Fly Fishing Report for Upper Transylvania County 4/6/18
Fishing is in it’s prime here in Western North Carolina. Ideal water temperatures and levels region wide combined with abundant spring hatches and recent delayed harvest stocking make for excellent trout fishing conditions on local streams. People often ask when is the best time to fish WNC, and my answer would be right NOW! Hopefully you will be able to get out and enjoy some great spring fishing in the weeks to come.
North Fork French Broad
April is my favorite month on the North Fork. The blue quills seem to be tapering off but march browns are coming on strong making for excellent dry dropper fishing all day. My go-to march brown dry fly pattern is A.K. Best’s Eastern March Brown in a size 12. Although it is a relatively delicate pattern, it can be fished with a size 14 or so hare’s ear, pheasant tail, or other march brown nymph/emerger pattern as a dropper. March browns typically hatch rather sporadically so fish this rig in riffles all day long. If you find yourself in deeper water or heavier runs switch up to a nymph rig with a girdle bug and one of the aforementioned nymphs. Don’t be afraid to let them swing at the end of your drift as those golden stonefly nymphs will soon be moving around.
East Fork French Broad- Delayed Harvest
The recently stocked East Fork has been on fire this last week. Numerous fish will still be fooled with a squirmy worm or egg pattern along with flashy nymphs and even wooly buggers. The deadliest of the “trash” flies is a size 12 sucker spawn egg pattern in pink or yellow. Stockers seem to be unable to resist. We have a good selections of these flies along with the increasingly popular mop fly at the shop so if your DH box is getting empty, stop by the shop for resupply. If it seems as though these flies are not as effective as you would expect, switch up to a size 12-16 soft hackle pattern and downsize your tippet. The older residents of the stream may be rising to caddis or march browns, so a dry dropper rig is something to keep in mind, especially in the riffles.
Spring time on the Davidson can be a sight to behold if you find yourself on the water during a significant hatch. March browns have been appearing mid afternoon with the peak of the hatch occurring an hour or 2 before sundown. Expect hendricksons to be soon to follow. Even during significant hatches with fish rising, keep in mind, these fish are PhD educated so make delicate presentations and offer drag free drifts. Stick with long leaders and 6X flouro. I can assure you that you do not want to settle for nylon tippet when big fish may be coming to the surface. In my experience, fluorocarbon can make all the difference in the world between landing a big fish, or watching him swim away with some new jewelry.
Blue line junkies can all start celebrating because small stream fishing is really coming to life. Favorable water levels such as we have now give the angler a slight advantage when targeting ultra spooky fish. Small streams in the Davidson drainage, Courthouse Creek, or even the parkway or Panthertown are all quality destinations for dry fly snatching wild trout right now. Small stream fishing is great right now also because much of the traffic will still be working delayed harvest streams, so you should be able to find some real solitude in some real wild places with some real wild fish.