Where Fly Fishing is a Professional Passion…..

Winter is Here In Full Force….

Wed. Nov. 27, 2013……  Winter feels like its here in full force even if its not officially winter yet.  Its still fall…..but it sure feels winterish.  Lots of snow in the NC high country today, some areas will see up to 8″ after a Tuesday filled with sleet, freezing rain, and heavy rain.  Up to 3″ of rain fell across much of the mountains.  We needed rain badly, hope this did a little to remedy the drought conditions we have been experiencing lately.

Had a good trip on Monday guiding Ryan Sexton of Mathews, NC.  I have guided Ryan a number of times, and we’ve always done well and had some great trips.  But this one topped it all.  It was 17F when I met Ryan Monday morning.  Cold it was…….frigid.  Here’s a recap of that trip per my fishing report for the day:


Knew before we ever met this morning thatThe weather folks were right on as when I met Ryan it was 17F and a stiff breeze was blowing as well. I met Ryan in Boone, NC and we were soon on our way. We opted for a 815am meet time which gave us an hour later start and that would prove a good call as we were into fish right away. Caught a fish on the first cast and it was a 15″ rainbow. The next cast Ryan rolled a 20 in plus rainbow and I knew then it was going to be a stellar day. A dozen to fifteen more rainbows there then we moved to another spot. Same result and this 20 incher Ryan rolled he landed. Landed another dozen and two more large bows that were citation sized. It was phenomenal and we had great luck on several of my new nymph patterns….one in particular I call a rubber leg white zebra midge. It smoked them.

20131125 115809

We went to another spot before lunch and landed maybe 20 more fish, a mix of rainbows, brookies, and browns…..making it a 50 fish day before lunch. After a hot fried chicken lunch, we hit two last spots and fished midges and put another 19 fish in the net. A great day….and Ryan did a great job. Not only fishing but handling the weather too as it never got above freezing. We packed it in just before dusk and headed back to Boone. What a day . Fishing is incredible right now….

We did some sight fishing with midges and it was a hoot…I put together this video clip of some of that action…..it was fun to say the least…

We fished midges and didn’t see but one of two rises all day.  Of course the temperatures were never above freezing at any point during the day.  In addition to midges, and maybe a scant blue winged olive or two is all that is on the water.  But larger food items are on the buffet list if you are a trout.  This is the time of the year I love dead drifting big buggers or dead squirrel patterns.  My dead squirrel pattern, easily our most requested custom fly pattern, is lethal on these fish and just smokes ’em this time of the year.  Fishing these flies under an indicator and having a pattern tied with soft materials that breathe is a deadly technique….mainly because the soft material moves, jiggles, wiggles, breathes as the indicator bobs up and down through the chop of the riffle water.  Its a deadly technique……Should I say that again…?  Its a deadly technique!

As mentioned, there’s been some very unsettled weather in the mtns. Snow reports are between one and 8 inches depending upon location and elevation and all that comes to an end sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. Snow will be good for the water table, as was this last rain. We needed the rain badly.

Back to fishing, one consistent thing the past several weeks, or should I say month have been the presence of blue winged olives.  Everywhere.  Doesn’t seem to matter if its small water or tailwaters, a noon to mid pm hatch has been the norm.  And tons of dry fly opportunities.  Almost every time out too.  Had two days recently with clients where we encountered a hatch, one was on the New River, and we had 3 hours of rising fish and nailed fish on dries and also on dry /dropper rigs.  Fall blue wing hatches are a great place to really post some big numbers of fish as the fish line up in foam lines and tailouts and gently sip the baetis /bwo emergers as they make their way to the surface.


Have a great weeks end and also a very Happy Thanksgiving…!

Tight Loops…………><///////;}>


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20131123_144508#20 Tung Zebra Midge Black…….this fly belongs in your cold weather fly box no matter where you fish for trout……its a deadly fundamental fly and there’s no where trout lurk in these parts that they won’t eat this fly…..  Jeff Wilkins photo 2013




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