May Fly Fishing Report – Dry Fly Time

By David Hulsey

The North Georgia and Western North Carolina mountains come alive in the month of May. It’s usually seventy degrees and sunny at least for part of the month making getting outside and doing stuff a pleasure and not a chore. Since last month the insect hatches on our local trout streams have been consistent enough to make even the wariest old rainbow or brown look up at every piece of flotsam and jetsam floating overhead. It’s dry fly time in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Put away those junk chunking five and six weights and dust of that sweet little two or three weight and get after it! Hatches can come off from morning until dusk and the returning mayflies and caddis make good fishing every hour of the day. Most mayflies and caddis are tan or yellow in coloration and easy on the eyes to see bouncing through the riffles. Sulfur mayflies and tan caddis are abundant in addition to Yellow Sally stoneflies toward the end of the month so be prepared.

Sulfurs are usually about size 16 or 18 and the Caddis about a 16. The Sallies are usually about a size 16 also. If you experience a large hatch of either there should be numbers of trout on the surface feeding. Yes, you can catch them under water but who would want to. A short six-foot two weight is perfect for the small jump across streams of Appalachia. A longer seven and a half foot or eight-foot three weight is about right for the larger streams for sniping those hard to reach risers.

Both should be fairly soft or medium action to cushion the hook set a little and smooth out those runs from a jazzed up rainbow. Fiberglass rods are great for this along with bamboo. Wet wading is a good idea if you are hoofing it up one of the mini streams sometimes for miles. The afternoons are getting a little steamy and waders are a curse. Just watch out for creepy crawlies and poison ivy! Trout are active pretty much all day for at least a couple of months before the summer sizzle kicks in. I’ll see you on the river!

Give David & Becky Hulsey a call at (770) 639-4001 to book a class or a guided trout trip. See his website at