Fly fishing with poppers can produce some ferocious takes from smallmouth. The wild trout are always looking up! Fly fishing from a raft is one of the best adventures in western NC. We strive to give our clients the very best guided fishing experience in western North Carolina. Lake James is one of the most popular places to get on the water in Western North Carolina. On April 25th I asked the love of my life to marry me! Absolutely beautiful surroundings and Matt couldn’t have been more helpful, patient, and kind. I also had the lucky hand in November by catching one of my biggest NC rainbows to date in a small mountain stream in McDowell County. Largemouth and smallmouth bass populations are good on Lake James. We accomplished that goal, but also caught a big brown trout where a tributary comes into the river. Kip with one of her first smallmouth bass on the fly! We have landed some really nice bass on flies and spinning gear with the biggest going 20 inches pushing 4 1/2 pounds. This fishing has recently taken the US by storm. I always look for scattering minnows because it means a bass isn’t far behind. Trophy Trout in NC Delayed Harvest Waters. If you are interested in a trip contact us today. 21 inch brown trout from the Catawba Tailrace. Our weekly newsletter shares weekly updates and tips on upcoming events. ** These are tips I have gathered from guiding in November and would like to share with anyone willing to better themselves as an angler**. I took my sister on her first fly fishing trip down the Catawba River and was able to watch her hook and land a healthy rainbow trout. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy during these chaotic times. We are a full time guide service and hope to see you on the water in May. Lake James Largemouth caught on one of our trips. Trophy smallmouth fishing here in western N.C. 4-5 pound smallmouth aren’t uncommon in the French Broad. This is a good time to hit these sections because it is less pressured and you are able to put some good fish in the net. Contact us today to explore one of the oldest rivers in the world and one that has some of the best smallmouth bass fishing on the east coast. Use lighter tippet: Starting in November the fish begin to pod up in the deeper holes and I have found it beneficial to fish lighter tippet. Fish hit a size 16 Olive Body Quill Perdigon. I took her to one of our favorite spots where we often pray and reflect on how good God has been to the both of us. We had an excellent day in the higher water. This 18inch smallmouth denied a topwater plug but couldn’t refuse a subsurface bait. Surprise brown trout from a smallmouth float trip caught on a client’s hand tied streamer. Catching wild trout on a dry fly is the epitome of fly fishing. Manning Paul with a solid smallmouth caught on a streamer. If you are in the area and looking for. We’ve been devoting a lot of time here the past few years and we’ve seen how special this river can be. These cold water streams are an anglers paradise for throwing dry flies during the months of March through October. This place is on the same road as the falls, which gives you easy access and a head start on people driving from further away. I consider trips successful if the clients personally tell me they enjoyed the fishing. Keep your rod tip low and when the fly is drifting back to you pull the slack out of the line with your non dominant hand. Climb over boulders as the water rushes through the creek and you’ll start to hear the falls roaring. Trout taken on a parachute adams. Large brook trout caught on a delayed harvest wading trip last spring. Fishing in late March, April, and May is hard to beat on Lake James. In closing, I would like to thank all the clients who trusted The Catawba Angler to take them on a guided fishing trip this year! Lake James is a tough lake to fish, but our guides have been fishing it their entire lives. Our most successful color for both flies are black. One of the fisheries we explored had some really good smallmouth. I’ll use blood knots to connect my sighters to the tippet. The Catawba Angler would love the opportunity to take you on your next fly fishing adventure for smallmouth bass. It always amazes me how one lure or fly can fish well one year and then the next year it won’t yield the same results. The key to catching good numbers is to get your flies to where the fish are lying. I took complete beginners and advanced anglers down the river and every trip was successful. We netted some good fish early that morning, but Matt ended up hooking one of the biggest wild trout I have seen on this stretch. Thanks to a man who frequents visiting the falls, he showed us a Copperhead behind a rock and the pen found two other Copperheads to show our grandchildren. The Catawba Angler specializes in guiding on the catawba tailrace and offers full day float trips for $350. Normally you see some of your biggest smallmouth landed in the months of September and October. Fly Fishing In the Pisgah National Forest. Leech patterns are great flies that simply catch bass! Fishing for smallmouth on the fly can be challenging, but also very rewarding. When Euro Nymphing, the angler casts upstream of where the fish are holding using weighted flies. The fish are aggressive this time of year and look for larger baitfish and crayfish. waterfalls near Boone, Blowing Rock, and Banner Elk. 20 inch bruiser that crushed a streamer. A good friend and I floated the main river here in McDowell County and we had one of the best days of fishing we have ever had. Fishing