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Good Day, Stormy Weather……

Tues. Apr. 22, 2014…..Good day in Mitchell and Avery Counties today guiding Dr Sims Riggan and his son Cole. We had some weather to deal with today, had a front moving in so we changed where we had planned to fish and it proved to be a good move.

We landed about 35 fish a mix of rainbows and browns and several fish up to 16". Very little dry fly activity, the water still cool where we were. It was a little high as well, so we ended up deep nymphing with very heavy rods and rigs. Worked well, including one spot where Cole masterfully waded and followed my pointers as we fished a very tight and deep run where a tree had fallen in. With very little room for casting error Cole managed 14 fish landed from that spot, and several others hooked that shook free before getting to net.

It was mild n muggy to start but just after lunch rain set in and we had a half hour to 45 minutes of hard rain. It was beginning to run the ditches hard and frankly I am shocked the river didn’t rise and get dirty as it was already a bit high.

Great two days with Sims and Cole…..they were fantastic. I think we landed over 100 fish in two days fishing. The guys did a great job.

Good week so far, a few 20 hr days and a couple more to come. Time for some sleep!

Have a great one…..

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358
336-944-3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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Wonderful Day ……Both Fishing and Weather

Tues. Apr. 21, 2014….Great day yesterday both in terms of fishing and weather, it was 71F sunny and no humidity with a light breeze. A glorious day, just a perfect day to be outside.

I guided Dr Sims Riggan and his son Cole and we had a good day landing between 40 and 50 fish. Surprisingly few fish rising, we caught all our fish on nymphs and strymphs…..for that it was game on.

Headed out to guide Sims and Cole again today and we will be fishing shortly. Look forward to another great day….fishing is wide open….or normal……for Spring.

Have a great one…..More to come….

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358
336-944-3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note II

Great Day of Fishing…

Sat. Apr. 19, 2014….. Early to rise this morning, getting ready to head out for breakfast then on to guiding Dr Ken, Karb, Dr. Hy Muss, and Ted Birke. It’s cloudy, cool, and rain today, and won’t make it out of the 40s …..it’s almost May…..right?

We had a great day yesterday landing over 50 fish and got into a blue winged olive hatch at the end of the day and nailed the last dozen fish or so on dries. It was great. Could be looking at more of the same for today.

Happy Easter and enjoy your weekend…….More to come

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358
336-944-3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note II

Good Day…….

Fri. Apr. 18, 2014……Great morning of fishing so far we have landed about 40 fish so far and it’s only 1pm. Guiding Dr Ken Karb, Dr Hy Muss, Ted Birke…..had a good morning but all nymphing. Only two rises all day, water is cold after several really chilly nights.

Headed off to do some more fishing…..

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358
336-944-3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note II

Nice Morning…..

Fri. Apr. 18, 2014….. In Ashe county this morning, nice afternoon of fishing yesterday and had a nice dinner last night with the guys I am guiding the next two days.

Landed about a dozen brookies and rainbows toward the end of the day. The water is still up somewhat from the heavy rain of early in the week. Water was stained, 40F…. With some warm weather hatches will resume.

Guiding Dr Ken Karb, Dr Hy Muss, and Ted Birke and we are headed out to breakfast before hitting the water early.

Should have a good fishing report later, have a great Good Friday and Happy Easter.

Tight lines…..

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358
336-944-3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note II

Nice Day….Breezy

Wed. Apr. 9, 2014…Great day so far, had a chilly n cloudy morning and guiding Dr Par Burney, Bob Shwirzke, and Peter Valenti and we have landed 20 browns and rainbows on the Little R Transylvania County.

Headed to an afternoon spot ….pretty weather …..windy!.

More to come….

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358
336-944-3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note II

Bugs and Bugs and Bugs….

