Fishing in the Smoky Mountains is incredible this week. If you haven’t been out yet, grab a rod and hit some of the fantastic rivers and lakes in the region.
The top destination this week has to be the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park streams are fishing at their peak for the year. Trout everywhere are taking dry flies all day long, which in my opinion, is the most fun you can have with a fly rod. Top streams are Deep Creek, Oconaluftee River, Bradley Fork, Hazel Creek, and Forney Creek. Look for fish in the faster sections of water sitting on the edge of currents.
The Trophy Trout section of the Raven Fork in Cherokee is another hot destination this week. Recently restocked, this section is fishing very well. Big fish are working in the early morning and late evening in the current seams and tail-outs. There’s nothing like watching a trophy sized trout take a well places dry fly off the surface. For the best mid-day action look for shade and over hangs where rising trout will be taking light Cahills and Sulphers.
The Nantahala River is an amazing fishery. The lower section of river below the power house is fishing very good during mid-day generations. Don’t worry about the rafters spooking the fish. The trout here see so many boats they are conditioned to the activity and don’t spook easily. Late afternoon when the water recedes is where the real fun begins. Rising fish all across the river give way to just how many trout the lower Nantahala holds. Cast dry flies to rising trout until it gets so dark you can’t see your fly anymore.
The Tribal Enterprise waters in Cherokee are stocked twice each week and are fishing very good. 30 miles of Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout keep people from all across the country happy with generous creel limits and easy access. Cherokee is one of the best places to take a child to catch their first trout, or if you want to catch a good mess of fish for dinner.
Fontana Lake is fishing good for Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass. Lots of bass are still on their beds and post spawn bass are eating anything in the water to build back up lost energy from the spawn. Look for rocky shoreline and mud lines coming from wind lines off of banks and points. Crank baits, Buzz baits, Spinner baits and flukes are working really well. River mouths and coves are still the hottest spots to catch some big Largemouth. Nantahala and the Little Tennessee River are hot areas right now to catch some bruisers.
For river Smallmouth fishing look no further than the Tuckasegee and Little Tennessee Rivers. Both are just now starting to see some great action for Smallies. The top water bite is just starting to turn on mid-day from noon until about 5pm. For morning and evening, use sub surface lures and flies. Pearl white Flukes and spinner baits, along with a multitude of streamer flies will get you into some good Smallmouth. Please catch and release the Smallmouth Bass you do catch. Smallmouth bass in the mountains of WNC have a very slow growth rate. According to state biologist Powell Wheeler, a Smallmouth bass that is 13 inches long is over 7 years old! Imagine how old a 20 inch Smallmouth would be… possibly as old as the angler who caught it.
Best flies this week for trout are;
Yellow Stimulator #10-16, Conner’s Yellow Palmer #12-16, Royal Wulff #12-16, Tennessee Wulff #12-16, Adams Parachute #12-18, Female Adams #12-18, Adams Variant #12-16, Thunderhead #12-18, Secret Weapon #12-16, Green Drakes #8-10, Mahogany Duns in #12-14, Little Yellow Sallies #14-16, Light Hendrickson #12-16, Dark Hendrickson #12-16, Sulpher dries #12-14, March Browns #10-14, Tan Elk Hair Caddis #12-16, Olive Elk Hair Caddis #12-16, Cinnamon Elk Hair Caddis in #12-16, Blue Winged Olives in #18-22, Golden Stonefly nymphs #8-12, Brown Stonefly nymphs #6-10, Yellow Sallie nymphs #12-16, Pheasant Tail Nymphs #12-18, Hares Ear nymphs #12-16, egg patterns in #10-12, Rainbow Warriors in #14-20, Caddis Pupae #14-18, and cream midges in #22-26, Black Midges #22-26. For Streamer patterns, black and olive Woolly Buggers in sizes #6-8, Brown and Olive Sculpin in #6-8, white, black, and olive Zonkers #6-10, Game Changers in #4-8, yellow Zoo Cougars #4-8, and yellow Kiwi Muddlers #6-10.
Best Bass flies this week;
Chart/white, tan/white, red/white and olive/white Clouser Minnows, #6-8, olive Sculpins #4-8, black, olive, and white Woolly Buggers #4-8, Crayfish in orange and olive #4-8, Fire tiger Puglisi baitfish #4-6, Game Changers #2-8, Deer Hair poppers in Cart, black, blue, white, pink and purple #4-12, Deceivers in #6-8, Moto minnow #4-8, Slumpbusters #4-8, Hellgramites #4-10, Golden Stoneflies #6-10, Damselfly nymphs in #8-10, foam Dragonflies in blue, olive and brown, #6-10, Mudich Minnows #4-10, Home Invaders in tan, olive, yellow, white, and natural #4-8, Kiwi Muddlers in white, yellow, tan, and black #4-10
, yellow, tan, and black #4-10