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Spring has been off to a great start here in Western North Carolina. While we have had some strange and unexpected cold weather in between the warm days, fishing has remained consistent and productive. We have been fortunate enough to enjoy great hatches along the way and experience what could be some of the best dry fly fishing of the year.

With summer slowly creeping in, our small wild creeks will be cranking up soon, sure to be swarming with bugs and eager trout waiting for the take. A dry dropper rig works wonderfully in these streams. Forget your heavy loaded pack at the car and keep it simple here. A small fly box with Chubby Chernobyls, Ants, Girdle Bugs, Worms and a few flashy nymphs should be all you need!

While these trout are more opportunistic feeders than those that are heavily pressured, they are also easily spooked. Be sure to take this into account when initially approaching the water and as you move about throughout the day. Be smart, be tactical. Wear natural colored clothing–no bright red outfits here! Be aware of your shadows being cast into the water–if the fish see you before you see them you’ll be in trouble. Fishing these streams downstream to upstream can keep you more hidden as well since the fish will be facing upstream.

General flies to be using in most of our trout waters, whether Delayed Harvest, Hatchery Supported or Wild Waters are:
Girdle Bugs
Inch Worms
Quill Gordon
Blue Quill
Elk Hair Caddis
Yellow Sallies
March Browns
Assorted Soft Hackles

Appalachia offers miles and miles of fishable trout waters. The NC Wildlife website ( offers a plethora of knowledge on access points, overnight camping areas, hatch charts and more. If you decide to hike in or do an overnight, either take a buddy or let someone know your location and estimated time of return. Our country is beautiful, but it is also rugged.

Enjoy what’s left of spring, the dog days of summer will be here before we know it!

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