Spring Has Sprung!

Come join us in the Great Smoky Mountains where you could land that lunker of a lifetime or catch beaucoup trout measuring 12 to 14 inches! These days, the perfect weather, ideal water temperatures and pleasant flow rates have anglers swarming the Tuckasegee River (the Tuck) to pursue its trifecta of rainbows, browns and brookies.

Upstream, in the Sylva section, we recently caught 34 trout—an array of all three species—and got well over twice as many bites. Floating at 600 cubic feet per second (cfs), these fish struck everything we threw out, from pink eggs and girdle bugs to blue-wing olive emergers (#20). When we arrived at the launch around 9:00 AM, we counted 10 boats in the water and just as many anglers wading.

Downstream, in the Bryson City area, anglers on two of our boats reeled in over 100 fish on two separate days. These were mostly rainbows measuring 12 to 14 inches with the exception of a few within the 17- to 18-inch range. All of them were caught on eggs and girdle bugs while we enjoyed slow, comfortable floating at 1600 cfs. If you want a spot on the Tuck, get out there early though the bites don’t usually begin until around 10:00 AM.

Attention, Turkey Hunters! Get your shotguns cleaned and oiled because Wild Turkey hunting season starts this weekend! Youth-only week begins on Saturday, April 1 for young folks under 18 years old. Then, on April 8, the statewide season opens and runs to May 6. While gathering supplies, we came across an impressive Mossy Oak turkey vest at Walmart for $50—half the price of what you might pay at an outfitter’s store. One other thing—the current issue of Wildlife in North Carolina contains a story entitled “Calling All Turkey Hunters,” an intriguing overview about enticing gobblers. If you’re not a Wildlife in North Carolina subscriber, visit your local library and check out this wonderful article!

Friends, we have a promising month ahead of us! Happy hunting and fishing!

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