Where Fly Fishing is a Professional Passion…..

Conditions Slowly Improving, Fishing Remains Pretty Good….

Wed. Mar. 29, 2017  …..Our fishing has been superb regardless of the conditions it seems, as we have done extremely well wherever we have fished.  Its been a good March, and we are beginning to get some much needed rain over the High Country where things have been very dry since the end of January.  So no complaints here on the rain.  It really doesn’t matter to me what we get in terms of conditions, we take what we get.  There are no perfect worlds or situations, and waiting til things are perfect (weather included) to go fishing is a mistake.  Simply put, continuing to fish and solve problems across a wide range of conditions makes anyone a better angler…..and guide.

On the fishing reports page of my site for our  3-22 and 3-23 Trout Bum trip  I did not get to post but a few photos because the camera /phone took a swim while doing some net work….. we were in the very rugged section of the Watauga River Gorge and I fumbled the phone while trying to get a shot.

But thanks to Samsung technology and a new snap in battery the phone not only still works like a charm but I was able to recover the pics…..including Lloyd Allen who landed this fantastic rainbow from the Watauga Gorge…….it was only Lloyd’s second time doing this and first all day trip.   He landed 14 other fish as well.

Had a Friday cancellation from a client so I spent the better part of Friday and Saturday doing some work on my mom’s property in prep for settling her estate.  Many of you knew her, she passed and went to be with the Lord in October and for the next several months/year we’ll be taking every available extra day to take care of all that stuff.

On Monday 3-27-17 I did a full day small stream  guided Trip, with Ken Okorn and his group, Mechanicsburg, PA, and were originally going to fish the TN Tailwaters, we opted based upon several factors to hit a small stream on the NC side, and it would prove to be a good move, as Ken and his friends Chet, John, Ed, Bob, and Tom all together put between 150 and 200 fish in the net.  The nymph fishing was crazy good.  As good as it gets.   The fishing was great, but these guys can really fish, and Ken is a guide himself, so that they did that well didn’t come as a surprise to me.  These guys are lethal……they can fish.  Enjoyed it a lot, have gotten to know Ken pretty well….and he’s as good as they come, both fishing and otherwise.  He’s one of those guys it pays to not talk and just listen and you will learn a lot.

We fished til about 6pm and had thunderstorms rumbling all around us, some of which brought some much needed rain later. We did very well though it was all nymphing, even with the multitude of caddis around. Only a handful of risers, and when they did rise it was once and that was it.  But that is common with the caddis hatches in our area, the fish don’t always feed on the surface because they emerge so quickly.  Usually its emergers or during egg laying activity when we get our best chances.  Skittering, twitching, swinging soft hackles, that all works occasionally but nothing “always’ works.  You have to experiment.

I had scheduled a 3-28-2017 trip with one of my regular clients from home Dr Pat Burney, and we met bright and early, and headed off.  I must admit that when I was awakened to the sound of heavy rain at 425am (my usual time of getting up) I immediately got up and checked the radar.

This is a shot of the upper Mitchell, which I sometimes hit in the spring before it gets too warm, and it can be quite good.  Those who know of the hatches know it to offer some of the best dry fly fishing of all our Foothills streams.  The sulphur hatch, which comes off between April 15 and the first of May, can often be epic.  Lots of rising fish.  The Mitchell is loaded with bugs, one of our most fertile trout waters and top 5 in terms of water quality in the entire state of NC.

Huge mass of thunderstorms had redeveloped and marched over the entire area of the NW mtns, foothills, and Piedmont.  I suggest to Pat we try several different waters but it was too much, too much rain too quickly, and all 4 waters we checked out were high and muddy….blown out and unfishable.

This is the old Kapps Mill Dam, and been sometime since this much water has flowed over it.  The photos are on the Mitchell but it rained over a large area and we checked 4 different waters.  Water colors ranged from  Starbucks pumpkin spice latte to caramel macchiato….pick your flavor. But not fishable so we called it a day, reeled everything in, and returned to the fort.

Have a private water trip with a client here in Summerfield, NC, Rob Rau and Rob and his friend Al with be joining me for the day hopefully spanking some large rainbows and browns.  On Friday I have a trip scheduled with one of my regular clients from Columbus, OH, Dr Jeff Hutchison, and Saturday will round out the week guiding a New River musky trip provided Friday’s rain doesn’t pose a problem.  You never know in the spring, you can have weather that is nothing that turns in to something major overnight and vice versa.   Should have plenty of good action and reports though.

Rain returns Friday, so it looks like it could be wet, things clear out midday Saturday and looks like warm and moist will continue for a while.  That is good because we can use the rain.

Have a great one……tight lines and may all your hatches match


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