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We have had a relatively warm Winter in Western North Carolina. While we have had a few surprise snow days, high water, and summer-like storms we have also had many beautiful days in the 60 and even 70 degree range. Typical of our region, the weather is always unpredictable. Water levels have also had their fair share of fluctuation. All of this mixed together has made for some interesting fishing conditions. Typically, this time of year we are sticking to the tiny stuff, the flies that are seemingly microscopic. But, with the warmer days here and there we have been lucky enough to fish some bigger flies too! 


Below is a short summary of what is currently happening on a few of our home rivers as of 2/9/2020.


North Fork of the French Broad: Recent rainfall has raised the water levels, but it should be back to its normal levels within the next day or two. Girdle bugs, hares ears, worm patterns, black copper johns, soft hackles and midges should work well. Don’t be afraid to throw some streamers in there, either!  Pressure on the North Fork has not been too heavy over the last few weeks.


East Fork of the French Broad: Like the North Fork, water levels are a bit higher than usual but will be back to normal within a day or so. Girdle bugs, worm patterns, BWO nymphs, tailwater tinies and assorted midges should be in your box. If they aren’t hitting your size of fly, go the opposite direction. (Fishing Large flies, switch to tiny….Fishing tiny flies, switch to larger). 


Davidson River: The Davidson has been fairly typical of itself. With pressure year round, the fish are nothing short of educated. Add extreme water clarity and less bug activity to that, fishing can become tough! I would keep the leader at 6x or 7x. Olive and black Midges, BWO nymphs and dries, griffith’s gnat and parachute adams delicately presented should work. 


With all of that being said, Spring is on the horizon! It won’t be long until we have thick swarms of hatches. 


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