Mon. Apr. 7, 2014…..  With warmer temps the bugs are out, and we are beginning to see the first significant bug activity of the season.  Quite frankly, its been fantastic…..by any measure.  I frequently send out some info on insects and flies many times a season…..Here are some ideas as to flies that will be hatching and effective imitations.  Also included is some info on Delayed Harvest, Hatchery Supported Waters, and Tailwaters.  Below is one insect that has been popping as of late, in great numbers, and on a majority of waters… its a size 16 Speckled Gray/Brown Caddis.  The fish love them….

graybrowncaddis

For a FREE Printable Hatch chart for the month of APRIL for both small streams and tailwaters visit the This Month’s Fly Box page on our website, or you can click here to go right to the Download link .

APRIL HATCHES:

General Synopsis
-Blue Winged Olive (Baetis) #18
-Blue Quill #16
-Quill Gordon #12-14
-Hendrickson/Red Quill #12-14
-March Brown #12-14
-Grey Fox #14
-Light Cahill #14
-Green Drake #8-10 (lower elevs only)
-Tiny Bwo (Pseudocloeon) #24
-Early Brown Stone #12-14
-Giant Black Stone #6-8
-Yellow Stone #14-16
-Speckled Gray/Brown Caddis #14-18
-Dun Caddis #18
-Dun & Green Caddis #16-18
-Midges: Adams, Grizzly,Gray,Cream #20-24

Delayed Harvest & HATCHERY SUPPORTED WATERS
Note: Delayed Harvest waters revert to Hatchery Supported Regs as of first Sat. June 2014….Revert Back to Delayed Harvest Regs on October 1, 2014.  Hatchery Supported waters, denoted or marked with Green and White diamond signs, open April 5, 2014 and are open til the last day in February 2015.  Effective flies including the ones listed above, are:

Y2K’s peach, orange/yellow, pink/cerise..sz 12-14

Zebra Midge sz 18-20

RX Rubberleg Midge #18-22 (our pattern)

RX Rubberleg Golden Stone #14-16 (our pattern)
RX Rubberleg Caddis Pupa #14-18 (our pattern)
RX Rubberleg SiliStone #12-14
BH Blue Ice Nymph sz 16-18 (our pattern)
BH Golden Nugget sz 14-16 (our pattern)
BH Micro Wooly Bugger sz14-16 (our pattern)
Glass Head Skinny Nelson sz 18-20
Glass Head CDC Zebra Midge sz 18-20
Micro Egg pink sz 12
Egg Patterns sz 10-12 Orange, Pink, Cream
*Some waters an Orange Sucker Spawn is good, or light orange egg patterns as both the redhorse sucker and hognose sucker will be spawning April, May

TN/VA TAILWATERS
Mid spring can still be sulphur time, plain and simple, if the weather warms up early. Flies usually range from 14 to 18, larger bugs are yellow to yellow /green, 16s are yellow to yellow/orange, and 18s are pale creamy orange, hatches in great numbers. A wide array of emergers, dries, etc., and all I use currently are CDC patterns.  As far as Sulphurs, they typically start the end of April/first week of May on TN side and around Apr 15 on the Smith River, particularly the lower river in the Martinsville to Koehler Islands area.  That’s when, as one spin fisherman I ran into once said after seeing dozens of browns rising around him without so much as a strike….”them there yeallar bugs are hatchin’ and those sons of ___________ (left out but I think you get it) won’t hit anything I’m throwin.’   The only thing I can say is “time to get a fly rod…..we can do something about it when those yellar bugs are hatching.”

