SUMMER ADVENTURE ON THE WATAUGA RIVER
Fly fishing in North Carolina is something special; it is something that can be done all year long, and with each season comes its own beauty. When Old Man Winter finally decides to pack up and head out, he greets us with beautiful summer sun, blooming flowers, and hungry trout ready to eat. Fly fishing in the summer months in North Carolina is an epic way to spend the day. The best part is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to get out on the river and have a great day. From May through the end of August, my gear is very minimal, usually consisting of Chaco sandals, a pair of shorts, my Patagonia fishing shirt and vest, and my Wild Water rod and reel. The river temperature varies in those months between the low 40s and mid 50s depending on where you are. However, those water temperatures make trout active. In early spring, the local fish department stocks some of the rivers around western North Carolina with trout, depending on how far along you are in your fishing career. Some people prefer to fish in rivers that are stocked, and some prefer to venture out and find waters that are natural and not stocked. If this is your first time fly fishing and you want the best chance of getting your first catch, I suggest looking online at your local fisheries and seeing which rivers are being stocked and when. Doing this will only help you with your progression and as you gain more knowledge you can start venturing further afield in search of wild mountain trout.
One cool summer morning, I set out on a short day trip up the Watauga River, looking specifically for large rainbow trout. When I’m aiming for bigger rainbows, I have a few sections that I tend to go to on the Watauga River, where I’ve had luck in the past. During this trip, I brought with me my favorite flies, a couple of green ducks and my blue-feathered mayflies for the big and hungry ones. I quickly loaded up the Land Cruiser and headed to my place. When I arrived, I noticed that the clarity of the river was perfect; Standing next to my truck, I could see a couple of brook trout making their way up the river. When the fish are very active, you know it’s going to be a good day. I unloaded my gear and set up my Wild Water 3/4 weight bar, strapped on a blue fly and started up the river. Whenever I go after a big rainbow trout, I always approach the hunter and stay low and quiet because the last thing I want to do is scare one of these beautiful fish while trying to find a place to cast.
I found a perfect spot in the river where he went, and there was a solid log in the riverbed that I decided to use as cover to hide my shadow. I settled in right there and started pitching. Within minutes, he was hooked and fighting a good-sized rainbow trout. I kept my rod tip pointing up and started to wobble. As I pulled the fish closer to me I could see the beautiful colors flashing as he struggled and resisted getting into my net. When I got it off the net, I was speechless. I stood there in disbelief; this was the biggest and most beautiful rainbow trout I have ever caught. This fish was approximately 14 inches. I was beyond ecstatic to catch my personal record, but overall just grateful to have caught such an amazing fish. I gently released this bow back into the river, feeling emotions of gratitude and happiness. When the stars align and you can catch a fish that brings you so much joy, you will always and forever continue to chase that feeling wherever it takes you. That feeling, to this day, continues to take me places I’ve always dreamed of. As you gain more knowledge and skills for this trade, allow yourself to venture out and find new streams, rivers, or creeks and embrace those adventures; Even if you don’t catch a single fish, enjoy those moments and remember to leave these waters cleaner and better than you found them for the next angler after their dream catch.
For more information on wild water fly fishing and its products, please contact Dena Vick, [email protected].
About Wild Water Fly Fishing
Wild Water Fly Fishing represents a dedication to bringing friends and family together by providing them with everything they will need to prepare for a trip to the lake. Whether you are a parent or grandparent wanting to nurture a child’s interest in fly fishing, Wild Water offers the best tools to make your fly fishing trip an unforgettable experience. Wild Water Fly Fishing is the only company that focuses exclusively on affordable and easy to use fly fishing starter packs for all species of fish.