The fun is being had
This is a true story of events during a guided trip on the South Holston River in spring 2019.
Gloria is a name you may hear being yelled from any number of rivers surrounding Asheville, NC. Sometimes its a coaxing whisper, sometimes a frustration yell and sometimes a chuckling cheerful G-L-O-R-I-A. My client, a dry fly purist and wonderful person to vicariously fish through is always searching for HER big fish, "Gloria." Today I heard Gloria's name being called several times from the back of the boat on the South Holston River.
The first time, I heard it echoing off the rock bluff to my 9 0'clock, glooooo-riaaaaa.
I turn around and the rod is bent over and the reel is singing. "Oh gloria" she said and I absolutely chuckled and netted a beautiful 18" wild brown trout caught on a size 18 sulfur mayfly emerger.
A few sighs and sips of water later and I hear the name again. Same deal, same fly, same chuckle. She taps her feet, claps her hands and dips them in the water for a quick grip-n-grin.
The FUN is being had.
While these were solid fish I knew they weren't Gloria. Gloria was a mile or so downstream. I saw her there in a particular location I had been two days prior with my client's husband. He and I spent about 2 hours working a big brown trout on dry flies. We trusted the process, rested the picky eater, tried again and again. We gave it our best but the stars just didn't align during that particular 2 hours.
I think many guides could say that women usually out fish men. I am not sure what magic is working there but its real and i've witnessed it time and time again. I will continue to observe and hopefully learn the magic. I say all this because when we pulled up to Gloria's doorstep she was waiting with a red dress on and passing out lemonade. We spent over an hour presenting flies and resting the fish. Of course, Gloria eventually ate HER fly. If we weren't the last boat on the water, everyone on the river would have heard Gloria's name shouted in unison by all three of us at the top of our lungs. It was such a joyful noise you'd think we were at church or a Van Morrison concert.
Cheers to all the G-L-O-R-I-A-S out there!
This is a great pattern to use when fly fishing for Smallmouth Bass. When the little frogs known as spring peepers come out to play, so do the smallies. Here in Asheville, NC this pattern has produced for us time and time again on our freestone rivers the Nolichucky River & French Broad River.
The video we did last year "A trip into the wild", which features Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing, Overnight Trips with Safari Camp and Whitewater option, has recently been featured by R.L. Winston Rod Co., Dun Magazine, the Angler Report and Moldychum.com. Check it out!
Special thanks to producer Josh Branstetter and all those involved!
If you are interested in this experience, we are now booking mid-June through mid-October 2018. You can read more info on this experience by clicking here.
Smallmouth Bass + Whitewater Float Trips
These trips are not geared toward whitewater like a whitewater rafting trip.
We venture into these class III & IV waters to target the big,
aggressive Smallmouth Bass that live within.
Trips are full day floats with a two boat minimum.
Multi-day trips with Safari Camp are available.
All guides are River Rescue 3 International &
ACA Level 4 Swiftwater Rescue certified and fully insured.
Spring weather has been like a roller coaster. Never the less, the spring fishing for both Trout and Smallmouth Bass has been excellent. The following pictures are from recent trips...
GUIDED SMALLMOUTH BASS FISHING TRIPS
NOW BOOKING 2018 SPRING SEASON
Smallmouth Bass fishing in the Southern Appalachian Mountains is renowned as some of the best on the continent. We target these fish on our float trips on the fly and with tackle. If you enjoy a tenacious pull from the surface and seeing acrobatic fish dance, then this is for you. We target several rivers located in Western North Carolina and East Tennessee. Click here for more information.
GUIDED SMALLMOUTH BASS - WHITEWATER FLOAT FISHING TRIPS
For the adventurous angler looking for a remote experience, Asheville Fly Fishing Company is the only guide service in the Asheville area offering a smallmouth bass fishing trip on Class III-IV whitewater. While it is becoming rare to find a true remote wilderness experience in the east, we are fortunate to have access to the French Broad River section 9 and the Nolichucky Gorge. These trips offer excellent Smallmouth Bass fishing and flow through two of the most remote, beautiful sections of river found in the eastern US. All guides are ACA Level IV Swift Water Rescue and CPR/First Aid certified and fully insured. Click here for more info.
