Here we go! Spring is on the horizon and we are starting to see the bugs a flyin'. Here is a recap of this weeks fishing around Boone and on the Tailwaters of the Watauga and South Holston.
Local small streams: The Delayed Harvest streams have all now been restocked. You can check out the dates here. The trout take a day or so to really get acclimated, but the Watauga, Helton, Wilson and New River stretches are all fishing well. You can use attractor nymphs with a lot of success right now. i.e. Squirmy Wormies, Egg patterns, Mop flies, Rainbow Prince nymphs, Rainbow Warriors and Wooly Buggers. Once the fish shy away from those, go to the standard pheasant tails, hares ears, Copper Johns, zebra midges, etc. Sizes 12 - 20 are working, so they aren't picky! If you see them eating on top, look around. What bugs are flying? Well, in the evenings you can find swarms, literally swarms of midges. Last night there were caddis starting to show as well. Sometimes it's tough to match the hatch when the bugs are size 30, but the fish are eating, so tie on some midges and give it a go.
The wild streams are really picking up as well. A dry/dropper in the faster, shallower water is $. A fat size 12 parachute Adams and a Frenchie or pheasant tail is killing it. In the deeper holes, throw in a nymph rig and they'll eat. Once again, the fish are actively feeding and not being particularly picky.
Watauga (Tailwaters): The nymph game is going strong, but the BWO's are coming off thick in spots, so if you like some dry fly action, you'll get it. If you see BWO's coming off the water and the fish feeding, a dry or emerger imitation from size 16-20 are working well. There are plenty of midges flying as well, so midge nymph or dry patterns will do the trick. When throwing a nymph rig, on the Watauga, don't be afraid to try attractor patterns on a dual nymph rig. Squirmies and prince nymphs are your friend.
South Holston (Tailwaters): Like the Watauga, BWO's and midges are the primary target. The BWO's are really coming off strong. The numbers of BWO's hatching have increased significantly over the last week and the fish are hammering dries! Again, BWO dry and emerger patterns size 16-20 are doing the trick. You might have to work a bit harder on these fish than you do on the Watauga, but put in the time and it'll be worth it. As for nymphs, soft hackles and midges. Do it!
(Oh yeah, the streamer bite has been strong on both of these as well).
Remember, the fishing on both the Watauga and South Holston Tailwaters will vary based on the generation schedule or water discharge. Your tactics will vary based on the amount of discharge.
Come by or give us a call, and we'll answer any questions and help you out as best we can. We've got waders in the water everyday. We fish, we scout, we observe. Not many people have the time to get on the water everyday and know whats going on out there. We do it for a living! If you want one hell of a day on the water, give us a call and we'd love to take you on a float or wade trip. Let's do it!