Fly Fishing Report February 23, 2020
The Great Smoky Mountains received a light snow in the back country on Thursday and into early Friday morning. It was short lived but beautiful to see hanging on the trees. Saturday ended absolutely gorgeous and making everyone ready for Spring. Temps reached the high 50’s to low 60’s depending on where you were at. Streams continue to run full but manageable for wading. Hatches were fantastic today. We had clear blue skies which saw the winter stones and black caddis hatching in full force on most all streams.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Water levels continue to drop throughout the park after tons of rain earlier in the month. Warmer than normal air temps have kept things spring like throughout the winter so far. Trout are looking up on sunny days and can be caught on dries mid morning thru early afternoon. Of course with all the water this month, tossing streamers has produced some great fish. Two words here, Game Changer. That’s right the multi articulated bait-fish patterns are highly effective on Smoky Mountain trout in high water and low visibility situations. Fished with slow short strips on sink tip lines will get the big boys interested in a hurry.
Tuckasegee River Fishing Report
The Tuckasegee River continues to see lower water levels each day. Bryson City was running at 3400cfs on Saturday with excellent clarity. Cullowhee was at a just a tad over 1000cfs all day making wading the Dillsboro stretch tough. The water is in great shape for float trips though. Running large streamers down the banks will reward you with some big catches, big articulated flies such as Game Changers and Drunk and Disorderly are putting some big fish in the net. We’re also seeing incredibly strong hatches of black caddis on the Tuck by mid morning.
Nantahala Fly Fishing Report
The Nantahala River near Bryson City is fishing great of course. Busy on the weekends but not so much during the week this time of year, the Nantahala is always a good bet for both wild fish and stocked trout both. The Delayed Harvest section above the power house has been fishing strong this past week. Good hatches of Blue Winged Olives have kept trout interested in feeding up top. Of course swinging a barrage of bright colored junk food patterns on the bottom have dredged up a good many big Brook trout. The lower Nantahala along hwy 19 is one of our favorite places along the Nantahala. Long known for its many big Brown trout that lurk down deep, or hang tight to logs along the banks, this stretch of river doesn’t disappoint. The lower river is less crowded this time of year and is fishing great. Good hatches of winter stones and black caddis mixed with some blue quills, and blue winged olives have been coming off each day. Lots of larger stoneflies are also very active and are picking up tons of fish. However the biggest draw by far is running big streamers along log jams will reward you greatly with some epic fish. Fish heavy tippet and be prepared to loose a few flies. Game Changers and Dali Lllamas have been the meat of choice.
Rain is in the forecast early week with possible snow on Thursday. Clearing skies and temps dropping slightly into the weekend.