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Fishing Report 2/18/22

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<em>Rainbow Trout Flank<em>

Water levels are currently great across the board and the fish along with fisher folks are making the most of the warmer days. This is the time of year you can have the river to yourself, or at least have it feel that way.

Options are good to great with some mayflies and stoneflies already being seen on our local freestone streams which only means the bigger bugs are on their way. Here is some fly selections and tips to help out on our local water.

Davidson River

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Cheese Colored Eggs

Skinny Nelsons

Muddler Minnows


Lighting Bug Nymphs

Rainbow Warriors

BWO CDC Comparadun

BWO Biot Body Parachute

Blue Quill Dry

CDC Blue Quill Emergers

Mr Rapidan Parachute


Stick with lighter line and try to use a bit more of a stealthy approach. A lot of these fish have seen more anglers than in years past and are starting to be a bit more choosy and aware. Light tippets are in order again and benefits of florocarbon tippets far out weigh the price. 5.5x-7x florocarbon tippets will give you more hook up opportunities and possibly a chance at a fish of a lifetime.

If water levels rise, or become off colored due to the upcoming forecast, 3x-4x tippets are back in play. Blue Quills have been spotted on the “D” and fish should be paying notice. Hatches will come off typically in the warmer parts of the day so be ready!

Delayed Harvest Rivers

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San Juan Worms

Squirmy Worms


Wooly Buggers

Purple Nurples

Double Bead Stones

Parachute Adams


Ausable Wulff

Olive Stimulator

Madam X Purple


The Delayed Harvest Rivers will begin being stocked on March 1st, and it will usually take up to 2 weeks to get all of the rivers stocked. The word we are hearing is that it is going to be a normal stocking with the possibility of there being less large fish (over 18″). Water levels are at a good level currently and temps are forecast to be in the mid 60’s for a good part of the rest of February. If the forecast continues expect to see some good hatches over the next several days into March.

The resident, and holdover fish, will be accustomed to seeing the bugs, but the new stockers won’t be as impressed. One of the more effective ways to approach this kind of situation is a “Dry Dropper” combo. This allows for effective nymphing without having to stare at an indicator all day, and you have a dry for all of the fish that are possibly looking up. Want to know our favorite flies for these kind of set ups? Give us a call or stop by the shop and we can give you a one on one crash course in “Dry Dropper” fishing and the best way to get set up.



Slump Busters

Hareball Leech

Rubberleg Black Wooly Bugger

Double Bead Stone

Mop Flies

Prince Nymphs

Red Rock Caddis

Skinny Neslson

Black Elk Hair Caddis

Peacock Caddis

BWO Biot Body Parachute

BWO Loop Wing Emerger

Egg Laying Caddis


These rivers are good to great already fishing well and will only get better as Spring starts to set in. The Tuckasegee will receive multiple stockings in numerous sections of the river in March, April, and May. We are already seeing good hatches of Winter Stones and Blue Wing Olives and look forward to the larger numbers of caddis to make their appearance as we move into Spring a bit more.

Generation schedules have been somewhat irregular due to numerous reasons to include dam repairs and power needs. Some have allowed time for wade fishermen, but other rivers have given very limited wade opportunities. It is very important to know release times and flow timing when fishing this river, but especially if on foot.

Tackle can differ greatly River to River on Tailwaters. Typically 4x-5x will work fine on the Tuckasegee, possibly with a 6x dropper on lower water. The Tailwaters in Tennessee however, do call for a bit lighter tippets. An 11′ leader consisting of 9′ tapered 5x leader with 3′ of 6x tippet attached. Smaller, more natural flies often offer more success on the South Holston River, where as on the Watauga and Tuckasegee, you can be a bit more broad in your fly selection. All of these are excellent options for streamer fishing. Never done any streamer fishing? Give us a call and we can set up a day for you to float one of these great rivers, and cover several miles of river “Slinging Some Meat” and becoming the predators to the larger fish in the river.

Wild Trout Water


Jig Baby Sally

TB Pheasant Tail Nymph

March Brown Nymph

Copper Bead Micro Stone

Zebra Midges

Grand Poopah Green

Olive Elk Hair Caddis


Blue Quill

Quill Gordon

Adams Parachute Purple

Female Adams


These are the fish that are going to be ready to put the feed bags on once the water warms enough to get the bugs moving. Problem is that these rivers are typically a bit cooler than the rivers that they empty into. As things do start to warm on these rivers, the hatches will typically work their way up the rivers. If searching for bugs or rising fish and not finding them, try a lower stretch of river or even a lower altitude one all together. Once these creeks and rivers warm to the needed temperatures, there can be a wide variety of insects hatching off. They can differ in time of day or can come off simultaneously. Most fish will be more opportunistic as opposed to picky, but they can get that way. Leaders and tippets should stay in the 5x-6x range.

Are you an Avid Tyer, a new Fly-Tyer or just need a little more fishing talk in your life?

Come hang out with us every other Monday from 6:30p-9p at Eluvium Brewing in Weaverville for our Bobbins, Beer, and Brats Fly Tying Night. Bring your vice and materials and tie whatever you want or link up with one of our tyer’s and learn something new. New to tying or just want to check it out and talk fishing? Your are welcome too. No registration, No cost, no more excuses.

The Next Bobbins, Beer, and Brats is on Monday February 21st. Fly Tying Material is also 10% off on the days of the event. Stop by the shop or call with any questions!