Fall fishing has been at its finest the last couple weeks. Area delayed harvest streams received their initial round of stocking earlier this month and water levels have been favorable on both stocked and wild trout streams. This current stretch of beautiful, sunny weather looks to break later in the week and precipitation is expected Thursday into Friday, which should make for some great fishing over the weekend. The nights are getting colder and the days are getting shorter, so get out and enjoy while the gettin is good!
North Fork of the French Broad
The North Fork is at an ideal level right now and fishing has been good throughout the day. Look for caddis hatching sporadically throughout the day. Blue winged olives have been coming off early to mid afternoon, especially on cloudy days. Fishing the riffles with a big orange stimulator might bring some dry fly action as fish are still on the lookout for October caddis. Subsurface flies should include blue winged olive nymphs, girdle bugs, and caddis pupa patterns. The “dirty bird” is a flashy take on the classic bird’s nest caddis pattern that really gets their attention. Look for rising fish mid afternoon in slower water sipping BWO’s.
East Fork of the French Broad
The East Fork, like all delayed harvest streams, was stocked earlier in the month. These fish have seen their fair share of junk flies and more success is sure to be found fishing smaller, natural looking nymphs or even midges. Downsize to 6X tippet and try a guide’s choice hare’s ear or soft hackle pheasant tail size 16-18. Blue winged olive emergers have also been productive. The East Fork is slated for a second round of stocking next week, so keep those junk flies handy. Newly stocked fish will bring out the crowds, so the next couple days might be good if you prefer a bit of solitude out there.
The Davidson continues to fish well with water levels holding well above 100 cfs. Look for fish rising to caddis or BWOs throughout the day. The hatchery stretch has been fishing particularly well with a variety of midges on 6 or 7X tippet. Be on the lookout for spawning brown trout and leave them be. Let them do their thing so the next generation of wild browns can make their way into the world.
As the nights have been getting colder, higher elevation streams have started to slow down. If you are dead set on some small stream action, choose lower elevation creeks and fish during the middle of the day. As the water gets colder, fish will be less likely to attack dries, so if there isn’t any action on the surface, fish a double nymph rig under a small indicator.