Head for the Mountains
|A fly in the ointment
169 Views - Posted: May 11 at 9:00 am
Mike Kesselring of Bryson City has, by his count, 7,500 trout flies, a collection that includes dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers and terrestrials that he has accumulated over 25 years, and, he said, “The only flies I’ve ever tied were at the end of a tippet.”
|April is new beginning
199 Views - Posted: April 13 at 9:00 am
I’m old enough to remember when the trout season on hatchery-supported streams closed in the fall and remained closed until the first Saturday in April. That was before I began fishing wild trout streams, so opening day was a special event. A group of us, mostly newspaper types, would open the fishing season on Santeetlah Creek in Graham County, staying in a 100-year-old, mice-infested cabin on upper Santeetlah. We would arrive late Friday afternoon and spend the evening drinking vintage bourbon, playing nickel-dime poker and telling fish stories.
|A trout angler’s paradise
441 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.
|Don’t miss the other Tuck
559 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.
|Don’t waste the winter
659 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.
|Slow down and go deep
597 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.
|It’s prime time for trout
647 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.
|Put a new spin on trout
708 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.
|A matter of perspective
626 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.
|Live-bait options abound
1101 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.
|Summer: terrestrial time
1055 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.
|Fly-fishing gets a museum
3608 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.