Brown Trout Blog

Davidson River and Watauga River Fly Fishing Report January 28 2020

January 28, 2020 Asheville Area Fly Fishing Report

Davidson and other Medium to Small Sized Streams in Pisgah National Forest
Our small stream fishing has been all over the place. Some days are pretty tough and some days are awesome. The weather and water have been very manic lately and so much so that we can’t really get into a pattern. When the water gets low we have been doing well nymphing the deep slots and holes below riffles. Fish aren’t super active and we have been doing well fishing small streamer patters, worms, big hares ears with midge droppers. When the water gets high it pushes the fish to the shallow edges and then we are switching to a dry dropper set up so we can get drifts in those slow pockets up under the rhododendron. Pheasant tails and small soft hackles in 16-20s have been our best droppers.

Watauga River Fly Fishing Report Tennessee
We have had big water releases from Wilbur dam for the past few weeks and it was strong fishing. We caught our biggest brown trout of the year and many other nice sized rainbows and browns on the flow. It was about 1700cfs. We also were getting good numbers of trout but it was not ridiculous. The lake levels are back down inside the guide curve so we expect low water until we get another big rain or two. February is our best streamer month so we have our fingers crossed that we get some more big rain to fill the lake. Nymphing and dry dropper have been good on the high water flows. They should continue to be productive on the low water we have coming. Fish are still eating eggs. The rainbow trout are spawning, but that will end soon. Then we will finish egg season with the sucker spawn in march.

Asheville European Nymphing Lessons

Fly Tying Dates (5:00pm-7:00pm) pick 2
11/25, 12/2, 12/9, 1/6

Fishing Dates (10am-2pm) pick 1
1/11, 2/1 more dates available as needed.

$150 per angler

Euro nymphing 101 (Takes Place in NC)
This class is a two part class designed to show you the proper way to start your journey into euro nymphing. The hardest part about getting started in euro nymphing is having flies tied in the right assortment of weights.

Part 1 (Tying)
The first half of the class will take place in ORVIS and will be two 2 hour of fly tying in the evening from 5pm -7pm. We will tie variations of hare’s ears, pheasant tails, eggs, worms, and stoneflies in a variety of weights and you will be given a list of flies to have tied for the on stream class later. We will provide a list of fly tying materials for you to buy. This class will be taught by former Fly Fishing Team USA member and ORVIS Guide of the Year Brown Hobson.

Part 2 (Fishing)
The fishing portion will be 4 hours of on stream practice from 10-2 and will be offered on a couple Saturdays. There will not be a lunch break. We will practice fishing deep water, shallow water, fast water, and slow water. You will get to experience how the different weighted flies ride in different types of water and figure out how to change fly weights to keep the appropriate amount of slack in your system. This class will be taught by former Fly Fishing Team USA member and ORVIS Guide of the Year Brown Hobson.

Not Included

Lodging, NC fishing license, fishing equipment(waders and 10’ rod), and transportation are not included. Call for lodging suggestions. If you would like to stay in Asheville has a full list of recommended places to stay. The rivers are usually about 30 minutes from ORVIS. Payment must be made in full at the time of booking and is non-refundable. Call Brown Hobson at Brown Trout Fly Fishing to book your trip and if you have any questions about scheduling. 803-431-9437

Asheville Fly Fishing Lessons

Fly Fishing Lessons in Asheville, NC
Dates for 2019
11/10, 11/11, 11/23, 11/24

This class is designed for the beginning angler who wants to focus on developing skills to use on their own. In this class we will have you fish nymphs, dry dropper, and streamers for about an hour and a half each, and then is designed to have a free period at the end for you to work on which ever one you prefer. The class begins with a stream side entomology session and a discussion of the river structure/riffle and pool habitat complex. You must bring your own equipment, but we provide lunch and drinks. The cost of the fly fishing lesson is $150 and is non refundable. A sample itinerary can be found in the photo above. The classes take place on a trout river to be determined later based on conditions. Typically the rivers we use are: Davidson River, West Fork of the Pigeon, Green River, Laurel River, North Mills River. All are about 20-45 minutes from ORVIS Asheville. Please call with any questions. 828-222-5020

Asheville Fly Fishing Report October 25, 2019

Asheville Area Fly Fishing Report October 25 2019

Davidson River

The Davidson has been fishing ok the last week. We have had a lot of good rain fall and flows are great. The fishing has been somewhat technical. The best fishing window has been from 10-3 when the most sun is out. There are good midge hatches mid day for the small dry angler. And by small we mean small. 22-26 dry flies on 6x are necessary. The fish are very picky during that time period if they are rising. There are caddis and small may flies flying around and fishing a soft hackle and a small ptail should do best as droppers and on nymph rigs. More rain is coming this weekend. Enjoy!

