Appalachian Angler

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

Friday, March 4, 2011

Appalachian Angler: March 3

Brown on the caddis
As mentioned above, the local delayed harvest streams have received fresh stockings of fish.  About 1800 were stocked in the 3 miles of the Watauga surrounding our valley, a mix of browns, rainbows, and some surprisingly big brookies!  This program also includes the Helton which is in striking distance, and also 7 miles on Wilson's Creek just down in Pisgah.  For right now the preferred flies are caddis nymphs - hares ears and z-caddis, midges - zebras, disco, rs2 - along with wooly buggers.  The wooly's will only work for so long as the fish get more and more wary, but what a fun method of railing on some fish!  The size of the nymphs have been 14-18, with the midges being in the 20 range, and the buggers as big as 2's...Try some rubber legs...Wednesday afternoon we got a chance to get down to Wilson's and see what the world has to offer - and it was great!  A rarity for the area was there was little to no crowds, didn't have to avoid crowds - and got to really focus on some certain areas.

Nice Wilson's Creek bow
With the amount of rain east Tennessee received over the week it is no wonder they are generating full time with more on the schedule.  We got a chance to float on the South Holston yesterday and see what the huge water levels brought.  We started the day with three fish in a row in the same hole using the deep nymhps - then the bite dropped like a rock.  We observed a lot of adult midges flying around thinking that maybe the midges would hang on, but it almost seemed like we missed the larva crawling around and were only seeing the adults...By the time we got about a mile down it was obvious a change must be made.  While I usually would not recommend fishing streamers in blue bird (gorgeous) sunny days - it was instantaneous.  The streamer/gear fishing picked back up and the intense biomass of the South Holston showed us what it is all about.  While we did not catch huge fish - biggest being about 17" - our numbers crawled in to the 25+ range.  The amount of water in the river even during generation was pretty astronomical - above the lake the S.Holston was at 97% flood stage until Wed. night - it was cool to see, and even better to see that catching fish in such HUGE volumes of water was feasible.

With the local streams having lots of water and lots of fish - the half-day trips are perfect for the beginning or short-timed angler.  The weather is continuing to get better and better, and the days are getting long enough to warm those chilly water temps up enough to get some bugs moving around.  The tailwaters are right on the verge of the official "start" of the season - it is a year round thing BUT, soon enough the fishing will be lights out on a consistent basis.  Remember - March fishing is typically phenomenal - less crowds, lots of bugs, happy fish - but as guides March means fighting the always changing weather we have around here.  Water levels so high you can't fish is just a fact of life sometimes....But the rewards are usually enough to keep coming back!

We are gearing up at the shop for our Spring season - new Simms gear in and booking trips as fast as we can:  828.963.5050 -

No comments:

Post a Comment