Dry Flies
Sulphurs 14-18 CDC sparkle duns work well, either alone or fished as a dry/dropper w/a midge.
Midges sz 20-26 grays, blacks, cream
Adams sz 22-24
Black Caddis sz 18-20
Blue Winged Olives sz 18-22
CDC Blue Winged Olives Duns and Emergers sz 18-22
Vertical BWO Emerger #18-20
Vertical Midge Emerger Gray/Black #20-22
Black Sparkle Tail Emerger sz 20-22
(our custom pattern)
Blackfly Adult sz 22-24 (Our Fly)

Nymphs
Black Midge Pupa sz 20-22
Olive Midge Pupa sz 20-22
Zebra Midge sz 20-22
Choco Zebra Midge sz 20-22
Blackfly Larva sz 20-22
Pheasant Tail sz 16-20
Tung Baetis Nymph #18-22
Black Biot Nymph #18-22
Split Case Nymph sz 14-20
Scud #14-20 (Gray, Olive, Gray/Olive, Tan, Peach/Pink also for dead scuds)
Sowbug #14-18 (Gray- -Antron is perfect)

Streamers & Such
White Zonker sz 6-10
BH White Wooly Bugger sz 6-10
BH Black Krystal Bugger sz 6-10
BH or Lead Eye Jiggy White sz 8
(our custom pattern)

Lt Cahill

Custom Fly Patterns

I do offer the above patterns for sale and I do custom orders. They are not imports, they are NC/USA made right here in NC, in the heart of Appalachian trout country by someone who does nothing but flyfish, guide,tie flies, and teaches others to do the same. The same fly you buy from me is the same that gets tied to the end of my leader or a client’s.  In fact, that’s how most of my customers end up with some of my patterns…..we first caught fish on it while I was guiding them and we caught fish on it.  Pretty cool that when you buy it you already know it works.

Probably one of the few guides in our area who sells the flies we use…..plain and simple. We catch all the fish on Guided Trips on our own self tied flies that are of our own design. We have some absolute killer patterns for technical fishing found on TN and VA tailwaters…. I have tied flies for other shops and other guides….and Customers like our flies for one reason….they work. You can give me a ring at 336.944.3628 or email me at jwflyfishing@gmail.com  if there’s something you find you need. I even on occasion can do an ‘emergency’ delivery of flies on the river.  Need some good ammo for the technical fishing on the TN tailwaters? I have an extensive array of patterns covering almost everything.   The flies work great, its just that simple.

I often get questions from customers on how or order custom patterns.  Its simple, you can go onto my web store/shopping cart here, choose the quantity (I do them by the dozen, you can mix or match patterns and/or sizes), then indicate on the order (there’s a comments box on the order screen) what you want specifically.  As a bonus, I ship for FREE.  Flies that work, shipped to you free.  That’s a great deal…Turn around is pretty good right now, but its the busy season, and things will get crazy for the month of May for sure.  By then many fish will have fallen prey to these killer flies….

Good Fishing!!!!

Jeff

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parachute-adams

Tailwaters Report….

Sun. Apr. 6, 2014…..Right on the heels of our area wide roundup of NC waters comes the tailwaters spring report or update.  Its interesting with all the snow, ice, winter weather, heavy rains you’d think we were in a ‘need to dump water’ or ‘need to generate’ position.  Not true.  We have had a lot of winter weather over the past several months but its been dry in between those events, and those events don’t often generate the significant runoff that rain events do.  So we are in pretty good shape, other than being a little on the dry side.  Yes, I said dry if you can believe it.  But things are looking good…..Here’s what’s going on with our local tailwaters:

