Fall Fly Fishing Tips

By David Hulsey

September usually begins hot and dry and goes out cool and awesome here in the Southern Appalachians. By the last week of the month, a couple of cool fronts have slipped far enough southward to renew the fly angler’s will to drag out the gear and give it a go over. The fall is the beginning of the fly flinger’s year, so to speak, with wonderful days ahead on the rivers and creeks in North Carolina and Georgia. Delayed Harvest Streams in North Carolina will open with massive stockings of beautiful rainbows, browns, and brooks. Fires Creek, Nantahala River and Big Snowbird Creek, in the far west part of the state, are good choices by the second week of October. Just a two or three hour drive from Atlanta, if you don’t get caught in traffic. Day trips to these creeks are great, arriving about 9 and leaving about 4 gives you plenty of fishing time, so plan accordingly.

Georgia’s Delayed Harvest streams open in November and the Upper Toccoa River will be alive with folks that first week. This is my favorite Georgia DH. It’s big enough to float but also provides careful waders with some great sport. Be sure to bring your long fly rod for this one. Sometimes you’ll have to cast a little ways to get a drift and there are usually several currents to deal with on a single long drift.

The glory days of dry fly fishing will usually start dwindling as we get more and more cold mornings. Nice sunny days and clear water will help the dry bite unless it’s warm and wet then Blue Winged Olives should be about. Be prepared with an arsenal of standard nymphs and streamers and you should be set. Be sure to go over your waders and check for leaks or rat holes. Nothing is worse than a set of leaky waders or boots with worn out soles. The latter can send you to the ER. Be sure to make a trip to your local fly shop for a few do-dads or flies or something because believe me, they’ll appreciate it. Consider taking a casting or fly tying class this fall- it’ll add more to your experiences on the water and you might make a few more like-minded friends. Be sure to get out and enjoy the fall in the mountains after all winter’s on its way.

Give David a call to book a class or trophy trout guide trip at Noontootla Creek Farms. We can make learning to fly fish easy and fun! You can make the switch.