Western NC Fishing Report

Well it’s mid July and the weather has been crazy here in western NC.  From 90+ degree weather and then a solid week of rain to follow.  Looks like the weather is beginning to straighten out and the great fishing will follow.  Before the rains of last week the fishing was very good to great!  From the Catawba tailrace for trout to the local warm water rivers for smallmouth bass the catching has been “solid” to say the least.

Catawba tailrace……  during minimum flows (140 cfs) the nymph bite has been ON!  Black stone flies (sz 10) trailed by a pheasant tail (sz 14-16) has been a great “goto” rig.  From the eddy below mid river boulders to the deep run below the riffles the trout are very willing to eat your fly!  These fish are so use to the higher flows they tend to hang in areas that provide shelter with or without generation.  During generation (1500 cfs) the streamer bite has been very good and should only get better.  Our Catawba Buggers have been very effective for trout and here’s a nice striper I caught while streamer fishing a few weeks back…  btw we were trout fishing with 9ft 5weights.

Striper on the Catawba BuggerSmallmouth Bass on the fly report….  the smallies have been hammering the top water poppers whenever the water has 2 or more feet of visibility.  Size 4 and 6′s, plopped down and drifted have been the ticket.

Don’t forget about our newest trips in our line up….  Exclusive Access Area and Private Trophy Stream trips!

Private Water PiggyWe still have a few dates available for August, book your trip as soon as possible to assure your date is open.  Here’s a quick link for your convenience. 

Big rainbows too

Fished the Catawba today with a great client from Hendersonville.  At the put inSaw that Duke Power was running 2 generators so we opted for a lower float to give us more time before the generation caught up with us.  Landed a nice brown in the first riffle we fished, but then the catching slowed a bit.  Picked up a fish or two here and there but nothing consistent.

The water color was perfect with the minimum flow generators supplying about 150 cfs.    Most of our fish came to hand on the bh black stone fly size 10.  Also caught a few on clients version of a split back rubber leg stone fly.

Then while working a great riffle that has produced many great browns over the years client hooked up with a very nice and healthy rainbow.  Very strange since this river is almost exclusive brown trout.

Overall a great day on the water with a very knowledgeable angler.  To book your trip on the Catawba tailrace click here


Catawba River tailrace Caddis Hatch

Bridgewater Hydro

View of Bridgewater Hydro from on top of the dam

Well it’s that time of year……  Caddis Hatch time on the Catawba River tailrace!! Lots of bugs on the river but really inconsistent flows.  I’ll try to get some good pictures of the bugs but it’s tough to get them to stand still and say “cheese”.  In fact my 6 year old listens better than these bugs!


Noticed the Duke Power site said no generation for today, so I stopped by the tailrace on the way to work and caught a few fish but really just caught the urge to go back as soon as possible.  Well that meant as soon as the shop closed at 4pm I was heading back.  So I spent the day watching the clock and at 4 I was already in my waders and out the door.

Good ol Ross reel

Drove straight there as fast as possible, of course I followed all posted speed limits! ;-)   With the dam being less than 10 miles from the shop, this has become one of my afternoon activities.  Stopped my truck, strung up my rod and was heading to the river as fast as possible.  Saw a few caddis flying around this morning but this afternoon was a different story.

CADDIS EVERYWHERE!!  Check out this video of the caddis crawling up my waders. 

Was able to get the browns to eat my dry fly!!  In fact, landed 18 browns and 12 of them on the DRY!! In February to beat all.  Our Wilson Creek Caddis in size 14 is a bit light colored for these Caddis but the fish did not seem to mind.

66 degrees at 5:18pm gotta love NC!!


As soon as things were getting good Duke Power decided to turn the wheels and mess up my afternoon delight.  An incredible February afternoon.

This hatch should only continue to get bigger over the next few weeks.  In years past I’ve seen the caddis flies so thick you would suck them in with every breath.  Hopefully we’ll get another huge hatch of them this year.

Here’s a quick video show the boat launch area without generation and then with 1 wheel running 1500cfs. 

We only have a few days open for guide trips over the next two weeks so if you want to experience an incredible caddis hatch right here in NC better book your trip soon.

Remember all guided trips are on sale for the month February.  Book in Feb for any date this year and save.  Here’s a quick link for you….

Trout Fly Fishin Camp 2011

Once again we have decided to offer our annual Trout Fly Fishin Camp on the banks of Wilson Creek.  This will be a full day camp with seminars for the beginning flyrodder to the flyflinger who wants to hone up their skills.  This camp is open for anglers (both male and female) from age 16 and up, for those anglers under 16 we’ll be offering a youth camp later in the season.

This year’s Trout Fly Fishin Camp will be Saturday October 15th.  As with all of our camps we will be break the camp into 3 parts..

Trout Fly Fishin 101 – for those anglers new to the sport ($150 for first person $50.00 for second person)

2 part program – Intro to Flyfishing and Casting for the morning session, lunch break and then On Stream Tips and Tactics in the afternoon.

Trout Fly Fishin 201 – for those anglers still struggling with getting the basics down ($150 for first person $50.00 for second person)

2 part program – Casting and fishing dynamics for the morning session, lunch break and then On Stream Tips and Tactics in the afternoon.

Trout Fly Fishin 301 – for those anglers wanting to move to the next level ($125 per person)

1 part program – On Stream Tips and Tricks in the afternoon.