from a raft is an exciting way to fish because you get to cover much more water than if you were on foot. Catawba Falls in Old Fort is easily one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest. February was one for the books! We will all walk away stronger from this and hopefully I will see you on the river in the near future. Dry fly fishing is the name of the game this time of year for wild trout. We also offer light spinning gear trips to target bass. We offer wade fishing trips for $250 and float trips for $350. For more info, please check our Disclosure page for more explanation of affiliates and sponsorships. Dr. Hata which a big smallmouth from the French Broad. I normally use a 7 1/2 foot 4x leader. Paul Atkins fishing a wild water stretch in McDowell County during the snow. Daniel and I tight lined nymphs from the boat and this ended up being something I’ll be applying on all future guide trips because of how effective it is. The primary diet for river smallmouth in the summertime consists of crayfish, but when water temperatures drop in late September smallmouth start eating shiners, chubs, and minnows. We organized them by the time required to reach each spot from the trailhead. There are two streams that we guide on in Old Fort that allows anglers to obtain the “Grand Slam”. Hard to beat a day of trout fishing from one of our rafts! They may not come in time, so please stay on the path and take warning from the signs. I’d encourage everyone to get out and explore new areas that are hard to get to because a lot of times these areas are the ones that are most rewarding. 18 1/4 inch bruiser caught on a new fishery we began guiding on this year. Matt and Micheal went on to catch more fish, but we all wondered what that fish would have measured and would have loved to document it. My goal is to set them up for success when they go fishing on their own in our area. Never too young to learn how to fly fish. Bass fishing on Lake James will begin to pick back up after a slow month in September. If you have never fished for smallmouth from a raft then let us show you why it’s our favorite type of fishing! My sister with her first fish on the fly. Fish it out and focus on making a better cast on your next attempt. The casting platforms provides anglers the chance to now stand and fish from the raft just like you would from a drift boat. I quickly go back downstream and get in position to net this fish. I had a feeling Matt and Micheal would go back for that fish we broke off at a later date, but wasn’t expecting them to catch the same fish. Red horse suckers put up tremendous fights. Check out the Caddis I saw last week below. Brynn casted, hooked, and landed this smallmouth all by herself! Half day trips are $250. Best part? We laughed, we learned, we marveled at the beauty. more. Our float trips are specifically customized to our anglers preferences and we are dedicated to making your trip enjoyable. A strong hook set is needed on bass because their skin is thick. There is excellent dry fly fishing in the spring. We recently took a float trip down the French Broad River and our goal was to catch some pre-spawn river smallmouth. Keith with a healthy rainbow trout from the Catawba River. As I began to raise my rod, my sighter went straight and I immediately knew it was the big trout because it pulled like a freight train. I received great feedback from all the clients and couldn’t have been more happy for them. Client with a nice wild rainbow trout caught on a royal wulff. The trip was a strenuous hike across a rugged mountain to get to the pristine water full of wild brook trout. This is a great time to get out on the lake to see the scenery and catch some nice smallmouth. The crystal clear waters and the mountain scenery surrounding the lake is unmatched by any other lake in the area. around us and we enjoyed the peacefulness that Curtis Creek had to offer. A drag free drift is key to enticing a trout to eating a dry fly. The old saying is “If you can cast here, you can cast anywhere”. There once was a rope you could climb to the upper falls, but that is no longer available. Water levels were perfect and the water temperatures hovered around the 50 degree mark which was ideal for trout. This public water trout was caught in a mountain creek here in Old Fort. The biggest fish of the month was Kathy Webb’s brook trout caught on a pat’s rubber legs. The French Broad River is a smallmouth anglers dream. Remember to support your local businesses during and after all this smoke from the virus clears. I have been fly fishing for over ten years now and fishing the delayed harvest creeks and rivers will never get old because of the trophy fish that are stocked in them. The key to fishing in these colder months is to layer up. Bass begin moving to the deeper holes which they stay in throughout the winter, so there are multiple fish to be caught in these holes. Exploring new water is always an adventure and you always walk away satisfied because you accomplish something that most people wouldn’t consider doing. Most active people won’t face too much difficulty with this hike. Courtney’s first fish using a euro nymphing set up! We’ve spent many weekends (and even longer) exploring its breweries, dining from acclaimed chefs, hanging out at iconic spots like Biltmore Estate. I tell clients that the wild water is not the place to go if you want to catch a lot of trout, but if you want seclusion and a challenge then this is your trip.
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