Stream & Guide Trip Reports
Southern Appalachian mountain river/stream heights and flow rates seem to be getting back to normal. North Carolina high elevation back country streams can still be a snowy treck well into April. Black Winter stoneflies and grey midges are the ticket there. North Carolina DH/HS streams are stocked full and fishing very well, these are by far the easiest streams for beginner and novice fly anglers to target. DH waters you'll find plenty of Brook, Brown and Rainbow trout that will respond to small streamers, nymphs, egg patterns. Dries and dry droppers with small soft hackles work well. Please remember to crimp your barbs down and practice proper catch and release when required by NCWRC. Private Virginia and West Virginia waters are still flowing high and cold, fish come alive at 40F water temps and love ambushing big flashy streamers and wet flies on the swing.
Bluestone River West Virginia 3 lb Rainbow Trout
Fall & Winter 2017
Where did the rains go?? Low clear water conditions this Fall early Winter are posing some challenges to fly fishing anglers. Stealthy approach, pin point casting and perfect drift coupled with smaller tippets and flies are all getting the job done. Crawling on your hands and knees and hiding behind rocks...doing whatever it takes to bend a rod.
Best stream flows in many years coupled with near perfect air temps in the Southern Appalachains in April and May have made for banner trout fishing. Our guide clients have been hooking up and netting double didgit numbers of trout almost every day. Two weeks in April have seen prolific insect hatches of enourmous green and brown drake mayflies, willing trout are eager to rise to a size #8 & #10 drake immitation. As always in Spring, swinging large streamers and stripping them back up stream have the big boys chasing them down, be sure to hang onto the half wells grip tightly during the take! Clients are landing record numbers...and for one client, his largest trout in his forty years fly fishing, congrats to Doc Fryar!!
Late Winter/ Early Spring-2017
Ample rainfall in the Southern Appalachians has provided some of the best stream flows in many months, many streams starting to look normal once again. Cold weather trips in February and March have provided for some fantastic fly fishing, stream temps in the high F30's to mid F40's have provided some early Winter black stonefly activity, fish have been taken off the top on #14 black stonflys and with same size black stonefly nymphs, tandem nymphs working best. Best late Winter fly fishing in last few years, only for the not so faint of heart...
We are finally seeing substantial rainfall in the Southern Applachains, North Carolina, Southwestern Virginia and East Tennessee streams are playing catch up following 6-7 months of drought conditions. We had a few guide trips with cold air temps in the F20's and F30's, hearty clients withstood the cold temps and put plenty of really nice fish in the net. Couple of Chamber of Commere days with air temps in the mid-F60's and sunny made for some prized days of fly fishing in the South. The low clear water had clients hooking up on tiny IBF wet flies, now that streams are up big meat fly streamers have been the hot ticket. As a Winter standard, egg pattern has been putting large numbers of fish in the net, sorry dry fly purists, dry flies will have to wait until early Spring.
Low water levels and great water clarity have been providing fantastic site fishing opportunities for huge trout this Fall. I've been spoting out the largest fish for clients and teaching them how to get in best possible position without spooking fish and how to catch the giant trophy fish. Several fish in excess of 10 lbs. and 24" have been taken...including this beautiful 19" Brook trout by client Gene Robbins.
Early September's cooler nightime temperatures at high mountian elevations are bringing with it some substantial pickup in big trout feeding activity. The big 20" plus Arlee Rainbow trout are coming back to life, clients landed several nice ones on #18 beadhead olive flashback caddis emergers and #18 beadhead black copper john stone fly imitations. Virginia stream water temps in AM holding in low 60's are making for better days indeed.
Client Greg Burgess fist time fly angler landed several nice Rainbows
March 2016 thru May 2016
Early March started out very busy for us, both North Carolina DH, HS and Wild Trout waters fished fantastic with cold air & water temps. Mornings have been busy fishing nymph and egg patterns along the river bottom. Late afternoon warm up on sunny days allows fish to be caught on dry dropper rigs, olive biot soft hackled and sulphur soft hackles typically match most emerging Southern Appalachian aquatic insects, selecting the right size and color is the name of the game. April and May saw most of the action up in Virginia stalking the big Kamloop and Arlee Rainbows that dwell there. May nighttime temps have remained quite low making for great streamer fishing in the morning on sink tip leaders and dry droppes in the afternoons.
December 2015 & January 2016 Stream Reports
December 2015 had been an unseasonably warm month in the Southern Appalachians as most days have been sunny & warm in the mid to high 50's. Normal to above average rainfall amounts have kept both North Carolina & Virginia streams at optimal flow rates and perfect high 40's to mid-50s water temps are perfect for trout fishing. December was a great month for fly anglers that prefer to fish streamer patterns attempting to imitate native stream borne baitfish species, as well as egg patterns. Winter months the streamborne aquatic insect life quiets down a little bit, but tiny black Winter stoneflies are prominent, imitate those with your presentations. Fantastic fly fishing has continued on into January 2016. Colder overnight temps have coerced many fly anglers to get a mid morning start as opposed to sun up starts. High water has forced us to use more split shot than normal to get those nymphs and soft hackles onto the bottom feeding zones. Stripping streamer patterns along the seams of fast-meets-slow water on the sides of the streams has produced well too. Recent trips to private Virginia trophy waters remain productive. Guided trips on Cranberry Creek, Wilson Creek, Harper's Creek, Little River, Dan River, Big Reed Island Creek, Wolf Creek, Elk Creek,Jacob Fork Creek and Big Rock Creek have all produced postive results.
Fall 2015 Reports
While early October 2015 provided severe and historic flooding to parts of the Carolina's, we were fortunate enough to escape the heavy rains & turbid rivers in Southwestern Virginia for the first week of the month. Outdoor night time temps in the 50's and 60's dropped water temps into the mid-60's F, perfect for fly fishing. The bite was very good with large wet fly patterns, yaller hammer & red squirrel patterns along with a variety of olive and yellow soft hackles, egg and San Juan worm patterns yeilding huge trophy trout on Wolf Creek, Little River and Big Cedar Creeks. Fantastic fly fishing in the southern Appalachians continued right through Novemeber.