Water levels remain high across the region but most rivers are very fishable. The upcoming week looks promising with much warmer temperatures on the way. This little taste of springtime should bring out some good hatches of blue quills, quill gordons, and maybe some march browns. Joining these mayflies should be some caddis and maybe some lingering little black stones. Rising fish aren’t likely to be everywhere but keep your eyes out in the slack water. Hopefully you can get out early in the week because the weatherman says more rain towards the end of the week.
North Fork of the French Broad
The North Fork is running high and clear and I’ve seen some great hatches in the last couple of weeks. During our last warm spell, just after noon I saw a great blue quill hatch with some bigger mayflies in the mix. If you find yourself in the midst of a good hatch look for risers in soft water eddies or in the tailouts of pools. Current water levels make for good nymph fishing throughout the day. Soft hackles patterns have been very effective lately given all of the mayfly activity in the water.
East Fork of the French Broad
The East Fork has been reloaded with a fresh round of fish and should be fishing great for the remainder of the spring. Eggs, worms, mops, and other junky flies will be effective for this latest crop of fish. Tandem rig an attractor pattern with a soft hackle and you should be in for some fun. It’s going to be crowded out there so be courteous on the water with fellow anglers.
The Big D is running very clear and should be sporting some great hatches, especially through the middle of the day. Try a variety of soft hackles or mayfly nymphs if rising fish are not present. Don’t be fooled by the high water. Fish your flies on 6X with good presentations for success. Keep in mind, the lower 2 miles of the river, (downstream of Avery Creek confluence), are closed to fishing in March.
Warmer temps this week should have wild trout coming back to life. Lower elevation streams should produce some decent hatches so carefully working pocket water with a dry fly should produce some eats. Nymphs or small streamers could also be productive. If you can’t find a place to park on the East Fork, take a 3 weight over to Cathey’s Creek for an afternoon. Enjoy some scenery, solitude, and some beautiful stream-born trout.