The big news in fly fishing is the Tuckasegee River. This fantastic tailwater located on the North Carolina side of the Smokies is fishing incredible. April’s stocking of trout has put this already amazing river over the top! Our guided trips are seeing tons of fish put in the nets and anglers getting shots at hundreds of fish. Average size of trout on the Tuckasegee is 14-18 inches with numerous fish exceeding 20 inches and beyond. We are seeing great hatches of Stoneflies, Quill Gordons, and March Browns. On cloudy days heavy hatches of Blue Winged Olives have trout looking upend feeding heavy. Streamers are pulling in big aggressive fish especially when fished slow and deep. Nymph fishing is of course the best bet for both numbers and size.
Fly Fishing the Smokies
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park streams are shaping up nicely. As temperatures across the region warm up so does the trout fishing inside the park. Spring hatches of Quill Gordons and March Browns have trout hitting dry flies mid morning into early afternoon. Water flows have been very good and streams are running full and clear. Brown trout have been a favorite target early spring for out guides. Larger park browns have been hungry and feeding the best in lower elevation streams. Slow stripping dark streamers off the banks tend to draw the most strikes. Rainbows have been the staple of park fishing this spring and the most fish accounted for on dry flies. Brookies are starting to become more active as the higher elevation streams warm. Still not really falling for dries, running a small flashy nymph seems to do the trick on Brook trout.
The weekend forecast looks to be a wet one. A high chance of rain for Saturday will have us keeping our eyes on stream levels. Clarity probably won’t be much of an issue as this time of year streams don’t tend to get as dirty as summer rains do. Honestly a murky stream or river will yield bigger fish than clear water and blue skies. Just fish closer to banks and midstream obstacles as fish tend to bunch up out the heavier currents.