November is one our favorite times to fly fish in the Smoky Mountains region. Big fish start making their appearances in many of the larger creeks and rivers in the mountains. Late Fall and Winter has long been known as being the best time to catch a big Brown trout.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The fishing inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is doing well. Morning subsurface action gives way to some dry fly action in the afternoons. Caddis and BWO’s are mainstays for the moment as we anxiously await Little Winter Stones to start making their appearances in a few weeks. We are seeing many good sized Browns very active in the lower reaches on larger creeks. Brook trout spawning continues in the high elevations and should finish up in the next week or two. Be very aware not to walk on spawning reds. These areas resemble fresh swept gravelly places in the stream bed typically out of heavier current flows. These areas are full of eggs that can be easily crushed if stepped on. Be careful where you step and avoid these areas at all cost. What you step on today could seriously impact generations for several years to come. Also we don’t want to get into the whole ethics debate of fishing over spawning fish, but seriously don’t be a jackass and fish them. Leave em’ alone, let em’ spawn. There’s plenty of other fish that aren’t actively spawning you can cast at.
The Tuckasegee River is absolutely on fire this time of year! The Delayed Harvest sections on the Tuck are some of the best fishing in the south from November until May. Stocked heavily with Rainbow, Brown and Brook trout this river offers incredible action and versatility. You can fish dry flies, nymphs and streamers all day long and find consistent hatches almost every day throughout the season. Our guides are putting clients on both big fish and good numbers of fish each day. Wade trips and Float Trips are both producing great results. The Tuckasegee River is a tail-water and has numerous freestone tributaries feeding its rich bio-diverse waters. Fact is the Tuck is home to more than 72 species of fish and countless species of invertebrates.
Cherokee Trophy Section
The Cherokee Trophy Section is a beautiful and unique fishery. This time of year fishing is fabulous for large trout and combined the added bonus of seeing the elk while casting a fly make Cherokee hard to pass up. The Raven Fork and Oconaluftee River are bordered on one side by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway along the opposite bank. The scenery is just as good as the fishing! Our guides are putting clients on some true fish of a lifetime. Large Rainbows and Browns that will take your reel into the backing and leave you speechless is the order of the day. These big fish will test you every step of the way and provide a challenge for even the most skilled.
Hatches and Flies
Consistent hatches of Blue Winged Olives, Midges, Caddis, Sedge and Stones are still mainstays in the park and across the region. Terrestrials such as flying ants and beetles are also hot tickets. This time of year you cannot overlook the importance of egg patterns. With several species of fish spawning, an egg can be the best morsel of fat and protein a fish may see all day. Streamers continue to produce with great results. Game Changers are absolutely smoking it on the Tuckasegee River and Cherokee Trophy section with smaller offerings such as black woolly’s and natural Zonkers bringing the big boys to net inside the park.
Stop by our fully stocked Fly Shop in Bryson City for a great fly selection and accurate up to the minute stream beta on every stream in the region. We have several quality product lines of gear with the latest offerings from R.L Winston, Moonshine Rods, Ross Reels, Redington, Rio, Renzetti, and many other.