June 2 Stream Reports
Busy times and good fishing… and luckily for us we were out guiding A LOT. By running 10 to 25 boats a week, we were able to stay dialed into a variety of rivers all spring. In addition, we got our fly shop up and running and will continue to add inventory as the summer goes. Thanks goes out to all of our customers who made our spring a successful one. We are currently guiding the Watauga, South Holston, Nolichucky River, and Boone, NC area small streams, and looking forward to a busy summer.
The Watauga black caddis hatch was something to behold in mid April. Hordes of caddis crawled over every rock, and swarmed in every tree for a straight week on the lower river . Calling this thing a blanket hatch would be an understatement. Currently the middle river is fishing outstanding, with good releases from Wilbur dam helping the bite. We are now in sulphur, midge, cranefly, hendrickson, and terrestrial season on the Watauga tailwater. Lots of big browns and heavy bows hit the nets this spring, and the pics below help tell the story.
The generation flows on the South Holston were limited to hourly pulses usually early morning, and midday, but longer generations have arrived. We took advantage of the low water and lack of crowds the past few weeks, and sightfished up some great brown trout. The sulphur hatch came off as expected in early May, with flurries of good dry fly action most afternoons. The big lake run brown trout (and some stripers) are jamming up river, giving guest shots at world class fish. It’s the same old bug story for the S. Holston, as midges, suphurs, and scuds are dominant… but presentation is everything. The streamer bite has been fair to good during the generation, stained water, or nighttime as some of the big fish will target hatchery rainbows.
The small streams around the Boone area went through a mild drought in early April, but have rebounded nicely with increased rains and a cool early May. The delayed harvest streams will be clobbered the first Sat in June with the opening of kill season for the DH water. So there goes all that nice public water that offers the average guy, or poor college kid easy access quality trout fishing. Some of the DH water in the high country is capable of supporting wild and holdover populations of trout. In our opinion much of the the high elevation North Carolina DH water needs to be re-categorized, protected, and managed year-round. Bug wise… Big sulphurs, gray and yellow stones, creme midges, big slates, and blonde/black caddis have been coming off most of the Boone NC small streams. A terrestrial bite is cranking up, as the ant patterns are starting to get smacked.
The Nolichucky smallmouth season is well underway, currently providing smallmouth enthusiast plenty of topwater action. The fish have spawned successfully and are now off the beds. The early morning and late afternoon popper bite is a blast to fish and should perk the interest of any power fisherman. With a larger than average size compared to years past, this rebounding fishery is offering our guest an opportunity to pursue an original Appalachian gamefish, in the most pristine and scenic of environments.