October 31st Fly Fishing Report
October has been good to us this month. Unseasonably warm weather the first three weeks of the month caught everyone off gaurd with highs that soared into the low to mid 80’s. It is October right? The weather is starting too cool off now, and rapidly I might add. Seems we have gone from Summer straight to Winter. The past two days we have seen snow flying round the region with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park being closed due to snow accumulation in the high tops. The park has now opened again and temps are warming back up to normal.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The fishing inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been spot on with fantastic dry fly fishing each day! The wild trout inside the Smokies are eating heavily in preparation for colder weather. This time of year there is a cornucopia of food items available for trout which plays out the way Mother Nature intended. Trout need all the calories they can get. Brown and Brook trout start spawning in late Fall and need the extra fat stores for energy to swim against currents and travel longer distances to suitable spawning habitat. They also will need all the fat layer they can get to survive the brutal winter in the Smokies backcountry. Water temps are starting to get into the low 50’s inside the park and the trout will continue to be very active until after Thanksgiving, possibly longer depending on conditions
Tuckasegee River Fly Fishing
The water temperatures in the Tuckasegee river have started cooling off and the fishing has picked up nicely. We’re starting to see an increased level of activity from the both Rainbow and Brown trout. The catch and release season is in full swing on the Tuckasegee where we currently have 10,000 stocked trout per mile! Those are incredible numbers until you realize that in early November the river will be stocked once again and that number soars to 17,000 trout per mile! Wild Brown’s are also entering the water system from Fontana Lake and coming up river in preparation of spawning season. Catching one of these bigger and much stronger fish requires some skill and a bit of luck. As the Fall season progresses and water temperatures drop, the feeding activity on the Tuckasegee river will get dramatically better. November and December are exceptional months to float the Tuckasegee in search of large trout.
Raven Fork Fly Fishing
The Raven Fork in Cherokee is such an awesome place to fly fish, especially this time of year. A few unique aspects of this fishery is that we get to fish with the Elk! Fall is rutting season for the Elk and sightings are a very common place with fly fishing here. The Trophy Section parallels the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers beautiful scenery and some truly monsterous trout. Fall is when these big fish start getting very active and feed consistently throughout the day. Wade trips here can be pretty incredible and the possibility of catching your personal best trout are high on this stretch. The Raven Fork is stocked twice each week outside of the Trophy Section and offers great fly fishing opportunities as well.
Nantahala River Fly Fishing
The Nantahala River is an excellent choice for Fall Fly Fishing and has been fishing top notch this month. The Nantahala is one of Trout Unlimited’s Top 100 Trout streams in the nation and is home to the state record Brown Trout. Its no secret that Fall is the best time to target monster Brown trout and the Nantahala river rarely disappoints. We also catch some beautiful Rainbow trout here as well.
Cullasaja River Fly Fishing
The Cullasaja is hands down the most beautiful and most impressive river that we guide on. Known as the waterfall highway, US 64 between Franklin and Highlands NC, follows this magnificent river which boasts 11 waterfalls. This beautiful river is home to some of the most colorful butter bellied Brown trout that you have ever layed your eyes on! Stealthy approaches and sure-footedness are paramount here as you make you way along the tannic colored stream bed. These fish are aggressive in the Fall and fight like they hate you! One false move and they spook faster than a bunch of kids running from a red haired clown on Halloween!
Fall around the Smoky Mountains and surrounding region is hard to neat. Perfect weather and beautiful scenery combine with trout fishing at its peak. What’s not to love?
We’ll see you on the water!