Nov and Dec, 2015 Guide Reports

We finished up the 2015 season with a high number of successful trips, both floating and on foot. A warm early winter provided us a wide variety of rivers to fish, water levels, and tactics used. From tiny creeks to the big tailwaters, we covered it all, rounding out a very productive year for our guides. We would like to thank all of our customers for another great year of fishing, your business is much appreciated!

The S. Holston continues to be a top producer on the national level, considering both the numbers of fish caught, and upper end size. On Nov 1 every year, the S. Holston closes about 1/4 of the river for the brown trout spawn. Despite the limited water, our floats generally produced great numbers each and every trip, with shots at world class fish mixed in. The bwo and slate hatches came off as always mid morning through evening, with cloudy and calm days providing the best dry fly opportunities. The brown trout moved on the spawning redds mid December, and the heavy spawning should last into mid Jan.

The upper and middle sections of the Watauga tailwater has fished extremely well, as lots of fish have moved up river to spawn. While the bread and butter one these floats are 12 in. beautiful browns and rainbows, we have targeted and landed some absolute monsters in early November. The spawn takes place earlier on the Watauga compared to the S. Holton, with brown trout showing up on the redds as early as late Oct. Small blonde caddis, bwo’s, and varieties of big slately mayflies have dominated the bug scene.

The small streams in the high country had one of the most productive Novembers we could ever remember. El Nino laced our weather pattern with wet and warm weather, providing us with optimal small stream fishing conditions. The small streams around the Boone, NC region fished extremely well, and the outlook looks good for the rest of winter and into spring. The Boone area DH sections are in especially good shape helped by the big flows and heavy stockings. The big flows kept the stockers happy while they acclimated to their new streams, plus eliminated the fish in a barrel situation, often seen in small DH streams. Bug life remained active up through the New Year, with sunny midday hatches being most prolific. Big yellow stones, small grey stones, and midges have been the most prevalent bugs.