I went up to North Carolina over the weekend. On Saturday morning I fished low water on the lower Nantahala until the water came up. I fished around the NOC center, and there were tons of fish! The only problem was how spooky they were! I had to make my leader about 12 feet before I even caught anything. They definately didn't like seeing my float line. I ended up with 8 and saw some giant browns.
An average fish
A little bit nicer one
All the fish I caught were on a rust colored zebra midge in a size 20. Also, EVERY single fish I hooked today was an acrobat. They were jumpy fish and I lost several during jumps.
After getting back to our campsite and eating a quick lunch, I drove a short distance to my favorite small stream. I fished the lower end of the creek a little while with a few hits. I couldn't keep them on! I got out and hiked up another mile to where the stream splits and started fishing again. It didn't take long until I landed my first one...It was a monster!
Then, I started to get into some averaged sized fish. The rised were very slow, so i managed to set too early on some.
I kept going upstream. Because the water was on the low side, I was able to sight fish quite a bit. I was sneaking up on a 6-7" rainbow when I started to see some rises further up in the hole. I waited a litte longer and the rises started getting closer. Once I got a good look I noticed it was a nice Brook trout. I made a bad cast about 3 feet away from him, but he darted over extremely fast, stopped completely, and then slowly ate my EHC. After a short, but nice fight I had him in. He was quite a fatty.
He had a really big mouth, too.
After a few photos I let him go. I kept going upstream. As I was looking for trout in the lower end of one of my favorite pools, it started to rain. I kept fishing anyways! I ended up catching two rainbows in the lower end. I crept up to the upper end and spotted a really nice one on top of a rock with its dorsal fin sticking out of the water. Because of all the brush he was near, I could only have about 3 feet of line out of my rod tip I dropped the fly about 1.5 feet to the right of him. He turned around and slowly ate the fly. To my suprise it was another brook trout!
He put up a decent fight as well. The rain got harder, so I went with a little bit bigger dry with a dropper #16 pink SJW. My dry of choice was a #14 yellow stimulator. Right away I caught some fish on both flies.
The rain had completely turned the fishing on. What it also did was put a slight stain to the water, so the fish were a little bit less spooky. I came up to a pool that was about 5 feet deep. I tried to make a cast into the run that went down the left side, but it ended up landing about 3 feet too far right in some slack water. I didn't want to spook the fish, so I let it sit. After about 2 seconds my stimulator dove. I set the hook. Instead of giving a little when I set the hook like most of the fish in this creek do, it stayed in place. It did some head shakes and then ran up stream. I followed it as it swam up some waterfalls and into some other pools. It was a MUCH larger fish than the others I was getting. I landed the fish and it was a wild rainbow that was about 11"...a true trophy for this creek! The photos aren't that great because of the rain.
After this fish I decided to end the day on a good note. It was getting late too, so I didn't want to worry my parents. I got back, showered, and then watched my dawgs get killed.
The next morning I had my Dad drop me off at the NOC center to fish for a few hours. The fish were even spookier than the day before! I managed to loose a couple of the jumpy fish during their acrobatic displays. I fished river right by all the gates below the bridge down until the falls. I didn't get anything. I switched to a stonefly with a dropper black zebra midge dropper. I managed to hook a brown that was probably about 13-14". I didnt have a net, and he popped off by me feet. I worked my way up and snuck up on a really nice run. I had a decent sized crowd watching me. On my second cast I got a hit and set the hook. There was a big flash followed by a run downstream. I got the fish on the reel and then, as all the fish seemed to do, he jumped. It was a big rainbow about 18". He stayed on and then ran upstream from me. It was such a strong fish. The group up on the bridge was cheering me on. He made a quick run back downstream and broke off. Another big fish lost! The group up on the bridge said it was a bummer, and that they saw it. I went upstream to the next run and fished it...nothing. Next run, I got another hit. I set the hook and saw a big gold flash! I was shocked! Another really good fish after breaking off a big rainbow 5 minutes before! This fish ran some, but mostly just stayed deep and had a bunch of head shakes. I had the same group still watching me and they cheered me on once again. After about 6 or 7 minutes I beached the fish. It was a beautiful, fat, butter bellied, 16-17" wild brown!
I was stoked! I took a few pictures and as I was doing so people started yelling that the water was coming. If you know the stream here i was by the large wall near the gates the kayakers use. This is not a good place to get caught. I rushed my release, but he quickly swam off. Te water was coming up fast, but I managed to make it to the stairs on river left just in time. Not long after my family came and picked me up. Then we went back home Woodstock! Hope you guys enjoyed!