Pisgah National Forest Delayed Harvest Rivers

The DH rivers are fishing surprisingly well. Crowds have thinned most likely due to the difficult fishing we had the first part of the month. The water levels are slightly lower than normal, but better than a few weeks ago. We are having to use small flies to get fish to eat, but eating they are. We are less than a week away from our second stockings and all of our rivers that didn’t get a full stocking should get the necessary replenishments. If the rain keeps falling we could erase the drought soon.

Watauga River Fly Fishing Report

The Watauga has been great and difficult. The lower half of the river has been fishing great since the rains last week. The water is starting to get low again but more rain is coming this weekend. The upper has still been tough. Small technical midges are ruling the day. The fish are pretty picky and the bugs that are hatching are pretty tiny. Keep an eye on the doe river. It is running about 200 cfs right now. A big jump could mean it will get muddy. If it gets just a little dirty it will be game on!

Asheville Area Fly Fishing Report 10/08/19

Asheville Area Fly Fishing Report 10/8/2019

Davidson River Fishing Report

The rain is falling as I write this so take that into consideration in the next couple days. Compared to to other streams in the area the Davidson is actually holding water pretty well. The usgs gauge levels have been tracking true to the long term average and are pretty good considering the drought we are in. The fishing on the Davidson is still hit and miss. We have really only had cold temps since Saturday so it is still hard to tell what effect it will have on fishing. I’d say with the rain, cold nights, and decrease in pressure due to Delayed Harvest opening that fishing on the Davidson should get really good soon. The next couple days we will be fishing worms, soft hackles, and some small hares ears and stoneflies. Its not rocket science you just have to find the fish that are feeding actively. This weather should get more feeding than we have seen in a while.

Watauga River Fishing Report

The Watauga has been producing lots of nice fish lately. Not a ton of fish, but the ones we are catching are larger. Lots of brooder rainbow trout, with some nice browns mixed in. This cloudy weather should get the blue winged olives moving and I’d expect to see some good dry fly fishing on the rainy days. Lets hope we continue to get rain. Watauga Lake is low enough that we probably won’t see any increase in flows without a big rain storm. Maybe we can get one more hurricane. Other wise we can expect good but technical low water fishing.

Delayed Harvest
Our local Delayed Harvest streams had some delays this week. All the streams down the blue ridge escarpment in Marion county were postponed. The Laurel had a reduced stocking and reports are that the fish stocked largely died due to warm water. A week in we finally have cold water so all the fish that were stocked after the first week should do fine. The mills river fish have survived but the flows are crazy low. The rain falling this week should help. The current rain is a nice long slow soaking rain. I think the worst is over. Even if water stays low it will at least be cold going forward. WE should see lots of little mayflies and midges in the next week hatching. Maybe not enough for dry fly fishing, but enough to get the fish active and up in the water column.

Asheville Area Fly Fishing September 12 2019

Davidson River Fly Fishing Report

The Davidson river has been up and down the last couple weeks. We have had some really good days and some really tough days. Jeremy had a client catch one of the biggest browns we have caught on the NC side in a few months last week. The water levels are the lowest they have been all year but because of all the rain we have had in the last year the flows are right on track for the historical average, so not too bad. This morning was actually really good numbers wise. You never know which side of the Davidson river you are going to get this time of year. She can be a little bi polar. Terrestrials are still the best producers for us but fish are getting tired of the same old same old. We are looking forward to the temperature break next Wedneday. For now try to fish in the am only. Fish are pretty stressed with this 90 degree heat.

Watauga River and South Holston River Fly Fishing Report

The Watauga has been getting pretty good this week. The end of august was a little tough but things are changing. We are getting caddis, midges, and blue wings hatching early am. That has the fishing pre noon staying pretty strong. Afternoons are still slowing down but not completely. We are getting really good flows out of Wilbur dam and the TVA isn’t generating until 4 PM so we get low water all day up top.
The South Holston has been fishing well. Worms, Scuds, and mayflies have been best. Not much dry fly fishing to report but nymphing has been good. For whatever reason the fish haven’t been super spooky which is nice. Water has been low and that can make the fish hard to get close to. Not so lately. There is still some terrestrial fishing available.

Asheville Area Fly Fishing Report 8/13/19

Asheville Area Fishing Report 8/13/19
Fly Fishing Report for Asheville, Western North Carolina and East Tennessee

Davidson River Fly Fishing Report
The Davidson has fished ok this week. We’ve been catching fish this week both at the Davidson River Fish Hatchery and down between Avery creek and looking glass. We have also had some luck up Looking Glass Creek. Nymphing and Dry Dropper have been best. We have done some streamer fishing but it has only yielded limited success. Terrestrial Dry flies and Stimulators are still the best searching patterns for the dry dropper and pretty standard nymphs 14-18 have been the best droppers. On the mornings it rains we have pretty good hatches of craneflies, caddis, and some small baetis mayflies. That makes selecting a dropper a moving target but the fish haven’t been super fussy. All the fish we are catching are eating willingly, but you have to search for them. Its kind of weird. When you find one it will eat on the first or second cast often. Then you might go two holes before you see another fish. Then it will eat on the first cast.

