When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall

For some reason, anglers seem scarce these days in the Great Smoky Mountains which surprises us because there’s excellent fishing up here during these final weeks of summer. Out on the Little Tennessee River, we’ve caught scads of smallmouth bass with Rooster Tails and conventional spinning gear. Top-water plugs haven’t been as effective, most likely because of the heat.

But subsurface, the fish are biting!

For many of us, Labor Day weekend kicked off a much-anticipated college-football season, but that ain’t the only thing we’re excited about. On October 1, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) will begin stocking selected lakes and streams across the state. During this Delayed Harvest program, anglers must adhere to catch-and-release rules and stick with single-hook artificial lures until June 1, 2024. On October 11, the Tuckasegee River (the Tuck) will receive its initial stock of rainbow and brown trout, and throughout Delayed Harvest, you’ll find us floating the Tuck where we’ll pursue the heftiest bows and browns available! Book a trip with us soon to get in on the action!

While you’re in downtown Bryson City, visit the Appalachian Rivers Aquarium and the neighboring Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians. The aquarium contains an array of native game and non-game fish, along with two eastern hellbenders, the largest salamander in North America and a protected species. There’s also the mesmerizing tiger trout (pictured below), a rare, beautifully bizarre cross between a brown and brook trout. No admission fees are required at either site, but donations are accepted.

We’re now in the midst of the initial fall 2023 goose-hunting season which runs until the end of this month. Also, September 23 is Youth Deer Hunting Day! Youth under the age of 18 can use guns or any other legal equipment to hunt deer of either sex.

Be sure to keep an eye on our site because we’re planning to run float trips on Fontana Lake and walk-and-wade excursions through Forney Creek and Hazel Creek, two lovely, desolate streams off the lake’s north shore where the trout are aplenty!

Happy Fishing and Hunting!
Patrick Ambrose

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