Smith River, VA -

Our closest tailwater and neighbor just to the north that flows from Philpott Dam down to Eden, NC where it joins the Dan River.  Flows have been pretty consistent, water in the reservoir is right where it needs to be and the lake is fully thawed.  Weekday schedules have been typical, on a few hours in the morning then on again a few hours in the evening.  For those who are not yet aware of it, the entire Smith River from Philpott to the NC line is now under different regs than it used to be.  Rainbows can still be kept, but no browns between 10 and 24 inches may be possessed.  Yes, you heard that right.  Total catch/release on fish over 10 inches and up to 24.  The section of water between Town Creek and the bridge at Bassett, formerly known as the ‘Special Reg Stretch’, is no more.  Folks get upset when they hear that, but what they should understand is that the whole river is now under that regulation, not just a two mile stretch.  That’s a good thing.  Don’t understand how there’s a negative in that?  Also, the state of  VA Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries, on two separate occasions, has shocked up several hundred wild browns on the upper river, and then transported them downstream to below Martinsville Dam, and restocked them down there.  Numbers are way up down there, and there exists the real possibility of catching a brown or two over 16″ in this part of the river.  I fish there a fair bit, because it is practically in my back yard and is really ‘home water’.    Fishing has been fair to good, midges and blue winged olives (both spring Baetis #18-20 and Pseudos #24-26, and a few caddis as well.  If all goes well Sulphurs should start on the lower and mid river around mid month and then steadily move upstream with rising water temps as the weather warms.  Fishing in town, where rainbows are stocked, has offered pretty consistent action with dunking bead heads and stripping woolies being a productive way to put a hook in em’.  Water temps low 4os to mid 40s and close to 50 near mid afternoon….that means bugs.  And Browns that will be eating them.

Current Conditions:  Lake level is Normal, flows are off (weekends are 0, check schedule for weekday flows) , water temp is 46.5F

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Jackson River, VA-

One of our favorite rivers and one that I personally used to spend 80 days or more a year on, this gem flows from Gathright Dam , an Army Corps of Engineers flood control project on the river.  The Jackson is a fantastic spring time fishery, a great caddis river, its long riffles with baseball, softball, and basketball sized boulders providing rich habitat for the trememdous caddis population.  It also gets many of the classic mayfly hatches, and the May pale evening dun/Light Cahill/sulphur hatch is on par with great hatches you’d find anywhere.  The upper river, as is normally the case, is fishing great with midge patterns and also streamers but as you move downstream you get into some great caddis water and as the river warms bottom to top the hatches move upriver with warming temps.   Right now, the Corp is releasing 1190, which is too deep for wading.  Floating is great, though.  Flows will change soon, and when it does morning nymphing through noon/early afternoon will produce numbers of fish.  You will find some of the best bobber fishing around here….rig up, find a nice riff, and start slinging the goods.  It works. Then afternoon dries and or dry/dropper rigs…. Good flies are:  Nymphs, Princes #12-16, Bead Head Pheasant Tail #12-16, Red Fox Squirrel #14, Gary LaFontaine Deep Sparkle Pupa Tan #14, Red Copper Johns & Reg Copper Johns #16-20, our RX Nymph series in sizes #14-16, and Don’t forget the Dead Squirrels and Wooly Buggers…personally a black krystal bugger is money in the bank for me.  Make it a size 8, cast, strip, jiggle, and hold on.)

Current Conditions:  Lake level 1582.5 (norm is 1582.0) , Release is 1190, Water temp is 44.5F.

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Watauga River, TN-

Action has been steadily heating up and improving on the TN side of the hills as well.  This well known tailwater flows from the base of Wilbur Dam, and is a classic brawling, boulder filled freestone river that originates up high in the NC high country, then flows SW and joins up with the Elk River to form Watauga Lake.  It has two distinct parts, the upper Watauga and the Lower Watauga.  Fishing has been pretty good all over with the nymph bite recently being excellent.  Also, the main event, which is the Caddis hatch, a mix of different species, both blacks and tans, will be happening any day now.  And its excellent.  The fishing down low has been consistent with a good nymph bite, afternoon blue wings (really good on dark days) , and few black caddis here and there.  Nymphing on all parts of the river has been consistent, two nymph rigs with a lead attractor fly and a small dropper (pick a fly) has worked well.  Good Flies:  Nymphs : San Juans red #12, Princes #14-18, Copper Johns Red or Copper #16-20, Tung Baetis #18-20, Gary LaFontaine Deep Pupa Tan #14-16, LaFontaine Deep Pupa Tan/Green #16-20, Zebra Midges in Brown/Gold, Black/Silver #18-20  Dries:  Bwo #18-20, Caddis all varieties #14-20, including some blacks….the Henryville Special is a great fly here,  Elk Caddis #14-18, Midges, grays, Adams, etc. #20-24.  Streamers:  Buggers #6-10  in Black, Olive, White, Zonkers #6-10 in White, Sculpins in brown or olive #4-8.

