After a disastrous summer and fall as far as water levels are concerned, we currently have a somewhat normal flow in most area streams. This coupled with unseasonably warm weather has made for some decent winter fishing. Regardless of which stream you decide on, keep in mind fish will most actively feed during the warmest hours of the day.
East Fork French Broad
With no recent stocking and lots of pressure, the East Fork has settled into its normal wintertime fishery which means anglers will have to up their game to have a great day of fishing. While some fish will still occasionally fall to general attractors like eggs, squirmy worms, or mop flies, more success will likely result from fishing a variety of midges on longer leaders with 6X tippet. In addition to midges look for BWO’s and little black stoneflies hatching midday.
Although temperatures have been unseasonably warm, fishing on the North Fork has not picked up to the level we will expect in March and April. However, wild beauties can still be caught during the warmest hours of the day. A tandem rig with a girdle bug and a small baetis nymph would be a good place to start, along with plenty of split shot to get your rig to the bottom.
These warm days have brought the occasional angler into the shop picking up a few bugs and heading up hill in search of small wild trout. Reports coming back have not been great, but it seems a few fish have been taken during the warmest hours of the day. Look for bigger pools and try to get a nymph down to the fish without spooking them. Also, if you’re thinking about exploring Courthouse Creek, keep in mind Forest Service Rd 140 is currently closed to vehicle traffic.