I hope everyone has had a great start to their week and that you were able to enjoy some of this mild weather we’ve been having. I also hope that some of you were able to get on the water and take advantage of some of the incredible dry fly action that has been taking place. The Tuckasegee River that flows from Cullowhee down to Bryson City has had the best action for fishing dries lately. I fished with a client through the Bryson section last week and we had shots at rising fish for hours. It didn’t matter where we were on the river or how deep the water was, the fish hovered just below the surface and were sipping emerging midges before they could take flight.
The preferred flies were pretty much anything that was sized between a #18-24. We had the most success on Craven’s Jujubee, tiny Blue Winged Olive emergers, and Dennis’ Top Secret midges. These flies will produce for you all winter long. Flies of this size demand dropping your tippet size down to 7x or 8x tippet. The small diameter of these tippets will allow the flies to move more naturally with the current, and make it harder to see the actual leader material.
My preferred set up for fishing a winter time dry fly situation is as follows-
A #18 Blue Winged Olive dry with a dropper of one or two unweighted midge patterns about 18-24″ behind the dries. If you’re going to fish the midge patterns with your dry, use two different colored flies, such as a black Top Secret and an olive Craven’s Jujubee. Red is another color I use on occasion, such as Howell’s Red Ass. The contrasting colors really help the fish find your flies.
We’re always here to answer questions, but we’d prefer to take you fishing so we can provide some hands-on advice for the techniques.
Thank you for being here with us,