Current Conditions:  Wilbur Dam surface elevation 1649.0, Top is 1650.  Release has been in the 220 to 280cfs range.  Water Temp 45.5F

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South Holston River, TN-

This grand tailwater, said to be the best Wild brown trout fishery in the East, flows from the base of South Holston Dam, constructed by the TVA in 1950 for flood control.  At its construction, at 285 feet it was the largest earthen dam in the US.  Great fishing along its 18 mile length, from bottom to top, and rich in variety, and some of the best dry fly fishing in America.  Had some great days here, and the action has been steady and rich in variety.  Waded and floated a ton all winter long on trips and we’ve done well, even done well when the weather was in the crapper.  Fishing in short sleeve pleasant 70F weather and then two days later in 28F and a blinding blizzard.  Caught fish through it all.  Fishing has been good recently, nymphing in the morning, dry droppers when they start to rise, and then dries if you see bugs.  Blue Winged olives and midges, and sulphurs can’t be far behind.  Have already seen some.  Fishing recently has been good too with larger patterns, with the ever increasing numbers of blue winged olives hatching and in the drift and the increasing numbers of sulphur nymphs that will be moving around, transitioning themselves to areas of the river they will hatch from.  In any case, its a good time to be a trout on the South Holston….plenty to eat for sure.  Sulphur hatch will be coming in a few weeks…….can’t wait.  Bwo’s will wane a little, and as is always the case, when they do, the fish will turn to midges again….then we’ll get sulphurs.  So the same plan B or Backup plan remains….standard on the SoHo….and its called Sink a Midge.   Good Flies:   Nymphs:  our Skinny Nymphs #18-20, in olive and black, Split Backs/Split Case nymphs #16-20, black has been hot lately, Baetis Nymphs #18-20, Pheasant Tails (no bead) #16-20, Tung Baetis #18-20 (black/gray or gray/olive), make ‘em skinny, Zebra Midges in Brown/Gold, Silver/Black sizes #16-20, Scuds (gray, gray/olive, or peach/pink for a dead scud) #14-20  Dries:  Midges, pick a pattern, make it small #20-24, grays, Adams color great, Blue Winged Olives #16-20, BWO Vertical CDC Emerger, CDC Bwo Emergers #18-20 ….get the sulphur box ready, its coming.

Current Conditions:  Lake Level 1717.6    Releases:  1hr am, 1hr pm 1300cfs     Water temp:  44.5F

*SoHo has had consistent flows and the past 2 weeks the TVA has been doing a 200cfs sluice while they worked on the dam.  200 puts an extra 3 to 4″ of water in the river.  It was fabulous….that ended on Apil 4 and back to normal schedule.  But is still been fairly dry, and the lake is below normal in terms of level, so probably good wade schedules for a while.

r0301024

One of our final round up reports will be coming…….that is local waters bass and panfish and also our smallmouth and muskie venues.  Fishing is beginning to turn on as well for them, particularly bass, bream, and crappie, we’ve already had some great days…Will be posting this report in the next week or two.  But better be preparing for that too….its almost here.

Have a great Sunday!

Tight Lines….

Jeff

Posted via the Web with WordPress 3.4.1

r0301017

A South Holston scud….the river is home to incredible numbers of them, and the fish grow fat eating them.  You can imitate them with a scud specific pattern, and they are great in Olive, gray/olive, etc., as well as a peach or peachy tan/pink color to match the dying or dead ones.  This fly is great in size 14 to 20.  I am 110% convinced that folks using Zebra midges in brown or dark colors are at times unintentionally imitating them and catching fish on them when the angler is thinking ‘midge pattern’ and the fish simply sees ‘Scud’.  I believe that is the reason for the almost unbelievable effectiveness of the Zebra midge pattern at times on the SoHo, is that its shape (C-shaped Caddis or shrimp caddis or emerger hook), size , and color suggest a scud more so than they suggest a midge.  Just my $0.02.

