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Flowers are blooming, bugs are hatching, fish are feeding, and the weather is warming.  This is our favorite time of year to fish at Headwaters Outfitters! The ten-day forecast is showing temps into the mid 60’s which will only boost the hatches we are seeing and provide even more excellent dry fly fishing.  

What bugs are hatching right now?  It’s really a smorgasbord of insects right now.  We are seeing some of our Wintertime insects such as Black Winter Stoneflies and Black Winter Caddis still around. Along with them some of our Spring bugs have begun showing themselves.  These are the bugs we’re excited about, the Blue Quills, Gray Fox, Quill Gordon, and March Browns. These insects tend to be larger and have more prolific hatches than our Wintertime hatches. In turn the trout have a little more incentive to come up to the surface and take dry flies.

With spring also comes the restocking of area Delayed Harvest Streams.  This provides great opportunity for fishing easy access and uneducated fish.  Keep in mind these streams such as the East Fork of the French Broad, West Fork of the Pigeon, and the Little River in Dupont will receive heavier fishing pressure during the weekend times.  Even when these streams are busy there is still plenty of opportunity to find good fish and good numbers of them.  

Small wild streams have been fishing incredibly lately.  The warmer air temps have the water temps heating up a bit and the fish that inhabit these small streams are very happy about it.  These fish are very opportunistic in their feeding habits but can also be very spooky. Be sure to move slowly and take your time working every pocket and pool.

Don’t miss out on some of the best fishing of the year, call the shop to book your trip today!

Delayed Harvest:  These fish will be looking for junk food for the next couple of weeks.  Be sure to have eggs, worms, and mop flies in your arsenal. After a couple of weeks these fish will start to get a bit more educated and switching over to more natural patterns will produce more fish.  Girdle bugs, Pheasant tails, and soft hackles will be good to switch over to when you notice the bite slowing on the junk food.

Small Streams: Dry Dropper rigs have been the most productive for me the last couple of weeks.  Using a Small Chubby Chernobyl with a girdle bug, worm, or pheasant tail below it will provide the best opportunity for picking up strikes.

Forks of the River (North and West Fork of the French Broad): Nymph rigs consisting of Girdle Bugs, Pheasant Tails, Worms, and Soft Hackles will pick up fish throughout the day.  If you begin to see fish rise, try fishing March Brown and Quill Gordon dry fly patterns. A.K.’s march brown is a go to during these hatches.

 Davidson River:  Start off early in the day probing runs and pools with nymph rigs.  There are a good number of bug species moving around right now. The best thing to do is start with a Frenchie or Pheasant Tail trailed by a soft hackle.  If you’re fishing water that should be producing fish but you’re not picking up strikes, try adjusting your weight, tippet size, and playing around with your fly size until you find a combination that’s picking up bites.  Midday you might start seeing some bugs flying around and fish rising. Try to identify the bug species or even just the size and color of the insect then tie on a dry that best represents what you are seeing. When switching over to the dry increase your leader length a couple of feet and take your time.  The most efficient way to pick these fish up is casting to fish you see actively rising. Be sure to study the rising pattern of each fish. You don’t want to cast to a fish right when he rises. Let the rise ring dissipate and then present your fly to the fish.


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