Fishing report 4/17/17
After heavy rain events a couple weeks ago, and recent stockings of delayed harvest streams, fly fishing in Western North Carolina has been top notch. There have been moments of outstanding streamer and dry fly fishing on top of great nymph fishing. Hopefully you have had a chance to get out and enjoy. With potential rain in the forecast this week, look for conditions to remain good in the weeks to come.
North Fork French Broad
There is not a finer time to explore the North Fork than mid to late April. With water levels near ideal for both wading and fishing and bug life aplenty, the North Fork could make all of your wild fish dreams come true. There are plenty of golden stonefly and mayfly nymphs along with caddis larva and pupa out and about so a variety of subsurface flies might be the ticket. Girdle bugs, red fox squirrel nymphs, pheasant tails and hare’s ears, or small green caddis larva patterns should do the trick when properly presented. If you are on a dry fly mission, fish a size 10 or 12 march brown mayfly pattern through the riffles and be ready at any moment. March brown hatches are sporadic so there might be a fish looking up at any point of the day. Also look out for hendricksons as well as a few early yellow sallies. The first inchworms have been spotted dangling from tree limbs by us terrestrial junkies, so keep that in mind as well. Stick to long leaders down to 5 or 6X tippet for best results.
East Fork French Broad
With several major school districts on spring break this past week the East Fork has been busy to say the least. And understandably so, as the fishing has been red hot. On crowded days, when fishing runs that have already been fished, try scaling down tippet sizes and strike indicators, and presenting smaller flies with a dead on drift. Size 16 – 20 soft hackle pheasant tails are a good go-to dropped behind a general attractor nymph like a squirmy worm or girdle bug. If all of the deeper pools and runs are spoken for, fish the riffles with a dry/dropper rig.
Small streams have been fishing great with good water levels and warm temperatures. Even higher elevation brook trout streams off the Blue Ridge Parkway or in Panthertown Valley have been producing. Just remember, you cannot be too stealthy out there so take you time getting into position and make the first cast count. If you’re tired of the same old Davidson River drainage or Courthouse Creek routine, I’d suggest streams like the Whitewater River or Tanassee Creek if you haven’t checked them out.