Our Spring Ship Has Come In….

Sat. Apr. 5, 2014…..  I must admit that while I fully believe the title of this post, it is with both great expectation and extreme caution that I write it….. Who knows , we could have snow next week.  And wouldn’t you know it, there actually a couple of our weather spotters (one is quite popular, well known, and accurate) who are saying that come Wednesday or Thursday a little white stuff isn’t totally out of the question.  But at least by now it comes and is gone in a flash.  Things are looking very pretty…..and this will only get better and better (lower photo:  Upper Wilson Creek).

20140327_111615

 

 

This will officially be our first area wide spring time report on all waters, and there’s a lot to talk about.  But I’ll hit the high points.

Bugs.

Did I say Bugs?  Yes indeed.  All over.  Everywhere.  Amazing what a few warm days back to back will do.  Things went from kind of quiet and  typical Blue Winged olives and midges kind of fare we’ve been talking about all winter long…..to big stuff.  Big Bugs.  I have missed them.  A lot.  One thing of note is that every stream I fish and guide on I make it a point to start in late winter probing eddies, riffles, leaf piles, etc., and take note of what I find in the way of bugs.  Most places I am lately are yielding a ton of stuff, lots and lots of bugs.  That bodes well for our fishing, and for the trout we so love to catch.  We have had a few good water years back to back to back, so that makes for great conditions for the bugs.  In years following good water years, even flooding, I find that our hatches are usually strong and consistent to follow. (below:  Cased caddis larva).

20140404_140906

This abundance of insect life, combined with more consistently warm days, are adding up to great trout fishing all around our area. Look for more significant Quill hatches in the next week with a good dose of March Browns and Gray Caddis in the mix as well. From DH to the smallest of wild trout streams, everything is fishing well.  Everything is fishing well.  It sounds cliche, but its right on the mark.  Gray Caddis were heavy on every water I guided on this week.

New River Drainage /Sparta/Dobson/Elkin/Jefferson/W. Jefferson

Right now flows are excellent and up a little from recent rains and also a bit of color on some waters, more if you are on Little River, North Fork New, etc., which isn’t bad and is actually good for nymphing and ripping streamers.  Had some great trips here the past few weeks….   Fly Patterns:  Caddis, well, gray size 14 to 18 and oodles of them.  Midges during in between periods and slower pools.  Wild waters Fly Patterns: Parachute Adams 18-20, Elk Hair Caddis 14-18, Quill Gordons 16-18, Trip Savers 16, Pheasant Tails 16-22, Olive Hare’s Ears 16-18, Black Copper John’s 18-20, Zebra Midges 20-22

DH Waters and Hatchery Supported Waters:  more nymphing than dry fly fishing, water levels are the reason, but as they drop the Gray caddis are a factor and fish will eat them if you fish them.  Fish seams, banks, foam lines, eddies, some of the surface takes can be violent.  Sweettttt!  Nymphs : our RX Bead heads, sili stones, these will mop up.  Great rig this week was a dead squirrel strymph with one of these smaller RX’s dropped off the back.

Wild Trout: April is a great time to get up in the Blue Lines, and the the last week of March wasn’t bad either. Anglers venturing into our small waters will find opportunistic fish willing to take a wide variety of “up sized” dry flies and nymphs. Bear in mind that success in Southern Appalachian small streams is more about one’s approach and ability to make a good drift than picking the right fly pattern. Keep it simple and fish well.
Fly Patterns: Parachute Adams 14-18, Elk Hair Caddis- Grey, Olive, or Black 14-18, BH Hare’s Ears 14-18, BH Pheasant Tails 16-18.

