Appalachian Angler

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

Friday, March 25, 2011

Appalachian Angler: March 25

Nice weather for the most part through the past week...Some days in the 70's!  In TN it has been incredibly nice to enjoy some sunshine and some pleasant fishing..Today it is plummeting and the weekend shows signs of freezes and rains - so let's review something more positive - the fishing...

Watching an osprey hunt in the backyard reminds us all that there are in fact A LOT of fish back there in the delayed harvest sections - with all of the muddy/high water they have been very happy and gobbling up bugs still.  Attractor nymphs along with a smaller dropper with just a little weight and an indicator have been the ticket..Find some podded up fish and post up and keep the tippet in the 4 - 6x range and you should be set.  There have been a lot of stones and caddis lately with the nice weather - even some dry fly DH fish have been found!  Mostly princes and stones in the 12-16 range, along with soft hackles and pheasant tails as droppers have been producing.  Attractor nymphs being your trigger go to nymphs - SJW, copper johns, rubber legged beadheads, etc.

We have had a lot of opportunities to get out and fish the wild streams as well and are happy to report that it is arguably the most fun/productive numbers of our trips right now.  If you enjoy small stream fishing (think of opening your closest door and making a cast in to the shoe rack) and enjoy wild trout (think 10" max) it is bomber right now.  For instance, had a chance for 2 hours of fishing before a mountain storm system rolled in and banged easily 40 fish.  At one point 4 different casts to four different pocket pools from one crouched position produced 4 different fish....If that makes sense and you can visualize with me - thats some damn fine fishing.  Had some great sight fishing opportunities with INSTANT takes - and literally caught fish in every hole that was fishy.  The water levels have dropped enough that a dry-dropper rig is critical - with a dropper only 14" from the dry.  Big princes, stones, anything relatively simple and buggy has been great!  Thats the beauty of small stream - if you can keep the fly away from obstructions/snaggers then you can fish the same rig all day long!  

With the TVA generating full force on both of our tailwaters it has been quite the week for floating...The huge storms that rolled through the past few weeks have made the lake levels beyond full pond - so some of the generations have been beyond banks and quite literally monstrous.  Tuesday was not the case - it was a pretty typical generation with some better than typical results!  We floated for about 8 hours and easily landed over 3 dozen fish - for one angler.  All of our fish were on nymphs - while there were midges galore we ended up catching all of our fish on 18-20 mayfly imitations.  The upper portion of the river closest to the dam was lights out - even around all of the boats (lots of traffic).  We had a heartbreaker of a fight with a 5+ lb-er, fought it for 10 minutes, got it close twice, unbuttoned in the end...Absolute heartbreaker...BUT the numbers landed by the end of the day along with some fish in the 14-16" range on fly rod made the trip more than memorable...Reports from the Upper Watauga continue to be consistent with past reports - and we have also been fishing and catching some bronzebacks over on the Nolichucky.  While the hunt is still on for rainbows left over from the winter stocking - it is quite a treat to uncover some bronze!!
treat within sight of the truck

If you want to get out to some of those small stream beauties - our guides will be happy to show you the ropes for a truly unique high country experience.  The floats will continue to get better - and the weather should turn right back around for some caddis and sulfur dry fly fishing soon!  Shop is starting to be open full swing so call us or stop by to book a trip today!

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