild trout here in NC are rarely ever picky. If they don't take a swing at your fly, chances are the presentation wasn't up to par. Check out the Improve Your Wild Trout Game article for more tips.

Don't kill yourself on fly selection. Like previously mentioned, presentation of your fly is much more important than fly selection. Wit that being said, make sure you have some #14 Yellow Stimulators, #14-16 Yellow and gray Para Adams, #14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, hoppers, beetles, ants, and  Extended Body Inchworms. As far as nymphs go, Red Fox Squirrel Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Soft Hackles, Copper Johns, Princes, and a few San Juan Worms will work well. If streams do rise in response to the forecasted storms next week, don't hesitate to throw a Wolly Bugger, Zonker, or Sculpin pattern.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I won't go into too much detail on Hurricane Irene here on the blog. I will say that if you are living on the NC coast, particularly along the OBX, buckle up. A bumpy ride could be on the way. I included the word "could" because the track of Irene has been consistently trending eastward. Still, put that tidbit in the back of your mind and prepare for a landfalling hurricane, but pray the wrath of Irene will stay offshore. Our state has seen its fair share of hurricanes. Still, the less we get, the better (obviously).

Much more info on Hurricane Irene over at the all new Carolina Weather Blog. I'm updating over there frequently as Irene moves.

All we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Unless Irene tracks a considerable distance to the west, folks well inland won't know a major hurricane is passing along the coast. So, fishing here in WNC will likely continue to be great. We could use some of the plentiful moisture Irene is producing. Streams are not dangerously low, but they're in need of some replenishing rainfall in order to keep us from reaching those dangerously low flows. Levels are, for the most part, what you'd generally expect in late August. Fine tippets and long leaders are a necessity. Wild trout that are rarely pressured are usually not leader shy and will eat your fly on 4x tippet. On wild waters that are sandwiched between two walls of rhododendron and vegetation, a heavier tippet is useful. If you're back cast snags a tree, heavier tippet will up the chances of getting that fly back.

Until October 1st, wild waters, C&R waters, and the smallmouth rivers will be your best bet.  TN tailwaters are also very popular destinations this time of the year if you don't mind the drive.

So, what's on the menu? Well, not much has changed since June. Your usual summertime patterns will suffice. I would go with nymphs in the morning, then terrestrials in the afternoon, before switching to dries in the evening. The 6-8:30pm time frame every evening should yield plenty of hatching yellow sallies, light cahills, yellow/light green stones, and maybe even a few "surprise" bugs. On most rivers, you should catch fish all evening on a #14 Yellow Stimulator. Don't be surprised if you see a giant American Salmonfly clumsily fluttering around at dusk.

Continue sending in those Carolina fish pics for the THFF.com Fish Wall!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I've decided to create a separate blog dedicated to weather. Carolina weather in particular. As anglers (or outdoor enthusiasts) the weather is a major factor. While you can fish in the cold, the heat, the rain, and the snow, knowing what to expect so you can plan accordingly is strongly recommended. At Carolina WX (WX is short for weather) I'll blog about hurricanes, snowstorms, ice storms, t'storms, and just about everything in between. Even though it's focused on the Carolinas, you'll see posts revolving around events from other parts of the country (or globe).

Check out Carolina Wx, here. Check back often, as I'll be posting pretty regularly as hurricanes threaten the US or winter storms affect the Carolinas.

Monday, August 15, 2011

This is pretty cool. A couple of guys filmed several "bugnadoes" along the Missouri River. They're likely mating midges. At times, they're so thick they take on the appearance of a tornado. It truly is a floating trout buffet!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Stepping out onto the back porch tonight was refreshing. Here in Carolina, (really the entire southeast), you have to be up before dawn, but after 2am in the morning in order to feel some cooler temperatures. Once the sun peaks over the pines, the Carolina clay, softened from the morning dew, is quickly turning to rock.

Nine times out of ten, it's not a dry heat around here. It's humid as all get out. Heat and humid are inseparable sidekicks from May through August around these parts. On rare occasions, one will take a break and we scramble to enjoy every moment of it. This year, those occasions were few and far between. So, when you glance at the forecast and read words such as "cooler" and "less humidity", you don't know if you should jump for joy or wonder if there's fine print you didn't read. No joke folks, cooler temps are coming to the rescue, as a strong cold front—the one that's producing some gnarly t'storms over in Oklahoma—advances west across the plains, eventually passing through the Carolinas late tomorrow night and early Sunday. I'm thinking those 7 consecutive days of 90s are behind us. The cold fronts should break the heat up before it gets too bad.

Storms are expected to roll rumble through WNC as the front enters and exits. Some locations may see some a few lone storms during the day tomorrow, but the most widespread coverage of storms should occur tomorrow night into Sunday. Heads up if you're fishing tomorrow, as you may encounter a few storms. If you're planning on fishing Sunday, keep an eye on the forecast and an eye to the sky. These storms will have the potential to produce hail and unleash some strong winds. Heavy rain will cause streams to quickly rise, so be ready to jump out of the water upon first notice of the river rising. Streamers will be effective where heavy rain causes rivers to rise. A #10 Woolly Bugger or Zonker should be perfect. Other times, a Green Weenie, Extended Body Inchworm, Inch Caddis, Yellow Stimulator, Yellow Para Adams, Copper John, Prince, or Pheasant Tail Nymph (just to name a few) should work well. If you don't see any fish, locate a small waterfall, chute, or some turbid, whitewater. Trout are concentrating in these areas, where dissolved oxygen is at its greatest. Play the fish as quick as possible, try not to tire him out completely, and send him back ASAP.

