Summer Fly Fishing in North Carolina
Local waters- Summer Fly Fishing in North Carolina
Fly fishing in North Carolina is a special thing; it is something that can be done year-round, and with each season comes its own beauty. When Old Man Winter finally decides to pack up and head on out, we are greeted with beautiful summer sunshine, blooming flowers, and hungry trout ready to eat. Fly fishing in the summer months in North Carolina is an epic way to spend the day. The best part being that you don't need much gear to get out on the river and have a great day. From May until late August my gear is very minimal, usually consisting of Chaco sandals, a pair of shorts, my Patagonia fishing shirt and vest. The river's temperature varies in those months between low 40s to mid 50s depending on where you're at. However, those water temperatures sure do you make the trout active. In the beginning of spring, some of the rivers around western North Carolina are stocked with trout by local fisheries depending on how far along you are within your angler career. Some people prefer fishing the rivers that are stocked, and some prefer venturing out and finding waters that are natural and not stocked. If this is your first time flyfishing and want to have better chances at getting your first catch, I suggest looking online at your local fisheries and seeing what rivers are being stocked and when. Doing this is just going to help with your progression, and as you gain more knowledge, then you can start to venture further out in search of wild mountain trout.
One cool, summer morning I set out for a little day trip on the Watauga River specifically seeking out big bow trout. When I'm targeting bigger rainbow trout, I have a few sections that I tend to go to on the Watauga River where I've had luck in the past. During this trip, I brought my go-to flies with me, a couple of green drakes and my blue quill mayflies for the big hungry ones. I quickly loaded up the Land Cruiser and headed to my spot. When I got there, I noticed that the river clarity was perfect, standing beside my truck I could see a couple of brook trout making their way upstream. When the fish are very active like that you know it's going to be a good day. I unloaded my gear, tied on a blue quill mayfly and started making my way up the river. Anytime I'm going after big rainbow trout, I always take the hunter’s approach, by keeping low and quiet, because the last thing I want to do is spook one of these beautiful fish while just trying to find a place to cast. I found a perfect spot on the river where it dog eared left, and there was a solid log laying on the riverbed that I decided to use as cover to conceal my shadow. I set up right there and began to cast. Within a matter of minutes, I was hooked up and fighting with a good-sized rainbow trout. I kept the tip of my rod pointed up, and I began to reel. As I brought the fish closer to me, I could see the beautiful colors flashing as he fought and resisted going into my net. As I pulled him from the net, I was speechless. I stood there in disbelief; this was the biggest, most beautiful rainbow trout I had ever caught in my life. This fish measured approximately 14 inches. I was beyond ecstatic to catch my personal record, but overall, just thankful to have caught such an amazing fish. I gently released this bow back into the river feeling emotions of gratitude and happiness. When the stars align, and you're able to catch a fish that brings you this much joy, you will always and forever continue to chase that feeling, wherever it takes you. That feeling to this day continues to take me to places I’ve always dreamed of. As you gain more knowledge and skills for this craft, allow yourself to venture out and find new streams, rivers or creeks and embrace those adventures, even if you don’t catch a single fish just take in those moments and remember to leave these waters cleaner, and better than you found it for the next angler after their dream catch.