The WNC Fly Fishing Trail was created in the Winter of 2008-09. The first trail maps were printed and distributed in February of 2009. Since that time over 160,000 maps have been printed and given to anglers across the nation. If anyone would like a copy of the map, or trail information, you can contact AB's Fly Fishing Guide Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to
www.abfish.org, or to the trail website at www.flyfishingtrail.com. You can also visit www.mountainlovers.com or call 800.962.1911, or 828.226.3833, for a list of accommodations.
The trail consists of 15 spots throughout Jackson County and the Cherokee Indian Reservation. This report, and those to follow, will combine some of the small streams, delayed harvest section of the Tuckasegee River, and the trophy section on Raven's Fork in Cherokee. Delayed Harvest Waters will be stocked the first time in 2015 some time the first week of March.
February, historically, is one of the coldest months in Western North Carolina. The best way to stay warm is to wear layers of clothing. It is always a good idea to have an extra change of clothes to change into in case you get wet. Hypothermia is a very real concern. Confusion can
be one of the symptoms. so it is a prudent choice to error on the side of caution and take the time to dry off and warm up before returning to the stream. Darker earth tones, or even camo is a good idea since most leaves will have fallen and cover is limited. It will get brisk in the early mornings, but warm up during the day.
Blue Winged Olive fly's and smaller Elk hair stimulators are good choices for the dry presentation. When adding a dropper, Pheasant tail nymphs bead head Hare's ears, and little rubber legged bead head Black Stone fly's will be productive. Different types of midges will still be active in the Winter. The classic Zebra Midge pattern is still very productive. Color choices preferred by the trout seem to change daily. Therefore, have a variety of colors, such as red/white, black/white, brown/gray, green/black are just some of the flies to put in your box. Sizes can vary from 18 - 24. Fishing squirmy worms and small egg patterns under indicators is another productive technique. Remember to bring your camera, and to leave the stream and surrounding areas better than you found them.
Delayed Harvest Water:
Delayed Harvest waters have returned to catch & release, single hook artificial lure/fly only effective October 1. As mentioned earlier, the first stocking for delayed harvest waters in 2015 will occur sometime during the first week of March. You can go to www.ncwildlife.org and check
on all the regulation and license requirements as well as the stocking schedule. Fly selection offers a wide range this time of year. Anything from egg patterns, squirmy worms, wooly boogers, to girdle bugs (Marvins). Large rubber legged stone fly's (6 - 10), down to size 16 & 18 Pheasant tails and gold ribbed hare's ears. Blue Winged Olives are always a possibility in the Winter. Don't forget your Griffith's Gnats, a good offering when midges are flying around. Fishing Zebra Midge nymphs in the colder months will produce. Vary your color selections and sizes until you find the magic combination. Throwing large streamers late in the evening, near dusk,
can produce some very big Brown Trout. Find yourself some warm days this month and you will have the river pretty much to yourself. Some of the biggest trout of the year have been caught in February. Bundle Up, Stay Warm, & Enjoy!!!
Wishing you Tight Lines & Bent Rods...