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Old 11-07-2010, 07:29 PM
Rainbow Warrior Rainbow Warrior is offline
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Cool Weekend on the Nantahala (and the big ones that didn't get away)

On Saturday morning my Dad and I decided that we were going to head up and fish the Tuckaseegee and Nantahala like we had last weekend. We ended up leaving around 10:30. After about a 2.5 hour drive, I could hear the roar of nantahala rapids outside our car window. My Dad and I geared up and headed into the river. I walked a few yards downstream of the pull off we parked on. There was a small, deep pool with a run going down one side. I looked down in the slack water and saw there were many fish in there. I got excited and made my firsd drift through. BANG first hit and a miss. I made another drift and BANG again except this time he did not get away. To my surprise the fish i hooked was bigger than the ones I had seen. He definately put a nice little bend in my 7" 3 wt! After a few minutes of him horsing me around the pool, I netted him and got a nice sized grin on my face. It was a solid 15-16" rainbow.


I released the fish after snapping a few photos. I decided that he hadnt spooked out the pool and threw my nymph rig back in. I got another hit and stripped in a small (anout 5") wild rainbow. I didnt think there would be wild fish in this section because of all the fish stocked. I threw him back in. I deepened my rig to the depth I thought i was seeing the fish. I ended up with 2 more of these guys.


I decided to leave the small fish and head upstream to meet up with my dad. As I waded around a corner i saw my dad upstream from me hollering bloody murder at me. He told me to come up fast. Not knowing what happened and thinking of all the bad things that could happen on a trout stream, I ran up the road to him. To my relief, the reason he was yelling was because he left his net in the car and had a big fish. He kept fighting it for a few more minutes and I then netted the beast. It was a healthy 19" rainbow.


We snapped some photos and i then revived the fish for him. This was the start of a long day of coldddddddddd (very cold) hands. I got my hands out of the water and they were blood red. I tried to warm them up, but that just was not going to happen due to the 30 degree temperatures. I fished upstream with no luck in some awesome areas. I guess the fish havent fully spread out yet. I made my way up and found a good run along the road where i figured they had stoocked. I positioned myself and then casted. BANG fish on! It got off...too much slack. I drifted through again and caught a fish. I stayed here about 15 minutes and ended up landing 8 rainbows with the biggest aroung 14". I do not have pictures of them because of low camera battery. I decided to save if for bigger fish. I headed upstream and fished at a nice brown in the bridge pool. I could not get him to take. Smart fish. I kept goin up stream and caught a few more here and there. All rainbows. I got a tangle and cut my tippet to re-rig, but my hands hit a point where they were so cold i couldn't even tie a knot. I decided to call it quits. I walked downstream to find my dad. I found him in the run where i caught the 8 rainbows. He had the biggest smile on his face. He said he had just let go his biggest brook trout ever. About 16". He was completely stoked...even more so than with the rainbow he caught earlier. I told him i was ready to quit for the day. He said he was good to go too. We headed toward Almond and stopped and ate dinner at the NOC center. It was pretty good. Then we went and stayed the night in our airstream at Tumbling Waters.

Day two:
After a bad night of sleep I got up and got my stuff packed for the day. We headed to the river at about 8:30. We parked in a pull off a little further up stream than the one from the day before. I decided to trudge straight up stream there i had caught the 8 rainbows and my dad the big brook. As i was climbing down to it i fell probably 3 times adding on to my collection of bruises. The rocks were covered in a thin layer of frost/ice. I finally got down and started fishing. Immediately i hooked a fish that got off right away. Then after another few drifts i hooked up with a very very solid fish. I set the hook and some big splashes followed. The fish jumped and i saw it was a big rainbow. I thought to myself 'how am i supposed to land this fish on this tiny 3 wt.?' Luckily for me he didn't run down stream, but rather stayed deep in the run. I had fought him for about 5 minutes before i got him up to where i could see him. He then took off downstream, but i turned him. After a few more minutes i netted the fish. I was one proud guy. It was by far my best 3 wt. fish! He was about 18"



After letting this fish go, my dad showed up. I told him about the fish. He said he hadn't got anything yet. He fished the lower end of the pool i was fishing. I walked up a few yards to the next run. I immediately spotted another big fish. I did a near perfect cast an then the indicator dove. Another big fish on! This fish immedialely ran downstream and took a bunch of drag. I dropped back down into the pool I got the other big one from. A few minutes later I netted this one. Two big fish in 15 minutes...not bad! He was at about 17"

This fish had a weird tumor-like object on on its lower jaw.


I let this fish go and went upstream. Due to the fish not being spread out yet, i didn't do so well. I made my way up to a big pool and saw a bunch in. I casted and immediately was rewarded with a smaller stocker. I stripped it in and let it go. I casted again and got another one about the same size. (about 10") I left and headed upstream. I caught a few more here and there. I walked back down to try the bridge pool. I tried my natural nymphs with no luck. I walked downstream and waded across some when i noticed about 7 brook trout stacked up along a log. They were very nice sized. I could not get them to hit my nymphs, so i stooped down to a lower level...i tied on a y2k.... Immediately they gave some looks. I then saw one of the descent ones suck it in. I stuck him and pulled him away from the other fish, so he wouldn't spook them. I landed my first brookie of the trip. He looked like this.


