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Summer Trout Tactics for WNC Mountains

This past weekend Elijah and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and hit some of the WNC mountain streams. Feel free to send us an email if you need help finding one near you – smoothangler2020@gmail.com

Tip #1 – Get out there early:

Trout like to feed when the sun comes up before it is too hot. Start by fishing pools like normal and runs after faster water. Nymphs work, but trout are also keying in on terrestrials. So, throw whatever you feel like and see what happens. We had the opportunity to fish with two people which is not always the case. Elijah hooked up first on a size 16 nymph…within 5 minutes of hitting the water. I was throwing a chernobyl ant with a size 18 dropper on 24 inches of 6x tippet. Getting out early allows you to watch the forest come to live and gives you the best opportunity to hook up.

Tip #2 – Pay attention:

I can no emphasize this enough. Pay attention to bugs around you, are trout chasing minnows or rising, are bugs making noise, are fish flashing in the water, etc. We found a long pull holding a large number of trout that did not want to play games with the nymphs, but were chasing smaller fish. So, we started throwing streams with a dropper off the back. I found this to be a killer tactic for a lot of different fish: trout, smallmouth, panfish, etc. We used a zebra midge as the dropper and a white woolly bugger/Kreelex streamer. If you do not know those streamers, buy 3 of each and fish them. As a heads up, brook trout love white woolly buggers.

Tip #3 – Find cool water near cover:

When the day goes on and you aren’t seeing rises, the trout are holding on the bottom to keep cool and out of the eyes of predators. So, getting your fly down deep is super important in addition to finding cover. Keys are deep pools near trees that provide shade.

Tip #4 – Stay safe:

Some of the streams are well traveled, but we got off the beaten path. We were safer since we were together, but we still checked trail maps and brought a compass. A lot of the blue line wild streams are hard to get to and it can get hairy at times. Tell people where you are going and have a plan.

Gear used:

Reels – 3-5 Weight – Ross & Orvis

Rods – We both threw Sage 5 weights and Elijah used his 3 weight as well

Line – Scientific Angler

Tippet – 5X-7X

Flies – simulators, nymphs, streamers

Net – Fishpond – I like the smallest one of backpacking

Written by: Alex Howell

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