We’ve kicked off our summer with lucrative fishing in the Tuckasegee River (the Tuck), the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) and hatchery-supported waters in the Bryson City area where the lion’s share of rainbows and browns have measured a foot long while the brookies have averaged 7 to 8 inches. Most of our trips have yielded 30 to 40 fish, so book an outdoor adventure with us soon and get in on the summer fun!
In the Bryson City section of the Tuck, we’ve floated early mornings when the water’s coolest and had our best luck throwing small nymphs (#18) under indictors and staying close to the river bottom. Upstream near Sylva, we’ve fished the Tuck’s colder water, catching mostly rainbows and a few browns on pink Squirmy Worms and large Girdle Bugs.
Every stream in the GSMNP has its own uniqueness, but no place captures an angler’s imagination like Noland Creek whose tight, interwoven canopy allows only a smattering of light to bleed through. In some places, it’s barely enough to distinguish between the flies in the box, and that permanent shade keeps the water cool. It also provides anglers more freedom of movement without being seen. Thus far, the rainbows have hit every fly we’ve tried, including our trusty Parachute Adams, Yellow Sallies, Purple Hazes, and the Goddard Caddis.
Yesterday, at Straight Fork, we caught the holy trinity—brookies, browns and bows—on a dry-dropper rig with a Thunderhead on top and a Prince Nymph (#18) on the bottom. In the lower-elevation waters on the Tennessee side, we’ve caught beaucoup bows on top of the water with Stimulators.
In the park’s coolest, higher-elevation waters, the brook trout are biting Yellow Sallies, Mayflies and small Caddisflies (#14). A recent walk-and-wade trip yielded over 20 brookies.
The Fourth of July is upon us which means free fishing in North Carolina on Independence Day! Residents and out-of-state visitors at any age can fish public waters from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on July 4 without a license. Other regulations would still apply, specifically bait-and-tackle restrictions, along with daily-possession and length limits.
Come join us soon!