Current Fishing Report 1/24/2019
The wet weather pattern here in WNC has continued in full force and rivers are currently running at full bank. We’ve had some brutally cold weather mixed in which has made for some tough conditions of late. As we inch closer to spring, traditionally our wettest season, we’re hoping for a break in the precipitation to allow streams to settle back down to normal levels. Even with tough conditions out there, a patient angler working a nymph rig or streamer will still likely find some degree of success. Streams are uncrowded and winter scenery is beautiful around here so get out there and give it shot.
If you plan on exploring the North Fork in the near future, be cautious. Last night’s rain has the river running high and the gorge is a dangerous place to wade. It would be best to wait until water levels drop to a safer level for wading. Even if we go a week without rain, keep in mind, levels are plateauing at an elevated level with our water table being so high. Big stonefly nymphs along with little black stones, bwo’s, and a variety of caddis larvae will be your best bets once the water comes down.
The East Fork is still producing fish when the water is at a fishable level. Until the first spring stocking in March, plan on technical fly patterns with light tippet and good drifts. These stockers are well educated and settled in to natural feeding patterns. Small baetis nymphs, midges, or small soft hackles will bring your best chance at bagging a few fish.
The Davidson is currently above 800 cfs and will continue to drop quickly, eventually plateauing around 300 I would guess. At 300 cfs, anglers should be cautious wading but I’ve had some great days at this level. The river will also be running very clear so don’t be fooled into using 4 or even 5X tippet. Stick with long leaders, 6X, and great drifts to fool these well-educated fish. It looks like we are in for sunny weather over the weekend so if venturing out, wear out the nymph box before banking on a streamer for success. BWO’s, little black stones, caddis larva, and midges in a variety of colors are go-to patterns.
If you haven’t read guide Hannah Myers’ blog on winter small stream fishing, check it out here. Lots of good information. Use that as your guide for the next few weeks.