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Fishing report 6/15/17
Afternoon thunderstorms have been the big story as far as recent weather. These storms and associated rain have rivers staying cool and holding at good levels making for good trout fishing. The smallmouth bite has been heating up but water clarity on the French Broad near Asheville has been an issue. Regardless of this one slight downside of the rain, after the drought we experienced last year, let’s be thankful for every drop of rain we get.
North Fork French Broad
The North Fork has been on fire recently with an ample supply of bugs and water to keep the fish feeding throughout the day. This is a great time to explore this wild water stream if you have not yet done so. Golden stones and yellow sallies have been the primary hatches along with inchworms, beetles, and ants on the terrestrial side of things. The North Fork is a great place to fish a dry/dropper with a big foam dry like a chubby chernobyl or chernobyl ant and a soft hackle pheasant tail dropper.
Even with frequent thunderstorms, the Davidson has mostly been running very clear and hovering around 100 cfs. This requires long leaders down to 6X tippet at the heaviest. Summer time on the Davidson means beatles, ants, and inchworms. Inspect undercut banks closely and look for big trout holding right on the edge. Also look out for yellow sallies and golden stones hatching, especially in the evenings.
Small streams are fishing great area wide. A bushy dry fly size 12 – 16 or your favorite terrestrial dry will get the job done if you can get it to a fish without spooking it. Always beware of your shadow because a passing shadow will definitely spook these fish.
As I mentioned earlier the smallmouth bite is definitely picking up. The French Broad has been good at times but has had issues with water clarity. We have had some good trips on the Pigeon River in Tennessee with fish chasing white and chartreuse streamers, as well as tube jigs and senko’s. Before the top water action really picks up, try fishing a popper right off the banks with a big girdle bug dropped below. The popper/dropper rig can be a killer combo.