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Bryon Anderson

North Carolina - Tuckaseegee and Nantahala

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My wife and some friends wanted a week in the mountains, so they got us a very nice rental house in Maggie Valley, NC - that's about 45 min. east/northeast of Bryson City. I got out fishing twice; once on the Tuckaseegee ("Tuck") and once on the upper Nantahala. I fished the delayed harvest sections in both rivers. The Tuck was a little "underwhelming" -- I had trouble finding an access that wasn't right next to a busy highway and/or already being fished by 5-10 other anglers. I did manage one little smallmouth bass to the net, and I saw several trout rising that I couldn't interest in even the smallest dries I had (#20 BWOs). 

The Nantahala was a significantly more rewarding experience. The section I fished (off Wayah Road in the delayed harvest section) was absolutely gorgeous, and I had better luck there. The rainbows would hit a small dry (#18 ParaWulff) on a decent drift between pockets. After I got the hang of walking on the slippery rocks (Note to Self: buy metal tractor-cleat things for wading boots) and spotting the bigger fish, I found a deep pool in which there were three nice browns. Each of them cruised over once to inspect one of the flies I ran through there, but nobody bit, alas. I probably fished over those browns for the last hour I was there. It was frustrating but in the best way -- the time flew by and next I knew it was time to head back. 

I did ask the guys at the fly shop about getting a ferry ride from Fontana Marina over to the mouth of Hazel Creek, but they told me that I shouldn't try fishing those areas by myself, especially since I'd never fished in the area before and didn't have at least a full day to commit to the venture. Good to know for next time, and I will go back. :)

Thanks to everyone here who offered your advice on the fishing in western NC -- it definitely came in handy

Cheers, Bryon 

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