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Catawba River /Wilson/Middle Mtns/South Mountains

The perpetual clear water corridor.  These are the waters that fish well during wet spells, and are among the first to clear out and first to warm up/hatch hatches, etc.. Lots of mayflies hatching, most notably the large flies of spring…Gray Foxes, March Browns, Quill Gordons, and a Hendrickson or two as well…..and Caddis, caddis , caddis.  Gray Caddis out the wazoo.   The classic big bugs are about over and now it will soon be Cahills, Hendricksons, and Sulphurs…the flies that move us toward summer.  Fishing has been good, and probably the most consistent dry fly opportunity area wide.  Wilson Creek area has fished great.  Fly Patterns:  Wild waters Fly Patterns: Parachute Adams 18-20, Elk Hair Caddis 14-18, Quill Gordons 14, Trip Savers 16, Pheasant Tails 16-22, Olive Hare’s Ears 16-18, Black Copper John’s 18-20, Zebra Midges 20-22

DH Waters Wilson Creek, Catawba River, Jacobs Fork, Curtis Creek, Mill Creek, etc., all got stockings of fish and are fishing well.  Morning nymphing, then dry /dropper rigs or dry flies from there on out…  DH Fly Patterns: Elk Hair Caddis (Gray or Tan) 14-16, Memory Maker 12-14, Trip Saver 12-14, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear 14-16, Copper John’s 14-16, BH Flash Bugger-White, Olive, or Black 10-12, Egg Patterns 10-14, Y2Ks, Squirmy Wormies, Jeff’s RX Nymph, Jeff’s Sili Stone

Wild Waters:  some of the best blue lining opportunity of the area, including Upper Wilson, Lost Cove, Upper Creek, North and South Harper, Armstrong Creek, Mackey Creek….too many to list….but right now is a great time to fish them.   Keep it simple.  My fave way to fish these waters once the warmup happens is dry /dropper rigs all the way.  Either an Elk Wing Caddis or Stimulator on top, then a bead head nymph 18 to 20″ below.  Great droppers…our RX Bead Head, Our sili stone, Red Bead head Copper John….
Fly Patterns: Parachute Adams 14-18, Elk Hair Caddis- Grey, Olive, or Black 14-18, BH Hare’s Ears 14-18, BH Pheasant Tails 16-18.

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Nolichucky River/Toe River/Estatoe/Spruce Pine Area

Area wide waters are in great shape, in contrast some of these waters have been on the high side and some of them a bit colored.  But that isn’t all bad.  Basically a lot of nymphing here, especially if you are on the Toe Drainage, and if I am guiding and looking for numbers of fish and large ones the Toe drainage is a good one.  Best fishing in the area right now is the DH waters Toe and Cane Creek.  Recent restockings and conditions have made this an excellent choice if you don’t mind nymphing.  Fly Patterns:   Elk Hair Caddis (Gray or Tan) 14-16, Memory Maker 12-14, Trip Saver 12-14, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear 14-16, Copper John’s 14-16, BH Flash Bugger-White, Olive, or Black 10-12, Egg Patterns 10-14, Y2Ks, Squirmy Wormies, Jeff’s RX Nymph, Jeff’s Sili Stone, and Don’t forget the streamer box…!

Wild Waters:  Bluelining will be good this month, as things here are just getting going due to the upper elevation waters here such as the South Toe, Upper and Lower Creeks, etc, drain Mt Mitchell, which at 6684ft is not only NCs highest peak, but the highest point east of the Rockies….and the waters running off of it run cold.  Fly Patterns:  good dry dropper fishing…..Elk Hair Caddis (Gray or Tan) 14-16, Memory Maker 12-14, Trip Saver 12-14, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear 14-16, Copper John’s 14-16,Jeff’s RX nymphs, Jeff’s Bead Head Sili stone

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Davidson River/French Broad/Brevard Area

