November 8, 2017
Overview: This November finds Western North Carolina trout anglers with an abundance of water, and more fishing opportunities than they have had for the last several years. While some of our recent rainfall has made for too much water just after the event, overall stream conditions have been much improved. With temperatures forecast to fall back into their normal range, anglers can expect Brown Trout to begin moving to spawn and aquatic insect activity to be on the rise.
Davidson River: The Davidson is holding at a great flow for fishing all sections. While the main Davidson is still gin clear, and as tricky as ever, the upper reaches are fishing exceptionally well for anglers who are sure of foot and have the stamina for aggressive pocket water fishing. For those who do like the challenge, the Main Davidson has been offering some excellent sight fishing opportunities over the last few weeks, but anglers should keep in mind that there are no guarantees beyond pleasant scenery when it comes to fishing this stretch.
The best shot for catching them with both ease of access, and lack of wading, is at the Fish Hatchery. This stretch is showing marked improvement with the additional water, and for those who like fishing tiny flies on tippets in the sub 7x range, the fishing may be somewhat reminiscent of years gone by. Finally, November is a great time to see big Browns moving in the larger pools on the Davidson, but anglers should keep in mind that fish that are actively spawning should be left alone and simply observed rather than harassed.
Wild Trout: Wild trout fishing is still good, and should continue to be until winter sets in. Lower elevation streams like Bradley Creek, South Mills River, and the North Fork of the French Broad are all excellent places to explore in late fall. While nymphing is the predominant tactic for fishing these streams, anglers may be pleasantly surprised to find fish willing to rise to dry flies during the warmth of mid day. Small caddis, small baetis, and small winter stoneflies should all be on the menu in the months to come, with the emphasis on small.
Delayed Harvest: Our area Delayed Harvest streams are currently undergoing their second fall stocking, and should continue to fish well throughout the month. Higher streamflows allow newly stocked fish to spread out into a variety of holding water, thus making for less “shooting fish in a barrel”, and more sustainable fishing into winter.
Fly Patterns: Elk Hair Caddis 16-18, Black Stimulator 16-20, Griffith’s Gnat 18-22, Peacock Soft Hackle 16-20, Olive Hare’s Ear 16-18, Pheasant Tail 16-20, Trip Saver 10-12, Tungsten Death Metal 16-18, Devil Jig 14-16, Squirmito 12-16, Micro Spawn 10-12, Zebra Midge 20-22, Tube Midge 20-22, Red Hot Midge 22-24, Barr’s Emerger 20-22