Nice End to a Great Week…..
Sat. Mar. 18, 2017 ….A good week it was, and we had some great fishing despite some incredibly up and down weather…but its March, and that’s typical late winter/early spring transition weather here. Did a few incredibly cold and snowy days early in the week, then a few really cold ones with no snow, and then a day of near 70F. If you want to fish 4 seasons in 2 days come to Appalachia….real normal stuff here though.
On Friday I did a 2 angler guided trip, Steven Wall, Greensboro, NC, NC Mtns, ;and Steven and his friend Derek met me very early near Mt Mitchell as they were driving up from Barnardsville, NC/Mills River and they met me for a day of fishing, we fished two waters, decided since they fished the Mills area (water very low there) on their own we would fish some larger water and we met just off I-40.
It was very cold, like 20sF, and it stayed cold all day long, with frequent periods of cracking ice out of the guides as where we started fishing in Mitchell County the cold air just seems to sink and settle in the valley along the river….and it did just that. It remained cold til we finished fishing the first place at almost 1:30, but it was great, we put a lot of fish in the net and did our damage on double nymph rigs, a little bit of everything, one of my Cadillac caddis emergers smoked ’em again, I believe because the fish have fed on them heavily the past few weeks they are still in short term memory.
But we did very well, landing probably north of 60 fish including some fine rainbows and several citation brook trout….a few of the brookies were real studs… We fished the first place til about 1:30, took a short lunch break streamside, then headed off to our afternoon place in McDowell Co, a section of the Catawba River….fishing was a little slower than where we first fished, ironically, as it was 20F warmer here and a lot of bugs coming off. But we still landed probably 25 to 30 fish to finish the day, landing one here and one there, and hitting a few spots where we caught a lot of fish in one spot.
The caddis emergers still did their trick, as did a rubberleg Hares Ear Variant that I love using in the spring….they ate them up. Great day, Steven and Derek were great to spend it with, we landed between 80 and 90 fish roughly, thats a great day anywhere..,,and most of it in 34 to 35F water none the less.
On Saturday I did a Fly Fishing 101 lesson /1/2 day guided trip, Jennifer Johnson Group, Dallas, TX, NC Mtns, Jen, and her friends Nina, Chelsea, and Kelly were staying at the Riverhouse on the Mitchell and we were doing a Fly fishing 101 lesson and short trip, which a do quite a bit of for Laina and Doc the owners of Mitchell Riverhouse. The house /property was featured in the the Nicholas Sparks movie The Longest ride…read more.
I met everyone bright and early there and we began with a Fly fishing 101 intro, casting, line management, hooking, playing, landing fish, etc., then reading water, rigging, and knot tying. Water levels were pretty low, as they are in a lot of places right now in the foothills waters, and a lot of trout waters central and Southwest NC. Suprisingly, we got some heavy rain overnight and I was kind of nervous about the conditions I’d be arriving to and we’d be faced with but it was fine.
In fact, other than settling the normal dust on the road to the house, you could hardly tell it had rained at all. The water was low and clear, which hurts certain things or methods of fishing but helps others. I knew we’d be fine and we were, the girls landed quite a few fish and even one huge brook trout, a citation fish for sure, plus a lot of other rainbows and brookies.
We surpassed double digits and ended with about a dozen fish caught. So, no experience fly fishing plus a little instruction and about 3.5 hours equalled at least a dozen fish in the net. Not a bad half day at all. We had great weather, such a contrast to Friday’s shivering temps, it was sunny and 67F and no wind. A reward for the bitter cold of all week.
Have a busy week coming up with a 3-20 trip guiding Dr Stephen Hardy in the NC Mtns. Will be doing a Tuesday night 3-21 through Thursday 3-23 2 day group trip with Peter Valenti, New York City, NY, Lloyd Allen, Pinehurst, NC, and Ted Linczak, Summerville, SC. I’ll finish up a week on Friday 3/24 with a one angler trip guiding Seth Thompson. Should be a great week, looks like somewhat of a mild up but like me I wouldn’t hold your breath. It can change in a minute.
If you venture out I’d have some lighter tippet (5x fluoro), longer leaders (9 feet instead of 7.5) and downsize your shot and strike indicators if you aren’t catching fish. Unless you are in the NW corner of NC chances are you will encounter low water. Its low everywhere, and we need rain. Also put on your stealth game. Chances are you’ll see some rising fish. If you do, you can figure out what it might be by visiting our This Months Fly Box page . You can even download a printable copy of the March hatch chart here . Caddis have been thick lately in a lot of places.
I will refrain from any comments about our favorite team and the NCAA tourney. But those who know me well know where my passion and convictions lie…..
Have a great week…
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