GUIDED OVERNIGHT SMALLMOUTH BASS FISHING TRIPS
So much water, so little time. If you need more than one day of fishing, we understand all too well. We offer multi-day trips with Safari style camping. Click here for more info and watch the video below.
At Asheville Fly Fishing Company, we value long-lasting relationships with our guests and enjoy sharing memorable days on the water. Click here to read what people are saying about their experience with us.
Guiding is our passion. Sure we love catching fish on our days off, but sharing the experience is far more rewarding. We are problem solvers who enjoy the connections and process just as much as the pull. We push each other to be innovative, aware of the fine details and to always anticipate the next move gracefully and with respect. Our goal is to give you the best service you have ever experienced, and to always enjoy as much river experience as possible while putting fish in the net. Our first time out with you, we are taking notes on the details that make a difference to you. From the moment we meet you onward, we go the extra miles so you are right where you want to be, fishing better and laughing louder. Click here to read more about the guides.
FISHING REPORT: SPRING FORECAST
With several good snows under our belt the ground water table is up as we move into the rainy season. We anticipate good water levels for spring fishing on our freestone rivers. This week we are getting our first taste of warmer temperatures and perhaps the beginning of the warming trends that will take us into spring. As this trend progresses, we recommend your fishing efforts be spent during the end of each warm spell. Don't go the first day it warms up. If you've got five days of warmer temps in the forecast, hit the water on day 3, 4 or 5. This will give the water temperature a chance to increase resulting in more active fish and more fish in the net.
Gift Certificates are available for your fishy friends & loved ones.
Summertime is officially here in Asheville, NC! Water levels are above average and conditions are great for fishing and enjoying the outdoors. We've noticed the fishing has been better than the previous two years and we anticipate the trend will continue. Here's a few highlights of what you can find on the water in the Asheville area.
Water temps are just now getting above 70 degrees with average to above average water levels compared to the 100yr. average. While spring has been hit or miss due to rainfall and blown out rivers, the fishing has been very good this year. Those windows of time when the river clears just enough before the next rain are gold. The fish know the rain is coming and they must feed while the livin' is easy. As summer continues and temperatures rise, fishing will start to slow down mid-day. Please consider practicing catch and release and keeping the fish wet. An 18" Smallmouth Bass takes 8-10yrs. to get that big. The top water bite is hot and fish are exploding on frog patterns and boogle bugs. Enjoy!
Sulfurs are hatching on the both the South Holston River & Watauga River, offering great dry fly fishing. Any time now the Japanese Beetles will start falling out of the trees. The Brown Trout will be there waiting and so will we. This event is a blast and offers both beginners and experts the opportunity to sight fish. These rivers fish well year round and boast a dense population of wild Brown Trout. Both rivers are most effectively fished from a driftboat as water levels change daily. Please use caution if you plan on wading and make sure you know the generation schedule.
WNC Delayed Harvest waters have opened as of June 3rd, so wade fishing just got a whole lot tougher. During summer months we recommend floating but if you prefer wading, we recommend going for wild trout in the higher elevation streams. This will take you away from the crowds and into to the wilderness where native Brook Trout aggressively rise to dry flies.
A few shots from recent trips...
You can rest assured that you will be in safe hands with Asheville Fly Fishing Company. Our team has the highest level of Swift Water Rescue and River Rescuecertification in addition to the minimum required CPR / First Aid certification.
- ACA - Level IV Swift Water Rescue Certified
- Rescue 3 International - Level III River Rescue Certified
- Adult, Child, Baby First Aid / CPR / AED Certified
Here's a few highlights of what is required of us with these certifications:
- Swimming in 40-50 degree water for extended periods.
- Swimming class III whitewater rapids
- Swimming/ Rescue wearing boots & waders
- Hydrology and Hazards
- Technical equipment
- Trip Planning
- Risk prevention and assessment
- Rescue techniques using throw-bags, zip-lines and roping systems
- Knots and anchor systems
- Flipped, wrapped and pinned boat rescue.
Here's what Swift Water Rescue education looks like...
A big fishy thanks to the fine folks at Dun Magazine. We love them and Dun magazine. The magazine is available online and in print for your enjoyment.
It was fun answering their questions and that is what its all about! Thanks for keeping it fun! Check out the feature and this great fishing magazine by clicking the following link.
