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 Alex Bell at AB's Fly Fishing Guide Service, email@example.com 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 during the first week of March.
First and foremost, all 'Hatchery Supported Waters' are closed during the month of March. Please visit www.ncwildlife.org to get the official dates of closing/opening fishing dates. March starts the fabulous trout fishing season of Spring. March 20, is the actual first day of Spring. This month is a transition month in terms of fly fishing. Dark fly are still prevalent early in the month and then transitions into lighter colors towards the end of the month. As with most cases, water temps dictate insect hatch activities. Low to mid 50 degree water temps usually initiate more activity. The dark fly's can be matched by Blue Wing Olive, Blue Quills, and Quill Gordons. Little Black Caddis can be a good producer. Later in the month as lighter colored mayflies start appearing, the use of Light Cahills, Elk Hair Caddis, and on the warmest of days, Yellow Sallies are go to fly's. When adding a dropper, Pheasant tail nymphs, bead head Hare's ears, little rubber legged bead head Black Stone, and Prince nymphs will be productive. Different types of
midges will still be active in early Spring. 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.
As mentioned earlier, the first stocking for delayed harvest waters in 2015 occurred during the first week of this month, 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 variety this time of year. The dry fly selections are primarily the same as those mentioned in the small stream section. For subsurface activity, anything from egg patterns, squirmy worms, wooly boogers, to girdle bugs (Marvins) are all very effective, especially with freshly stocked trout. Large rubber legged stone fly's (6 - 10), down to size 16 & 18 Pheasant tails and gold ribbed
hare's ears. Don't forget your Griffith's Gnats, a good offering when midges are flying around. Fishing Zebra Midge nymphs on the colder days will produce. Vary your color selections and sizes until you find the magic combination. Stripping streamers for 'fresh' fish can be a blast. Vary the speed of your retrieve until the trout 'tell you' what they like.
Wishing you Tight Lines & Bent Rods...