Watauga River Fly Fishing Report
The Watauga has been fishing well. All of the water above the Doe river has been productive on low water. The high water fishing wasn’t great last week but is turning on. The first brooder dump has occurred so there are lots of big hatchery rainbows running around the upper end. Midges and baetis still dominate the drift, but were catching quite a few fish on terrestrial dry flies. The lower end of the Watauga is producing nice fish but is getting warm in the afternoon. The striper bite has been really good the last week or two. Lots of meat has been going in the cooler and many trout lives have been saved. Keep up the good fight killing the stripers.

Asheville area Fly Fishing Report July 22 2019

Davidson River
The Davidson river has been fishing really well the last week. Flows are outstanding and are holding at about 100cfs. That is a great summer flow. There is a big rain predicted this evening but who knows how widespread it might or might not be. That may affect river flows for a day or two, but assuming it doesn’t terrestrials are game on right now. Beetles, Ants, Crickets, and inchworms are everywhere. There are also plenty of mayfly nymphs drifting around right now. Some of our favorite patterns this week have been green mops, chubby chernobyls, frenchies, black beetles, and of course little midges for up around the hatchery. Worst case scenario I think this rain may put us in high water mode for a few days then summer fishing will resume. If water gets high break out your streamers and bang the banks.

Watauga River
The Watauga fished really well last week. The upper was really good. It is getting pretty crowded because of the low flows on the soho and the muddy water mid week from the doe, but it handled it well. The lower river is still really good early and is producing some really nice fish. Afternoons can be slow down there but the lower half of the river is all about grinding out a dozen or so really nice fish not numbers. On the upper midges and baetis still dominate the food chain. Small black and olive midges fished behind an attractor have been good deep. Dry dropper with assorted midges and frenchies has been good too. The beetle fishing has been strong in the slower spots. We will have to keep an eye on how much water comes into Watauga Lake during the next few days. WE may see more high water if the lake jumps.

Asheville Area Fly Fishing Report July 15 2019

Asheville Area Fly Fishing Report for Western North Carolina July 15 2019

Davidson River
The rain has been falling at just the right pace the last few weeks. We find fly fishing the day after a summer rain to be great and that’s what we’ve been seeing. Fresh water adds oxygen and drops water temps. Fish have been active both at the hatchery and down on the catch and release section. No great hatches to speak of lately. We have been getting fish on terrestrials and really small stuff. As usual midges are all over the hatchery section. The really small stuff has been producing well up there. Fish early in the day to avoid warm water and tubers. After 12:00 things start to get a little crazy out there. Catch your fish, buy some Dolly’s ice cream and head home.

Watauga River
The Watauga has been pretty good this week. The upper end has been good in the mornings and afternoons. Probably best in am. Down low has definitely been best in the mornings. Afternoons last week were really hot. We got a nice 300cfs bump in flows a couple days ago but the river is back down. Bring your 6x it is really clear. We have been seeing baetis and midges hatching. Terrestrials are definitely on the menu as well. Expect the water to come up between 3 and 5 depending on how low down you go.

Asheville Area Fly Fishing Report June 19 2019

Pisgah National Forest Stream Report
The Davidson has fished ok this week. Water has been pretty flashy with the big rains we’ve had. The flow is above 300cfs right now and is continuing to fall. It is definitely fishable but not easy wading. Lots of trout have moved to the edge water, and are in perfect lies for dry dropper rigs. The big deep holes can also be fished deep and heavy. We are starting to see some big stones like 8s and 10s goldens and chocolates. BWO’s early in the day and some cahills in the afternoons. As the water drops the fish should turn back onto the dry flies early in the day. Our weather has some chance of afternoon rain in the forecast but we don’t see any big storms on the horizon. We expect the water to fall on all the Pisgah National Forest streams but may have some small bumps here and there.
The Brook Trout streams should be great the next few days as the water falls out. Yellow and Royal colored dry flies should be steady producers. As always you can drop a nymph off them if you aren’t picking up fish. That just makes the tight casting a little more difficult.
Tennessee Tailwater Report
The Sulphur Hatch on the South Holston has not been as strong on 1100CFS as it was on 2200. The dry fly fishing is still decent in the afternoons but not at level 10,000 like it was last week. The nice thing about 1100 cfs is the lower SOHO is a great option as well as the top. That is a great flow to pick apart riffle runs on the lower half. Dry Dropper is a great searching method. There are enough bugs moving to keep fish suspended.
The Watauga is still running high but only during the day. Today the TVA is running water from 8am until tomorrow and maybe indefinitely. It was off last night but we don’t know why or if It will happen again. Water flows above 2,000 cfs are forecasted for the next few days. That should produce solid nymphing and dry dropper fishing. The dry fly fishing hasn’t been great on those flows. Streamers have been pretty good on cloudy days.