While your recovering from a food coma in your favorite chair this holiday, take a minute to check out the most recent issue of Southern Culture on the Fly. We had the pleasure of rowing the SCOF crew down the Natahala Gorge on a day off from guiding. We were in aluminum Drift Boats hunting for wild brown trout.
A big thank you to the guys at Southern Culture on the Fly for a great experience. It is always a pleasure with SCOF and we love their magazine.
Thank you to Asheville Fly Fishing Company's guides Zach Bassett and Anthony Esposito for their great work behind the oars and great attitudes.
To read the full article go to www.southerncultureonthefly.com
Here's a few shots from the article...
70 degrees and Fall is in the air! The fish are happy and hungry and flying out of the water. The leaves are already changing here in Asheville. The #Trout and #Smallmouthbass fishing is REALLY good right now and we are loving it. Here's a handful of highlights from the last week of guided trips... #wataugariver #southholstonriver #flyfishingasheville
Make your reservation now for fall season. BOOK A TRIP: (828) 779-9008
July was a good month. It was a hot, busy month on the water. While below average water levels and above average temperatures have made the Smallmouth Bass fishing challenging, the tailwaters in East Tennessee have been fishing great! Since the South Holston River and Watauga River are tailwaters (Rivers fed by a dam where the water comes from the bottom of the lake), they stay cold enough and flow enough for the fish to remain happy. We've been experiencing some extra happy fish this summer with the abundance of Japanese Beetles falling out of the trees. Both brown and rainbow trout are looking for them actively and the Big Brown Trout are on the prowl. The Beetles have been on for two or three weeks and we anticipate they will continue through August. If you want in on the action, give us a call! We still have a little availability in August, so book sooner than later!
Here's a few of July's highlights...
Asheville Fly Fishing Company guide Knox Campbell just got back from fishing Canada. His trip was of a "Guide's day off" nature. A little R&R, R&D, and quality time with friends. Upon his return he had a serious case of perma-grin and a skip in his step. We knew what that meant and being Smallmouth Bass fanatics, we wanted details. So we slid to the edge of our chairs and let the good times roll. Here's what Knox shared with us...
I touched down in Toronto just past mid-night on June 18th. Coincidentally this date has a lot of meaning for me, but for this post the most important fact to keep in mind is that June 18 is the opening day for smallies in Ontario, something we don't appreciate here in the south. The plan was set a year before. Ben, a buddy that I had originally met on a flight to Portugal a few years ago, picked my girlfriend and I up at the airport. Once through customs we walked out the doors and immediately saw Ben waiting. Hugs and back slaps were exchanged and then we were off. After a non-stop 4 hour drive we arrived at our destination- a tiny, glacial lake 20 miles from the St Lawrence Seaway that Ben's family had a cottage on and that had no public access.
It was 4:15 and the sky was just turning grey. Rod, reel, and fly box had been stashed strategically on top of the food rations in the back of the car for easy retrieval, and withing 10 minutes of pulling into the drive we were in the Lund, cutting through the morning air with me standing at the bow, 8 wt in hand, fly line lying at my feet, a freshly tied yellow popping bug on the leader, and the unforgettable feeling you have just before doing something you'd been envisioning and anticipating for a long time. The outboard was silenced and the boat went into a quiet glide. Before Ben even had time to point out a rocky reef I threw my first cast. One pop. Two pops. Pause. Rod tip just over the water. Boom. Big eat and even bigger fish. That first fish of the trip came just as the warm colors of morning bled across the horizon. There were countless fish caught on that trip, but that first fish, and that first morning in Canada, blending with all of the emotions of the past year and a half, was one of the most powerful moments of my life. I said a silent "thank you" to no one in particular, and for a few moments, even with my hands still wet and fishy, forgot about the fishing. I took in the lake and the light, looked at my buddy, and smiled. He knowingly smiled back, and without a word and with eye brows raised, pointed to a rise ring behind me.
Read more about Knox Campbell here
FISHING REPORT: Smallmouth Bass in Asheville
The Smallmouth Bass fishing has been above average this year. Currently we are getting rain and cooler temperatures and the fish are happy. Guided trips have been producing trophy fish on the fly and spin tackle. We target these fish by Drift Boat and Raft and offer all inclusive full day and half day trips. Here's one from last week...