Fall in Western North Carolina

One of the prettiest places in the world come October and into November is Western North Carolina. With its sprawling mountain ranges, the views are amazing and so is the fishing. Last month we discussed delayed harvest and our streams. At the very beginning of October and November, the delayed harvest streams are stocked with countless volunteers with hatchery trout. This is also the time when the brook and brown trout start spawning. When the water gets very cold at night, the fish often “hunker down” and it’s difficult to get their interest in your flies. However, as the day warms up, so do the trout – they start feeding more aggressively during the warmer parts of the day which means you can start your fishing a little later in the day (sleep in a little longer or have a more relaxing breakfast).

Brook and brown trout start spawning in September and October and this can often last a few months. The female trout make nests in the gravel and the males develop more vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges (coinciding with the change in leaves). The eggs develop over the winter and then hatch in the spring. Trout have some built in safeguards from predators. The tops of the trout are darker so that when prey (or fly fishers) look down into the water, the fish blends in with the stream bed. In contrast their undersides are much lighter and more brilliant in color, which helps them mimic the colors of the sky and surrounding foliage. What a great time of year to be fly fishing in Western North Carolina. ~ Kristen