Appalachian Angler

A page for fishing reports, guide ramblings, and angler folklore

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Appalachian Angler: March 15

Double Germans.....

Our guides have been busy across all of our area streams with lots of different fishing to report.  With all of the rain we have continued to receive, both of our tailwaters in East Tennessee have been generating around the clock for the most part.  That rain has really filled our local watersheds and have made for lots of various occasions for a fishing expedition.  We have been out scouting and guiding in the quick to change weather systems and feel lucky to have some info to report...

The South Holston has continued to fish well during generation with most of our fishing done with gear/streamers and a lot of success on deep nymph rigs - these rigs are fished with multiple pieces of split shot - 5-7 feet deep with midges, mayflies, scuds and "triggers".  Typically our midge imitations are a little bit bigger (bigger being 18-20's) and a lot with flash in order to entice the strike in such current - scuds have worked on the more overcast days and the go to fly (trigger) would have to be the good ole san juan worm.  During huge rains earthworms will literally be washed in to the streams - but the SJW was tied to imitate the aquatic worm.  There are in fact a lot of different aquatic worms on the South Holston and they do come out in intense generations - so it can prove worthy to always have some in the box - pink, red, cream, brown - bring em all!!

South Holston Float
We have been out to the Watauga tailwater outside of Elizabethton a few times - fished the trophy section last week with guests and had some great reports of the nymph fishing with mostly mayfly imitations and some midges mixed in.  There are also a lot of sightings of molten crayfish - and lots of 14+" fish with hard crawdads in their bellies.  A good way to spend a day streamer/nymph fishing and to really try and push yourself to the next level would be to fish these imitations in the deep holes.  The caddis pupa continues to sit on the back burner but it's time to shine is upon us.  As the cases they have been inhabiting all winter become mobile and start to show life - they will get swept up in the current and a lot of times end up in the mouths of savvy trout in fast seams.  We will continue to be out on this particular stretch as the Spring progresses so stay tuned!  We have been out on the "upper" and "middle" stretches a lot as well - with fish rising on various mayflies - blue wings, baetis, and even some of the elusive mahogany duns!  One of our first stream reports from last year's facebook reports was exactly this float.  These floats usually involve some mix of gear fishing and fly fishing - usually the opportunity for some dry fly fishing exists and typically no boats to be seen on our signature early season float.  If you haven't been on this stretch and would like to see a different side of the Watauga please take us up on the opportunity as we have been floating these stretches for over 25 years.

Trophy Section Warrior

DH Love
Small streams have been coming ALIVE lately with all of our area water!  The delayed harvest, as mentioned in previous posts, has been fishing very well even with the predictable crowds.  In between all of the deluges there is the opportunity for some colored water fishing.  Remember your colors when fishing in murk - yellow, white, purple are all choice bugger colors.  The thought is the fish can actually see what you are presenting to it - but the olives and blacks are still doing the trick.  As always the bugger bite has slowed down as most of the fish have become wary of the big hooks - we have started to transition in to more caddis patterns (hotwire, ram, serendipity, princes 14-18), san juan worms, and big stonefly imitations (kaufmanns, sparkplugs, latex stones 12-16).  If the action slows down MOVE!!  A lot of times these fish will move around to avoid the crowds so sometimes your fish you pounded yesterday have moved 20 feet away to get away from you...So try somewhere else...We're all trying to innovate and refresh an ancient sport - so think logically....move around...
Wilson Creek DH

Small Stream Treat
We also have stream reports from the wild streams in Pisgah.  While most of the streams will remain unnamed for various reasons - you can rest assured that they are fishing well with the high water levels.  There was a noticed increase in the amount of parked cars at the familiar pull-offs, but all in all really did not see any pressure over a two-day overnight trip.  The camping in such nice weather really stole the show - but the welcome sight of true blood native trout definitely topped off the trip.  Not the most intense of approaches in the world - but small wooly bugger with prince nymph droppers produced over a dozen fish in just a couple of hours.  Remember the open streams are the ones that NCWRC has designated as Wild or Delayed Harvest - leave the hatchery supported streams alone until April!

Our shop hours are going to continue to grow - we will still be closed on Tuesdays for the time being.  We have just stocked up on a lot of the bugs mentioned above - and have gotten some fresh Simms gear in for the Spring.  Please feel free to call or stop by for any needed info or to book a trip!  We still have some prime dates in the Spring during the Caddis and Sulfur hatches - these have been filling up quick so make haste!  Remember - early May is Smallmouth time and we will keep you up to date if you want to explore our wild and scenic float through the Nolichucky watershed.  We still have some specific Alaska dates still open - all of our Silver Salmon weeks are booked, but if you want some of the prime time Rainbow fishing we still have some of those spots available!
...The only way to have proper SJW ammunition...


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