Hot temperatures have been consistent over much of Western North Carolina over the past 4 weeks making trout fishing very unpredictable. Fortunately for DRO Guide Bill Strickland he can still entice a big fish to eat despite the unfavorable conditions. Fish early and stay on top with terrestrails or super small mayfly patterns. Once the clock reaches 9AM, its time to go home !
A lot of people look at the summertime as a time to play and in tube in the rivers of western North Carolina. Not realizing what a great fishing opportunity they are missing. While the great hatches of May have given way to hot humid days of June, the fishing is still great, if you fish at the right time of day with the right flies.
The best trout fishing in the summertime occurs in early morning and late afternoon. Stoneflies will emerge most of the summer in the late evenings through the night. Anglers wanting to cash in on large trout actively looking for food need to fish from first light to about 11 am with stonefly imitations like a Kevin’s Stonefly, Bill’s Provider or Superfly. What most anglers do not realize is that a stonefly inhabits the deep clear runs and then crawls out on the surrounding rocks and hatches from its case and flies off. So true stone flies are only available to trout as a nymph or as a dry that gets blown back into the stream. Yet I see countless fishermen using dry stonefly imitations and wondering why the fish are not taking them. The trick to being successful with your stonefly imitations is to fish them on the bottom of the river. If you are not bouncing on the bottom then you are not in the zone where the trout are looking for stoneflies.
If you have to fish in the middle of the day, then terrestrials are the fly of choice. Ants, beetles, and worms are mainstay of a trout’s diet in the summertime. These patterns can be exceptionally effective after a light afternoon thunderstorm when the rain tends to knock a lot of ants and inchworms into the river. Anglers wanting to capitalize on this should cast there flies up under the overhanging limbs and bushes where the trout will be waiting on any morsel to drop into there feeding lane. The best flies are furry foam inchworms, green leaf hoppers, The Hot Creek Special, Texas Piss Ant and Kevin’s Caterpillar.
If you get caught fishing after a large storm and the water is high and muddy. Remember that trout have difficulty seeing your fly in the water so they have to find it by feeling it. Large black or other dark colored flies, with large rubber legs or flies tied out of marabou or rabbit strips are the most effective. The best flies are size 2-4 bunny leeches or bitch creek nymphs. The most common mistake I hear of in muddy water situations is that people try and fish 5-6x tippet. With muddy water trout cannot see your tippet, if you switch to 10-12 pound test fluorocarbon this will save a lot of heartache when you hook that monster trout.
In low clear summertime water trout are especially spooky, anglers should watch their wading being certain not to kick rocks, or run waves through calm holes of water. These vibrations will spook trout well in advance of the angler.
By Kevin Howell
Owner and Guide Davidson River Outfitters
The Osherow brothers decided to take a trip down the S. Holston River this week with guide Bill Strickland and took advantage of every rising fish. The TVA is finally running on a consistent generation schedule and the Sulpher hatch was just as predicted. Good numbers of healthy fish were boated all were released unharmed, ready for the next able participant.
Scott Bell display’ s his Davidson River Brown Trout full of color
A couple of good friends of mine decided to end the summer with a bag and throw hoppers till they dropped. These trout junkies packed their gear and set up base camp in Twin Bridges Montana. Over the course of seven days they floated the Big Hole, waded the Madison, Jefferson, and finally made their way through Slough Creek. Unfortunately reports that a cold front had moved through the area slowed down the famous hopper bite a just a tad but Tricos and a few other secrets still had fish in a frenzy before old man winter began his rule of the land.
Good to hear that everyone made it back! Knowing this crowd someone was bound to stay one one week. Thanks for sharing some great photos from the trip. Days like these are memories that you never forget!
Wild Rainbow Fishing with Mikey Wier