WCO will provide our professional guides to work with you throughout the day.  We will also provide a group picnic lunch, waters and snacks.  We will not provide equipment, of course we’ll be happy to make recommendations.  All guests must provide their own wading gear, rod, reel, leaders and tippet.  We’ll be happy to provide a list of recommended gear for all camp guests.

To sign up click here! Keep in mind we only have a few slots open and they will fill quickly.

Back in town

After a few weeks of traveling the southeast, I’m back in town and looking forward to getting back into the local streams.

We have several things in the works including beginner classes and Delayed Harvest trout trips starting in October. Still a few openings for float trips but our dates are filling up quickly.  EZ Link

Smallies are still very active and although we’ve had a very busy summer still a few dates open but the top water bite will end soon. Get your trip in before it’s too late. EZ Link

Monty with a nice top water smallie!

Thanks Georgia!

We had a great time at the Great Southern Fishing Show in Atlanta two weeks ago and wanted to send out a big THANKS for all the visitors and business. Chad and I stayed busy talking fishing and selling which made the show go so fast it was over in a blink of the eye.

Here’s a picture I snapped of our booth before the doors opened Saturday morning.

Pisgah Fly Masters Fly-Fishing Tournament

March 19–20, 2011

Registration: Limited to 125 entrants. Competition in youth,
fisherman and professional categories.
Registration fee: Adults $50; Youth $30.
Proceeds help fund programming at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education,
located next to the Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery on the Davidson River.
For more information, contact:
Lee Sherrill
(828) 877-4423

Click here for more info  PFMposter05_120710

Smallmouth Bass Meeting in Asheville

River Smallmouth Bass Angler Meeting

Do you like to river smallmouth bass fish in western North Carolina? If so, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) cordially invites you to attend a smallmouth bass angler meeting at the Biltmore church of Christ building in Asheville on Thursday, March 31st, 2011 at 7:00 PM.
Rivers and streams containing smallmouth bass provide important fishery resources for North Carolina anglers. Consequently, during 2007 the NCWRC began a 3-year study to obtain smallmouth bass data from rivers and streams in western North Carolina. Study objectives were to identify riverine smallmouth bass populations, collect life history information, and evaluate management opportunities. In three years, Commission fisheries biologists collected more than 2,800 smallmouth bass from 42 stream reaches.
At this meeting, you will be updated on findings of the NCWRC’s smallmouth bass research, which includes great smallmouth bass fisheries such as the French Broad, Little Tennessee, Tuckaseegee, Nolichucky, and Pigeon Rivers. Also, you will be introduced to other great smallmouth bass fisheries across the state; many of which may be surprising due to where they are located! Lastly, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to NCWRC fisheries biologists. Please note, this meeting is NOT a public hearing, but rather a time to share information about North Carolina river smallmouth bass resources, research findings, fishing experiences, upcoming regulation proposals, and to speak with NCWRC fisheries biologists.
This research has shown that North Carolina has many rivers and streams with good smallmouth bass populations. While some of these populations are well known by anglers, many may have been overlooked till now. Therefore, additional benefits of this work will be to provide anglers with more detailed information on where smallmouth bass fishing exists, as well as provide and promote angler access information to these valuable fisheries.
Directions to Biltmore church of Christ (823 Fairview Street Asheville, NC 28803) From I-40, take Exit 50 A (Hwy 25 South). Go approximately 0.6 miles and turn Left onto Fairview Road (at Province Restaurant sign). At the stop sign, go Straight for 0.1 miles. Biltmore church of Christ building will be on the Left.
For more information, please contact David Goodfred (NCWRC fisheries biologist) David.Goodfred@ncwildlife.org or 828-659-3324 ext. 227

Southern Culture On The Fly Tying Party

Saw this on Bent Rod Media’s Blog and thought I’d pass it along.  Looks like a good time for a good cause!

Southern Culture On The Fly Is Throwing A Tying Party

12 Jan

I figured putting out a new magazine was leaving a little too much free time on my hands (idle hands are the devil’s workshop and all that jazz), so to remedy the situation, we I have decided to try our hands at philanthropy. We are proud to announce our first ever SCOF event, The Tie-One-On-A-Thon, benefiting Project Healing Waters. Have you ever been hit up to pledge for a walk-a-thon? Well, we thought this was a pretty inane way to raise money for something. Walking around in a circle for hours only gets you back to where you started, but tying flies for hours on end gets you a butt load of flies…a much better trade-off in our opinion. So we are inviting some of the region’s best fly tiers down to SCOF headquarters (i.e. Steve’s art studio) on February 27th, for a good old-fashioned winter tying session. The tiers will all collect pledges based on either how many flies they tie or for how many hours they tie.  Since we are gonna have about 25-35 tiers at this thing we can’t exactly keep folks out, so instead, we are gonna charge to get in.  The price of admission will reflect the tough economic times that fly fisherman face these days and will be a small pittance in exchange for a Sunday spent checking out some of the region’s best tiers and how they do (and yes, I am hip enough to say that).We are also gonna be selling Tie-One-On-A-Thon fly collections from all the tiers after the event with 100% of the proceeds from the event going towards healing veterans with fly fishing. Curtis Wright Outfitters has already signed on as a presenting sponsor for the event, which should give a certain whiff of legitimacy to the whole affair, and we have set up an information page on our website for the event (which can be reached off our homepage). So mark your calendars for February 27, 2011 and check the website and blog for updates on details, as we will be throwing them up as we get them. Oh yeah did I mention the local beer and roasted swine on tap? I always forget to mention that. Should be a good one.

- Dave