I quickly released the fish. I wasn't getting many more looks on my orange y2k, so i switched to a pink one. This got some more looks. I witnessed anther descent one suck it in and i snagged it. I got it in. He looked exactly like the last one. I casted the pink one back out and had a real big brookie suck it in. I managed to pull it out of its mouth. I tied on a yellow/pink/orange y2k and got him to hit again. Same story...pulled it out. I couldn't get him to take it again. I switched again to a neon green BH y2k. I thought there was no way he had seen this color yet. I got a good cast in and saw him suck it in again. Dumb stocker. I stuck him and he ran downstream taking some float line with him. I fought him a few minutes and then netted my biggest brook trout to date.


Even though he was a dumb stocker i was proud. I used my y2k trick further upstream in the bridge pool where i couldn't get a fish to hit. There must have been an egg hatch or something because they were ALL over it. I honestly caught about 15 more fish standing on one rock. One brook and the rest rainbows. Dumb stockers.


My dad walked up to me and said he had only caught one. I chuckled and told him how many fish i had caught. I told him to come down and fish here. As he was coming down, i put out another drift. I said, "I think i fished this hole out." Of course once i said that my indicator dove. I then set the hook on my first brown of the trip. I completed my slam.


After letting this fish go i called it quits and let my dad throw a few. He missed a couple and then decided to head on home. You all really need to get up there! The river is fishing great. Put something big and flashy up top with a natural dropper. Hint: all the big rainbows hit a natural-looking fly. Thanks for reading!

Last edited by Rainbow Warrior; 11-08-2010 at 07:09 AM..
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:38 PM
Crockett Crockett is offline
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Awesome report man I could read these all night long thanks rainbowwarrior for entertaining me tonight. I have never fished there but rafted the river a couple of times. That area doesn't look like the rafting section too little water or they haven't opened the dam maybe.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:36 PM
Jswitow Jswitow is offline
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Default Nantahala DH Waters

This is the part of the Nantahala above the point where the pipe which carries the largest part of the water from the River (and the lake 8 or nine miles above) empties through the turbine. If you are traveling from Topton it would be a left turn up Wayah Road, there must be close to 10 miles of water up there. Nice post by the way Rainbow Warrior!
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:58 AM
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Owl Owl is offline
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Umm..there are two miles of DH, two and a half max. There's more water there, but the remainder(past White Oak Creek) is marginal trout water and listed as hatchery supported, while the headwaters near Standing Indian hold wild fish which are much smaller than the nice fish shown here. Nice pics though and great fish RW! It is fishing well this year. so far....
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Last edited by Owl; 11-08-2010 at 04:17 AM..
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:20 AM
Payne102 Payne102 is offline
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Great photos and trip report.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:33 PM
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MadisonBoats MadisonBoats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Warrior View Post

Great report! Did you snag this fish with a trailing fly in the fin?
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:23 PM
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Looks like it. But so what? Are you going to imply that he snagged it and then placed the fly precisely into the corner of the fish's mouth for the perfect photo op? Without being there, I don't know how anyone could imply anything other than what the fisherman suggests...that he caught the fish. It's not like the hooking both the point fly and dropper on a hook up doesn't happen.

?
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:04 PM
Rainbow Warrior Rainbow Warrior is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadisonBoats View Post
Great report! Did you snag this fish with a trailing fly in the fin?
I know you cant see it easily, but there is a size 8 black rubber-legged stonefly in the corner of the fish's mouth. He was an honest caught fish. I guess the pheasant tail just happened to swing around its fin while we were taking pictures. If you look closely, you can see the rest of the hook laying on the fin and not in it. Once again this fish hit the stonefly. My dad wouldn't fake it.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:16 PM
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Grannyknot Grannyknot is online now
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It's 4 miles from the 1st bridge to Whiteoak creek.
That's what NCWRC considers the delayed harvest section.

Very nice pictures Rainbow Warrior. I bet those fish put up a good fight.
You guys have been hittin' up the DH streams big time this year. Glad you're getting to enjoy them.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:36 PM
Rainbow Warrior Rainbow Warrior is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grannyknot View Post
It's 4 miles from the 1st bridge to Whiteoak creek.
That's what NCWRC considers the delayed harvest section.

Very nice pictures Rainbow Warrior. I bet those fish put up a good fight.
You guys have been hittin' up the DH streams big time this year. Glad you're getting to enjoy them.
Thank you. We have fished them more this year. This is mainly because my dad bought a 1977 airstream off of ebay late summer/early fall. We kept it up there as a trout fishing "base". It is very centrally located around many of Western North Carolina's trout streams. As for the fish, they all put up great fights! My Dad caught all of his on a 8' 6" 3 wt. and I got all of mine on a 7' 3 wt. They put a nice bend in the rod for sure!
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