Fly Fishing Report February 20th
February’s fly fishing report has been all over the place. It has been a crazy month in terms of weather. So far in February Smoky Mountain region have seen heavy rains, flash floods and snow….all in the same week! Fortunately the mountains here recover quick from whatever mother nature throws their way. Stream levels are full and fishing good. Temps have been above normal which has triggered a fantastic winter bite! Great hatches of black Caddis, Winter Stone, Blue Winged Olives have kept trout busy feeding and up on the surface on the prettiest of days.
Great Smoky Mountains Fly Fishing
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park fishing has been fantastic most of the month. Keeping an eye on the forecast and maximizing your opportunities to get out in between the showers have kept anglers consistently catching fish in the park. Even when water levels are high a good many trout can be caught by fishing long the sides of the banks and back eddies. Often times some of the largest wild Smokies trout will be caught in high water conditions when visibility is low. On beautiful bright sunny days we have been catching trout on dry flies. Black caddis, Winter Stoneflies, and a steady contingency of Blue Winged Olives have kept trout looking up to feed. If you prefer to nymph fish, bouncing stoneflies and caddis pupae across the bottom have produced lots of fish when nothing is hatching. The Smoky Mountains have fished best from mid morning until the late afternoon. Currently the Tennessee side of the Smokies near Gatlinburg has lower water levels than does the North Carolina side near Bryson City and Cherokee.
Tuckasegee River Fishing Report
The Tuckasegee River has been really high for most of the month making wading difficult the last two weeks. We have been able to fish the river from drift boats and it has fished strong despite the water being up. Clarity has been good and the hatches have been consistent. Black caddis and winter stoneflies have made up the majority of the hatches we are encountering. On sunny days we have had some Blue Quills pop out on occasion and some early Brown Stone nymphs have been crawling across the bottom.
Cherokee Fly Fishing Report
The Cherokee Trophy Section on the Raven Fork is fishing strong this winter. The water is flowing full to high making wading a little trickier than normal. However for those willing to put the effort in, they are being rewarded with some fantastic rainbow and brown trout. We’ve seen may personal best fish caught this month. Hatches are starting around mid morning and last until the sun starts to drop beyond the distant ridge lines. Black caddis, winter stoneflies are blue winged olives make up the majority of what we are seeing. Stream temperatures have been on the chilly side as the water here comes straight out of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You definitely want to dress in warm layers when fishing here. Our guides are reporting clients catching fish on big streamers all day and in the afternoons dry fly action is picking up.