Right now area streams are consistent in terms of flow and what to expect in the way of insects.  Lots of mayflies and caddis, mayflies including Blue Quills, March Browns, Quill Gordons, etc, and a few smaller blue winged olives.  Caddis, well, gray size 14 to 18 and oodles of them.  Midges during in between periods and slower pools.  Wild waters Fly Patterns: Parachute Adams 18-20, Elk Hair Caddis 14-18, Quill Gordons 16-18, Trip Savers 16, Pheasant Tails 16-22, Olive Hare’s Ears 16-18, Black Copper John’s 18-20, Zebra Midges 20-22

Delayed Harvest Streams: Delayed Harvest is still fishing great, and with another batch of new fish being stocked next week, it will only continue to get better. Anglers that are fishing DH streams should start looking toward more traditional fly patterns as hatches begin to occur with more regularity in the afternoons. Morning nymphing, midday dry/dropper rigs, and afternoon dry fly fishing is the norm.    DH Fly Patterns: Elk Hair Caddis (Gray or Tan) 14-16, Memory Maker 12-14, Trip Saver 12-14, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear 14-16, Copper John’s 14-16, BH Flash Bugger-White, Olive, or Black 10-12, Egg Patterns 10-14, Y2Ks, Squirmy Wormies, Jeff’s RX Nymph, Jeff’s Sili Stone
Wild Trout: April is a great time to get up in the Blue Lines, and the the last week of March wasn’t bad either. Anglers venturing into our small waters will find opportunistic fish willing to take a wide variety of “up sized” dry flies and nymphs. Bear in mind that success in Southern Appalachian small streams is more about one’s approach and ability to make a good drift than picking the right fly pattern. Keep it simple and fish well.
Fly Patterns: Parachute Adams 14-18, Elk Hair Caddis- Grey, Olive, or Black 14-18, BH Hare’s Ears 14-18, BH Pheasant Tails 16-18.

 

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Also,  it was opening day on Saturday for all Hatchery Supported Waters…… April 5.  These are waters marked with Green and White Signs .  I always try to make sure folks are aware of this, as these waters are not the same as DH or Delayed Harvest.  DH you can’t keep fish, HS you can.  DH is single hook artificial lure/fly only, while HS has no restrictions.  My experience is that fly anglers don’t fish many of those waters anyway…..and my one hint of the day…..hint, hint, hint, is that not fishing them is probably a mistake.  There are a number of HS waters I fish and many have a good number of fish as well as holdovers/wild fish.  I fished one such area on Saturday after my trip.   Another Hint….the North Fork New, the lower South Toe, and the upper Yadkin are all sleepers……some are HS ……and I guided clients last year to some trophy /citation sized fish in these areas.(photo below:  my client Jeff Chalmers with a hefty rainbow from water I have NEVER seen a fly angler fish…).

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Well, that’s about it for the round up of area waters….smallmouth were not included on this go around as the water is still a little high and chilly to do well just yet…but that time is coming!

Have a great weekend!

Jeff

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Beautiful Day, Excellent Fishing Today…..

Sat. Apr.5, 2014……. Nice morning and after a chilly start things warmed up nicely. I guided Brian Coghill and Kenny Richardson and their sons Grant and Scott and ww had a blast landing about 35 fish on our half day trip today.

We caught a nice mix of rainbows, browns, and brookies. It was great, we did a lot of nymphing as there were few rising fish. About noon caddis were coming off, hordes of them, boils ever where as fish were taking them. Also some egg laying activity as well, and some fish jumping for those as well. We did really well right up to the end, landing a pair of citation brookies up to 18".

Skies are sunny , it’s breezy, and it’s 59F….a near perfect day. Hope yours is going well…..

Have a great weekend!

Jeff

Jeff Wilkins FlyFishing
3703 Windspray Ct
Summerfield, NC 27358
336-944-3628
www.jeffwilkinsflyfishing.com

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