Send in those fish pictures from NC if you'd like! I'll post them to the THFF Fish Wall for fellow anglers to enjoy. Details are in the post below.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Have a great fish pic snapped here in NC? Would you like to share it? Now is your opportunity! Shoot me an email at wncflyfishing@gmail.com, or send it to me via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or on the forum under the Photography section. It doesn't matter if it's a vintage photo of your grandfather fishing the Pigeon River in 1928, a picture you snapped of a colorful wild brookie on the bluelines, a smallie caught from the New River, or a Redfish caught on the coast. As long as the fish was caught with a fly rod, send it in! Scenic fly fishing photos of a fishy looking stream are also welcomed.

1) Include your name (please specify if you're okay including your first and last name, just your first name, or if you'd rather go by anonymous).

2) Where you landed the fish. If it's a wild stream, I won't include the name.

3) If you have a fishing related website/blog, include the address and I'll link to your site.

So, without further ado, let's see some fish pics!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Changes for the 2011-2012 season: 

- Buckeye Creek, Watauga County (Buckeye Creek Reservoir dam to Grassy Gap Creek) designated as Hatchery Supported.

- Spring Creek, Madison County (N.C. 209 bridge at Hot Springs city limits to iron
bridge at end of Andrews Avenue) designated as Delayed Harvest.

- Tuckasegee River, Jackson County (downstream N.C. 107 bridge to the falls
located 275 yards upstream of the U.S. 23-441 bridge [marked
by a sign on each bank])
Designated as Delayed Harvest.

- Tuckasegee River—upper (confluence with West Fork
Tuckasegee River to the downstream N.C. 107 bridge)
Tuckasegee River—lower (falls located 275 yards upstream
of U.S. 23-441 bridge [marked by a sign on each bank] to
S.R. 1534 bridge at Wilmot)
designated as Hatchery Supported.

- Ararat River, Surry County (N.C. 103 bridge to U.S. 52 bridge) Designated as Delayed Harvest.

-Coffee Lake, Watauga County, designated as Delayed Harvest.

Hot Springs (Madison County): Spring Creek (N.C. 209 bridge at Hot Springs city
limits to iron bridge at end of Andrews Avenue) [Designated as Mountain Heritage Trout Waters Delayed-Harvest regulations apply]

- Elk Creek, Wilkes County (portion on Leatherwood Mountains Development) designated as Delayed Harvest.

To see the additional minor changes, click here to read them. Changes to the regs are in red.

Proposed changes for the 2012-2013 season: 

A couple of new DH waters are being considered for 2012-2013. They include (but are not limited to) 0.6 miles of the Catawba (McDowell Co. portion), 1.5 miles of Elk Creek (Wilkes), and reclassifying the lower 2.5 miles of Big Horse Creek (Ashe) as DH. We'll see what happens! To see the full list of proposals, click here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Construction is underway on the all new Fly Fishing Trail website.  Not to be confused with Jackson County's WNC Fly Fishing Trail, the "trail" isn't actually a physical hiking trail. Instead, it's a "trail" of some of the best trout/smallmouth waters nestled between Mt. Mitchell, Roan Mountain, and Grandfather Mountain. While fishing this area, you're never too far from some of the highest peaks in eastern North America. The streams all run through Madison, Burke, McDowell, Yancey, Mitchell, and Avery Counties.

Once the site is complete, information from the best places to fish to accommodations and area attractions will be easily accessible. Tucker Horne, a current member of the NC Fly Fishing Team, is putting the website together. So far, it looks incredible. Looking forward to the finished product!

Make sure you give their Facebook page a like for updates and news!

Additional info from the site: 

Welcome to the East Coast's "Largest and Best" Fly Fishing Trail!
"The Fly Fishing Trail", located in the high country between Boone and Asheville, features some of the best trout waters in Western North Carolina. These waters are situated between Mt. Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain, and Roan Mountain... all of which exceed 6000 feet in elevation.

"The Fly Fishing Trail" details over 500 miles of pristine trout and smallmouth waters. Whether chasing brook trout at 4500 feet, brown trout on a tailrace, wild rainbow trout in one of our many wilderness refuges, smallmouth bass on the North Toe River, or chucking 10 inch streamers after musky, the waters in this region offer the fly fisherman a lifetime of fishing opportunities. Whether you seek quantity or size, open water or small streams, "The Fly Fishing Trail" is your guide to the best fly fishing on the East Coast. Planning your fly fishing destination trip is made easy here on "The Fly Fishing Trail" website.

Complimentary maps, stream detail, hatch charts, lodging information, area attractions and more are available here. Use the Trail Guide to make arrangements for accommodations at one of the local cabins, campgrounds, or inns, learn about local restaurants, shopping, area attractions, and even book a guided fly fishing trip with one of the local guide services.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011

While watching Shark Week, I began to wonder why there isn't a Trout Week. Instead of breaching Great Whites snatching a seal from the surface, how about a big brown leaping out of the water to engulf a mouse? Just a thought.

THFF Readers

Stocking Schedule Changes!

Make sure you check out the new stocking schedule provided by the NCWRC!

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