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.
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...
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...
BOOK A TRIP BY MAKING A RESERVATION IN ADVANCE: (828) 779-9008
S.C.O.F (Southern Culture On the Fly) is an online fishing magazine filled with informative articles, fishy humor and vivid photography. So when they told us they wanted to do a an overnight trip for Smallmouth Bass on the Nolichucky Gorge and feature the story in S.C.O.F's Fall 2015 issue, the perma-grin set in.
Three rescheduled dates and seven months later, we were packing the boats and checking water levels. For good fishing and easier rowing, we typically run the gorge between 700cfs and 1600cfs. The water level was a boat-dragging 350cfs the morning of the trip. This is an extremely low level, making it hard to navigate anything bigger than a kayak. At this level, the rapids grow teeth, the slots become cracks, broken oars are common and dragging the raft is sure to occur at least once. We were running rafts with fishing frames and oar rigs. Each boat carried one angler, one oarsman/guide, fishing/camping/camera gear and a cooler. Three rafts, eighteen rods and reels, enough food and flies for six adventurists and every smallmouth bass in the gorge, we headed north from Asheville to bring it all down 9 miles of class III-IV water 2,500ft down in the Nolichucky Gorge. The "Noli" gorge is sacred to many, loved by more. If you go, please treat it with respect, play safe, and practice catch and release so that others may enjoy its splendor.
In the end, memories were made, fun was had, many fish were caught, oar blades got broken and lessons were learned. We safely made it out of the gorge wishing we could immediately do it again. Thanks to S.C.O.F for bringing us on board for this one. Thanks to everyone involved for making it an epic trip. That was fun! ~ Galen Kipar
- S.C.O.F Writer - David Grossman
- S.C.O.F Photographer - Rand Harcz
- A.F.F.C Guides - Zach Bassett, Knox Campbell, Galen Kipar
- Crooked Creek Holler
Read the article here... S.C.O.F 2015 FALL Issue #17
Since the article came out, we have received several inquiries about fly patterns and the smallmouth in the Western North Carolina and East Tennessee mountains. If you have questions or are looking for info, contact us anytime!
Asheville Fly Fishing Company / 828-779-9008 / email@example.com