We somehow dodged two Tropical Systems in the past 30 days at the Headwaters of the French Broad. Last week we only saw two days of high water and tough conditions. The cold front has moved in, and it feels like fall out on the river. The water table is full, making for some great levels. River temps are back down in the lower 60’s, upper 50’s on higher elevations streams, and most of us have finally brought the waders back out for the year. Leaves are falling, so expect some debris out there. Delayed Harvest Streams have been stocked.
North Fork of the French Broad
The North Fork clarity is perfect right now. After Hurricane Michael, it is back down to ideal conditions. Nymphing will still be your best bet morning through mid day, however, mid afternoon on into the evenings should offer a solid opportunity for fall dries.
East Fork of the French Broad
The East Fork has been stocked and is back down to a wadeable level and the clarity is near perfect. It is crowded so avoid the weekends if possible. Right now they are eating normal DH Junk Food, however after a week or two these fish will smarten up. Try something different than the guy standing next to you. Remember, DH is catch and release only right now. If you see someone out poaching, call the hotline at 1-800-662-7137. Be nice to each other there!
The Davidson is fishing well despite pressure and effects of the Tropical fronts that have moved through. With the temperatures finally down, you can find places on the D to fishing throughout the day. Mornings are still providing the best numbers. Keep your leaders long and light as always and fishing micro bugs for the best results.
If you prefer to getaway from the crowded DH streams, the small wild streams are fishing great. Mid-Day temperatures can provide some fun dry fly fishing. Keep an eye out for Redds. The depression (beds) that female brook trout make as part of the spawning process. Tread carefully and avoid stepping on or disturbing redds.
Ideal Fly Patterns
North Fork – Girdle bugs, bird’s nest caddis, zebra midges, orange chubby chernobyls, elk hair caddis
East Fork – Eggs, worms, mops, pheasant tails, guide choice hares ears
Davidson – Bird’s nest caddis, juju baetis, midges, worms, eggs
Wild Streams – chubby chernobyls, elk hair caddis, guide choice hares ear, pheasant tails, girdle bugs