Head for the Mountains


This beautiful brown trout was caught in Hazel Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which has more than 1,000 miles of trout streams. A trout anglerís paradise
282 Views - Posted: March 12 at 9:00 am

It is possible to fish a different trout stream every day for a year and cover only a fraction of the streams in western North Carolina. Trout country runs from Surry County in the northwest to Cherokee County in the far west and includes three distinct fisheries: streams regulated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, streams regulated by the U.S. Park Service and streams regulated by the eastern band of Cherokee Indians.

The author supervises his granddaughter on a trip to the Tuckasegee River upstream from the delayed-harvest section. Donít miss the other Tuck
386 Views - Posted: February 12 at 9:00 am

On just about any day, fair weather or not, the delayed-harvest section of the Tuckasegee River in Jackson County is crowded with trout fishers, either wading or floating the stream. This 4.5-mile stretch of water is the queen of delayed-harvest waters. In the spring, in March to April and again in October and November, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission stocks 49,000 rainbow, brook and brown trout. †Fishing guides love this section because they can almost guarantee that their clients will catch trout — a lot of trout. †

Tying flies to replace ones youíve lost or simply adding new patterns is a great task for too-cold-to-fish days. Donít waste the winter
595 Views - Posted: January 12 at 9:00 am

January and February usually are the harshest months, with cold, ice and snow, but the sun shines frequently enough, even in the dead of winter, to provide pleasant fishing respites from the cold. On those gloomy days when you can’t go fishing, take a little time to prepare for the times when you can. Being prepared often can make the difference in an enjoyable fishing outing or a frustrating one.

Drifting a nymph through deep holes is an accepted way to catch sluggish trout hanging along the bottom. Slow down and go deep
507 Views - Posted: December 11, 2014 at 9:00 am

Spring is undoubtedly the ideal trout-fishing season, but trout fishing in the winter also has its merits. What most winter anglers discover is that they catch fewer, but larger, fish. The keys to successful winter fishing are to use a slow hand and fish with more nymphs and fewer dry flies.†

Brook and brown trout are fall spawners, especially in smaller streams. Itís prime time for trout
570 Views - Posted: November 13, 2014 at 9:00 am

November can be a tough time for fly-fishing with all the new leaf fall in the streams. Consider snagged leaves on retrieves as a normal, if not annoying, part of the normal fishing day. Plus, November’s weather can be erratic — warm and sunny one day, cold and rainy the next.

Big trout like this brown will often hit a spinner when nothing else works. Put a new spin on trout
589 Views - Posted: October 13, 2014 at 9:00 am

Spinner fishing is an effective alternative to fly fishing when trout aren’t rising to a dry-fly pattern or hitting nymphs. A spinner often will elicit a strike even when trout aren’t hitting live bait.

It doesnít take a nice brown trout for a fisherman to call a fishing trip a success. A matter of perspective
587 Views - Posted: September 11, 2014 at 9:00 am

We follow the stream where we can, fishing deep pools and smooth runs in water so clear we can see every detail of the streambed. Brightly colored leaves swirl in the eddies and gather in thick carpet like clumps in the deepest sections of water. On almost every cast, the lure snags a leaf or two, and when the current grabs the leaf and tugs, it feels, for a brief moment, like a hooked trout.

Night crawlers and other large worms are great live baits for mountain trout in streams where live bait is legal. Live-bait options abound
962 Views - Posted: August 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

I grew up fishing with live bait, catching trout in the upper reaches of †Paddy Creek in western Burke County and bream in the large pools in the lower sections, using fat red worms collected from cow patties in the pastures near my home.

Popular terrestrials, left to right: San Juan Worm, Black Ant, Japanese Beetle, Inchworm, Letort Cricket,, Chernobyl Ant, Ladybug, Joeís Hopper and Jack Cabe Hopper. Summer: terrestrial time
961 Views - Posted: July 14, 2014 at 9:00 am

In the summer, when insect hatches are sparse, trout depend more on what falls into the water than what hatches in it. Terrestrials, or land-based insects, make up the bulk of a trout’s diet from early summer until first frost. Terrestrials include various beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, worms, bees, ants, cicadas, fireflies, damselflies, crane flies and just about any other insect that flies crawls or hops. If it’s an insect that a trout will eat, fly shops will have dozens of different patterns that imitate them, both floating and sinking versions.

This building, which formerly housed a restaurant, will be the side of the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians in Cherokee. Fly-fishing gets a museum
3160 Views - Posted: June 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

The heritage, art, science, craft and sport of fly fishing will be featured in a museum dedicated solely to fly fishing on the Cherokee Indian Reservation.

Delayed-harvest sections of the Tuckasegee River offers fly anglers some great May opportunities. Donít miss Mayís offering
867 Views - Posted: May 15, 2014 at 9:00 am

May is an ideal time to be on a mountain trout stream. Wildflowers are in bloom, dogwoods and rhododendron are flowering and a multitude of mayfly, caddis and stonefly hatches are coming off — more hatches than any other time of the season.

Roger Lowe of Waynesville ties many of the traditional western North Carolina fly patterns. Patterns always changing
1325 Views - Posted: April 14, 2014 at 9:00 am

Fly patterns constantly evolve as fly tiers originate new patterns and modify standard ones in an endless effort to find something that looks irresistible to a trout.†