Fishing Report December 17th, 2014

Overview:  Trout fishing has continued to be good throughout Western North Carolina over the last week.  Mild weather has made for almost luxurious mid day fishing conditions and has kept the water temperature in most streams hovering in the low 40’s.    This “warmer” water makes for hungry trout and warmer toes. 

Davidson River:   Fishing on the Davidson can be described as steady.  The water is incredibly clear and a little more effort is required to get into position to fish.  Most trout have been taken in the faster moving sections that are deep enough to provide holding water.  Small midge larvae patterns fished in tandem under a strike indicator seems to be the most effective rig. There have also been some limited hatches of tiny dark stoneflies and cream midges during the warmest part of the day.  Hatchery bound anglers will find that changing flies every fourth, or fifth drift, and dropping down to 7x tippet will greatly increase their chances of scoring bigger fish.   

Delayed Harvest Streams:  Most anglers are finding that our area DH streams are still full of fish, but those fish now require a more technical approach.  After a couple months of constant bombardment by Wooly Buggers, Eggs, and Worms, the trout in our DH streams have now become more focused on eating the smaller insects present in the water column.  Fishing small nymphs and midges will catch far more Delayed Harvest fish in the coming months as the trout settle into a natural winter feeding pattern. 

Wild Trout:  Wild trout fishing in our lower elevation streams has been good by winter standards.  Most fish are being taken on small nymphs fished in the upper sections of plunge pools and deeper riffles.  As the shortest day of the year approaches, wild trout anglers should keep in mind that it is best to concentrate their efforts during the mid day hours when the sunlight is on the water.

Fly Patterns:  Black Caddis 18-20, Olive Swing Caddis 18, Adult Cream Midge 20-24, Memory Maker 16-18, Black Copper Johns 18-20, Rainbow Warrior 18-20, Pheasant Tails 18-20, Lightning Bugs 18-20, Zebra Midge 18-22, WD-40 20-24, Johnny Flash 22-24, Pure Midge 20-22, UFO 20-24, Tube Midge 20-24