I started last Tuesday on the Nantahala DH. I took a friend of mine over who enjoys his once a year fly fishing trip. We took quite a few fish with dries and even more with small nymphs, mainly zebra midges. There were lots of bugs, more than I can remember seeing, especially caddis. Also, more people on a weekday than I've seen. My friend came back at the end of the day and I drove over to Sylva that night. The next morning, I drove over to the other side if Waynesville and fished another DH stream, the Pigeon. Maybe the west fork I think. This stream was stocked with some rather large fish which you could spot from some high streamside vantage points. I hooked some nice fish, rainbows and brookies. One brookie that I had briefly would have gone 18 inches. More noticeable was how fat this fish was, easily 2-3 lbs. Neat thing about this water is that there are a population of wild brown. When things slowed down a bit, you could find these fish midging in slow, flat water. 7x tippet and #22 griffiths gnats would get you some 9-10" fish. I was told there had been an evening hatch of 'something", but by 7:30 nothing I saw indicated an evening hatch.
Thursday morning found me on the Tuckaseegee, far and away the state's most heavliy stocked river. The generation was off till late in the day so it was easily waded. Started catching fish right off the bat with some dark colored soft hackles, size 14. A caddis hatch started around 11:00 but it was short lived. The wind took its place for the rest of the day but fishing only picked up in the afternoon. Changing to a smaller soft hackle, partridge and orange, I moved to another stretch of river and really began to catch fish, most everything were browns. These were fat,and hard fighting 11-14" fish. I don't count fish normally and I didn't on this day, but it had to be one of the biggest 'number' days I've had. After 4:30, I spent the rest of the day looking for risers but saw few. I went back to nymphing and picked up a few, then once again fished soft hackles and caught some more. I noticed more than a few people swinging soft hackles.Largest fish here was a rainbow that I never brought to hand but it looked to be 14-15"
I decided Friday morning to head back home so I fished the Nantahala for most of the afternoon. Overnight rains had it up and off color but you could still catch some fish. The number if insects were way down from Tuesday but I noticed a big hatch of either #18 blue quills or bwo's coming off in the early afternoon. Did catch some fat brookies on #16 yellow stimulators.
It was nice to get back over there in that area. I wished I had taken some time to get up on the Blue Ridge Pkwy and drop over on the Davidson river but maybe next time. I instead explored just a bit over around the Little Tennessee below Franklin for a future trip for smallmouth.