Mountain fly fishing off to a late start For the past 12 years I have looked forward to my annual two-week fishing trip to the mountains of western North Carolina. That trip gets me as excited as a 10-year-old the night before Christmas, and this year was no different.
Unfortunately, this time around the fishing proved to be especially difficult as spring came late in the mountains, and the water temperature remained low well into May. Heck, they even had a light snowfall the week before my arrival.
For the most part, low temperatures don’t much bother the brook, brown and rainbow trout that are the principal targets of mountain fly fishermen. They do bother the mayflies, caddis and stoneflies that comprise the main food sources for these fish though. Hatches were sparse, and when they did occur, the flies were tiny.
It is tough enough to focus on a size 14 blue wing olive as it makes its way down the riffles and rapids of a bubbling mountain stream. When the size of the fly drops down to 18, 20 or even 22, the problem is compounded.
Luckily I had some parachute blue wing olives that saved the day. These flies are tied with an upright tuft of white hair that makes them much more visible on the water without affecting their underwater profile. Once I changed to the parachute, I started catching fish right along, even managing to get a double limit on one particularly active afternoon hatch.
The cooler water temperatures also meant that the normal morning hatches were off. Things just didn’t get under way until much later in the day when the sun had a chance to warm things up a bit. Even on those first colder days, I managed to hook one very nice, 20-inch brownie on a Coffey’s Stonefly nymph.
Downstream nymphing is to me the fly-fishing equivalent of bottom-fishing, and everyone knows how I feel about that. I’ll do it only if it’s the only way for me to catch any fish, but I still won’t like it much.
After nearly two weeks of daily fishing without a single spill on the slippery rocks, I commented to Lynn that I had never accomplished that feat before. “You’re gonna jinx yourself if you say that,” she cautioned…
Sure enough, the next day while weed-eating the slope around our cabin, I tripped and fell, sliding down the steep, thirty-foot bank right through the freshly cut poison ivy onto the road below.
A week later, my casting arm still looks like that of a leper.
Weekly forecast – The coming week promises to be a good one for Mississippi Coast anglers. A strong flood current peaking near 9:30 a.m. should provide excellent fishing conditions from near daybreak until slack water. Then a strong ebb current near 2:45 p.m. should give anglers a second chance at fishing success.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday too should provide similarly good mid-morning fishing on strongly rising tides. Look for peak action to develop near 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on each respective day. Once again, the mid-afternoon falling tide will also provide good fishing conditions.
Saturday and Sunday should be good days for fishing the early afternoon hours as strong flood currents will peak near 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., respectively.
All in all, it will be a great fishing week.
Until next week, good fishing!
SunHerald.com – Biloxi,MS,USA