Feel like a kid again/Late June Early July Report

Blue lines and brook trout

Bass on boogle bugs

 

Backcountry bushwhacking and 

Big river bronze backs

 

Bright blue skies bring a boiling rise and

Brisk breezes blow up boulder strewn bubbling creeks

 

Tiny trout try for temptingly tied ties and

Tenacious tigers from ten feet deep trigger on twitching top water tackle 

 

There’s a big ole bass under that over hanging limb

He’ll eat that bug if you can make the cast to him

 

Or maybe a splashy speck on a high mountain stream

Is what enters your mind during a mid-day dream

 

Away with waders away with the layers 

Away with the gore-tex and neoprene 

Let the sun be our heat when wild trout we meet

As we hike up an Appalachian summer stream 

 

 

Bring along your jacket but leave home your coat

Leave behind the racket and get in the boat

There’s a smallmouth sitting behind every rock

And the summer sun is setting Tick-Tick-Tock

 

ZIP goes the line as the bug lands with a PLOP

SWOOSH goes the bass as he eats on top

 

DON’T DROP YOUR FLIP FLOP

 

SIP goes the quick little trout as he takes the fly

Pay close attention or the moment will pass you by

 

Summer time is here and up or down we go

Up to the high country 

Down to the big river below

 

So lace up your boots and hike on in

To some shallow creek in some deep dark glen

And when you’re done hike back out again

 

To take a lazy day and float down a river

To fish for a fish that eats fish to get bigger

 

Down goes the summer sun and up comes the big bright moon

Down go our heads to dream of doing this all again real soon

 Floating for Smallmouth Bass on the French Broad River 

Floating for Smallmouth Bass on the French Broad River 

 

Now is the time of year to head up or head down.  Mid-elevation streams have either gone the way of the spring and faded into their summer estivation or are overrun with tubers, swimmers, and other fly fishermen.  One's best move is to find your inner child and go exploring. Put on the hiking boots, pull out the maps, and seek out backcountry waters. Or put on the flip flops and swimming trunks and pursue the smallmouth bass of the big low elevation rivers. 

 Hooked up on a backcountry brook trout in Pisgah National Forest

Hooked up on a backcountry brook trout in Pisgah National Forest

 

Back country trout fishing is in its prime and the smallmouth bass are waking up and looking up.  Small stream activity has been solid for the past few weeks and this past week the water levels have dropped and warmed, and that has the smallies out hunting.  On the big rivers the fish are still hanging tight to the banks and taking bugs and crawfish or maybe and errant damsel fly.  Its a good time to make a long cast with a boogle bug to the shadows under the trees. A good rule of thumb is that if your popping bug has rubber legs make sure that at least one of those legs is touching the bank.  The mid-river bait busting is happening but not as strong as lower water will bring.  The smallmouth fishing should continue to pick up and get stronger as the summer goes on.  

 This boy was a fighter. With an aerial take and numerous jumps, he spent more time out of the water than in, after taking a popping bug from the surface

This boy was a fighter. With an aerial take and numerous jumps, he spent more time out of the water than in, after taking a popping bug from the surface

 

For the small stream trout you can forego the hatch matching of the spring.  Up high its a good buggy elk hair caddis, a bushy adams, a terrestrial or some high floating hybrid of the three.  Early in the morning when its still cool a dropper fly off your dry is always a good bet.  The standard fare of bead head pheasant tails and hare’s ears will work or you can drop an inchworm or sunken ant.  

 

In summation DH is over and has been for a while.  The Davidson is fishing but you had better bring your absolute A game and hit it at the right time, it has seen a bit of pressure since the end of May.  Branch out and start to hit those high elevation creeks and those low elevation rivers.  If you haven’t tried smallmouth fishing because you’re convinced its just another bass you are leaving a lot on the table, and same goes for small trout in small creeks.  Break out the flip flops or the hiking boots, see something new, feel like a kid again.  Its summer time.